In the examples in our first post, I would make all the fields required, which means that a user has to choose something in all fields or they cannot save a document. You also can set up fields that are not required.
Non-Required Profile Attributes
Usually, this is a dropdown list that has items like Draft, Pending, and Executed. This lets someone know what stage the document is in. It will always default to Draft unless someone changes it.
Yes/No field with the default being No. Once the document is filed it would be changed to Yes.
A good DMS should have an airtight retention policy. So if you have a delete field and mark it yes, it can trigger the system to delete that document after a certain period of time. The document will not be deleted until the requirement is met.
As one attorney explained to me, these are the smoking gun documents. This allows you to bring these documents up regardless of doc type. This would be in addition to the document type. So a document labeled memo would show up in the Memo List and the Important Documents list.
Sub Document Type
In most case, I recommend against using a sub doc type. People that have never used a DMS think they need to track this information. I think it’s a waste of time, but to comprise we add a Sub Doc Type field but don’t make it required.
If a Document Type is Pleadings, then a sub doc type might be Incoming or Outgoing. Never mind the fact that most out Incoming pleadings are PDFS and most outgoing are in Word Documents. Also if we are using an Author field and have an external user option that should be indicative if the pleading is outgoing or incoming.
Worldox automatically has a comments field, NetDocuments does not have one by default, but I automatically add it. The comments field is text searchable and is easy to see when viewing documents.
Created by, Modified by, Date Created, Modified, Accessed
Windows/Mac automatically tracks the date created, modified and accessed.
Your document management system will also be able to log the person who created the document and the person who edited the document. (NetDocuments tracks the person who created the document by default, Worldox does once you add a Creator field). Therefore there is no reason to create any of these profile attributes.
Date in Document Name
Most users without a DMS will name documents like this: 2016-01-10 Letter to Counsel. The reason to do this is so you can have all the documents sorted by date created.
In a DMS, there are zero reasons to do this because the system automatically tracks this information and allows you to organize your documents by that information. In both Worldox and NetDocuments, I can customize the system to organize documents by either the Created Date or the Modified Date.
In out our final part on how to setup Document Management Software, we will go over some other considerations.