File Management

by Loui Tucker

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Over the years, I've seen and developed a lot of tricks for file management.

If you or your firm uses document management software such as Worldocs, this is NOT for you. If you use Word or Word Perfect's built-in file manager, read on!

The most common practice is to create a folder bearing the client's name (Jones, Rodney) or file number (JON04-001). Inside that folder there are typically subfolders named Letters or Correspondence, Pleading, Discovery, Scanned Docs, Faxes, Forms, etc. [By the way, if you're interested, I have a macro that will create all of those subfolder automatically when the main file is created, so you don't have to create each one manually.]

So over the years, you have more and more files and you have to scroll through more and more rows and columns of file folders. That takes times. It also takes your computer more and more time to display that increasing long list of files. I have seen offices with nearly 1000 active client files take 20 seconds to display the list when the operators use File-Open.

Trick #1 – Open up a new folder called "CLOSED FILES" and start moving (not copying!) into it the files that are no longer active. Just as you put the physical folders into storage, you can put the computer files into storage. You can do a few per day, and make a habit of doing it when you close the physical file. If you call the folder "ZZCLOSED FILES" that will put the folder at the very end of your alphabetical list of files – which brings me to my next suggestion.

Trick #2 – If there are folders that you use a lot, rename them -- either temporarily or permanently -- and put either an exclamation point or two "AA"s in front.

JON04-001 would become !JON04-001

This causes them to rise to the beginning of your alphabetized list so you'll avoid scrolling for them. Similarly, if you want to drop infrequently used files to the end of the list, rename with "ZZ" in front.

JON04-001 would become ZZJON04-001

This won't make your computer's job any easier, but once the folder are displayed, they will be easier for YOU to manage them.

Tips and Tricks by Loui Tucker
Supporting Word Perfect, Word, Timeslips, Abacus, TimeMatters
and many other software packages used in today's law offices.

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