Cleaning up Time Matters

As an Advanced Certified Partner with Time Matters, I work with many firms that have been using Time Matters for years. Like any other database, clean-up is necessary to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the data. Old or surplus records will congest the system and make it slow or more difficult to navigate. Here are 10 ways to clean up your Time Matters database.

1) Remove Duplicate Contacts

Did you know there was a duplicate contact tool built into Time Matters? Just go under File/Utilities/Check for Duplicate Contacts to run the search. You’ll have options for checking by full name, firm name or by phone and e-mail address.

2) Inactivate Former Employees

Almost every firm I’ve worked with will have some legacy firm member still active in the system. This can congest the staff drop-downs and confuse newer employees. Make sure to mark them as inactive or delete the former employee accounts.

3) Archive Closed Matters

If every matter or case you’ve worked on in Time Matters is still active, you are bloating the system with unnecessary details. Imagine if your office had 1 file cabinet and it contained every legacy firm file – it would probably be overflowing and hard to navigate. Make sure to send them to the archive!

4) Move Old Records to the Recycle Bin

I typically recommend clearing anything over 1 year old out of here. This acts much like the recycle bin on your desktop collecting old records or items created by mistake. You can clean this up in batches by date or type of record.

5) Delete Old Document Templates

Old merge templates in Time Matters are another list that can congest the storage and file menu. I often see firms with letterhead for former employees or documents with an old office address. Not only are these in the way of active documents – imagine if someone accidentally uses old document templates! Sending out incorrect or out of date document templates can be seriously dangerous for a firm.

6) Remove Unused Timetables

Just like old or unused template can be risky for law firms, the timetables can be equally high risk! The timetables in Time Matters are custom, meaning many are for specific court rules and if those change or evolve, the firm must remove any unused timetables. Removal of timetables or editing to reflect the correct calculation rules will help your Time Matters office with accurate date calculations.

7) Delete Old Chains or Triggers

Any old automation or rules in Time Matters will continue to run until they have been deleted from the database. Automation can become terribly complex and advanced which is great when it’s correctly adding records or creating patterns in the system for us. If the trigger or chain menu is not up to date, these rules can cause serious complications by automatically adding old codes, linking to items or sending alerts to former employees.

8) Clean up Your Toolbar

If each day when you log into Time Matters you think about how one of the buttons doesn’t mean much to you-clean it up! Toolbars are designed to be custom, per person toolbars and designed like your desktop icons to create efficient shortcuts around the program. Remove the ones you no longer or never used and check out the add buttons to see if you can add any new items.

9) Remove Unnecessary Messages from TM Messenger

The Time Matters messenger is a feature I find firms are using less and less these days. During an upgrade, I often find a surplus of old messages continue to appear. If you or your office is no longer using this tool, I recommend turning it off at the user level set-up and also to remove any unnecessary messages. Too often the legacy messages I see are ‘I am going to lunch’ or ‘Mail is on your chair,’ if these are not client or case specific make sure to remove from the messenger menu.

10) Run Database maintenance

Last and certainly not least is an internal option your CIC (Certified Independent Consultant) should only run to help clean up the database behind the scenes. This utility is designed to delete temporary files, repair data corruption and rebuilt important SQL tables. This can be an important step during troubleshooting and also once that should be ran on a regular basis.

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