Here’s a non-controversial statement: lawyers generate a lot of documents. Reams, scads, acres of documents. They also devote much of their time to drafting, editing, sending, archiving, retrieving, and otherwise tending to these torrents of words.
Only one thing separates these millions of documents from a high-carbon compost pile: document management.
Everyone needs a system to control their paperwork, but lawyers need it more than most. Documents like retainers and contracts and briefs are their very bread and butter. Not only that: lawyers also face extra tiers of rules regarding compliance and security. And on the largest scale, the documents lawyers create in turn create the world around us. The Latin root of the word ‘document’ means ‘proof’: without these proofs of agreements, arguments, and a sense of what exists where, modern existence is unimaginable.
Even still some firms rely on paper filing cabinets for storage, or threads of emails for document collaboration. They stick with out-of-the-box word processing software and a hodge-podge of digital filing systems. But most lawyers understand that they—and their clients—deserve better.
In that spirit, at Filevine’s recent Legal X Conference, we announced we were bringing document management to the next level. This new round of improvements and additions make the work faster and simpler — and combine seamlessly with all the other Filevine features you rely on for your case management needs.
Try out these 8 new Filevine Document Management Tools
1. Info-Rich Flyout Menu
Many cases or matters generate a dizzying amount of documents. When you’re scrolling through them, you can quickly lose a sense of what each one is and what role it plays in the business at hand. Filevine is putting all of that information at your fingertips with a renovation of the Docs Section.
With the File Properties Flyout Menu you’ll now see thumbnail views of each document. Not only can you see who uploaded it and when—you can see which hashtags are assigned to it, as well as a list of all the places where your document has been attached in the system. That means you can quickly access any notes or activities in your feed that connect to this document. You can also view a version history for your document, should you need to see how it’s changed over time.
This new menu feature isn’t just for understanding your documents. You can manage them here too. From this menu you can add hashtags, create secure share links, and upload new versions of the document.
Do you need to download or move a huge batch of documents at once? You can use the Shift and Control keys to select any number of documents. In addition to downloading them or moving them, you can also give them all a hashtag, share them with others through a secure share link, or remove them.
3. Deeper, More Controlled Searching
When it comes to searching for the right file, control is power. If you want to find a specific combination of words in your Filevine documents, you can put the search terms in quotes. You can use AND or the + sign if you need documents with two terms. You can do the same with OR and NOT (or the – sign) to hone in on the specific files that interest you. When you aren’t sure about the spelling for the word, you can also allow ‘fuzziness’ in the search by using a tilde (~) sign. For a full description of possible search queries, see this support article.
4. Automatic Organization
Law firms and legal departments often depend on elaborate rules systems regarding file names and folder use. Admirable as this intention is, it requires unfailing discipline by all in order to work. Any human error risks chaos and confusion.
Automation can remove the human error from delicate systems. You can now make sure document uploads attached to certain fields are automatically organized in the right way. This includes assigning them to the right sub-folder and giving them an automatic hashtag.
5. Audio-visual Previews
In addition to seeing clear previews of your text and image files, you can now play nearly all forms of audio and video files directly within your case management software. If you’re working within your case files and need information from a video deposition or surveillance video evidence, you can view it all inside the same system.
6. Easy Annotation
It’s not only your documents that have value. It’s also all the information that surrounds and contextualizes. Now, any time you’d like to add a note regarding any uploaded file, you can use the “Note This” feature. With a click, you can create a note about that document. This creates a note in the project files along with an attachment to that document.
7. Hotkey Shortcuts
Move even faster by learning a few keyboard shortcuts. Navigate your files, open upload windows or the properties flyout menu, or jump to new folders. To see the full list of hotkey shortcuts, see this support article.
8. Faster loading
Finally, we’ve optimized the experience for even faster uploads and seamless loading while you’re scrolling through long lists of documents.
Document management systems must go far beyond file storage. Thinking of it as a place to park your papers is similar to saying your nose exists so you have a spot where your glasses can perch.
Filevine’s document management tools make your workflow simpler. Filevine keeps your files securely cloud-based, accessible anywhere from any device. It gives you the power to automatically generate even complex documents, based on the data already recorded in your files. It allows you to edit-in-place, without extra steps of downloading and uploading. And with this latest update, the entire system is even more intuitive, accessible, and efficient.
For more detailed information on all document management capacities, check out our Help Center.