Did you know that filing cabinets, a staple in any office setting, were created in the US in the mid-1800s? Before then, paperwork was stored in drawers, on desks, and haphazardly in whatever containers were around. The filing cabinet revolutionized organization in the workplace and was quickly adopted for both business and personal use.

For nearly two centuries filing cabinets have lined walls in small shops, large warehouses, and enterprise system offices.  It’s a tried-and-true method of organization that has exceeded expectations. That being said, is it wise to stick with the same processes for almost 200 years? If we were this loyal to other products, we wouldn’t be an advanced society. Cars were invented in America back in 1908 (not too long after the filing cabinet), but vehicles are nothing like their original form. From the clunky and slow Model T, we now have vehicles that can exceed 100 mph, tow thousands of pounds, and run on electricity.

The point is, we have drastically improved upon early inventions in other areas, so why not in file organization? eFiling takes document management into the 21st century, offering top-notch security and utilizing modern technology to make processes as seamless as possible. Here are 5 reasons why eFiling is a better choice than filing cabinets.

1. e-Filing is more secure

Though filing cabinets today tend to be crafted from strong materials and secured by sturdy locking mechanisms, they are not as secure as you might think. With just a few tools your filing cabinets can be broken into. More commonly, an employee may forget to lock up properly, exposing entire cabinets of documents to potential threats. When you switch to eFiling, there is far more security in place. The cloud is a controversial subject that many are wary about, but we can assure you that it is infinitely more secure than keeping critically important documents on-premise. You would be surprised by the threats posed to physical documents on a daily basis:

  • Being displaced by employees
  • Being stolen
  • Getting ruined by coffee, water, food, and other substances
  • Damage or destruction if in a fire or other emergency
  • Illegal duplication
  • Damage from natural disasters and floods

With a platform like TrueFiling, all documents are stored in a digital format. They cannot be lost, all activity is monitored in real-time, there are multiple security measures in place including authentication and encryption, and they are stored on the cloud so no emergency event can touch them. TrueFiling keeps documents secure with the best protection technology available.

2. Files are accessible 24/7

In addition to security issues, filing cabinets are not the most convenient way to store and manage case documents. In many instances, you will have a single document (usually the original) that is in the office. For some legal and confidential files, producing a copy is prohibited. When multiple parties need access to the same document, it can be challenging to keep things true to the timeline. Let’s say the document in question, Document A, is part of a court case. The list of personnel who would need access to Document A includes, but is not limited to clerks, admins, the prosecutor, the defense, the judge, and experts called in to look at the exhibit. Each of those people must wait their turn when Document A is a piece of tangible paper.

In contrast, with eFiling options like TrueFiling, a digital version of Document A is hosted on the cloud. Multiple parties can review the file at once from any location. Everyone has complete access 24 hours a day without having to leave their home or office. Document A cannot be misplaced or ruined, and the file is always where it belongs. 24/7 access allows individuals the freedom to work wherever and whenever they want, even if it’s well outside usual business hours.

3. Organizing and managing content is effortless

Filing cabinets were a clear step up from the indiscriminate “organization” systems that preceded them. However, even the new system came with some flaws. Different courts or even different departments can have different ways of organizing files. Some might go alphabetically while others use a numbered system. Theoretically, either of these processes could work, but human error often comes into play and brings the integrity of the system into question. A lazy employee might file things incorrectly for no reason, but other mistakes can be genuine such as files being stuck together, incorrectly finding where in the pile the new document goes, etc.

When a document is not properly filed, chaos can ensue. You’ll find yourself tearing apart each filing cabinet one by one to search for the missing file. That’s hours of time wasted that could have been avoided with a system like TrueFiling. Technology is smart, and TrueFiling is smarter. You can file new documents and automatically have them sorted into your system. Organize by file type today, date tomorrow, and title the next day. Send documents to other departments and they can choose their own way of organizing!

4. Filing and finding documents takes less time

There is no part of the traditional filing process that is speedy. There are often several steps involved with the initial filing to ensure that each document passes through the right people and departments. New documents are put aside and physically filed away later in most cases. For the personnel responsible for adding documents to the existing system, staring at a wall of filing cabinets can be daunting. Unless your office’s preferred method is to simply add to the end of the pile (chronological), you have some work ahead of you. You’ll need to make sure that each document or folder is in the exact spot it needs to be, or you’ll cause delays down the line. Nothing is more frustrating than spending a good part of the day trying to find a misplaced document. 

In contrast, TrueFiling allows documents to be scanned and sent into the digital system immediately. The software uses various pieces of information to store new entries in the exact space they belong. For quick recall, you can search for your file directly, or choose to sort by various filters. Finding what you need is just a few clicks away and takes just a few minutes. TrueFiling has backup plans for identifying and calling up documents should something happen unintentionally like a name change to ensure you’ll never be rifling through papers again.

5. Easy communication/sharing within and outside of departments

For court operations to run smoothly, it’s crucial to have seamless communication within and between departments. A communication breakdown almost always results in delays and mistakes that were easily avoidable. With physical documents, only one party can have access at a time, especially for sensitive case documents that must remain on-premise at all times. Curating a schedule for multiple people to have access can be tough or even impossible. In order to communicate about files, participants will need to take notes in a separate document and try their best to make it clear which portion of the file in question they are discussing.

When handling multiple cases, it can be hard to keep track of the communications you’re sending out, and you may find that an email you thought you sent never left your drafts. eFiling allows you to share access to digital documents with multiple people at one time. They are free to access said file at their convenience, no scheduling required. Keep everyone up to date with automated notifications when filing status is changed. This way, you can spend less time writing emails and more time on the next case document.

As you can see, case management and filing have come a long way since the invention of the filing cabinet. The world around us is changing, and it’s important for courts to keep up. TrueFiling provides you with all the tools you need to switch to the cloud and take your court into the 21st century.

To learn more about TrueFiling, visit https://truefiling.com/. ImageSoft offers a collection of software designed with the justice system in mind. Implement our solutions to be prepared for anything from crises to new technology. Feel free to reach out to our experts at https://nathana12.sg-host.com/contactus/ with any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions.