Note from The Mac Lawyer: Among the questions that I am asked most often are: “What document management systems are available on the Mac?” and/or “My firm uses Worldox. Is there anything similar for the Mac?” While the Finder may be a suitable solution for some smaller law firms, many others want something more powerful. I recently had an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the developers of an exciting new product, DocMoto, and view its features. I was so impressed that I asked them to provide this Guest Post to make my readers aware of their product and its amazing capabilities. I believe that this new document management system (developed exclusively for Macs) will be a tremendous asset to attorneys and law firms that want or need such powerful features. - Ben Stevens
“Document management – everybody needs it to some extent, but the benefits to law firms of effective document management are considerable.” First off, a big thank you to Ben Stevens for asking us to write this brief article on document management and our product DocMoto.
If ever there was a topic that meant all things to all people document management is it. But in the legal environment it can be boiled down to some key benefits:
- Client/Matter-Centric Storage :: All electronic material can be “tagged” by both the client and the matter, plus any other tags that will be helpful in retrieval. Once tagged, it’s easy to find all material for client X or matter Y.
- Consistency :: Rules can be imposed on the storage of material. This guarantees a consistent approach for everybody within the firm. With consistency comes a reduction in error and an improvement in the speed of retrieval.
- Centralisation :: Everything, including email, documents, and even images can be stored in the one central location. This makes searching faster and more thorough. It also ensures that all material is included in the search, avoiding any possible issues with eDiscovery.
- Full Text and Tag Searching :: Complex searches can be simply performed. Searches can include multiple criteria, such as a combination of tags and text. For example, find all references to Mrs. Z in matter Y.
- Document Access Control :: Security can be applied to the repository ensuring only the correct people have access to the appropriate material. Confidential matters remain that way.
- Client Access Via The Web :: Clients can be given secure access to the repository via the web. This improves client service levels, it also further ensures material is consistently stored.
- Version Control – Material is checked in and out of the repository, with a full revision history being kept of all files.
- Audit Trail :: All material has a full audit trail to see who accessed material and when.
- Simplified Backup :: As everything is in one place, backup is greatly simplified.
In the case of the sole practitioner it is accepted that most of this can be achieved with a manual system. But the moment there is more than one person involved, particularly if information is being entered by members of staff, the need for a document manager rises sharply. Of course there are numerous document management systems to choose from. The reason our product, DocMoto is featured here is because it is a truly Mac product.
DocMoto’s central repository is accessed through a software interface very similar to Finder. To coin Apple‘s line “you already know how to use it”. The repository can hold any file type, from documents and email through to images and even audio. The repository can be accessed by multiple people at once, is secure, and supports a powerful tagging and templating system. Simple storage rules can be applied ensuring material is correctly and consistently tagged. DocMoto supports very powerful text and tag searches and all files have a complete version history.
DocMoto can be downloaded and installed for a trial period, but since it is a business critical application we recommend treating it as a “mini project” and we are more than happy to provide the support necessary to achieve this. The product can be located in-house or in the cloud. Pricing plans range from a one off purchase to monthly payments.
You can learn more about this topic in general in Document Management Systems: Why Bother and How to Shop for One (Part 1 of 2) by John Heckman.
About the Author: This Guest Post was written by Neil Cameron, director of UK based CHL Software. CHL has been developing OS X based solutions for the past five years and document management systems since the company was founded in 1996. DocMoto, their flagship product is rapidly being adopted by attorneys worldwide.