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Recently we assisted a client of ours in designing custom screens for Contacts in their Time Matters program. Our client was struggling because they were creating drop-down lists in several fields that showed all 50 U.S. states. They said it was a pain to keep re-creating that list over and over again. We agreed–and that is why Time Matters has a great feature called Lookup Files that allows for a list to be created once–and it can then be assigned to any field for any record.

Lookup Files are surprisingly easy to create. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Use Notepad or a text editor to create your list

In our client’s case, they needed a list of all 50 U.S. states.  So we used Notepad and began entering the abbreviations like this:

Using Lookup Files in Time Matters

Please Note:  The first line in this file is blank.  You’ll see why in the last illustration.

Step 2: Save the list

  • Go to File > Save As and name your list. Be sure your file name ends in .txt
  • Save the file in the “Lookup” folder. And where is the Lookup folder?  It is a folder under the location of your Shared Files.
    • If you do not know where that is, use the following command in Time Matters: File > Utilities > File Locations
    • A window will open showing a line item for your Main Office. Double-click on that to open a window showing settings for your Time Matters database
    • There is a section on that window titled “Shared Files Directory”. Beneath that title is a field that shows the path to where shared files are stored.  The “Lookup” folder is a sub-folder under that location
    • Close the File locations windows
    • Using Windows Explorer (or File Explorer), browse to the location of the Lookup folder, open it and save your new lookup file there

Using Lookup Files in Time Matters


Step 3:  Congratulations!  You’re now ready to use your lookup file list

  • In Time Matters, go back to the form style you were working on and customize the field that will show the list of 50 states

Using Lookup Files in Time Matters

  • Enter the field labels
  • Make sure the field is a Text field
  • Check the box to Specify Field Entry Choices
  • Click on the button Edit Entry Choices

Using Lookup Files in Time Matters


  • Now, instead of retyping the entire list of all 50 states in this field, select the option Lookup File and select the list we just created from the drop-down field
  • Click OK to save your choice; then click OK again to complete the customization of the field

Your field is now customized and ready for use

Using Lookup Files in Time Matters


How do you spend your day? Are you able to achieve the results you want from your software–or do you feel you’re wasting time trying to figure things out? The Time Matters consultants on our staff know a lot of tips and tricks such as this, which can help you get the most from this powerful and versatile practice management program. Want to know more? Call us at 877-357-0555 or write to us at info@crosspointecg.com