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Comprehensive Guide: Document Management and Automation

  • Introduction

    In Clio, there are two main ways of working with Documents:

    1. as file storage
    2. to generate standard documents from a template

    In this chapter, you will learn how to store all of your electronic documents in folders related to your clients and Matters. You will also learn how to use Clio's Document Automation feature to quickly complete templates created in Microsoft Office with data from your Clio Contacts and Matters.

    Finally, if you are already using a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or OneDrive; you will learn how you can connect your existing document storage to Clio.

    For a quick start to working with Documents, we suggest starting with the "Documents" video on the next page.

  • Video: Documents

  • Navigating Clio Documents


    Folder Organization
    Parent Folders
    Folder View versus File View
    Filtering Folders and Files
    Viewing Trashed Files


    Folder Organization

    When clicking on the main Documents tab, your documents and files will be organized into Contact specific folders sorted by latest edit date.  If you have created any top level standalone folders (not linked to a Contact or Matter), you will see them here as well

    Click on a Contact folder to see folders for each of that Contact's Matters.

    Similarly, click on a Matter folder to view files added to the Matter.


    Parent Folders

    When viewing a nested folder (Matter or standalone folder), you can navigate up to a parent folder by clicking on the "All Files" link then clicking on the name of the parent folder you would like to view. 


    Folder View versus File View

    By default, files will be organized into folders. To view all files within the current folder and all child folders, click "Switch to file view".

    To go back to folder view, click "Switch to folder view".


    Filtering Folders and Files

    To filter or search for files and folders, click "Filter".

    From the Filter form, you can search files and folders based on Matter, Category, and keyword (in the file or folder name). The filter results are also dependent on the value in the "Show All Folders" dropdown field. 

    Show All Folders: Current Folder

    When filtering within the "Current Folder", the results will be limited to the folders and files that are visible in the current folder. For example, you will only see results where Matter, Category or keyword searches match files or folders that are currently visible.

    Show All Folders: Subfolders

    When filtering within "Subfolders", the results will include any matches to files or folders that are contained within the child folders of the current folder.


    Additional Filter Options

    1. Matter
      Begin to type a Matter number or client name and select the appropriate Matter from the list. Generally when searching for Matter specific folders, the "Show All Folders" field should be set to "Subfolders".
    2. Category
      The "Category" field relates to the document categories that you can assign to files and folders for filtering purposes. Generally when searching for folders and files associated with a specific category, the "Show All Folders" field should be set to "Subfolders".
    3. Search
      Enter a keyword in a file or folder name. Note that if you want to search for a file name from the main Documents root folder, you will need to switch to file view as detailed above.  


    Viewing Trashed Files

    To view files and folders that have been sent to the "Trash", click on "Show Trashed Files".

    Trashed files and folders can be recovered for up to 30 days by clicking on the "Restore" quick link.

  • Document Management

    This chapter details the basics of managing files and folders in Clio. For more information about working with Clio Documents, see our collection of "Document" articles.


    Adding Files and Folders
    Downloading Files and Folders
    File and Folder Options
    File Versions


    Adding Files and Folders

    Creating a Folder

    You can add a standalone folder from the "All Files" list or from within any other document folder.

    Navigate to the folder that you would like to add a child folder to then click on the "New" button and select "Folder".

    Give the folder a name and click the "Save" button.

    Uploading a Folder with Google Chrome

    Google Chrome users can upload a folder including all files contained in the folder. 

    Navigate to the folder that you would like to upload a folder to then click on the "New" button and select "Folder Upload". Select the folder that you want to upload then click "OK".

    Uploading Files

    To upload an individual or multiple files, navigate to the folder that you would like to upload the file(s) to then click on the "New" button and select "File upload". Locate the file(s) you would like to upload and click "Open". You can select multiple files by holding the CTRL key while selecting them.

    Note that you are limited to uploading individual files of no more than 1 gigabyte.


    Downloading Files and Folders

    Downloading Files

    To download an individual file, click on the file name. 

    Downloading Folders

    To download an individual folder (including all files and child folders contained therein) to a Zip file, click on the "Download" quick link.

    Batch Downloading

    To download multiple folders or files of your choosing to a Zip file, check the boxes beside each of the files and/or folders you would like to download then select "Download" from the "Actions" dropdown.

