Have you ever wanted a designated spot in Amicus Attorney to put important information, such as a federal tax number, marital status or a list of the board of directors? Join us for a quick overview of custom pages in Amicus Attorney.

 

About Free Training Thursday: Since the start of 2017, we have been holding these free, 30-minute training hosted by our industry-leading experts and innovators who will teach you about AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, the Abacus Private Cloud, and now, Results CRM and OfficeTools. If you would like to request a topic, please email webinars@abacusnext.com.

Well everyone, welcome to Free Training Thursday. Today I have David Lamb here with me from Amicus Attorney and he'll be talking to us about custom pages. The webinar will be approximately 30 minutes total, with a 20 minute presentation, followed by a 10 minute Q&A. Please feel free to insert your questions into the GoToWebinar control panel throughout the presentation, and we'll answer them at the end. Without further ado, I'll turn it over to David and let him take it away.

Thank you very much. Welcome today. Thank you for attending. Today we're going to be looking at customizing Amicus Attorney using custom pages. What are custom pages and custom fields? Well, Amicus Attorney is a repository for a lot of information about your contacts and files. There are phone numbers and time entries. There are appointments and task entries to name just a few, but there's bound to be some information you need to know about your contacts and information you need to know about your files, that is unique to your firm. An example might be the date of birth for your contacts or a court action number on a file. There is nowhere in Amicus out of the box to put that information. You could put it in a note or in a summary field, but there are problems with that. Is everybody going to remember to put the date of birth in the same place and in the same format? How do you find it on a contact card?

Amicus allows you to customize the program by adding custom pages and custom fields to contacts and files. Let's define the terminology first. A custom page is a page that holds a number of custom fields. One of those fields might be date of birth or marital status. You can have multiple custom pages, each containing a number of custom fields.

In Amicus Attorney, there is no limit to the number of custom pages and custom fields you can have on contacts and files. You can go crazy.

The kind of information you might find on contacts as opposed to files, date of birth and social security number would be information about your clients and contacts. A court action number or accident location would be information you need on your files.

Let's open up Amicus now. To add, delete, or modify custom pages in fields you need to be an administrator in Amicus Attorney. If you are an administrator, the administration functions will appear here in your office module. If you're not an administrator, you won't see the administration section at all.

Let's start by adding a page to our contacts in the people module. Let's add a place where we can enter a contacts, date of birth, and their social security number. To configure the custom pages and custom fields, select custom pages and records under administration. Our record, custom page, custom record management page opens. Now, since we're adding custom pages and fields to our people module, our contacts, we select people. We're going to add a brand new custom page so simple click the button new custom page. We give the page a name. Because we can create multiple pages on our contacts, it's a good idea that we identify them. We're just going to call this one general information and we're going to leave its availability on people although, I could assign this to the files if I'd said, "Sorry wrong place." I could have this common page appear on our people and files. Since date of birth and our other fields are going to be strictly people fields, we're going to leave that here on people. Let's click okay.

Okay, so we're going to create our new custom page. Here it is. This is the page layout screen. It looks similar in layout to a contact card with the business card up here and all of our custom information is going to be down here below the card. Here are the available field types on the left hand side. You can see we have text labels, lines, frames. The text labels, lines and frames, you can see they have little asterisks with them, they're not really fields. They allow us to make the page pretty by say putting a line under something. The actual fields are here, text field, memo fields, drop down lists, so a lot of different fields.

I want to add date of birth that is a date field. Select the field. Once we've done that, in the card area here, just draw out where you want that field. You could say you have a little where my courser has turned into a cross hair. I'd like to put that right about here using my left mouse button. Just draw it out. There we go.

Now, the field appears on our page. Notice it has this generic Amicus date one. We want this to be date of birth. Right click inside the field or right click inside the text and show field attributes. The field attribute box opens. There are two attributes that we need to change and you'll find them here under field basics. The first one is the field name. This is the name that will appear in the Amicus data base. This is the name that will appear when we select this field for document assembly or for modifying our file intake form et cetera, the actual field name.

Let's get this field name, date of birth. Okay. Now, let's go on to our next part that we want to modify, which is the label text. The label text is the text that's actually going to appear on the screen, to your users, in Amicus. Now best practice of course is that they should be as close as possible. Oh, when I click into label text, it says spaces and special characters such as, are not permitted. Don't worry about that. What it means is it didn't like the spaces, and you notice what it's done now is it's automatically put in the underscore. I just click okay, and that's done. You could put them in manually. If you don't, you'll get that little notice. Not a problem. It just doesn't like spaces. Again, our label text is going to be date of birth. Okay.

