The first hurdle in implementing Time Matters is proper matter naming. It may sound odd that I call it a hurdle but…it is. Although I have been a Time Matters consultant for years, I always start with the fundamentals.
You need to name your matters in a consistent manner preferable as;
Last Name, First Name – Descriptive Language
Company Name (or short form) – Descriptive Language
This way, you can open your Matter list and begin to type. QuickPic will take you directly to the proper matter immediately.
This may sound simple, but what if you are a long time PCLaw user and are adding Time Matters into the mix. You set up the link and bring over the matters into Time Matters. Be default, the MatterRef will be the Re line in PCLaw. Most firms will now have lists of : incorporation, Will, ats … etc… this causes an issue in Time Matters that you have to address. You can rename the matters which will write back to PCLaw, or you can unmatch the MatterRef field and rename the matters. This is key to beginning your Time Matters implementation.
- Use Matter and Client numbering. It just keeps things simple. You can use the Matter number for many things including auto-naming in the Document Management System.
- Staff on the matter, you can use all of the staff that work on the matter. This way, everyone can have a concise list of the matters they are working on. (If you are using the PCLaw link, be careful as the staff field is linked to the Responsible Attorney in PCLaw. I suggest that you un-match this)
- In Contacts – enter the RefName as you would refer to the person in a letter. Example . Matt Stone, Esq or Matt D. Stone, or Mr. Matt Stone.
- Always use the last name field. I suggest you make it required. If it is a company contact, enter the company name in the last name field
- Leave the default form fields alone, especially in contacts. Leave the phone numbers and email field where they are.
- On an event, only assign it to the person that will attend that event. Multiple staff create multiple records
- Save Email attachments outside of the database
There is a list to get you started… Strong fundamentals leads to long term success in Time Matters