Published on February 26, 2014
LAW FIRM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE 33 Powerful Legal Apps, Productivity Tools, and Time-saving Technology to Help Boost Your Law Firm’s Profits
Table of Contents The Best Tip About Billable Hours We Learned From Tracking Millions of Hours 3 Four Sneaky Places Law Firms Lose Billable Hours 4 Time-Saving Apps for the Law Office and Courtroom 5 Project and Client Management Tools for Law Firms 6 Law On-the-Go: Apps to Help You Better Track and Manage Your Mobile Hours 7 Focus: Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Time 8 8 Top Law Productivity Blogs 9 Biggest Hits: The Five Top Productivity Apps Ever 10 The 9 Profit Boosting Benefits of eBillity 12 Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com
Special Offer for Law Firms Get powerful law firm management software, a client portal, and easy invoicing tools for 60 days—without paying a dime. This eBook is brought to you by eBillity, Time Tracking and Billing Software designed specifically for law firms. eBillity is an official Intuit partner and has over 40,000 monthly users around the world. Our software was selected as a finalist at the 2011 Intuit App Showcase. Just for downloading this eBook, we have given you a special gift—an extended 60-Day Trial of eBillity at no cost. Sign up for a free 60-Day trial of eBillity’s Law Firm Management Software Just follow the link below and enter the special code— LAW—at the sign-up. That’s over 60 Days of free use—and a $79 dollar value. No credit card is required at sign-up. And there is no obligation to buy. Just 60 days of free use. With eBillity, your law firm will . . . • top losing billable hours with powerful time tracking S tools, including mobile and desktop time tracking • educe your administration overhead—with easy R My experience with eBillity has been a GREAT one! It is an amazing app can log in your times from your computer or cell phone at any time. - Vanessa legal project, client, and invoicing software • mprove your firm’s profits with custom time reports I • Enable trust accounting and use a built-in conflict checker • Get paid faster with an online payment gateway For a full-list of eBillity’s features, see the end of this eBook or visit www.ebillity.com/time-tracking-software-features/attorney-friendly-features Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 2
33 Apps to Boost Your Firm’s Productivity and Profit We scoured the web and found the 33 best timesaving apps, productivity tools, and profit-boosting legal software. The tools provided in this book offer immediate benefits: • Discover unbilled hours and lost revenue with mobile apps, online time trackers, and intuitive legal software • Spend less time researching with mobile legal resources • Make stronger, more compelling arguments with cutting-edge iPad presentation tools • Reduce your online distractions with innovative online tools, helping you focus and complete client work in less time • Reduce your administration overhead with easy project, client, and invoice management tools Before we get into the apps, we’d like to share a simple principle about time tracking and productivity with you. We believe that this principle is the most valuable lesson any law firm can learn—and will help you put to better use all of the tools, apps, and time-saving resources we cover in this eBook. The Best Tip About Billable Hours We Learned From Tracking Thousands of Hours Tracking and being very conscious all of your time is the key to higher profits and a more productive and successful firm. Begin small—focus on tracking the time you spend working on mobile devices or use some of the project management tools suggested to reduce email threads and unnecessary client management. Once you’ve achieved some success your ability to eliminate costly activities will grow, and you’ll be amazed at how much more money you can make with less time. The truth is, billable hours will always escape us. We give discounts to our best clients. We forget to enter and then under-report the next day. We feel guilty billing for three hours when half that time was spent organizing and switching between tasks. Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 3
But if you focus on capturing all time spent then at the end of the month you can better understand where your time went, how to improve, and which tasks and clients provide the highest return. As Dustin Cole, a law firm practice development coach based in Florida, puts it: “Stop recording billable hours and start recording time.” This book will help you towards that goal. It will show you very helpful software, apps, and tools to make you your firm more efficient and profitable. Four Sneaky Places Law Firms Lose Billable Hours In our experience, law firms typically lose thousands of dollars every month through four predictable places: • You lose profit on-the-go. Work completed on your smart phone, iPad, or away from the office. This is why eBillity has mobile time tracking apps—and why we suggest some great free apps to help you become a profitable mobile lawyer. • Switching tasks eats up time—yet we resist billing for it. Managing multiple clients and projects can result in thousands of untracked hours every year. This is simply due to guilt about billing for 10 minutes of time to answer an email, send a file, or jot down a note. This is why eBillity makes it easy to enter time for different jobs and bill different rates for different clients so that you can quickly capture those little tasks eating up your profit margins. • Preparing presentations drains time and profit. Legal research, preparing oral arguments, and composing arguments—these take tremendous amounts of time and can suck your profits. This book offers helpful apps to make this faster and more productive. • Administration and billing—technology makes it faster. The hardest part is transferring your billable hours into invoices. Our software and apps make it easy to approve time entries, sending your captured time right into your invoice. You can literally create a branded invoice in a few minutes as all your hours, client data, and rates are automatically entered. This reduces hours of administration time every month. eBillity was designed to help law firms track all of your time so that you can better track, manage, and bill for your time. You can get more details here. At the end of the book, we have a special offer for you, an extra incentive to try eBillity so that you can see Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 4
