iManage Work contains two basic objects called documents and containers.
- Documents are objects that store information users can access, such as Microsoft Word documents, emails, and their attachments, spreadsheets, presentations, audio, and video files.
- Containers are objects that hold documents and other containers. Containers enable you to organize the information stored in iManage Work. There are different types of containers in iManage Work, each with their own purpose.
To better understand documents and containers, the following topics are available:
Containers are objects that hold documents and other containers. They provide a structure for the information stored in iManage Work. Containers enable you to organize, locate, and manage other objects.
A virtual container holds only a list of objects, not objects directly. This list is an automated collection gathered from either items the user last accessed, or the results of a predefined search. For example, the Recent Documents folder is a virtual container that lists documents the user recently accessed. A search folder is a virtual container that displays the results of a predefined search. When a user opens a search folder, the search is immediately performed and its results are listed. The results, however, are links to those items, and not the items themselves. Users can perform many of the same actions as they could on the actual item, such as opening it, or right-clicking it. The only differences are the container can neither accept documents nor can documents be saved in a virtual container.
Virtual containers are easily accessible from the iManage Work interface.
Figure: Example of some virtual containers in iManage Work
The Documents container (refer to Figure: Example of some virtual containers in iManage Work) is a list of documents that's had an activity, such as being viewed, edited, or printed, within the last 30 days. The list of displayed activities and also the time span is configured by the user. The user selects the Filtered By row above the document list. The folder name is dependent on the caption RECENTDOCUMENTS and can be different than displayed here. To see or to change that value, see RECENTDOCUMENTS in Metadata > Captions within iManage Control Center.
The Emails container (refer to Figure: Example of some virtual containers in iManage Work) is a list of emails that have been sent by the user, to the user, or both, recently. The list of displayed emails and also the time span is configured by the user. The user selects the Filtered By row above the email list. The folder name is dependent on the caption EMAILVIEW and can be different than displayed here. To see or to change that value, see EMAILVIEW in Metadata > Captions within iManage Control Center.
The Clients container (refer to Figure: Example of some virtual containers in iManage Work) is a list of clients that have been accessed recently. The list of displayed clients and also the time span is configured by the user. The user selects the Filtered By row above the client list. The folder name is dependent on the caption CUSTOM1VIEW and can be different than displayed here. To see or to change that value, see CUSTOM1VIEW in Metadata > Captions within iManage Control Center.
The Recent Matters container (refer to Figure: Example of some virtual containers in iManage Work) is a list of matters that have been accessed recently. The list of displayed matters and also the time span is configured by the user. The user selects the Filtered By row above the matters list. The folder name is dependent on the caption RECENTWORKSPACES and can be different than displayed here. To see or to change that value, see RECENTWORKSPACES in Metadata > Captions within iManage Control Center.
This is a list of favorites (also called shortcuts) only for matters (also called workspaces). Users can add matters to this list by:
- Creating a shortcut to a matter.
- Subscribing to another user's My Matters, with all their matters showing up in this list.
- Creating a new matter, which is automatically added to this list.
Users can also create categories for items within My Matters.
For more information, refer to Working with Matters.
The folder name is dependent on the caption MYMTRSND and can be different than displayed here. To see or to change that value, refer to MYMTRSND in Metadata > Captions within iManage Control Center.
This is a list of favorites (also called shortcuts) for any document, email, or container. Users can add matters to this list by dragging the item onto the My Favorites icon or tree in the left navigation pane of iManage Work.
The folder name is dependent on the caption MYFAVSND and can be different than displayed here. To see or to change that value, refer to MYFAVSND in Metadata > Captions within iManage Control Center.
Categories can be created within My Favorites and My Matters as a way of organizing or providing quick access to items in iManage Work.
A category within My Matters can only contain workspaces or other categories.
A search folder is a folder with a pre-defined search criterion. When a search folder is opened, iManage Work performs the search and displays the results as virtual documents, or links to the documents. A search folder can contain other search folders.
