In this post, I want to look at some of the features of Active Collab, and show you how they work. I think you’ll see why I believe this is an incredibly powerful tool for managing any project. Managing a legal case is really managing a project that is specific to law firms.
I’ve already shown you the notebooks. I am going to show you a few more features here. I also want to go a little deeper into tasks and files. I pretty much live between these three areas when I manage a project in Active Collab:
I love the interface for tasks in Active Collab. I love the sub-tasks, and the fact that you can create a task that is assigned to one person with a sub-task that is assigned to someone else. You can also comment and change the task assignment in the process. This comes in very handy when you are collaborating on a project.
When you are editing or creating a task, you have all of the features of a notebook page. You can link to items both internally and externally. You can categorize your tasks to make it easy to organize them.
Many people ask about recurring tasks. There are two ways you can do this. One is to simply change the due date instead of completing it. If you want to retain the history, then you can copy the task right back to the same project, and there you have it. I’ll demonstrate this in the video.
This is one of my favorite areas of Active Collab because there is so much that you can do to keep track of important information that makes it easy to find and reference when you need it. Create all of the notebooks you want, and keep the pages in there. Link, embed files, and pretty much anything you can think of that you would need to do, you can do. The sky’s the limit as far as I am concerned.
I love to use the files area of a project, while a project is ongoing. Active Collab has versioning, so you can “upload a new version.” I like the workflow on this. You click the file to download it. Work on it while it sits in your, “downloads” folder. Then upload the new version. Then delete it from your, “downloads” folder. That last part is important. I have had the experience of getting confused about whether or not I had uploaded the newest version yet. You can even comment on the file, so if you need to let collaborators know that you’re in it, post a comment and say, “no one download this until I upload a new version. I’m working on it.” People will be notified. Then of course you have to be sure and either remove the comment, or post a new one letting people know you’re finished with it.
Between these three areas I think you have a powerful infrastructure to manage most any project, including legal case files. Then you have your home screen which can be customized to show a number of different things, including a report for example of everything you have to do today on every project. I love this, because I don’t have to go hunting through projects to find what needs to be done. I have it all summarized in one place, and it’s hyperlinked so I can easily click over to complete my tasks. And I love checking off tasks as I complete them. It just feels good!