    Size Restrictions

    When downloading an individual file, the maximum file size is 1GB (the maximum file size that can be uploaded).

    When downloading multiple files, the maximum combined total of all files being downloaded is 1GB but the maximum size of any individual file in a batch is 250MB.


    File and Folder Options

    The files and folders that you upload to Clio may have some or all of the following options available. Note, your options are more limited with the Contact and Matter folders created automatically by Clio.

    View Details
    Opens a side panel with general creation information, version history (if applicable), a comments area, and "Shared Via" details.

    Select a Contact to share the file or folder with through Clio Connect or via link.

    For more information about sharing files and folders, see the "Sharing Files and Folders" article. 

    Add or change the file or folder's Category.

    Folders only - Download the folder and all of the files contained in the folder as a zip file.

    Rename the file or folder.

    Move the file or folder to a new parent folder.

    For more information about moving files and folders, see the "Moving Files and Folders" article. 

    Add Time
    Files only - Add a time entry to the file.

    Move the file or folder (including all contents) to the Trash.

    For more information about working with the document Trash, see the "Trashing and Recovering Files and Folders" article.

    PDF, MS Word Documents, and Powerpoint files only - Opens a preview window to view the file without having to download it.


    File Versions

    To add or view file versions, click on the "View Details" quick link for that file. In the "Details" side panel, additional versions that have been uploaded by any user can be viewed below the "General Information" details.

    To add a new version, click on the plus icon (+) then select the new file version to upload to Clio.

    Viewing Previous Versions

    To download previous versions, click on the version number.

    Deleting Versions

    Only the newest version of a file can be deleted. To delete an older version, you would first have to delete the newer versions.

    To delete the newest version of a file, click the delete icon (-).

  • Video: How to Create a Template for Document Automation

  • Document Automation

    This chapter details the basics of Clio's Document Automation feature. For more information about working with Document Automation, see our collection of "Document Automation" articles.

    Document Automation allows users to quickly create documents using information from your Contact cards and Matters.  You can rapidly populate information such as addresses, account balances, Matter names and more. 

    In short, Document Automation consists of the following steps:

    1. Create a template that includes Clio merge fields
    2. Upload the template to Clio
    3. Generate documents as needed for any Matter


    Document Automation Templates

    Document Automation supports templates created in the following file types: ".doc", ".docx",".ppt", ".pptx", ".xml", and ".xlsx".

    You will need to add Clio merge fields to your templates that will automatically pull information from your Contacts and Matters when a document is generated.

    You can view the complete list of available Merge Fields by going to the Clio Settings panel, then clicking "Documents" in the System column. 

    In your document, add Clio Merge Field tags wherever you want that information to appear. To copy a tag from Clio, click on the clipboard icon in the appropriate row then paste into your document.


    Clio merge fields include all of your Contact and Matter Custom Fields and contact information for all "Related Contacts" on a Matter.

    For more information and tips related to creating templates, see the following articles:


    Uploading Templates

    To upload your competed document template, go to the main "Documents" tab then click on the "Templates" sub-tab. To upload a new template, click the "Add" button.

    In the "Add Document Template" window, click "Choose File" then select the template from your computer.  


    Generating Documents

    Once the template has been uploaded, you can generate your document from the main "Documents" tab, or the "Documents" sub-tab of a Contact or Matter.  

    Click on the "New" button menu, then select "Document from Template".

    In the "Create a Document" window, select the template that you want to generate a document from. 

    If you are generating a document from the main "Documents" tab or from a Contact card, you will be required to enter a Matter.  

    Finally, you are required to choose the file type of the generated document. Generated documents can be PDFs and/or the file type native to the template (i.e. Word templates can generate Word documents, Excel templates can create Excel spreadsheets).

    The generated document will be added to your Matter document folder shortly.

  • Document Integrations

    This chapter details the basics of Clio's Document Integrations. For more information about working any of the Document Integrations, see our collection of "Document Integration" articles.

    Clio integrates with a number of document storage applications. 

    When you connect a document storage application to Clio, Clio will automatically create folders for each of your Contacts and Matters in the connected storage app. 

    You can view and add documents to the automatically generated Contact and Matter folders in Clio by going to any of the "Document" areas in Clio (main Documents tab, or sub-tab of Contacts and Matters), and clicking on the connected integration sub-tab.

    Clio can connect to the following document storage applications:

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