Billing Matters Sent Email Clean-Up

Why Bother?

Billing Matters has an option to sent out invoices via e-mail. These e-mails can build up in your Time Matters Personal Inbox in the Sent folder. This build-up of e-mails slows down your Personal Inbox, making you wait for it to open. So you need to minimize the number of e-mails saved in your Personal Inbox.

How It Works

This advanced tip gives you a way to rapidly remove Sent e-mails from your Personal Inbox while preserving them in the Time Matters Email List (Main Menu | Mail | Email List) and on the Email tab of Matters. Because there is no built-in process for removing e-mails from the Personal Inbox, a MS SQL Server Query for performing that task is included, below.

Not Limited to Billing Matters

While this tip focuses on cleaning up e-mails sent using the Invoices via Email feature in Billing Matters, you can also use this tip to clean up other e-mails in your Time Matters Personal Inbox. The more e-mails you have there, the slower the Personal Inbox gets. You can reduce "Personal Inbox Bloat" by linking any e-mails to Matters and following this tip to remove them from the Personal Inbox and save them on the Email List and Email tabs of Matters.

What To Do First

You can periodically clear e-mails out of the Sent folder in your Personal Inbox so long as those e-mails are linked to Matters. For your Personal Inbox to work optimally, you should have two options set for the Time Matters Inbox:

  • Clear 'Show on Inbox' when Reading Email and Regarding Field is Completed
  • Check 'Show on List' when Regarding Field is Completed

Set these options here: Main Menu | File | Setup | General | User Level | Communications | Advanced Options | Send tab | Set Email Form Options

Unfortunately, in Time Matters 14, the Matter Ref field is not automatically completed for e-mails you send out with invoices. Hopefully that will be fixed in Time Matters 14.1.

To get e-mails out of the Sent folder, you should first link them to their respective Matters or, to save time, to a single Matter. Within the Sent folder, you can tag a process e-mails using the Set Regarding option to link many e-mails to one Matter. (Tag the e-mails and use Main Menu | Process | Set Regarding.) For this purpose, you might create an administrative Matter simply named Billing as a place to store e-mails and their attached invoices for future reference.

Two Ways to Clear E-mails from the Personal Inbox

If you link the e-mails one-by-one to Matters and if you have the 'Show on' settings set as explained above, the e-mails will be cleared from your Sent folder and will be preserved in the Email List and the Email tabs of your Matters.

If you use the Set Regarding process, which saves a good deal of time, the e-mails will still be in the Sent folder. To clear them from the Sent folder, you can use a MS SQL Server Query. I recommend adding a Classification Code for Email named "SENT" so that you can easily sort Sent e-mails from others.

Here is the Query:

-- Remove SENT TM E-mails from Inbox 
-- that are already on Email List
-- UPDATE -- for Time Matters 13
SET showinbox = 'N'
-- Optional: if you have a Classification Code, SENT
WHERE parent_id = '*SENT' AND
showinbox = 'Y' AND showlist = 'Y'
AND mat_ref <> ''

If you are unfamiliar with using MS SQL Server Queries, I would be happy to assist you.

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