Want a Paperless Office? The Right eDiscovery Software Can Help.
Takeaway: Firms and companies want to update their workflows by going digital. But they’re put off by problems like (1) How best to transfer data from paper to computer (2) Where to store this data? (3) How to edit & share it. But now there’s a 2-in-one fix. Get the right eDiscovery software and it can help you go digital, too!
You’d think that paper documents are the easiest to work with. But going digital is so much better in the long run.
In the world of electronic discovery (eDiscovery), electronically stored information (ESI) is king. This includes things like Word documents, photographs, videos, audio files, emails, and so on. Instead of being printed on sheets of paper, the data is stored as zeroes and ones – i.e., ‘bits’ – that your computer can decode. So, is this digital information really better than paper documents? Absolutely. And here’s why:
1. It’s easy to keep your office organized.
You’re converting paper documents into digital files. So all the files that used to fill your office space now sit on a small PC or laptop. They’re easier to categorize, tag, number, and archive. And it’s easier to correct a misfiling.
2. You can find files and information in seconds.
Instead of opening filing cabinets and leafing through folders, you’ll be able to use your computer’s ‘search’ feature to find the files you want. They’ll all be stored in a central, searchable database, so you’ll be able to pull up the files in the middle of a client meeting.
3. You won’t lose your documents, ever.
Paper documents can be stolen. And moisture and fire destroy them. Digital documents can be put on the internet, backed up on multiple servers. So, you’ll never lose a document again.
4. You can edit documents online with your team.
Apps like Google Docs let you store your documents on the internet and work on them together in real-time. So you and your team can edit contracts without actually being in the same room at the same time, or emailing drafts back and forth.
5. You can run your firm or company on the go.
You’ll learn to backup all your documents on the internet, so you can access them from the nearest PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Very useful for when you’re in a meeting but forgot to bring that important document.
Going paperless can seem overwhelming, though. Because there are a series of challenges you’ll need to solve. And here’s where getting the right eDiscovery software can help.
A good eDiscovery application can sort out the following common challenges:
Challenge #1: Getting your paper case files onto your computer
- The problem: Converting paper documents into ‘searchable’ digital text. You’ll start off with reams of paper documents that need to be transferred to your computer. And you’ll do this transferring via a scanner. But these scanned documents aren’t ‘searchable’ text, yet. Rather, your computer sees these documents as ‘pictures’ of text.
- The eDiscovery-software solution: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a software tool that converts scanned documents into text files that a computer can process. After OCR, you get a ‘proper’ document that you’ll be able to search using a search engine, as well as tag important files, annotate paragraphs, redact sensitive information, and a host of other things. The best eDiscovery applications come with built-in OCR built, so they’ll automatically do the paper-to-digital conversion. And they’ll be much more accurate than some of the free OCR apps you’ll come across.
Challenge #2: Putting this electronic data somewhere easily accessible but safe.
- The problem: Your scanned data needs to be stored somewhere. But you don’t want to have to worry about the tech involved. Plus, the data needs to be secure.
- The eDiscovery-software solution: The best eDiscovery applications store your data in the Cloud. That is, in a global network of computers belonging to software giants like Amazon and Google. These giants lease storage and computing power to businesses all over the world, and their thousands of interconnected servers formed a ‘Cloud.’ The beauty of the Cloud is that it’s easily accessible, so you can get to your data from anywhere in the world – all you’ll need is an internet connection and a laptop. Plus, since you’re data is on a tech giant’s server, they handle all the tech issues that might pop up. And they protect your data with bank-grade security. Not all eDiscovery applications use the Cloud, though. So, before you sign up, make sure you’ve chosen one that does.
Challenge #3: Learning how to use new software.
- The problem: It’s a pain to learn how to use new software. It takes up time and energy you could be using for other things. And this isn’t just any new software we’re talking about. It’s eDiscovery software, and it’s probably the first time you’re not outsourcing eDiscovery.
- The eDiscovery-software solution: Make your new software just like all the other software you’re used to. The best eDiscovery applications do this amazingly well. They replicate usage patterns we’re already used to, so there’s so much less we need to learn. For example, how do you get files into your eDiscovery software? You can find eDiscovery applications that let you ‘drag-and-drop’ files into them. It’s how we already move files around on our computers, so it makes sense that your eDiscovery software shouldn’t make you learn some new way of doing this. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” after all. And this isn’t only with moving files around. A good eDiscovery application keeps other wins the same, too. So, you’ll sign in as you do with email, search files as you do with Google, and store data as you’d do with Dropbox.
Challenge #4: Learning how to find and use the data you need.
- The problem: You need to find the data you need to understand the story of the case. With paper documents, you’d just need to leaf through each sheet of paper – highlighting important points and making notes where needed. How do you do this with your electronic data?
- The eDiscovery-software solution: Create an array of useful sorting and categorizing tools. This includes things like ‘advanced searches’ to find keyword combinations, ‘tags’ to link related information, and a redaction tool to keep sensitive data private.
Challenge #5: Sharing a finished production.
- The problem: How do you share your files once you’ve finished preparing a case? You can physically hand over paper documents. What do you do with electronic ones?
- The eDiscovery-software solution: Share files through a secure link. Once your production is done, you can download it as a ZIP file. Or, if you want to share the production with someone, you can send them a download link. Your eDiscovery software will generate this link for you, and it’ll also let you break the link at any point – which gives you complete control of your production’s security. Learn more about sharing productions.
Want to go paperless and update your workflow? Start by finding the right software.
Try GoldFynch. It’s an easy-to-use eDiscovery service that’s perfect for small- and midsize law firms and companies.
- It costs just $25 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
- It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up front how much you’ll be paying. It takes just a few clicks to move from one plan to another, and billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
- It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
- It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch and you’re good to go. Plus, it’s designed, developed, and run by the same team. So you get prompt and reliable tech support.
- It keeps you flexible. To build a defensible case, you need to be able to add and delete files freely. Many applications charge to process each file you upload, so you’ll be reluctant to let your case organically shrink and grow. And this stifles you. With GoldFynch, you get unlimited processing for free. So, on a 3 GB plan, you could add and delete 5 GB of data at no extra cost – as long as there’s only 3 GB in your case at any point. And if you do cross 3 GB, your plan upgrades automatically and you’ll be charged for only the time spent on each plan. That’s the beauty of prorated pricing.
- Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.
For related posts about eDiscovery, check out the following links.
- eDiscovery Overload: What to Do When Your Small Law Firm Has Too Much to Handle
- 5 eDiscovery Trends Your Small Law Firm Can’t Afford to Miss
- Have You Optimized eDiscovery to Retain Clients for Your Small Law Firm?
- 5-Minute eDiscovery: How to Save Time and Money for Your Small Law Firm
- [Uncovered] eDiscovery Myth: Small Law Firms Can’t Handle Large Cases [over 100 GB]
- 16 Have-to-Know Questions to Simplify eDiscovery for Your Small Law Firm
- 8 Common eDiscovery Mistakes Your Small Law Firm May be Making