How to Effectively Manage Your Documents with FossLook

Effective document management system

The purpose of this article is to show an example of how you can use FossLook in your company. Now, of course everything that is described below may not be the case for everyone without exception, but at least someone, who regularly deals with lots of documents, might find it useful. I hope that after reading this article you'll look at your daily routine, analyze it and implement some tactics and strategies to automate it with FossLook.

The Current State of Things

Many organizations have to deal with a lot of documents every day. The question of managing them becomes more important as the company grows. Here are only some of the problems that almost any organization with no document management system in place deals with:

Storing Files on Disk

In most cases documents are often stored on the file system of the computer. Sometimes companies may have a dedicated server where employees can store their files. The main complications of this approach are:

The list goes on and on, but everything mentioned above is already creates enough troubles for the collaborative work of your employees. So, following this way of doing things, you really can create such an unwieldy file structure and get yourself a lot of headache.

Keeping your files on disk

Storing the List of the Documents in Excel

Quite often people use Microsoft Office or similar software to keep track of their documents. For example, they create Excel tables that describe the structure of the storied files and some attributes of the documents stored in these files. The result may look somewhat like this:

Tracking files in Excel

In this case, undoubtedly, you may ask yourself a couple of interesting questions:

It's quite possible that you've encountered another problems in addition to the ones listed above.

Difficulties in Collaboration

It is virtually impossible to implement collaboration between users if you work in this mode. The most common solution here is to send the document via email. But this doesn't give you the ability to control it's versions in one place, check the status, manage access levels and control many other parameters.

So, How FossLook Can Help Me?

All right, let's try to implement a bit more progressive strategy and use FossLook as our document management system.

Creating a Document Database

Once you create your document libraries, document types and assign the appropriate access rights to the folders, you can get a structure like this:

Using FossLook as Document Management System

Now you don't need to think about how to create folders, how to name files, and many other things. The system will take care of it. Electronic document card stores the actual file with the text of the document and contains all the fields describing it.

Electronic card

Now, you will be able to link related documents together. It's much easier to work with them in that way. If you need some additional information, you can get it right away. For example, in our case we can link an invoice to our agreement.

An invoice linked to the agreement

Managing Access Rights

By assigning the appropriate access levels and permissions for folders and documents you can easily manage your data. This function of the system really shines when you have people with different roles in your company. Someone might need only read access to files and another person need to actually work on documents, modify and edit them.

Setting up permissions for folders and documents

The document itself can have a very impressive list of functions shown in the figure below. The names of the functions are pretty self-explanatory. For example, if you need to be reminded about something concerning the document, just select the "Recurring tasks" function from the list. Want to attach files? Easy, just select "Attached files" function and you'll be able to do it after restarting FossLook client.

Functions available for the document type

You can find more information about document card and it's functions in our "Document card description" article.

Workflows

The concept of "Document Management" also assumes the ability to transfer a document from one user to another with the fixation of all actions performed by the user. FossLook allows users to collaborate on documents using workflows.

A workflow in action

When document moves along the pre-defined route, the system records all actions performed on it by other users. In that way you can get an eagle-eye view of the whole process and manage the entire workflow more effectively.

Summary

This article shows only a tiny part of FossLook functionality. If you want to know more about the system, you can check out the rest of the articles on our site.

We believe that implementing the proper document management strategy in your organization can hugely benefit your working process.

After installing and setting up FossLook you'll be able to easily manage the information flow in your company.

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