A physical container is an object in which you can store documents, other containers, and links. Users must explicitly add items to physical containers (in contrast to virtual containers that have their contents automatically added, or can only be added as links).
Physical containers include the following:
A library, formerly called a database, is the highest-level container. It can be created and named only by an iManage system administrator. Libraries can hold workspaces, and only workspaces may exist in the root-level of a library.
A preferred library is a library that stores a user's configuration and is their default library. Each user is required to have a preferred library, and can have only one preferred library.
This configuration will always be used even if users access another library. The configuration items include:
- Forms: The list of visible properties and the arrangement of those properties within dialog boxes for iManage Work 10 clients.
- My Matters: The list of Matter Shortcuts a user has created, or is subscribed to.
- My Favorites: The list of bookmarks for documents and locations by the user.
- Recent matters: The list of the last 20 matters accessed by the user in the previous 30 days
- Language preference: The current language preference.
As a default library, it'll be the library that is first used for searches.
- When a user creates a new document, the library selected in the New Document Profile dialog box is automatically set to the library. If the user enters a different user’s name in the Author field in the New Document Profile dialog box, the selected library automatically switches to the preferred library assigned to the user named in the Author field.
- When a user first opens the Search dialog box, the selected target for the search will be set to this library. If the user changes the target database for the search, that setting will remain in effect until the user explicitly changes it.
A workspace is a root-level container. Use workspaces to organize, store, and share documents and emails related to a project or legal matter. A workspace can only be created at the library level. It can't be a part of another container. A workspace can only contain folders and tabs.
Actions applicable to workspace are open, add to/remove from My Favorites, add to/remove from My Work, copy link, properties, create new matter, share/unshare access, and delete.
A document folder can store folders and documents and emails. Folders can be created in workspaces, tabs, or other folders. A folder created directly within a workspace is called a root-level folder. As a best practice, iManage recommends using as few root-level folders as possible to better organize the information.
Folders have properties. One property is called doctype, which declares that folder to a specific document type. Two doctypes are available by default, and when a folder of one of these doctypes is opened, the display gets customized as follows:
- Document: The display is customized for documents, showing other properties such as file name, size, and location.
- Email: The display is customized for emails, showing other properties such as email title, when sent, sender and recipient name, and size.
Other doctypes may be created and customized by the iManage Work system administrator.
Actions applicable to folders include open, add to/remove from My Favorites, add to/remove from My Work, copy link, create new folder, create new tab, create new shared folder, properties, delete, and upload into a folder.
A tab can be created at the root level of a workspace to help organize the contents of the workspace. For example, a project may consist of three related folders. A tab can be created to hold these three folders together. A tab can only contain folders.
A Share folder allows users to share documents with users outside the iManage Work system. The ability to create Share folders is available with iManage Share, a separate iManage product.
Documents are files that users store their information. Common examples are Microsoft Word (.doc, and .docx) and Adobe PDF (.pdf) documents. They can be of almost any type, including, but not limited to, text, graphics, video, or audio.
Content aside, documents also have metadata associated with them. Some of this is information about the document itself, such as the file name, file size, and the date the document was created. iManage Work can also associate additional properties such as client, matter, attorney, or jurisdiction. This information allows users to more quickly find documents from a search, or better organize and store the document. The set of these properties is referred to collectively as a profile, such as a document profile.
Closely related with documents are emails and texts. Emails and texts are messages sent through an electronic messaging system. They're commonly stored on a user's device and can be treated as a document in many aspects. They can be opened, edited, deleted, and attached to other emails and documents. iManage Work treats emails as documents, although there are a additional options unique to the email format. Refer to Metadata for additional details.
Documents are identified internally by the document ID. The document ID uniquely identifies the document. The document ID is a combination of the library name, the document number assigned at the time the document is first created or imported, and a version number. For example: active_us!436.2.
When a user edits a document, that document is checked out. This makes a copy of the document on the user's local device, and marks the document as being checked out. No other user can check out that document during that time. When a document is checked out and being edited, all modifications are saved locally first. When the document is checked in, the local document is updated on the iManage Work system, and that document becomes the new version. The local document may be kept on the host device. The ability to keep a copy of the document on the local host drive is called document echoing, or also document shadowing.
