Best Document Management Software 2021
No matter the line of work you do, you’ll probably be creating and sharing information in either digital or paper form at some point. When everyone starts doing that within a company, a robust system needs to be in place to store, organize, and distribute large amounts of information. Since most companies have ditched their clunky file cabinets and gone paperless, let’s talk about document management software that helps streamline the process of managing documents.
In a nutshell, document management software is a platform where you can store your information online securely. Think of it as an encyclopedia for your company. Most software nowadays provides cloud-based storage services so employees from around the world can access, edit, share and collaborate at any time. Not only that, but document management systems also give employees access to branded templates, improve workflows, enable keyword search, control access to information, and enable working with collaboration tools. Considering the chance that some companies may still be dealing with paper, a good document management software should also have a document scanning function.
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Top 5 Rated Document Management Software
Best for securely scanning and storing documents
eFileCabinet is designed to make processes easier for not only small businesses, but all kinds of businesses. Not only does the software automate the process of organizing, naming, and storing files according to their content, but it also offers customizable templates for companies to organize their folders. Depending on your company policy, you can also change accessibility rules, give permissions, or set expiry dates for files.
Sharing files is done by a secure URL and you can share both on cloud and on-premise. The platform cuts down the use of paper and simplifies workflows through tools such as importing emails and allowing eSignature on documents. As a cherry on top, OCR technology is available so you can just scan a document and the software will be able to extract and import information. We also read some feedback that scanned images on eFileCabinet are very clear.
- From $1200 per feature, per year. Although there is no free version, eFileCabinet does offer a free trial.
Best for collaboration at large companies
From the name of the software alone, you can probably tell that SharePoint is a tool for collaboration. And it’s a popular software! SharePoint has a total of 190 million users and 85% of Fortune 500 companies use SharePoint as part of Office 365. (Pro tip: If your company already uses Microsoft products, then SharePoint is going to integrate seamlessly.) Team members can edit documents simultaneously, establish content hubs, and organize archives.
Many users love SharePoint because it is very easy to use and customizable. You can easily update access permissions and set up your folders the way you want them.
With the help of the Scan and OCR app, you can scan or compose documents from images. The app can also recognize barcodes and extract texts.
SharePoint provides a range of useful features but many have reported that there is a learning curve to mastering all the functions on the software. A training for your employees is likely helpful if you are to choose SharePoint as your preferred document management system.
- $5 per user per month. No free trials, unfortunately.
Best for small to medium-sized businesses in highly regulated industries
M-Files is great because it always thinks a step ahead for you. This document management software has all the main features that other products do, but also makes sure that your company’s internal workflows can be improved. Since you can scan paper documents and convert them into searchable PDFs, as well as easily filter large numbers of files by client, project, date, status, or other criteria, M-Files is loved by large companies like Comcast and Yokohama. It also helps reduce duplication by alerting you when a document has been saved twice — how smart!
This software can be used through a cloud-based platform or on-premise. Some new updates to the platform enable users to create customizable client portals, giving companies an efficient way to collaborate, share content, and manage projects. This is great if inventory management and supply chain management is key to your company.
As M-Files integrates well with Microsoft Office and Salesforce CRM, it is great for both small to mid-sized and large businesses.
- M-Files offers a free trial but unfortunately doesn’t provide information on its pricing. If you’re interested, request a demo on their website.
Best for SAP businesses and human resources teams
DocuWare is another popular cloud-based document management software that helps businesses securely store and share their digital information. DocuWare remembers the data you’ve previously entered and can automate data entry. This software is compliant with laws such as HIPPA and GDPR so you know it’s secure.
Companies mainly use DocuWare for SAP records, Windows folder import, barcode recognition, automating workflows, document versioning, and flexible text search. These features are especially helpful for professionals in industries such as finance and accounting, human resources, supply chain, and law.
DocuWare also comes in the form of a mobile app, which you can use to scan receipts on the go, approve invoices for speedy payment, and sign forms directly.
- Like M-Files, DocuWare offers a free trial and demo but you’ll have to get in touch to see how much the product that best suits your needs will cost.
Best for workflow automation and approval at large companies
Many FileHold users love the software for its ease of use and ability to look up a file among millions of documents using just a few keywords. FileHold uses two-factor authentication to secure the information online, which is great for large companies that work with sensitive data (think: healthcare organizations).
FileHold is especially handy for businesses that want an automated workflow and a smooth approval process. You can use their software on-premise or on cloud, desktop, and mobile app. Other features include scanning images with OCR, e-signing documents, and providing free documented API. Feel free to integrate with Microsoft Office and SharePoint as well!
- You can go for a free trial before committing to a product. After that, it costs $3,750 per user, as a one-time payment.
Our Rating Process
When it comes to choosing a document management software for your company, there are a few factors (out of many) we should consider:
A good software shouldn’t just be storage for data. As we do our daily work, we continue to edit the same document and on many occasions need to share our work with others. Oftentimes, multiple employees may even be working on the same document. This demands the document management software to either allow multiple people to edit a document simultaneously, or have a check-in/check-out feature where only one person can work on the document at a time.
For the five products we’ve selected for this review, we assessed each one of them based on the criteria above and scored them each out of five points to help you in your decision process.
Frequently Asked Questions
After doing a bit of research, there are a few names that constantly appear in review articles. Some popular systems include Microsoft SharePoint, eFileCabinet, M-Files, FileHold, and DocuWare. These systems have millions of users so it’s easy to review their pros and cons online.
Document management software does a few important things for businesses: store important documents, track changes made to the documents, and allow sharing documents between teammates. These systems are usually secured and have permission restrictions due to companies’ privacy and security concerns.
There are many benefits to using a document management software! First, you can get rid of clunky file cabinets and have peace of mind that all your company’s information is securely saved online and accessible wherever you are in the world (given that you’re connected to the internet and likely your company’s VPN). Moreover, you can look up a file in seconds by doing a keyword search. If you like to save time and money, you’d want to invest in a document management software.