People often think freelancing is ‘easy work’, and in some parts, it is. Freelancers don’t have to slog their way to the office every day & they certainly don’t have to organize their lives around the traditional nine-to-five work hours. But there are certain aspects of freelancing that even the most staunch supporters find problematic, and one of them is having to manage their paperwork.
At an office, most of your document management needs are taken care of by your employer. There is a separate person or team for every incoming document like accounting, sales, management, etc. But when you are handling your documents you have to manage documents on your own. You are responsible for downloading, scanning, organizing, storing & tracking your documents. And repeating this same process countless times a day for multiple clients can be taxing.
All these document management hassles can be easily eliminated with document management software (DMS). You might say “I already have a google drive. Why do I need anything else?”. The answer: Because document management software is much more than just simple storage drives.
Manage freelance work better with document management software
Document management software lets you edit, store & share multiple file formats, so you don’t have to open a thousand different tabs. It also lets you edit PDF files. Most other apps (including google drive) do not allow PDF edits. DMS also automatically extracts metadata keywords from every document, which makes document searches a lot easier.
Document management software also provides other essential documentation features like login credentials, private folders, virtual printing, text-based search, drag & drop file transfers, annotations and more, which are not provided by most other document editing & storage apps.
Benefits of document management software to freelancers
Creates a central repository of all documents
Document management software lets you store, edit & share all your documents via the same platform. It also supports preview of multiple file formats like doc, pdf, xls, jpeg, etc which eliminates the need to subscribe to multiple service providers like Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc. A single digital repository of all the documents results in easier access, faster document turnaround times & lower misplacements.
Locates documents much faster
Document management software has a built-in optical character recognition (OCR) feature that extracts metadata from select areas on a document. Metadata is important words or phrases in the document’s text like client name, date, amount, address & more. Metadata act as keywords which can be entered as search criteria to locate documents faster.
Users can also enter multiple keywords to narrow their search results or use multi-language search for documents in foreign languages (other than English). Most document management software offer search support in widely spoken languages like Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, German & more.
Increases security & restricts unauthorized access
One of the reasons why document management software are better than other documentation apps is their better security features. Security features range from document encryption to event logs to two-factor authentication to access control & more, depending on the document management software’ feature list & pricing.
Simple document management software like SOHODOX, one of the more popular platforms among single users & freelancers, provide security features like private folders & individual user credentials that allow users to control access to their documents.
Improves client coordination
What would you say is the biggest benefit of being a freelancer? Multiple clients. Working for multiple clients generates multiple sources of income. But it also generates multiple trails of paperwork. Categorizing each document based on the client, project & document type can result in reduced billable hours & productivity.
Document management software lets you create multiple folders & stacks, which can then be shared with any client by giving them access. Clients will only be able to view the documents that have been shared with them.
Easily upgrades with increasing needs
Document management software provides regular software updates which improve the security & functioning of the system. Plus you can easily add more storage at the click of a button, usually at rates lower than most other documentation apps.
Here is what some freelancers have to say about document management software
“Document management software has helped organise my work a lot better” – Cruz Salas, Writer.
“Thanks to full-text search I no longer have to waste hours searching for documents” – Elliot Higgins, Paralegal.
“I love how I can link all the different patient documents with each other” – Molly Proctor, Dentist.