Hard copy vs digital file – which one is best and when?

Paper vs digital - blog post by Scan Film or StorePaper versus digital. To be honest, we’re fans of all sorts of documents so it’s really very hard to pick a favourite. You may as well be asking us to choose a favourite child. How can you compare the tactile experience of holding the printed page with the ease and convenience of a screen based reading experience?

Actually, you probably can – if you contextualise the choice. Here’s a bit of an exploration of when hard copy files trump digital ones and vice versa.

Space saving ability

This one is kind of a no brainer. If you have lots of space and you don’t mind what you fill it with, by all means collect that paper documentation. But if, on the other hand, space is at a premium – and let’s face it, we live on a fairly size challenged island where land isn’t exactly budget-friendly – then you probably can’t afford to have more paper hanging around than is absolutely necessary. When it comes to space saving, digital files are a winner every time.

Access on the move

Remember when you could buy the internet and keep it on a shelf? Yes, the good old Encyclopedia Britannica was the ultimate in looking stuff up in the mid-90s. But not quite so convenient for travelling about. If you work from multiple locations or spend a lot of time on trains, for example, then you probably don’t want to lug endless reams of paper around with you. It’s not good for your back for a start. In this case we’d opt for digital files and whatever device you prefer to access them on.

Legal requirements

There are times when we have choices and times when we don’t. One of the times we don’t is when we have to go by what the law says. And sometimes the law says stuff about the kinds of documents we need. For example, businesses are legally obliged to keep COSHH records for 40 years. Which means that, while you may decide you want to scan these for day-to-day use, you’ll also need to store the originals – either in-house or off site – in case the HSE asks to see them.

Ease on the eyes

You know how your eyes start to get kind of weird and sticky and a bit sore when you’ve been staring at a screen for too long? That doesn’t seem to happen when you’re reading off actual physical paper. At least not as quickly. Although there’s no proper science-backed reason why reading should be nicer or easier or more comfortable IRL (that’s In Real Life kids, keep up) it just is. OK? At least that’s our experience. So for extended reading we’re choosing paper.

Freedom from wifi

The thing about technology is that it’s great until it doesn’t work. Like the moment your internet goes down or you travel to some remote corner of the country where 3G is worshipped like a deity and 4G is just a legend. That’s when you wish you had a good old fashioned piece of paper in your hand that you could read. If internet access is likely to be an issue then we’d go with paper as our favourite.

So you see? It may not be a simple case of one being better than the other but there are definitely factors that will help you decide whether hard copy or digital files are better for your needs.

Whatever the case, if we can be of assistance – whether that be by storing your documents so they don’t clutter up your offices or scanning them and helping you create a digital archive – do let us know.

New services we’re launching just for April Fool’s Day

April Fools Day services from Scan Film or StoreSo the clocks have changed, we’re almost at the end of a tax year and a new month is just kicking off. Perfect time to announce a range of new services* we’re launching to take Scan Film or Store into the future in style.

Digital to biological uploads

You already know that we offer document scanning services to help transform your paper archives in digital ones. But that doesn’t really help you get the information on those files into your head, does it? Which is why we’re now going one step further. Not only will we scan your documents but we will upload the resulting JPG, PDF or TIF files directly into your brain via the latest biological upload technology so you have all the information available without having to read it.

Memory destruction services

We don’t like to brag but we’re pretty good at destroying data. We do next level document destruction (cross shredding and pulping so there’s no going back), we degauss hard drives, we incinerate microfiche and microfilm, and we shred CDs and DVDs. Now we’re adding another service to the list – memory destruction. Whether it’s a song you can’t get out of your head, an embarrassing incident at the office Christmas do or that time you walked in on your mother-in-law on the loo, we’ll extract the data from your mind and erase it entirely so no one, not even you, can access it again.

Child storage facilities

Parents, this one is for you. For those moments where you feel like you’re one step away from breaking point. When you just can’t handle one more demand for CBeebies or Peppa Pig, one more felt tip mark on the dining room table, one more temper tantrum over the sandwiches being cut into the wrong shapes. Introducing our new child storage facilities. Our purpose built warehouse is alarmed and monitored 24-7 and climate controlled to ensure your children aren’t damaged. We can even barcode them so they’re easy to find when (if?) you decide you want them back.

Holographic archives

The move from paper to paperless is going well. Now we’re pushing the boundaries of screenless technology. Rather than accessing your digital files via a monitor, we can create holographic files that you’ll be able to project onto walls or even into thin air. Ideal for presentations, team meetings, very small offices and sci-fi nerds.

Translation scanning services

Scanners have become so intelligent in recent years. We’ve just bought the Babel Scan-Tran E260 which has built in translation software that will auto-translate your documents as they scan. The software will arrange the resulting files in a digital archive that includes both the original language and any translated versions, cross indexed with multi-lingual OCR technology so you can always find what you’re looking for, even if you don’t speak the language.

If you’re interested in any of these services – or our slightly more boring but equally useful old ones, including document storage, document scanning, secure data destruction etc – then get in touch with the team today.

*PS In case the title hadn’t given it away, this post has been an elaborate and cleverly constructed April Fool’s Day ruse. We wouldn’t really suggest you stick your kids in a warehouse, now would we? Duh.

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