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There are certain features in Time Matters that tend to raise the most concerns or questions, and sometimes make users want to pull their hair out! We experience and understand your frustration, and hope this article will help resolve some of those issues.
Master-Linked Relationship on Calendar Records
All records in Time Matters can have multiple people in the staff field. For Events and ToDos, Time Matters actually creates a separate record for each person in the staff field. The first person listed in the staff field owns the first or “Master” record, and all the other records that get created for other staff are “Linked” records. This creates a relationship where changes are made from the Master, which then modifies all Linked records.
If you are working from the calendar and want to make a change, but are not working off the “Owner’s” calendar, TM warns you that you are making the change to a Linked record. You can then choose to “unlink” or go to the Master. This feels “clunky” and unintuitive.
Unfortunately, there is no systematic, easy work-around for this. TM will tell you whether you are on the Master or Linked record, on the Title Bar of the form window – try to get used to looking there first.
But even if you know you’re in the Linked record, you still need to get to the Master to make your changes!
”Bottom line”: if you open an item from the calendar and you’re in the Linked record, follow this sequence:
1. Make some small irrelevant change (a random character somewhere), and Save (Ctrl-S),
2. Select “Go To Master Record to Make Changes” and click“OK”,
3. Now, on the master record, make your change and Save and Close (Alt-O).
Accept this as a matter of course and habit and after a couple of days the “annoyance” won’t seem as prominent anymore.
Events going up to or beyond Midnight
Events have been known to go beyond midnight (ending late or overlapping between one day and the next). Many times, people will try to put 8pm-12am in the Time field, or some value in the duration field that takes it over into the next day. Time Matters does a “hard stop” on this and warns you that the “End time must be after start time”, asking you to put it in another way.
Workaround: if the event goes up to or beyond midnight, use the Set Repeating function/button. On the “Multi-Day” tab you can easily set the starting and ending date-and-time for the event. Remember to change the duration of the working day on the Repeating window dialog if you want time spent outside of normal working hours (any time short of midnight) reflected. Problem solved.
Day/Staff selection for “Add” while in Calendar View
In calendar view (any other than daily), you can right-click on a day and select “Add Record”. However, Time Matters will take its cue from the day that last had the focus (last place clicked on or moved to with the arrows). If you right click on the 16th, but the focus is on the 21st, Time Matters will think you want to create the item for the 21st. If you want the item created on a specific day, make sure you’ve clicked on that day before the right-click.
Adding additional staff to previously created multi-staff item
When you create a calendar entry and select multiple staff (using the “…” button), the “Keep together as a Group” checkbox is on by default (notice doing so also toggles the “Staff” label/button to “Group”. This also makes the staff added to the event show inside square brackets [BLM, ASR]). If you want to add more staff people after the fact, make sure you do so by using the “…” button at the end of the field. Adding the additional staff in manually, by just typing them into the field, will not create a linked relationship to the main/master record.
Alerts, Reminders, Watches, Alarms - Whaat!?!?
Time Matters has a nice feature called the “Alerts, Reminders and Watches” window (let’s call it “ARW” for short), that shows you everything you might need to be aware of for the present and upcoming days. However, many TM users don’t understand how this window works, and will just close it without looking at it; just an extra and fruitless “click” performed every single day, to get past it and into the calendar in the morning! Let’s explain how records get into this window, and how it can start becoming useful for you:
1. Your Event and ToDo forms have “Reminders” and “Notify” areas. The Reminders area shows just below your client/matter. The Notify area shows when you check Notify in the Reminders area. Fields in these areas control how and when you communicate to your users about certain records (Be aware that these areas can be hidden from view by selecting/unselecting them from the view menu; check to make sure they are visible if you want to use them).
2. All of your current items that show on your calendar view for the current day will show in the ARW window (they show as “Actual” in the Type column on the left).
3. Events and ToDos also have a “Follow” checkbox (in the Reminders area). Items checked will continue to show each subsequent day. This can cause the ARW to cease being useful by getting “overloaded”. If you use the “Follow” feature often, make sure you update your items by either un-checking Follow or marking “Done” (right-click, “Mark as Done”) to stay current.
4. Items that have a value in the “Reminders” field will show in the ARW window (“Reminder” in the Type column). This field accepts number values like “2”, “1-3”, “5, 3, 2” and will work as exactly what they are called - “Reminders”, on the ARW, that number of days before the date of the event or todo.
5. Selecting Notify on the form and checking “Alert” in the Notify area will show those items in the ARW window (“Alert” in the Type column). Alerts appear when created/selected, and stay on the ARW until the Alert is “Accepted” (right click – Accept Alert).
6. Lastly, “Alarms”. We cover this here because it is similar in functionality and is in the same area of the form. But be warned: these do not show in the ARW. If you select Notify and check the Alarm checkbox (to the right of “Alert”) and then put in a number (of minutes) in the box next to it, the user will get a pop-up on their desktop screen (as long as Time Matters is running) that number of minutes before the item.
7. For the sake of simplicity and clarity, we will omit going over “Watches” right now. This is a slightly different feature that we feel will best be covered in our next post.
This covers what shows in the ARW window and how they get there. In an effort to meet as many of your different notification needs as possible, Time Matters packs quite a lot in a very small space. Now that we’ve explained your options, just pick the ones that best suit your needs, and you will find this window can turn into quite a handy and powerful tool for you!
More “Notify” – Messaging related.
Since we’ve covered this area, let’s also explain the other options that work from here but don’t show in the ARW:
A. “Notify” – “Msg”: Click the Notify checkbox and choose “Msg” in the Notify area. This will send a Time Matters Messenger message to the people listed in the User field, when the form is saved and closed (Alt-O).
B. “Notify” – “Email”: Click Notify, and choose “Email”. Again, this takes effect when the form is saved and closed. Because Time Matters has an internal Email system, if you want this to go to the users’ Outlook (or other) e-mail system, make sure you specify their public e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Using the Text (per list) and Global Searches!!
When using any of the record lists, there is a search drop-down field at the upper left. Use this field to quickly find any records in the current list that match the criteria you enter. We have noticed that sometimes this field will retain the value entered into it from a previous list, or will retain the “Search XXX” default that gets placed there when you first open the list – just make sure you completely replace/delete that default/incorrect value, or you will not get the results you’re looking for.
From the Main Toolbar, you have a similar drop-down search field. This is to search throughout your entire database, not just the list you are on. This is used to do what people sometimes think of as “Conflict of Interest” or Global searches.
We point these out because we think you may find them to be surprisingly quick, easy and effective ways to do searches on your lists, rather than using the Advanced or Combined search windows (binoculars drop-down/search menu).
We hope we have covered the above topics in an accurate, helpful, and easy-to-understand way for you.
There are a few other Time Matters topics such as “Watches” (Yes, we promised!), or Document Management, we would like to cover in the same way in subsequent articles.
Please give us your feedback on this article so we know whether to continue in this direction.
Nicolas de Rochefort and Lisa Medina - Evolution Legal Technology Solutions