Now, we click the X to save. Here we have our new field, date of birth. Now, you can put this anywhere you want on the screen. You notice I get the little cross. I could move this over here. I could move the text on top. However you want to do it. I call this making it pretty. You can do that. There you go.

Okay, the next field that I want is the social security number. We actually have a field for that social security number. Again, draw it out. I'm going to match it right here. Now, again it says SS1, so we want to right click, show field attributes. Change SS1 to social security number. It's going to give us our little warning. It's going to put in the underscores. Change it to social security number. Again, the X and there we go.

Now, I can of course, move these around. Let's move that out there. You notice I get some little lines that help me line things up. I can stretch our little bounding box. Now, just a little note about the bounding box. The bounding boxes are on the text. Make sure that they do not overlap the actual field area too. If they do, it's going to cut them off when you look at them on screen. Again, we get some little lines and we line this up. There we go. Nice and pretty.

Okay. Say for example, we put in a text field instead of a date field for this and said, "Oh rats I better put in a date field." You can delete these. Simply right click and delete the field. Now, if you do that, you're going to get a little warning that you're going to lose any data that was associated to that field and any of your contacts. Just be aware of that. It's better to make these kinds of decisions when you're actually authoring these custom pages than when users have been entering data.

Alright, so that's our first little page. I'm going to even make it a little more pretty than I have now. I'm going to add a frame to it. Again, these three text label, line, and frame aren't really fields. What they are is you notice I have a crosshair. I'm just going to put a nice little frame around that. Isn't that pretty. Very nice.

Okay. We are going to save and close to save that page. Alright. Now we have under people, we have our page. What appears next is when I look, I get a little plus sign beside people. When I click that, you'll see my page general information is listed. That tells us that we have created that.

I'd like to make a new page for some family information. I want to add a field for marital status, which will be a drop down list. Let's do that. I've selected people again and new custom page and I'm going to again give this a nice name, family information. Click okay. Here comes our page again.

Alright I wanted to add that field, marital status to be a drop down list. Here is drop down list. Select a type of field. Draw it out on the page. Okay. Now, again right click and show field attributes. Field name. Marital status was in our little underscore. Label text, marital status. Now this is a drop down list, so what we need to do next is we need to actually create the list items. Drop down list items. Click in here and now an ellipses, little three dots appear. We click the ellipses to add our drop down list items. Let's add our marital status. We click new. The first one will be married and apply. New, separated, and apply. New, divorced, and apply. New, free as a bird, and apply. Now we can order these. I'm going to put free as a bird at the top. If you wanted to, remove any of these or edit any of these, you can simply select and click the appropriate button. Those are the list items in our new marital status drop down list. Close and again click the X and there is marital status. Let's make sure that our text doesn't overlap. We're good. Okay.

Let's add another field. Let's add the date of marriage. Again, that is a date field. Draw it out after selecting the field. Right click. Show field attributes. Date of marriage, X. Make sure the fields don't overlap. There they are. That is my second page. Again, save and close. Now we click okay. We have our pages.

Now, how do these appear on our contact cards? Those two custom pages will appear on every single contact card that we have in the system. We go into our people module. Take Clark Admiral. You're going to find the new custom fields down here, under custom page. When you click that, here are our two fields, general information with date of birth, and social security number and family information, marital status and date of marriage. Free as a bird, general information, date of birth. You could select the date of birth. You could even type it in. Social security number, type it in, and again these two pages are available on every single contact card in our database.

That's how we can customize our people module by adding information to our contact cards. Now, let's add some pages and fields to files. As I said, the custom pages and fields that we just created for our contacts appear for every single contact you have, regardless of their contact group. File custom pages are file specific. I can create different pages and fields for each file type. That's because the type of information I need about a file varies depending on the file type. On a real estate file, I might need to know the property address and the closing date on an automobile accident. I need to know the date of the accident and the location of the accident.

Let's create custom pages for our files. Same place, back to our office under administration, custom pages and records. This time we're going to select files. Click the little plus side to drop down. Now, any file type with existing custom pages will have a little plus. Now, you notice all of mine do. That is because I have Amicus billing. When I have Amicus billing, you will see that there is an e-bill information and e-bill information chub. These are for our billing pages. You will not see these custom pages at all, unless you are on the billing side of a file and you have that file set up for e-billing. These are really invisible and they really don't concern us when we're adding our basic custom pages and our custom fields.

