I was somewhat disappointed when I found that there was not a hard-baked collaborative system, but here’s what we came up with.
We are a small law firm. Four users.
Bought licenses for each user. Yes, pricey, but given the time suck of what we were using before (spreadsheets and MS Word docs) well worth it.
Projects = cases or matters. I tried to use folders for clients and then nestle projects inside, but found the sorting system didn’t return the results in the way we wanted.
What I wanted was the ability to print out one report that lists every project with upcoming dates, and then another with due dates for all projects arranged sequentially. (We still use paper for our group meetings.) Today, tomorrow, next week, etc. When we used folders, OF didn’t recognize the projects by folder, but put them in as independent projects. So instead of showing older "Smith, Joe: and then “Smith v. Wesson,” the upper layer folder seems to have been disregarded in the arrangement. So it just showed “Smith v. Wesson” as a project without a home. Sometimes on a transactional deal, the client’s name may not be in the matter name. E.g., “New Lease Transaction.” Not a big deal as long as a client’s name is in the project name, but it doesn’t work otherwise.
No biggie. Now we just name projects “Client: Matter” and all is good. E.g., “Smith: New Lease Transaction.” That works just fine.
Created contexts for each user. E.g., Bob to do. So now every action has a project (or case) and a context that each user can go to to see what is on their list. Also using a perspective called “Due” so everyone can see at a glance what the office has to take care of in the coming days/weeks/months.
Like any system, it’s GIGO, so it’s only as effective as the people working on things are.