How to Create Disposition Notes in IRM

iManage Records Manager (IRM) is records management software utilized by many law firm and professional services organizations. As a consultant with many years experience in designing, implementing and teaching IRM, I have found similar questions arise on how best to use it. I will periodically produce videos on IRM tips I think each user should know to get more out of their iManage Records Manager software.

I have had quite a few IRM users ask about how to use disposition notes and where they appear in IRM. See my video where I review just that.

As you can see from the video, it can be helpful to use disposition notes to record who authorized a destruction or maybe document a transfer of records.

Please feel free to contact me if you need further clarification on what I presented in the video.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Want to learn more about iManage Govern Records Manager from Nitza Medina-Garcia, CRM? Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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What is Records Management?

Records management is the formal systems used to govern your business information to help you:

  • Keep the information you need to keep
  • Get rid of the information you no longer need
  • Find the official information you need when you need it
  • Share the information you want with the people you want and keep others away

Good records management is good business!

Contact us today! Let us help you with your business information needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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New Webinar: what to consider BEFORE you move to iManage Records Manager

New to iManage Govern Records Manager? Want to know what you need to know before you move to a new records management software?

Join founder Nitza Medina-Garcia for our new webinar “What to consider BEFORE you move to iManage Records Manager 10”.  It will cover:

  • Main features of iManage Records Manager 10 ($250 value)
  • Typical software project plan ($500 value)
  • Top tips to make your software implementation a success ($1,000 value)

Total value of attending this webinar is $1,750.

This webinar will be beneficial for law firms and other professional service firms who are considering a new iManage Govern Records Manager software implementation.

If you will be implementing a brand new records management software or need to move from LegalKey, FileSurf, ARM, Accutrac, Elite or other records management software to iManage Records Manager, you will not want to miss this webinar where Nitza Medina-Garcia will be sharing what she has learned during her 10+ years of IRM software implementations.

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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iManage Releases New Standalone IRM Web Client

iManage has released its new stand alone iManage Govern Records Manager Web Client. The initial IRM 10 Web Client was a plug-in to the iManage Work Web Client. This required deploying iManage Work Web in order to utilize the plug-in. With this new release, the IRM Web Client is a stand alone client that features:

  • File Plan: the file plan shows the high level taxonomy of your files, such as clients and matters for a law firm.
  • Configurable Filters: filters help with refining displayed lists.
  • Relating Records: relationships help attorneys create two-way relationships with files.
  • Reporting: enables attorneys to generate multiple reports.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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Boutin Jones Recommends InfoCompass

Sacramento law firm Boutin Jones, Inc. hired  InfoCompass Business Solutions to advise on records management policies and procedures, vet records management software solutions and implement iManage Govern Records Manager. Learn why Boutin Jones chose InfoCompass to help them with their records management challenges and why they highly recommend us in their own words!

Contact us today to find out how we can help you solve your records and information management challenges!

iManage Govern Records Manager 10 File Share News

iManage has shared more exciting information about their upcoming iManage Govern Records Manager 10 release. iManage Govern Records Manager (also known as IRM) will now be able to manage electronic records retention on file share content. This is big for Records Managers!

IRM allowed Records Managers to “manage-in-place” electronic documents and records in the iManage Work document management software (DMS). Firms did not need to separately file their declared records into a records management software, but could leave it where it was in the DMS. Firms were advised to move other electronic content into the Work libraries to manage their security, collaboration and retention. This left a gap, because firms were not saving all electronic content into iManage Work. iManage’s expansion of the Policy Service to manage retention on file share content is exciting because it addresses this gap and indicates IRM is no longer confined to managing just iManage Work content. This is the beginning of IRM managing content in the many places firms create documents and records. So, you could say IRM’s “manage-in-place” will now be expanded to mean “manage-in-more-places” to include file shares.

Records Managers will be able to create an IRM File Part that represents a file share location. The File Part will need to specify the UNC path for the location (for example, \\\\servername\\sharename\\directory\\).  Records Managers will be able to destroy the File Part as per the specified Retention Schedule, similar to a Workspace in iManage Work. This allows Records Managers to track retention, perform destruction and have an audit history on file share content actions.

