It seems as though I have to take a step back and explain why the shipping defaults of Time Matters do not work effectively. In the big picture, is this a big deal? Not to our clients, as part of our implementation is configuring the application for optimal usage. It is just mouse clicks to fix, but it does take some time and an understanding of how people use Time Matters.
Time Matters has within it all of the tools that you need to run your business. The feature set is broad, the product is mature, it is used by thousands of firms and the database is Microsoft SQL. A recipe for success.
The shipping defaults are not optimal for your firm to pick up Time Matters and use it quickly. This is one of the causes of the perceived “steep learning curve”. I could spend some time and list each and every setting that I think should be tweaked, but that would take some time so I will pick a few illustrative examples.
This one is philosophical. As the English language is left to right, we are taught to think the top left is the most important. Time Matters ships with Calendar, Contacts, Matters, Docs, Lexis, Message, Inbox, journal etc…. 2 icons that everyone should remove immediately are the Inbox and the Messenger. The Time Matters Inbox will cause everyone issues in implementation and you are best served using Outlook as your email client (with the TM Connect). The lack of a ToDo list icon leaves out one of the most powerful areas of the program.
To me, the most important thing a law firm deals with is:
- Key Dates or Deadlines
- ToDos or tasks
Putting them in order dictates to your staff the order you believe. This is also the foundation for how in 10 clicks you can be assured you are on top of everything.
The golden egg in Time Matters, when you master the quicktab you will enjoy an incredible boost in productivity and comfort with your data.
The shipping defaults are for priorities. (I will leave that discussion for today.) Then listed are:
- This Week
- Last Week
- This Month
- Last Month
As this is a list of things that we have todo… I am not sure the week or month tabs offer any help with Time Matters. If it is Friday…why do I want to see the todos I had this week (which is from Monday until today). These filters were added with Billing Matters as periods for reporting on billing and somehow made it to the other lists. Do you want to know what you did last week or last month?
This is an easy fix, everyone wants:
- Today – only not done
- Next 7 days – only not done
- Next 30 days – not done
- All Not done
- New ToDos. We sneak this one in to highlight the true power in Time Matters
Each form in Time Matters (and lists) ship with many buttons, icons and fields. Most will never be used. Years ago, this was showing the power of Time Matters by exposing all of the options. Today’s computer user has seen Google.
Easy to fix. Remove all of the icons, tabs and fields that are never used. If you have a need for them in the future…turn them back on.
I picked just a few areas to illustrate the shipping defaults are off the mark, but the bright side is they can be fixed. Our users do not experience a steep learning curve as we have configured Time Matters to expose those areas that will greatly benefit your firm.