The Power of the Picklist

Let’s say your practice finds itself taking on a highly unusual case. Perhaps you represent an audience member at a rodeo where the bull got loose and leapt into the stands. Now you’re suing the rodeo and/or the venue for negligence. You’re going to need experts on some uncommon subjects – like cattle fencing and rodeo clowning. And as tricky as it’s going to be to find those experts, recording them in your case management software will be almost impossible. No software anticipates needing a rodeo clown as an expert. Except for SmartAdvocate, that is.

Well, not exactly. SmartAdvocate doesn’t come preloaded with “Rodeo Clown” in the Expert section. But it provides something even more valuable: the power to tweak the available options in a multitude of different areas, directly in the SmartAdvocate interface. As Joseph Cicali pointed out in his August 9, 2016 post, SmartAdvocate is designed to keep the power in the hands of the users, instead of programmers or IT staff. In this case, all you need to do is visit the Picklist Maintenance page.

The Picklist Maintenance page is where you can edit picklists, which are the groups of options that show up in certain input fields, called dropdown menus. (You can usually identify a dropdown menu by a button with a downward-pointing triangle on it.)

To reach the Picklist Maintenance page, simply click the Admin tab in the top toolbar, then click Picklist Maintenance. (You’ll need a permission level that allows you to view and edit Admin pages.)

You’ll see an extensive selection of different categories to edit. In our example, you might click on Expert Types to reveal the list of options currently available. You’d click Add New Item, enter the details you needed, then save it to add it to the list. Then… that’s it! Go back to the Expert section, open up the Types dropdown menu, and there it is, ready to be selected.

Rodeo Clown isn’t normally one of the available Expert Types.

So, enter the Expert Types picklist.

Click Add New Item, fill in the form, then click Update to save it.

Now, Rodeo Clown is in the picklist.

And it’s an available Expert Type too!

And the Picklist Maintenance page isn’t just for aspects of the case itself. There are picklists you can edit that deal with your firm’s workflow, like Note Types and Task Categories. These let you tweak SmartAdvocate to fit your preferred recordkeeping and task-management styles.

Adding a new Note Type to the picklist works the same as adding a new Expert Type.

Now, you can select the new Note Type when creating a new note!

The number of picklists you can edit in the Picklist Maintenance page is truly staggering, and there are even more being added in the next release, coming soon. Indeed, if you see a list of options in a dropdown somewhere in SmartAdvocate, chances are you can edit that list in the Picklist Maintenance page. It all adds up to a level of customization you can’t get with any other case management software. SmartAdvocate lets you run your practice the way you want to run it, not the rigid way a group of programmers think you should.

If you haven’t already, take a look at the Picklist Maintenance page, and see how much you can customize with just a few clicks. You’ll be amazed at your newfound power.

(Oh, and if you DO happen to have a rodeo case – let us know! We love a good story.)