The set up for the file share File Part can be manual, or IRM will be able to leverage the Standards and Templates feature to automate the file share File Part creation. The Template File Part creation does require the file share naming convention to be standardized. I hope to learn more details about this once the software has been released.

iManage is targeting the release of IRM 10 for end of 2017.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

Looking to upgrade your version of IRM? Check out my free webinar to learn what you need to do to prepare: REGISTER FOR WEBINAR HERE

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Are Your File Boxes Out of Control?

 

Are you struggling to manage your old paper files? I have worked with several businesses who have accumulated over the years several hundred boxes of business records. The businesses would periodically pull paper files not currently needed and place them into file boxes. They store the boxes in a storage location: maybe in a less used storage room or in a self-storage facility. Over time issues begin to develop.

Issue 1: Contents of boxes are a mystery

Allowing your employees to send files to storage without a formal procedure is risky. The quality of the contents, their arrangement and whether they create an inventory list can vary according to the employee. This can cause the business to lose control over the business records.

Don’t let your storage become a mystery. Before sending files to your storage area, employees should inventory the files. The inventory can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists:

  • Box Number
  • Department
  • Record Type
  • Folder Name
  • Year of Record
  • Date Sent

The inventory will allow you to know what information you have and in which box the information is located. The inventory can also help the business track how long the records need to be kept. Boxes should not be sent to storage unless they are entered on the official business inventory list. The inventory list helps the business control the file boxes.

Issue 2: Files are missing from boxes

Be sure to develop a procedure to track files as they get checked out and returned.  When an employee needs access to a file in storage, be sure to record the employee’s name and the folder or box checked out to the employee. This tracking builds accountability with the employee and is an audit trail of a file’s circulation.

Issue 3: Storage location is risky

Your paper business files should be stored in a secure and environmentally safe location. Otherwise, your business files can become yellow and brittle from temperature changes. Or, they can become damaged from improper storage or weather related water damage. If you are storing your boxes onsite in a storage room, be sure that the room is restricted to only those who should have access to the files. The room should have a similar temperature as the rest of your office and not be at risk of the weather. If you are storing your boxes offsite, the same safety and temperature requirements apply. Consider using an official offsite storage vendor where you can rent just enough space as needed vs a self-storage unit that can require the rental of large unused units and less security.

Issue 4: Storage costs continue to increase

The more file boxes you retain, the more storage costs will increase over time. It does not need to be this way. All business records do not need to be retained permanently. Business records that have met their legal and operational retention requirements, and hold no historical significance, should be destroyed on a regular basis. Be sure to develop a records retention schedule that lists the types of records your business keeps, how long they need to be kept and how their retention period is calculated. For example, you may have a Record Type called Purchase Orders that is kept 5 years from the order date. So, Purchase Orders from 2015 can be destroyed in the year 2020.

Take Quick Action

Create an inventory spreadsheet like above, or contact us to get your free box inventory spreadsheet. Begin using your inventory spreadsheet today to keep track of your business information.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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Why Not Records Manager?

 

Records Management isn’t one of those careers featured on career day in elementary schools. That is normally reserved for community careers such as postal carriers, police, firefighters, and teachers. I sort of wandered into it myself. I bet it is like that for many of my records management colleagues.

I hadn’t planned on getting into records management as a career. But, I have always appreciated the beauty of keeping things in order. Even today when my home or office gets disheveled, I can feel my anxiety level rise. Order just feels good, what can I say?

I remember as a little girl going on a Take Your Daughter to Work day with my mom. I was fascinated with her typewriter, file folders with their sticky labels and desk. But, that did not immediately translate into a career in records management.  I actually pursued and obtained a degree in history because I loved to hear real stories about people.

So, how did I get into records management? Well, I had been pursuing a career in history, which led me to work on an archival project at Hunter College in New York City.  Under the tutelage of Idilio Gracia-Pena, former New York City Commissioner of Records, I learned how to process archival government records. Over the course of 7 years we converted the pile of dusty boxes into beautiful gray archival boxes with descriptive labels on their spines. We entered inventories of the boxes into an Access database, and periodically backed it up on a Zip drive (anybody remember those?). During my time with Idilio, he encouraged me to get my Masters of Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. I followed his advice and obtained my degree.

My first professional gig after obtaining my Masters, was with the Episcopal Church headquartered in New York City. It felt familiar, in that they had a record backlog of hundreds of boxes piled high in 2 basements. With the help of Mark Duffy, the Director of the Episcopal Archives, and a team of assistants I hired, we were able to identify, organize, rehouse the records we needed to retain and dispose of items as needed. In less than a year, we had created a new records center with tidy rows of boxes that had been indexed. Joy!

