Evernote logoThis is the first post in a short series on how attorneys can make better use of Evernote. I briefly discussed how attorneys can reduce clutter with Evernote as part of my 30 days to a better law firm series. That article has proven to be quite popular over the last six months and, due to demand, I’ve decided to write more on the topic. Properly leveraging Evernote is one of the best ways to increase law office efficiency which, in turn, increases profits. So that you can cut the inefficiency, and grow the size of your wallet, let’s take a look at how your firm can you use Evernote.

I began using Evernote in 2009. The software began life as a digital note taking and organization tool. Over the years it has greatly expanded and now includes tools for collaboration, task management, and in many ways is striving to be a comprehensive workspace which partially replaces Microsoft Office. Few professions can benefit from full leverage of Evernote as can the legal field. The large amount of information and documentation that attorneys have to keep organized can be mind-boggling. Evernote can greatly streamline your processes so that, as a lawyer, you can go from looking like this guy:

Man buried in paper

To lookin’ like these fine chaps right here:

Men sitting at paper free desk

You score extra points if you can get the managing partner to let you wear such cool socks to work. Let’s get to it.

I’ll be looking at several points over the next few posts. Specifically, we’ll talk about:

  • Taking the right approach when organizing your Evernote files and common mistakes to avoid
  • Why a service like Evernote will actually improve your cyber security
  • How lawyers and law firms can use Evernote to go paperless
  • How Evernote can be used to replace your overpriced task manager that does nothing but make life complicated case management software.

I speak with quite a few attorneys who ask whether they should use Evernote in their practice. The answer is absolutely. That being said, like most things, if you don’t have a game plan with how your going to implement the software then you’re going to miss out on most of the benefits. The steps/tips I’m going to lay out over the next few posts are meant to help you get started on the right track.

Implementing this software, and ensuring it is used properly, will increase your profits in multiple ways. First, how much time do you spend looking for paper in your law office? This includes pleadings, discovery, hand written notes, post-its, etc.? Every minute you spend looking for something means lost productivity and lost profits. Second, how much are all those paper files costing you? You have to pay for paper, someone to file all that paper, as well as extra square feet of office space for a file room to store all that stuff. Third, how much time do you lose by not having all your information in one medium? You’re constantly switching between mediums to get a task done when you’re using paper files, one piece of software for your email/calendar, and another piece of software as a task manager. Having everything in one medium, Evernote, will greatly streamline your workflow. These inefficiencies are part of the profit-depleting, aggravation-increasing, productivity killing part of legal practice called “administrative time.” The more of this nonsense you cut out then the easier life will be and the more money you will make.

You have to remember that no system is better than the person using it. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” exists for a reason. That’s why my next post will make sure you get off on the right foot with Evernote by nailing your initial organization of the software.

Do you use Evernote in your law practice? What do you like or dislike about the software?