just how much extra revenue our time tracking and billing software can help you earn. A small warning—this offer does expire within 72 hours of you receiving this eBook in your email so make sure you check it out. But for now, let’s take a look at some other powerful time-saving apps, project management tools, and online resources for law firms. Time-Saving Apps for the Law Office and Courtroom AudioNote - Notepad and Voice Recorder AudioNote combines the functionality of a notepad and voice recorder to create a powerful tool that will save you time while improving the quality of your notes. Each note acts as a link directly to the point at which it was recorded, taking you instantly to what you want to hear. TrialPad The iPad is a powerful presentation tool and TrialPad enables you to transform the iPad into your courtroom ally. With TrialPad, you can annotate and display documents to increase their visual impact. The slick interface helps to present compelling evidence to the judge or jury (such as diagrams and charts). And you can also use this tool to quickly sort and organize your evidence, documents, and files. TranscriptPad TranscriptPad allows the user to review, annotate, and print reports of transcripts received in TXT format. The app also allows you to flag critical sections, create custom color-coded designation, and share effortlessly with your team. Dragon Dictation Stop writing those long notes to yourself or pecking away at your iPhone trying to capture your thoughts. Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application that Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 5
allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. It is up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard. Court Days Court Days allows you to quickly calculate the number of court days or calendar days (or a combination of the two) before or after a given date. It is simple to use and allows you to calculate multiple dates on a single screen. Project and Client Management Tools for Law Firms RealPractice™ My RealPractice™ is a free cloud-based application that helps you track, organize, and manage your law firm’s marketing. You’ll get notifications about new prospects, customize your follow-up process, and simplify your new business activity. Oral Argument This app helps to organize your oral argument with the iPad. The app provides convenient access to case materials and is a great help in delivering oral arguments. iJury This app generates various helpful metrics to assist attorneys in jury selection. The app allows you to track up to 250 potential jurors per case and helps track peremptory challenges and dismissals for cause. Things for iPad Love making checklists? Then Things for iPad will help you continue this productive habit with a beautiful interface. You can also set up larger goals and projects and then assign tasks to reach those goals. The app is intuitive and very minimalistic. Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 6
Law On-the-Go: Apps to Help You Better Track and Manage Your Mobile Hours eBillity Outlook Plugin Hey, we made this one! You spend time in Outlook—so why not bill for it? This app helps you track, manage and bill for time using Outlook. You can create time entries by simply right-clicking on emails or appointments. You can create new time entries as appointments in the Outlook calendar. This enables you to capture any billable hours or time spent in appointments and import them directly into your invoice. Note, this app works with eBillity’s Time Tracking and Billing Manager. This app integrates with QuickBooks. So if you use QuickBooks and are searching for a convenient way to track and bill for your time spent in Outlook, check it out. Read more about the eBillity Outlook Plugin here. CallTrack CallTrack is a handy app for Droid devices that enables you to log your phone activity to your Google Calendar. The app allows you to select the type of call (e.g., incoming, outgoing, and missed) and the calendar in which to log the calls. The app is FREE and may be downloaded from Google Play. Quickoffice Pro HD Your office document software . . . anywhere. This mobile app allows you to easily edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents and offers integrated access to multiple cloud services, MobileMe, Dropbox, Google Docs, and Box.net. DocScanner Pretty simple app, but useful. You can scan any document into your mobile phone. The app can also convert typed documents to text. Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 7
PUSH:legal -Mobile Law Library PUSH:legal offers a virtual library of annotated codes and rules. You can view the leading cases, annotated, beside each rule. You can perform an automatic search for relevant case law for each particular statute. The app is constantly updated and pulls content from the Texas Criminal Codes and Rules, California Criminal Codes, New York Criminal Codes, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Bankruptcy Code, Federal Civil Codes, New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, and many more. LogMeIn Ignition Forget a document at home? Need to access your home computer at the office? This remote-access app (available for Androids and Apple devices) gives you access to your home computer (or any other computer you wish to access) and allows you to control that computer from your portable device. Your office on-the-go. Focus: Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Time PomodoroPro Writers, filmmakers, inventors, and other productive talents know the Promodoro technique: set a time for 25 minutes and only work on one task. No distractions. No excuses. Just you and the task for 25 minutes. You can’t even leave for the washroom or pet the cat. It really is an amazing technique for saving time as you can get more done in that intense period of focus than in a few hours of distracted effort. PomodoroPro is a beautifully designed timer for people using the Pomodoro Technique. You can download it in app stores or from iTunes. Yes, you could just set an egg timer. Or look at your watch. But the simplicity and aesthetic design makes you want to use this app everyday. It is only a few dollars and a nice timeintensifying tool. Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 8
