Staying Organised Find the documents you need instantly.

We have come a long way since InstaPDF was first used within our company ten years ago. With each passing year, more refinements have made the service what it is today: an easy-to-use document management and scanning solution. This article outlines the most important lessons we learnt to keep documents organised.

Naming & Tagging Documents

When importing documents the title is derived from the actual filename, without the .pdf extension. In most cases, this is not sufficient for finding your document at a later date. Internally, we have developed a naming scheme for documents that is easy to understand and applicable everywhere:
[Date in ISO 8601]-[Company Name]-[Document Type]-[Number if Applicable]

For example:

  • I import a receipt from Joe's Hardware Store today, the document title would be:

    and the document tags would include what I bought: power drill, hilti, screws, drill heads.
  • I write an invoice for client's homepage redesign:

    and I could also include some notes in the tags, such as the domain name.
  • I get a refund for a TV from an electronic store:

The naming scheme holds up when documents are backed up to a computer. You'll be able to sort by name and they will stay in chronological order. Don't leave your documents unnamed.

Use Folders

Folders in InstaPDF are different than tradition computer folders. It's easy to get lost in hierarchies of folders in folders - and then you add files; everything becomes very complex, fast. The three core design principles of InstaPDF Folders are different:

  • Flat Hierarchy: Folders are not allowed to contain subfolders. This reduces the complexity of the interface and makes finding documents easier. There are no additional hidden folders than the ones in the list of folders on the left hand panel.
  • One Document in Multiple Folders: If a document is needed in different contexts, add it to more than one folder. For example, a Degree could both be in "Important Documents" and "Job Search" at the same time.
  • Simple Sharing: Copy the link of a Folder to share all its documents at once. It's just that easy.
Stamps & Custom Stamps

Provide your documents with additional contexts by using Stamps. Our tried and tested workflow for invoices consists of the following steps:

  1. Import document into InstaPDF by drag & drop.
  2. Rename the document to fit our naming scheme.
  3. Drag document into "To-Do" folder.
  4. When it comes to paying bills, add a stamp to the document.
  5. Remove document from "To-Do" folder and drag to "Bills".

Stamps indicate a document's status, which assures you that the work associated with the document has been successfully completed. For more information on stamps please visit: Stamping Documents.

Multiple Accounts

Having more than one account is integral to the InstaPDF experience. Not all documents can fit into one single context. Sometimes it's beneficial to have work and private accounts separate. An account for separate courses. Switching accounts is easy and fast. For iPad and iPhone, the shortcut is to long press a tab in the bottom bar (Scanner, Documents or Account), for macOS it's pressing CMD+U.

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