Top Business Tools for Lawyers
Part 1: Organization
The modern world of law is a complex place. Cases are longer and more complicated than ever before. To succeed and to stay ahead of competitors, the personal injury attorney and other law professionals need technology. That includes hardware, but it also includes some great software, some available at the click of a button and at no cost. The following short list comprises some of the best examples of high quality organizational and communication tools.
Evernote is one of the big names of cloud-based organization. It’s also one of the oldest, having been around for 12 years. Evernote can be considered one of the first organizational tools to use the Cloud, so Evernote is an expert in knowing exactly what the modern user requires. Its main functions and features include:
- Take photos, notes, and voice clips on smart devices at remote locations and immediately sync them to all devices including desktops and laptops at static office locations.
- Share notes taken at consultations and transcriptions with other users.
- File attachments from devices, also shared to all users at once.
- The web clipper feature allows the saving of media (text, video, images, and even whole web pages) into Evernote for digestion later.
- Enables real-time project collaboration to authorized users by sharing by name and limiting access to only those who require it.
- OCR (optical character reader) which will recognize text from a document and convert it to an editable file.
Paid features include email forwarding and business card scanning. Check out Evernote here.
Simply one of the best communications and collaboration tools available today, Slack has a great free version that will do for most users and a paid version with some great features. Either way, it makes internal communications easy between individuals in a group. Unlike other communication tools, you can limit your visibility to only those who have the direct link to access it. Although there are public forums, it’s more about enabling direct communication with your authorized Slack users, either as individuals or within groups of users.
- Divide channels by teams and other groups, into projects or by client – this last feature is especially useful for teams working on different cases and where data protection is “need to know”.
- It’s easy to remove members from a Slack group and easy for members to remove themselves, unlike email chains and some other group messengers.
- Separate threads of conversation to keep issues on topic while allowing side discussions to take place.
Zoom is, quite frankly, the best online conferencing tool presently available. The chances are, if you use this communication method, you’re using something other than Zoom. Maybe it works perfectly well, but Zoom has several advantages over other, similar tools. These are some of the many reasons it’s been voted the best video collaboration tool:
- Hold meetings for the purpose of online work collaboration, training, and conferencing which is great for getting in touch with the office while heading into or just coming out of a court case or while a deal is being struck.
- Another great feature is webinars, something that many other communications tools lack. As a professional in injury law cases, you may not need this, but it’s useful as a teaching resource.
- Zoom Rooms are a great feature incorporating elements of the virtual office. It utilizes HD video and audio, wireless connective sharing of files, and using integrations from common platforms such as Cisco.
Other features include digital signage, scheduling, and touch screen capability for a truly 21st century video conferencing experience. Like most of the other tools here, Zoom has both a free and a paid version. Check out zoom here.
Online collaboration and task tracking have never been so easy with Freedcamp. It’s a web-based project management tool for single users and groups of collaborators. There is a time tracker, work assignment options, calendar scheduling, and many more. Here are some of its unique features:
- Task management including the ability to divide into subtasks.
- Assigning tasks to different people within the collaboration tool.
- Each task has a comment function for regular updates.
- Completed tasks can be removed easily, crossed out, re-assigned, and moved down the priority list.
- Invoice management and the ability to share files with users.
The basic package is free, and it will be enough for most user types who are not heavy media users. Upgrades are available for greater Cloud space. Check out Freedcamp here.
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