#9 It Is Good To Think Backward

When it comes to creating indexes, it is good to think backward. What we mean is you begin with the final product and then produce the index to effect the proper outcome. In simple terms, the index is the criteria by which you search for documentation. Therefore, it makes sense to begin with the document and work backward asking yourself the question, “If this were a paper document, how would I find it?” You then apply the same search parameters to your electronic search.

There is an easy pitfall to avoid when creating good electronic searches. The number one rule is to limit the number of search parameters to the minimum number necessary to get the job done. While it may be tempting to contrive all kinds of indexes for every conceivable search, this approach will quickly clutter your search page and prove to be completely unnecessary.

If your client currently files customers by the name of their company and the date of any documentation, don’t complicate an electronic search with any additions. Keep the indexes simple. The beauty in searching electronically is that large amounts of information can be pulled within seconds and narrowed down to one document just as quickly. In addition, there are many added benefits such as:

  • Documents are never really removed from their location and therefore never lost or misplaced.
  • The administrator controls the individual rights to view a document.
  • The administrator controls the length of time for which a document may be viewed.
  • The administrator controls how a document may be shared or duplicated.
  • If someone has the rights to alter a document the original is never changed, but rather an additional version is created always leaving a perfect audit trail.
  • Annotations, redactions and notes may be added by those who have rights to do so; again, without altering the original in any manner.
  • Your client’s company will automatically comply with the strictest government privacy laws.
  • And many more benefits.

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