eBillity Time Tracker & Billing Manager If you use QuickBooks as your invoicing software, this app will help you to better track and manage your billable hours and simplify project time tracking. This is one of our products and is used by thousands of law firms around the world. eBillity Time Tracker & Billing Manager makes it easy to track every possible billable moment of your day—offline or online, on your desktop or mobile device. It was a finalist at Intuit’s 2011 App Showcase Awards. You can approve your employee’s weekly timesheets, and then those hours will sync with QuickBooks, reducing time spent invoicing. You can also capture hours in three ways: with a built-in timer, auto-calculator or manual entry. You can try it free for 30 days here Freedom Freedom is the world-famous app that locks you away from the internet net so you can be productive. You can set a time—say 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM—and enjoy a Zen-work session away from online distractions. You can also block the internet for up to 8 hours. The best part? The app requires you to restart your computer if you want to break your lock-down and check your email for the zillionth time before lunch. 8 Top Law Productivity Blogs We owe the following blogs credit for alerting us to many of the great law apps and productivity tools in this eBook. Visit these sites for law productivity tips, legal app updates, and other excellent content. http://tabletlegal.com/ TabletLegal is a blog discussing use of Apple’s iPad in the legal profession. http://www.attorneyatwork.com/ This blog covers a wide-range of helpful topics for lawyers. In their words: “our goal is to give you everything you need to create a law practice—and a life—you can love.” Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 9
http://www.thesoulpractitioner.com/ A blog focused on legal technology. Offers great reviews of inexpensive technology to help grow and manage your solo practice without high overhead. http://hytechlawyer.com/?p=653 This site is filled with useful reviews of apps and technology that can help you become a better practitioner of the law. http://www.theinspiredsolo.com/ New blog that offers productivity tips for lawyers. http://jimcalloway.typepad.com/lawpracticetips/productivity_tips/ Site reviews and comments on technology and the law, covering both the impact of the internet and technology on the law and life. http://www.coachingforlawyers.com/ Not a technology blog, but offers tips for better managing your law career and practice. http://www.legalpracticepro.com/ Site offers advice about marketing, productivity, and better time management. Biggest Hits: The Five Top Productivity Apps Ever The following apps are very famous so you might recognize a few of these. There might, though, be a few gems you missed. #1 Dropbox Dropbox is a great productivity app, which serves as a cloud-based, shareable virtual file system. The app is FREE and allows you to view documents, spreadsheets, presentations, videos, and photos, export files to other iPhone, iPad, or Android apps, and more. The app requires a Dropbox account to function, but if you do not have an account, the app will allow you to create one for free. The app may be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for use on iPhone and iPad devices, and from Google Play for use on Android devices. #2 Evernote Evernote is an award-winning app that lets you jot down notes, snapshots, and recordings, on everything from lectures, meetings, and business cards. Notes and reminders are easily searchable on the device or your desktop when the device is synchronized to the desktop. Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 10
The app supports most devices and is available for download for FREE in Blackberry App World, the iTunes App Store, or Google Play. #3 FastCase Fastcase is a famous legal-research app. The Fastcase app provides access to U.S. cases and statutes, and searches may be performed using citations, phrases, or keywords. You can get it for free on iTunes. #4 Goodreader If you love using your iPad, then you’ll enjoy this app. Goodreader allows you to read and mark-up PDFs, as well as a few other types of documents. It also features a document management system which permits multi-level document files so that you can save and organize documents by case/matter. #5 My Eyes Only Pro Being an iPad lawyer is great. But there is that nagging fear of a thief or stranger getting access to all the sensitive information on your machine. With My Eyes Only Pro, you can store personal information on iPads and iPhones without the threat of unauthorized access if lost or stolen. The app uses encryption and password protection to secure your data. Our Final Tip: Tracking and being very conscious all of your time is the key to becoming a more productive and successful firm. Begin with a small area you’d like to improve—such as reducing email threads and time spent organizing documents. Every minute really does add up. Next, we have a special offer we think you’ll like … Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 11