So, if you find you have a kid who likes order, loves their label maker, and has a penchant for creating inventories, you might have a records manager on your hands.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Govern Records Manager: Part 3 (Electronic Records)

 

iManage Govern Records Manager (IRM) is records management software utilized by many law firm and professional services organizations. As a consultant with many years of experience in designing, implementing and teaching IRM, I have found similar questions arise on how best to use it. I will periodically produce posts on IRM topics I think each user should know to get more out of their iManage Govern Records Manager software.

Retention Schedules are one of the core functions of iManage Govern Records Manager. This post is Part 3 in the series “How to Create Retention Schedules in iManage Records Manager” where I will review how to configure a Retention Schedule in IRM.

In Part 1, I discussed gathering your retention information together, reviewing the information and how it applies to your current file plan.

In Part 2, I discussed how to configure a Retention Schedule and some typical Retention Events.

Let’s now take a look at the electronic Retention Events available to manage iManage Workspaces.

Electronic Retention Events

There are two types of Retention Events that are available to manage retention of iManage Workspaces:

  1. Workspace Clean Up
  2. Workspace Destruction

Workspace Clean Up

There are 4 Retention Event Types that can be utilized to do an iManage Workspace cleanup, which is typically done when the work for a Matter or Project related workspace has come to an end:

  1. Declare All Versions
  2. Declare Latest Version
  3. Declare Latest Version and then Destroy Undeclared Versions
  4. Destroy All Undeclared Versions

Declare All Versions: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the contents of the selected item will be declared as a record in the iManage Work DMS. Once the all versions of a document are declared as records, they will be filed in the IRM File Plan as individual declared records.

Declare Latest Version: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the last version of any documents contained within the selected item will be declared as a record in the iManage Work DMS. Once the last version of each document is declared as record, they will be filed in the IRM File Plan as individual declared records.

Declare Latest Version and the Destroy Undeclared Versions: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the last version of any documents contained within the selected item will be declared as a record. Any remaining versions will be destroyed from the Workspace or Folder in the iManage Work DMS. Once the last version of each document is declared as record, they will be filed in the IRM File Plan as individual declared records.

Destroy All Undeclared Versions: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, any remaining undeclared document versions will be destroyed from the Workspace or Folder in the iManage Work DMS.

You can add variations on the retention events in order to more closely match your desired process for workspace cleanup. For example, if you want to first have a designated person review the workspace and manually perform records declarations in iManage Work they can do so. Then, a records administrator can perform a Destroy All Undeclared Versions event to clean up any lingering documents in one bulk action at an agreed upon time. Your IRM event list might look like this:

  • Destroy All Undeclared Versions 60 Days after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

If you want to add bulk records declaration as a records administrator duty instead, your IRM event list might look like:

  • Declare Latest Document Version and Destroy Undeclared Versions 60 Days after Matter Close Date
  • Destroy 7 Years after Matter Close Date

Workspace Destruction

If you are one of the many firms or companies who do not declare documents as records within iManage Work, you are not alone. Rest assured you do not need to declare a single record within an iManage Workspace for IRM to perform a destruction.

The Destroy Event Type can be used to destroy a selected Workspace or Folder.

Destroy: When a Workspace or Folder is selected in the IRM File Plan and this Event Type is selected during a Dispose Records action, the object and its contents will be destroyed in the iManage Work DMS.

Want to learn more about iManage Govern Records Manager from Nitza Medina-Garcia, CRM and like-minded IRM users? Join the next Records Manager Mastermind Group that is starting this January! Register here: http://www.icbsolutions.net/products.html  Space is limited!

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

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Managing Law Firm Records

 

It was my pleasure to speak at the Sacramento Valley Association of Legal Administrators this October on the topic: Managing Law Firm Records. Many law firms are inundated with paper and electronic information, but struggle to gain control over it.  One of the main tools to gain control over firm information is to implement a formal records management program.  I covered in my talk:

  • How to Design a Records Retention Program
  • How to Build a Records Retention Schedule
  • How to Implement a Records Retention Schedule

If you are interested in learning more, please join us at our next webinar.

Register here.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

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