We're going to customize the automobile accident file type. We select that. Again, new custom page. On our first page, we're going to have general information. It's on the files again. You have the same option to put this on people or both. Only of file types you can share this to multiple file types. Say for example, your litigation files, your different litigation files all had a common first page. You could have that page common to multiple file types.

The next selection here under files is the page area. You can have, when you open a file, you know there are two parts. On the left hand side, there's people on the file. On the right hand side, there's our file facts or our file brad. You could have the custom pages cover both of those. If you had a lot of custom fields, you might want to do that. If you don't, then I would recommend going to what's called the half page view. That way you still have access to all of the information for the people on the files. We're going to have a half page view.

Let's click okay. Again, out comes our editor. It looks very much the same as it did for the people module, except instead of a contact card, we have a file. This left hand side, because we're doing a half page, is reserved for the people on the file. The right hand side for our custom pages.

Let's put in a field for date of accident. Again, right click. Show field attributes. Date of accident and our label. Date of accident, there we go. Make sure we don't overlap. We're good. Now, we can have a check box for was a police report filed. Our check box is right there. Police report filed. Now, I could put in those underscores myself, but I'm just too lazy. Police report filed. I'm going to put in a text field for location of accident. Location of accident. Now text fields are for short bits of information like a location of an accident or an address. Longer information you should actually use memo fields. There we go.

Now, if there's more information than will fit in this box, there will be a scroll bar that will appear. Again, I'm going to make this a little bigger and you can see I can drag it down there and pull that in there. There we go. Make it nice and pretty. There we have our general information and we're going to save and close. There we have our custom field for our automobile accident. Let's go check that out.

Let's go into our files module and into an automobile accident file. Automobile accident, black auto accident. Similar to the people module, you're going to find your custom pages down here. Click custom pages, general information. There it is. Date of accident, police report filed. Location of accident, and you can fill this all in. Our accident was our March the 12th. A police report was filed. Main and Oak Street. Save and close and I have saved that information. That's how we can create the custom pages for our files.

If we go into a different file type, for example corporate, I've created some custom fields here under corporate files. You'll find of course that they are different. I have for example, corporate information and corporate details, and corporate records, different customization for different file types.

Now, it's very simple to edit your custom fields and your custom pages. Let's go back into the office module again, and do custom page and records. Now, let's take a look under people. I'd like to change general information, the name of that page to personal information. Just select and click page properties and there's the page name. I can just change that to personal information. There it is.

If I'd like to change any of the fields or the layouts, just click. You can see I spelled that wrong, so maybe I should go back in and spell it right. There we go, much better, case in point. If I want to modify anything, just click on the page. You'll see the fields that are on the page over here in field on the right hand side. Click edit and I could change anything I want. Add fields, remove, move around, make pretty, do anything I want and save and close. Click okay. That's how you can edit any of your field information.

Now, once you've created your custom fields, you can use them in document assembly. They're available in document assembly. You can use them in your file intake form. For example, when you're creating a new file, if it was an automobile accident, you could say every time I click automobile accident it would bring up a page and say please enter the date of accident. You can use them, you can share the custom fields to clients at the client portal, and you can share custom fields to Amicus anywhere.

That's just a short kind of introduction to the custom fields in Amicus Attorney and how you can customize the program to hold the kind of information that your firm needs to know.

Okay. I think we're pretty much on time, which is pretty good for me. I'll take any questions.

Q&A

Okay can you reuse fields?

I think I know what you mean. Yes, you can. Say for example, I wanted to add a new custom page for one of my other file types. Let's look under files. Let's take a look under my corporate information. Say registered corporate name. I wanted to use that for my directorship files too. I don't want that whole page. I just want that field. Under directorship, let's add a page. Let's just call it info. I could create a new custom field, but I'd have to name it something different, because it already exists in the database. Instead, go down to available fields and you will see all of our available fields listed down here including, let's find it, our registered corporate name. Again, click it just like any other field. You would enter it here, registered corporate name. Now you've in effect, reused that field instead of having to create a brand new one. Yes, indeed you can in effect, reuse those. Good question. Thank you.

Thank you very much David and thank you to everyone for listening. That concludes today's webinar. As a reminder, the webinar will be available on Abacusnext.com/webinars and also sent to all participants. Thank you.

Find more Free Training at abacusnext.com/webinars