Special Offer for Law Firms Get powerful law firm management software, a client portal, and easy invoicing tools for 60 days—without paying a dime. Throughout this book we’ve mentioned eBillity’s Time Tracking and Billing Software designed specifically for law firms, but haven’t gone into the details of how it can really help you increase your firm’s profitability. So, here you are - that special offer we mentioned: Just for downloading this eBook, we have given you a special gift—an extended 60-Day Trial of eBillity at no cost. Sign up for a free 60-Day trial of eBillity’s Law Firm Management Software Just follow the link below and enter the special code— LAW—at the sign-up. That’s over 60 Days of free use—and a $79 dollar value. No credit card is required at sign-up. And there is no obligation to buy. Just 60 days of free use. The 9 Profit Boosting Benefits of eBillity 1) Stop losing billable hours on-the-go We know you can’t bill for every minute of your time. But you should track and bill for the hours that matter—the late night emails, panic requests from your client, and those long hours you book away from the office. eBillity makes it very simple to track every second away from your office with our mobile apps. • Log time and billing expenses from your mobile device • Automatically sync mobile entries to your account—ready for you to bill • Log time and access client data from your iPad Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 12
eBillity also makes mobile project management quick and efficient: • Look up client balances • View client invoice details • Receive email alerts and notifications on Client and Project time tracking activity 2) Capture more billable hours The simple reason why most law firms don’t record time accurately is a matter of convenience. eBillity’s software has been designed to make recording time completely painless: • Conveniently capture hours with the built-in timer– no need to remember to input your hours later! • Customize bill rates by User, Client, Project or Activity • Easily set up Standard or Overtime, Hourly or Flat-Fee rates 3) Stop losing valuable expense receipts It’s easy to lose track of an expense. eBillity prevents you from losing your valuable receipts and is designed to track expenses pretty much anywhere... • Get reimbursed for every dollar you spend • Record and easily categorize expenses by type, tax or reimbursement status • Create a custom list of expense types to use whenever you enter expenses • Attach a document (ex. a scanned receipt) to any expense entry 4) Get paid faster and reduce client management eBillity features a custom client portal. Here clients can login, check their unpaid invoices, view shared files, and see all the hard work you are doing for them. Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 13
• Built-in online payment gateway—clients can pay their invoices with one click via PayPal and Credit Cards • Receive automatic monthly retainer payments • Let clients view time and expense entries via the Client Access Portal. You choose what data they can see. This portal reduces your client management time and helps to build trust with your clients. 5) Invoicing designed for law firms eBillity makes the entire process of creating, tracking, and sending invoices quick and easy. • Create and send branded invoices to clients in minutes • Shorten your invoicing and collection cycles with automatic overdue reminders and acknowledge receipts • Save hours every month with more efficient billing Plus, eBillity features handy law firm invoicing short-cuts. Conveniently include ABA (UTMBS) task codes in your LEDES output file. eBillity makes it easy to include these codes in either your time or expense entry notes or activity descriptions and will automatically extract the relevant codes, and format them according to the LEDES 1998B file specifications. eBillity also supports the LEDES 1998B format, which can be downloaded or attached with any invoice sent to users. 6) Simplify your project management eBillity provides a central hub to manage all of your client, case, and legal team activity: • Assign tasks to your legal team • Stay on top of meetings and projects with a built-in calendar Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 14
• Subscribe to a case or matter and get email updates • Set email reminders for important deadlines • Upload important files or evidence and share with your team 7) Quickly Set-up and Manage Trust Accounting eBillity’s law office software gives you the ability to record and track trust accounting so you can manage client funds. • Create, edit and disable trust accounts • Transfer funds • Allow clients to deposit money into a trust account • Record disbursements • Complete reporting 8) Comprehensive conflict-checker built-right in eBillity comes with a powerful built-in conflict checker. You can run a full-text search - conflict checker searches for matches in the client list, project list, contact lists, notes, filenames, time entries, expense entries, and schedule entries. You can also restrict access to clients and projects so that only authorized employees are allowed to run this check. 9) Improve your firm’s profits with custom reports With all your data and time entries stored safely in eBillity, you can measure your profitability with customizable reports. With these custom reports, you can: Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 15
• Stop losing money on new jobs—just print a report on a similar job and improve your estimating skills • Schedule time tracking management reports • Send your client a detailed report of your activity, showing where your time was spent • Generate email alerts when time entry hourly minimums are not met by staff and create productivity reports for team Start Turning More Hours into Profit—A $79 Gift from eBillity You’ll get all the features above free for 60 days (a $79 value). Just start your eBillity trial and help your firm achieve better time management, reduced billing and client administration, and significantly boost your firm’s billable hours. Remember, this special offer expires in 72 hours from you receiving this eBook. You can start your trial here Start your free trial of eBillity at www.ebillity.com 16
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