Even a small manufacturing project can lead to pounds of technical text detailing every aspect, from machine to process. If left unorganized, the mass tends to get shoved in a file drawer somewhere and forgotten until some poor soul that needs to find the directions is tasked with sifting through the messy contents of said drawer. Stop the stress before it happens. Keep technical documentation organized every step of the way to prevent future frustrations.
What’s the purpose?
Your technical documentation comes with a purpose. Is it just for you? Is it there for the entire office? Is it there for the entire company? Is it there for the public’s use? Your answer will typically affect how things need to be organized. While an alphabetical list made up of the terminology your company is familiar with works wonders internally, it puts any external users at a severe disadvantage. To make the most out of your organizational feat, it needs to fit the audience it is intended for. Do this, and you’ll cut back on how many people request help to sift through the mass of text.
Where is it stored?
Nowadays, you need to have electronic catalog software. There is no excuse for taking up office space with technical papers that can easily be scanned and stored in a digital form. There’s even a good chance those documents are already online somewhere and updated constantly by the company that released them. In short, physical documents are obsolete. Though the front end work may take some time, the ease in which you can organize and reorganize them once in such software means a better time for everyone. Employees won’t have to travel to one location to find a text. Those that can’t put things back where they found them won’t mess up how things are organized. More than one person at a time can access the same document. In addition, you can have it sorted multiple ways to fit the needs of the different audiences.
Where does it go?
With everything now digitized, invest in more than one storage space for the electronic documents. Though it may be great to fit everything on a cloud so anything can be accessed anywhere, clouds can crash just like any other technology. For added security, keep backup documents on an internal server as well. This way, even if one fails, you’ll still have your entire library intact. As for the physical texts, you could hold on to them, storing them in some forgotten back room where they’ll never be touched again, or you could help out the environment and send them off to be recycled. Preferably your company opts for the latter but if the books absolutely have to stay, spend some time organizing them before they get put away—just in case.