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Paper vs cloud: The best medium to store my compliance documents and important files

Paper vs Cloud: The best medium for storing your important documents

This article is all about choosing the right medium for storing your all important documents. While each has its own merits, read the article to find out which medium we give our nod to.

Every now and again we all get the urge to tidy up our stuff. For some, this urge occurs regularly and is acted on just as much. These are the people with pristine houses, well-documented notes and an even more finely organised wardrobe and then, you have the opposite end of the spectrum - people like me where tidying up isn't the strongest of our abilities. Tidying is a reactive, rather than a pro-active action. 

There are many reasons why I prefer my reactive tidying and organising, most of which revolve around me not having to spend all of my free time organising - I haven't spent a lot of time perfecting a process so it takes a lot of time to do it right. However, I know that when I need to access something, it will take me a long time to find it and even longer to use it. Proactive tidiers on the other hand, may not spend all their time enjoying the short term but they almost certainly win the speed and ease test when it comes to accessing, maintaining and sending (in this case) important documents.

I decided to talk to two proactive tidiers to learn their secrets. One still uses the old-fashioned physical storage method while the other has embraced online storage in full.
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All of your documents are physical, so why not continue your filing in the same vein? 
This is very true, storing your documents physically and organizing them properly is something that my Dad does which has certainly worked wonders for him. Inside his filing cabinet there are vast amounts of well-documented folders each containing current and previous versions of the document in question. Sorted alphabetically, everything is relatively easy to find and there is something satisfying about finding a document and plucking it out of its folder, right where it should be, used and then neatly put back into place.
There are a few issues though. 
In the case above its taken years to perfect the organization and filing system - and as requirements change, it so too means the filing has to change - which often means moving folders physically from one place to another. The other major issue is space. Depending on how many documents you need to maintain, how many versions of it you want to keep and most importantly how you organize them, you may find that you have 30 folders each with a single document in. While extremely good for finding the right document quickly, it's not necessarily the most convenient and compact way of doing things.
Cloud storage on the other hand, is extremely compact, it's all available in the palm of your hand. digital devices are also extremely good at sorting and searching which makes them good contenders to being your admin assistants. The problems with online storage are two-fold. Like physical storage, you still need a good filing system to keep your documents conveniently accessible. The second problem is that you still have a load of physical copies of your documents (passport, utility bill, DBS check and so forth), so while keeping your documents online is certainly more convenient, you still require some form of physical storage.
We are rapidly entering an era of digital enhancement in our lives and it's clear to see that at some point in the not too distant future much of our documentation will be provided in digital form. it's a clear sign that going digital is the way to go. Physical storage isn't quite done yet though, as storing physical copies of your documentation is extremely important in an era of increasing fraud and issues around digital privacy. Both options require a well-organized system in order to be truly effective and so this question comes down to some finer details such as:
  • How computer literate are you?
  • Do you have access to a scanner?
  • Are you comfortable with storing your documents on an unprotected online system?

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At the locum passport we looked very carefully at both options alongside their plus points and areas of concern. We think that online storage is by far the most convenient and simple system so we worked hard on turning the negatives into positives.
If you need an idea of how to organise your files, download the locum passport app for free and check out how we've segmented all the files into easy to fill containers. This will help you create your own system, or if you like it, an easy, simple and free place to store your documents online.
If you like the idea of online storage but can't transfer your documents to the digital space, try using your phone camera or a scanner app. These negate the need for bulky hardware and give you a relatively good copy ready for online storage. The Locum passport has this built in and you can use it for free to get a sense of how easy online storage is. There are of course, plenty of other document scanning apps that are available on app stores, you'll be able to find one that suits your needs and budget.
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Finally, security. 
With physical copies your documentation remains within the confines of your house or office and for many people that really is important. Having offsite storage means that you have a copy of your documents in case anything happens to the location where they have been stored physically so there is a case to be made for both options. Security is a hot topic so it's important that whatever storage method you use, you consider who has your data, how they can use it and how they are protecting it. You'll be able to find all this out in the privacy policy of your chosen storage provider.

For instance, our privacy policy and Ts and Cs make it clear that you are always the owner of your documents and rather than focusing our efforts on accessing and analysing them, we've decided to focus on making the locum passport as secure and isolated as possible, making it the perfect companion for your locum needs. 

Of course there are ways to do this yourself and not make use of your features and personally we are all for that. If you have any comments or tips for other locums, please share them below!

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