By Guest Writer: Jared D. Correia, Esq. – Founder and CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting
Midsummer is a good time to organize your law firm — especially if you haven’t done so in a while. You’re busy all year, of course; but, people actually go on vacation in the Summer, which means the load tends to be a little lighter. That means that the Summer is a great time to work on those administrative projects you’ve been ignoring forever. So, get to it — if you can get done by Labor Day, you can roll out a whole new set of processes before things get busy again.
In order to give you a head start, here are 10 new tools you can add to your technology stack to improve your organization and efficiency:
- Law Practice Management Software. LPM software is a relational database that links clients or matters to any related items — time and billing records, documents, emails, etc. These programs also stitch systems together by using integrations to connect other tools to your client data, too. LPM software is the basis for any modern law firm organizing principles. Popular choices include Clio, MyCase, PracticePanther and LEAP.
- Task Management Software. Task management software helps to keep you in line on a daily basis; but, it also allows you to establish long-term goals for your practice. You can share and assign tasks, too. Popular products include Trello, Asana and Remember the Milk.
- Email Marketing Software. Email marketing software is great for allowing you to stay top-of-mind with clients, potential clients and referral sources. But, it’s also a superb way to force yourself to organize and manage your contact lists. Once you’ve done that effectively, you can start sending out regular drip campaigns. Popular options include MailChimp, ConstantContact and Lawmatics.
- Internal Communications Platform. Your email is already cluttered and unmanageable; but, you can use an internal communications platform to move all your interoffice communications to another medium. Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts Chat, allow you to segregate your internal communications, meaning that your inbox will become the exclusive domain of your clients and colleagues.
- Email Organization Tool. But, what about the remainder of the emails you’ll receive? These are some nifty tools for organizing those, as well. And, popular products include Sanebox, Unroll.me and Mailstrom.
- ePayments Software. ePayments can reduce or eliminate accounts receivable by allowing you to collect more money, more quickly, upfront and by allowing you to set up subscription payment options. ePayment dashboards will also help you to organize your payments and payment options. Popular platforms include LawPay, Headnote, LexCharge and Paystri.
- Video Conferencing Software. Because: who has time to sit down and talk to anyone anymore . . . online meetings have become all the rage. But, you’re probably bouncing around from platform to platform; and, if you want to host online meetings yourself, getting an account with a reputable provider is an absolute necessity. Try Zoom, GoToMeeting or Skype for Business.
- Portable Scanner. Running a paperless office is probably the best thing you can do for the efficiency of your law firm. But, you can add to your flexibility by choosing a portable scanner that you can use on-the-go: at house calls, at hearings and at administrative proceedings. Because you’re definitely not lugging your giant, in-office scanner to those places. Take a look at the Fujitsu ScanSnap, the Visioneer Road Warrior 4D or the Epson ES-400.
- Social Media Management Tool. Most law firms don’t effectively utilize social media for marketing their practices, because it’s too hard to manage all those accounts. Social media management tools make it easy to toggle between, post to and schedule posts for different platforms. Popular products include HootSuite, Buffer and Sendible.
- Scheduling Software. Death by scheduling through email — we’ve all experienced it. So, if you want to save time and energy and keep your calendar cleaner, try a scheduling tool that accesses your availability and provides open dates and times to interested parties — all without your involvement. Some of the best automated scheduling tools include Calendly, Doodle and Acuity.
Now that you have the tools, it’s time to do the job (stronger, better, faster).
- Jared was also a guest on Jeff Horn’s Podcast – The Bold Sidebar. Listen Here: http://bit.ly/2ZdkZ5S