If legal professionals can agree on one thing, it’s that life is better when everything is organized, even—no, especially—your contracts.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that a CLM can help, but that each one approaches organization differently.
Some use folders. Some use tags. Which approach is right for your repository?
Folders: the way you’ve always done things
Folders require no introduction. Physical. Digital. They’re everywhere. Maybe you’ve got some lying around your office. (Sore subject?)
Familiar and intuitive
Organizing contracts with folders means not having to change the way you’ve worked since you started using a computer. Heck, since even before you started using a computer! Filing away and retrieving documents from folders is second nature. Why change that?
It’s not just you, either. Everybody else is already familiar with folders, too, so collaboration with other teams throughout your organization (e.g. sales, finance, HR, etc.) is quick and easy.
For instance, instead of asking legal to retrieve a specific MSA, finance can easily find the contract themselves with a couple of clicks—whether or not they’ve been trained on the system. It could be as simple as going from “MSA” to “Vendor A”.
The hierarchical structure of folders makes it really easy to break down large volumes of documents into smaller, more manageable groups and better see the relationships between contracts.
This not only helps you better organize your large-scale accounts (each with a high volume of associated contracts), but it also helps create a neater, more user-friendly repository experience that makes retrieving contracts easy.
Tags: further flexibility when you need it
As powerful as folders are, there are times when tags shine, too.
Tags are custom keywords or phrases that you can assign to documents, which you can use to track, filter, and report on your contracts. They’re also a quick way to sort contracts based on project, customer, time period, or whatever other grouping you’d like!
Ad hoc applications
If you’re working with a repository admin, you can use tags to let them know what to do with a particular group of contracts. For example, you can tag a group of void contracts as “delete” so that your admin knows to remove them from the repository.
Many “right” ways to search
Tags also offer additional flexibility for contract repositories. You can find relevant contracts based on their suspected tags without knowing what their specific file names are. Plus, adding multiple tags to a single document means having multiple ways of reaching it, which can help expedite your search process.
But a tags-only repository poses its own challenges
Tag management can be a full-time job
Tag management to keep everyone on the same page as to which tags go with which contracts and to prevent duplicate tags that separate contracts that are meant to be together can become a full-time job in itself.
Take soda (yes, that’s what I call it) for instance. You could have a colleague from Boston tagging everything as soda, a Michigan-based associate using pop, and your manager from Florida using coke. That’s three different tags for the same thing—and one sticky situation!
Navigating high volumes of tags can be tedious
Although tags can speed up your contract retrieval process, they can also do the opposite. If you’re looking for information inside a heavily-tagged batch of contracts, you may not select enough tags to narrow down your search, which means more time figuring out additional tags to include. Then there’s the issue of contracts without tags (we all forget things now and then), which can make finding the right contracts difficult, too.
That one crossover episode…
So with the choice between folders and tags, which one should you choose? Simple: choose Lexion—and get both!
Get folders and tags with Lexion
With Lexion, you get a familiar, folder-based contract repository experience with optional tags, too, so you can leverage the strengths of both approaches when they make sense for your organization.
Lexion's award-winning AI can automatically contracts into the appropriate folders, which you, your legal team, and other stakeholders can easily navigate so that everyone finds their contracts faster.
Want to tag your contracts for more situational sorting, or to earmark them for an ongoing project? Lexion makes that easy, too, allowing you to organize (and navigate) your repository in whichever way is most convenient.
Plus AI-powered reporting, full-text search, and more
On top of folders and tags, you get the benefit of custom, automated AI-powered reporting. It helps make finding the information you need incredibly fast and easy—no matter how many contracts are in your repository. If a new document is uploaded that fits your report's criteria, it's added to your report automatically, so you've always got the latest information on hand and can share up-to-date insights with your stakeholders.
Plus, Lexion helps you find the information you need fast with powerful full-text search. Simply enter the key words, phrases, or even complex boolean expressions to find any contract in your repository without knowing which folder they’re in or how they’re tagged.
Why push all of your chips towards a folders- or tags-only future? Instead, get the flexibility to leverage tags when you need them while staying organized with the folders you know and love.