Written by:

Jane Oxley

Smokeball introduces "Matter Tagging" to help organize your matters

July 22, 2014

Smokeball has introduced a new feature called “Matter tagging’. Within Smokeball a Tag is a way of categorizing and organizing a matter by status, stage, staff involved or virtually any category, represented by a Name and a colour. This is a very powerful feature that will help firms keep on top of their matters.

Tags are set up by the firm to cater for their own matter management processes. A set of tags can be created for each matter type. An unlimited number of tags can be set up for each set of tags / matter type that is needed.

A matter can have multiple tags, and the tags display on the top of the matter, in your matter list and in your reports.

Sample tag implementation

We will use a Real Estate “Sell” matter as an example.

The first area of Tagging is the type of Sell Matter being worked on so we can manage these differently. They are:

  1. Sale
  2. Short Sale

The second is to have a workflow for the matter. I have come up with 6 stages that a Sell matter moves through from Client instruction through to completion. These are below:

  1. Instructions received
  2. Mod Letter / Response Due
  3. Inspection Letter / Response Due
  4. Title Order
  5. Closing Documents
  6. Ready for Closing
  7. Closing Complete

As well as this workflow we will set a special tag of “Urgent” which can be used alongside the workflow. See below screenshots as to how this is working in the product.

This is one example, of many. Tags are very powerful but will take some creativity to use well. Consultants are an important source to help get clients to a point they are using tags well.

How to setup tags

The best way to setup tags is to do it from a matter directly. Open matter, and click on the + in the top right corner of the window.

Where no tags have been setup, you will see a notification as such. If there are tags setup they will be displayed as selection options.

Click on the “Edit tags” item at the bottom. This will take you to the configuration screen. Within this screen you can add, remove, edit and change the order of tags for this matter type. Once finished, click save.

You will now be able to apply tags to the matter.

Repeat this step for all matter types you would like to configure tags for.


  • Creating an “* Urgent” tag will ensure it is always at the top. This is a very useful tag.
  • Number tags if you wish them to be in that order on the Matter list screen when grouping, otherwise they will be alphabetical

How to apply tags to a matter

Open a matter and click in the + button in the top right hand side:


You can select one or multiple people who are currently working on the matter by clicking on their initials. These come directly from Staff members in the settings area. Click on the initials once to tag/untag.


This is the high level status for a matter. This usually only open or closed, or deleted. It can also be changed in the Matter details screen.


You can select one or multiple tags for a matter. Click on the tag once to tag/untag the matter.

How to view tags on your matter list

There are a number of ways to view your matters based on the tags you have selected. Generally these options are set by clicking on the “Show” area above the matter list in the main matter window as below:

View List

This will list the matters as you have been used to. The only difference is you will see a colour coded bar on the far left hand side indicating the tag that has been added to the matter. Hovering your cursor over the tag will display the tag name.

Group by…

There are a number of group by options. Select group by to show the matters grouped by tag, person, matter type or client. You can then open or close the groups based on their header.

As multiple tags can apply to matters, that also means then that matters can fall into multiple groups.


Some reports now have an option to group by Matter tag. Select this option to group your reports for you to print/export as you wish.

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