There’s no question that if there’s anything that’s omnipresent in today’s world, it’s the “app.” From the complicated to the basic, from the award-winning to the indie, mobile applications have completely revamped the ways we get things done. No one and nothing has escaped the advent of the app completely unchanged. These tools are at the forefront of 21st-century convenience, and they are amplifying efficiency across fields at unprecedented rates. In fact, it appears new “best app” lists to appear every day. Of course, attorneys are among the countless other groups of professionals who stand to benefit immensely from their app use. Here is a short list of some extremely useful applications attorneys can harness, at little or no cost, to automate their work and lives more than ever before.
Asana is both a website and mobile app designed to automate and maximize productivity. This app allows its users to create a group or individual task lists with deadlines that can repeat at any interval (or not at all). Users are also able to create and view task progress timelines, therefore staying updated on their colleagues’ and employees’ progress with minimal effort. With Asana, firm-wide coordination becomes as seamless and efficient as possible.
It’s important to mention that this is no replacement for a practice management software with a built-in chat function. However, Slack’s value to entrepreneurs is considerable enough to earn it an honorable mention. This app allows for instant internal chat communication between the members of an organization through both its online and desktop version. It also allows users to message coworkers individually, in groups, or all at once. Slack also provides its users with the ability to include colleagues in specific channels geared around certain subjects, case types, or virtually anything else. For example, a large firm may create a channel specifically for paralegals and another for divorce attorneys. Communication is crucial for any successful business, and Slack is a fantastic option available to optimize your firm’s internal chats.
Box and Dropbox
Both Dropbox and Box are already quite popular amongst attorneys, but they’re so fantastic that it’s worth mentioning them to anyone who may not have caught on yet. Both of these document management and sharing platforms are super helpful for firms looking to go either partially or completely paperless. Both platforms are incredibly secure, making them reliable databases to store sensitive client files and information. Because Box and Dropbox weren’t specifically designed for legal professionals, we recommend not relying on them entirely. Instead, look for a practice management software that integrates directly with either (or both!) of them. This will allow you to take advantage of their functionality through a software designed with attorneys in mind.
Zapier, when harnessed by your practice management software, can make for a firm-changing development. Zapier serves as a middleman between your practice management software and over a thousand different apps and platforms. This means that, even if your software does not integrate directly with your favorite app, Zapier will serve to connect the two, thereby effectively creating the integration for you. You can find a more extensive explanation of how this works by clicking here.
Evernote is widely known by the reductive description, “note-taking app.” In reality, it’s so much more than that. In short: yes, Evernote both simplifies and automates notes. However, it also enables its users to annotate documents, as well as save articles and publications. It also automatically syncs any changes to every device on which you access Evernote, meaning that updates are comprehensive and instantaneous. Evernote places your notes into various notebooks or tags. The notes themselves aren’t limited to text- they can include videos, images, and various other media. These are only a fraction of the functionality Evernote offers to legal professionals and entrepreneurs. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to read Heidi Alexander’s chapter of The Secrets to Marketing and Automating Your Law Practice, which is exclusively dedicated to the functionality of Evernote.
Nowadays, it seems as though apps make the world go round. Though this can seem overwhelming, it is actually a gold mine of opportunity. Legal professionals throughout the world have unprecedented amounts of platforms available to perform any functionality at the tips of their fingers. By starting off with this short-list of the essential apps every lawyer should have on their device, you’ll be poised to automate your firm and maximize more productivity than ever before.