Document echoing is enabled by the document class or subclass. In iManage Control Center, see Metadata > Classes / Subclasses, selecting a profile for either the class or subclass for more details.
The effects of echoing are:
- If document echoing is allowed for the document, that copy isn't deleted when the document is checked back in to iManage Work. It's kept on the local device as a file, independent now of iManage Work. Users need to be aware that there is a potential security concern if the document contains business-sensitive material.
- If document echoing isn't allowed for the document, the local version is deleted during the check-in. Some organizations recognize a risk for having documents on unsecured computers, or stored outside iManage Work. A common best practice prohibits the use of document echoing.
Locking and unlocking a document
A locked document is one that can't be edited. There are two conditions that lock a document: Checkout, and unavailable.
- A document becomes locked when it's checked out by a user selecting the Edit option in their iManage Work client application, such as iManage Work For Windows. While checked out, the document can be edited by that user. During this time, however, other users can't check it out or make edits to it. When the document is checked back in, the lock is removed, and it becomes available to other users.
- A document becomes locked when it's unavailable. The document becomes unavailable if during check in, the document can't be accessed on the local drive. This could be for several reasons, including the document became corrupted, locally deleted, or the drive is unavailable.
When a user checks out a document, a copy is made on the user's local device, with all modifications being saved there first. In normal conditions, the user checks the document back in. During the check in, the document may be automatically deleted from the local device, depending on its echo or shadow status (refer to Echoing A Document). However, if the local copy becomes unexpectedly unavailable, it may not be able to be checked back in properly. In any case, the document is marked as locked within the iManage system. After being unlocked from an unavailable state, the last version available on iManage Work becomes the current version.
To unlock a document, the user must be one of the following:
- Be the document's owner, and have a role that includes the library role Document Unlock privilege enabled. In iManage Control Center, see Access > Roles > Work application privileges > Unlock for more details.
- Have at least tier 1 iManage Work system administrator privileges.
Security and Properties
Each container and document (called an object) has the following inherent characteristics: security, and properties.
- Security defines how users and groups have access to that object. For additional information, refer to Container and Document Security.
- Properties define additional information about the object, such as client, matter, organization, location, status, or organizational tags, such as having a field for the document status, the responsible lawyer, billing code, and other information. That information isn't directly in the contents of the file. Properties make categorizing or finding objects easier. Properties in iManage Work are collectively called metadata; for more information, refer to Metadata.
Every container has a parent/child relationship with other items:
- A parent is a container that holds other containers or documents. A parent container may itself be a child of another container.
- A child is a container or document that is inside another container. A child container may itself be a parent of another container.
Figure: Containers and documents - parent/child relationship
Besides the organizational or hierarchical benefits, the parent/child relationship affects security and properties. A container can inherit the security and some properties of its immediate parent. If the security or some properties of the parent is changed, the child is automatically updated as well. A child container may itself be a parent to another container or document.
Understanding workspace templates
For more information, refer to Templates.
iManage Work client applications enable users to create workspaces. Workspaces must be created from a workspace template, which users select when they create the workspace. Workspace templates are created by iManage Work system administrators using iManage Control Center (Settings > Templates). After being enabled, they're available to users.
Templates enable you to maintain naming and folder structure standards in iManage Work.
Each container can be specified with one of the following creation requirements:
- Workspace Creation: Containers marked as Workspace Creation are automatically created at the same time the workspace is created.
- Optional: Containers marked as Optional can be added when the workspace is created, or at a later time. The predefined container structure is still enforced if the container is added later. To add a folder after the workspace is created, select New Folder from the iManage Work desktop.
- Required: Containers marked as Required will be automatically created when its parent container is created. The parent container can be either a Workspace Creation or Optional type.
Even though a workspace template defines many aspects of a workspace, these restrictions are enforced only when Flexible Folders is enabled. Flexible Folders is a feature that enforces the use of templates when creating workspaces and the folders within it.
