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Why Should I Use Digital File Markup in Project Management Software?

Back in your school days did you ever hand in a project or report only to have it handed back all marked up in red pen? Sections would be underlined, words crossed out, and comments written in the margins. Digital file markup creates the same results but with a digital file or electronic document. No more printing out paper and searching for your red pen. 

With digital file markup, you can easily make comments, notes, and edit requests directly on a digital file. Here are some types of digital files that can be marked up:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Logos
  • PDF files
  • Word Documents
  • Illustrations
  • Screenshots
  • PowerPoint slides

Why use digital file markup?

Digital file markup can be a convenient way to process reviews and edits, proof documents and files, send revisions to customers and more. It enables you to get rid of paper copies and keep a clear audit trail of edits, change requests, and revisions.

Imagine you’re creating a new social media campaign to build brand awareness. Your designer has mocked up an initial version of the Facebook ad and sent it to you for approval.

Without digital file markup you have two options:

  • Print it off, pull out your trusty red pen, and then either scan the file back into the computer or hand-deliver the paper copy.
  • Send an email, message, or other communication outlining all of the changes you want, and hope that the designer understands what you mean.

Either way, the designer will need to cross-reference your requests with the original digital file while making changes.

This can slow down revisions and increases the chance of a request being missed.

When your edits are directly on the file, they can resolve them as they go, ensuring that everything is successfully dealt with.

Digital file markup takes the guesswork out of proofing and approvals with visual markup tools that enable stakeholders to provide clear, collaborative feedback and empower your team members to take action.

If you tell someone in an email, “Change the second CTA button on ad version 1 to square and bold the text,” it’s not as clear as if you visually circle that button on that ad copy with the note right beside it.

By enabling edits, comments, and revisions right in the document, you cut down on misunderstanding and help speed up review cycles. Plus, when revisions come back for a second round of approvals, it’s easier to see what has changed so executives or approvers don’t have to re-review the entire file looking for changes.

Benefits of digital file markup in your project management software

Digital file markup gets rid of the need for paper copies and helps with version control. But how do you send these marked-up files back and forth?

If you don’t have digital file markup capability within your project management software, then you’re back to relying on email or working in multiple tools.

By selecting a project management solution with this functionality, you can create one central repository to archive and store your digital files. This means no worrying about lost emails, duplicate requests, or searching for files.

Have you ever had to go to your design or creative team to request a file because you couldn’t find it? Sadly, this is all too common. Research shows that workers spend an average of 2.5 hours per day looking for up-to-date files — costing companies upwards of $2.5 million in lost productivity a year.

This can be easily avoided by having a central location where all visual assets are approved and up to date. Digital markup functionality can also help you to:

  • Cut down wasted time and help your design team refocus on high-priority projects rather than retrieving an approved image every time it's needed. Digital markup capabilities in your project management software also provide you with an audit trail of who suggested or approved what changes and when.
  • More easily link digital files directly to the tasks and projects they relate to, which can help speed up the review and approval cycle.

Within your project management software, you have tasks, files, comments, and more all in the same location, which means your team and reviewers can quickly see the entire history of changes and questions/feedback to understand the big picture. This reduces the likelihood that someone will have to go back to the designer asking why they chose a certain font or changed an image.

You can also tie deadlines to reviews and approval requests within the software. This allows the approvers to receive notifications and reminders, making them less likely to forget or delay. Everyone can see who is assigned what, increasing accountability. If there’s a holdup, you can quickly tell who or what the bottleneck is.

Another benefit of marking up and managing files within your project management software is the extra level of security you gain. Since you’re not using email or a free third-party app, your files are more secure, and you can feel confident that they’re only being shared with people with granted access.

You can still grant external stakeholders access to review the files within your software if you want to share drafts with customers or contractors safely. By using a software that offers secure invitations, permission controls, password protection, and access expiration, you can maintain the perfect balance between accessibility and security.

Further reading
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What Is Digital Asset Management (DAM) & Why Should Marketers Care?

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Announcing Video Proofing, Advanced Markup, and Extension for Adobe® Premiere

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Wrike for Marketers: New Features to Deliver Flawless Campaigns Faster