A physical document archive isn't working very hard if it's in a filing cabinet. Instead, if you digitize all of those old papers, you could search them from a PC. You could even store them online and browse from anywhere. Instead of relying on a scanner to manually make this transition, fax in files to the free-to-a-point online service, DepositDox.
You'll sign up, and secure a personal, toll-free number to which you'll send files. From your office, just load up the fax machine and fire them into the service.
When new files arrive, DepositDox runs character-recognition software, turning into PDFs and storing them in your online archive. The service uses secure HTTP to encrypt files you view and retrieve in a web browser. The company also encrypts files on its servers.
DepositDox can also function as a fax line replacement. Paying subscribers can send outgoing faxes and even port over their old fax line to the service. Paying and free members can also forward new documents to their email inbox automatically instead of having to get them through the website.
Free service limits you to 1,000 stored pages. After the first month, you can only upload a single page each day, and the search function expires. So for long-term use, consider the $5.95/month paid account, which gets you 100,000 pages of storage plus that outgoing fax function. Licensing is for individual users, so if multiple people need the service in your office, get several accounts. And DepositDox is currently offering 20% off with the sign-up code 9003.
DepositDox is versatile enough to replace a fax machine, eliminating the cost for that phone line and hardware. But I like it best as a document digitizing and storage center. You can upload and save documents from anywhere you have a fax machine, plus you can search and retrieve files from any web browser.
Zack Stern is building a new business from San Francisco, where he frequently contributes to PC World.