This feature is enabled in iManage Control Center (Global > Flexible Folders) and affects the iManage Work system. It is a global capability and is either enabled or disabled for all libraries.
If disabled, users can create workspaces and folders within them without using a template.
The following workspace template example includes predefined containers that are under the workspace and container levels. As a best practice, required containers should be defined under an Optional container to create a container/subfolder bundle.
Figure: Example container structure
Contracts (Workspace Creation)
Research (Workspace Creation)
Notes (Workspace Creation)
Monthly Reports (Optional)
A workspace created from this template and with Flexible Folders enabled will initially only include containers designated as Workspace Creation (here as Contracts, Research, Notes). After a workspace has been created, the other containers can be subsequently added.
Additional containers (called custom folders, see below) can be added only at a folder level that has no predefined containers. For example, a custom folder couldn't be added inside Administrative because Administrative has at least one predefined folder assigned to it. A custom folder could be added inside Accounting because Accounting has no predefined folders assigned to it.
Figure: Example created workspace
Using the example from the figure Example container structure, this workspace template allows for two optional folders, Monthly Reports and Administrative folders. The user can select to add one or both of these folders, and may add them at different times.
The Administrative folder defines four folders, Billing, Expenses, Meetings, and Accounting. If the Administrative folder is added, the Billing and Expenses folders will be selected automatically because they are required. The user can optionally select the Meetings and Accounting folders, and can also add each one at different times.
Once all predefined folders (including Monthly Reports and Administrative) are added at the root level of the workspace, no additional containers can be at the root-level of the workspace. Similarly, once all predefined folders are added under the Administrative folder (Billing, Expenses, Meetings, and Accounting), no additional containers can be added directly under this folder. That is, no additional containers can be added at the same level as Billing, Expenses, Meetings, and Accounting. Additional containers can be added inside each of those folder, however. See Custom folders below.
When a user creates an Optional or Required container, they can change the properties (including security) of the container. Predefined container will always inherit the security of the parent object (workspace, folder or tab). This means that when using predefined containers, users must have the Create Public Folder and Create Public Searches access permission in their role. The user can change the name of the container, if this option has been enabled in the workspace template.
A predefined folder can be moved or deleted by a user that has full access to the container. If a predefined container is deleted, it can be re-added using the New Folder dialog.
To add versatility to workspaces, users can create containers in addition to any defined by a workspace template. Called custom folders, these are containers that are:
- Added to a workspace that wasn't created using a workspace template. All containers in that workspace are considered to be custom folders.
- Added to a workspace that was defined by a workspace template but that Flexible Folders isn't currently enabled.
- Added to a workspace that was defined by a workspace template with Flexible Folders is currently enabled but is at a folder level that has no predefined containers. See the Flexible Folders example earlier.
Custom folder creation is governed by the following rules:
- To create custom folders at the root level of the workspace, the user must have full access permission to the workspace or the Access rights required for creating folders under Matters Global settings (in iManage Control Center, select Settings > Global) with the appropriate level enabled.
- To create custom folders within a tab, the user must have full access permission to the tab or the Access rights required for creating folders under Matters Global settings (in iManage Control Center, select Settings > Global) with the appropriate level enabled.
- To create custom Folders within a folder (or subfolder), the user must have at least read/write access permission to the parent folder.
- To create public or view custom folders, the user must be in a library-level role that allows Create Public Folders (in iManage Control Center, select Access > Roles).
- Custom folders can't be created within a folder that has workspace template-defined folders. Using the previous example, a custom container can't be created directly inside the Administrative folder, because there are predefined containers at that level. However, a custom container can be added within either the Monthly Reports or Accounting folders, because there are no predefined containers for those at that level.
- To create custom folders within a workspace template-defined folder, the user must have at least read/write access permission to the parent folder.
Users can change the Default Security of custom folders they create, if they are in a library-level role that allows Create Public Folders. If Create Public Folders isn't allowed, the user can create a private folder and grant access to specific users or groups.