Emails to Paper to Scanners to Digital?!?!?

By Bryant Duhon posted 06-11-2011 12:52


“Reporters fought for elevators in a mad rush out of the building to begin converting the documents into electronic form for perusal and publication.”*


No, really, in what alternate reality is this sane?

In case you haven’t heard, thousands of Palin emails have been released to reporters from a 2008 request covering her time as governor of Alaska. Six sealed boxes containing the printed documents were released to the news organizations that paid for them.

Was saving them as PDFs too difficult? DVDs? CDs? Floppies? Dropbox?

I would love to know the reasoning behind taking email; printing them; boxing them (I wonder if emails were stapled together?); turning them over to journalists for a hernia-inducing run back to offices to scan and return them to ELECTRONIC format.

However, there IS no reason. This highlights that a paper-centric mentality still exists in our ever-digital world (those of you who know me a little know that I’m guilty of this too, but this is too nuts even for me).

Digital documents can stay that way. You can redact digitally. You can sign digitally. You don’t ever have to use your printer unless you really want to. Document management. Content management. Forms processing. Digital asset management. EMAIL MANAGEMENT. In most cases, there is no compelling reason for documents created as 1s and 0s to ever be turned into a dead tree.

Before you think about hitting the print button for emails, search this site for email and records management articles. You’ll find lots of information and tips for managing email as records, for risk, and for ediscovery.

You can also take a look at AIIM’s Email Management training course and/or the Electronic Records Management course.

You can and should do better than taking a digital document and turning it into a paper record.

*Washington Post, In Cache of E-mails, A glimpse of Palin, 6-11-11, A5

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