Files and computer in officeIt’s time to say goodbye to paper. On day 28 we showed how attorneys can achieve paperless correspondence with Evernote. On day 15 we took the step of using Evernote to get rid of hand written notes in your law office. Today we’re going to get rid of the bulk of your remaining paper. We’ll utilize your new Evernote “filing cabinet” to keep pleadings and discovery out of your way.

Going paperless increases your profits in numerous ways. The initial savings are obvious in that it reduces your need for office supplies. Those savings, however, don’t begin to measure up in relation to the profit increases which will come from efficiency gains. Think of how much time is spent in your office looking for things, whether it is you, another attorney, or a staff member doing the looking. Also think of the level of distraction that occurs by looking for things or even having to move a file from one room to another. Going paperless increases the rate at which you complete tasks in way many don’t realize until they’ve actually removed the dead trees from their office.

I’ve often been asked “what I did” at my firm to generate $1,000,000 in revenue by my third year. There’s no one answer to that question but efficiency was a big part of it. In my office, I never spent time doing duplicate data entry, looking for documents, etc, and neither did my staff. The attorney business model hasn’t changed much since we were citizens of England. There are several reasons why this business model has remained in place (which is the subject of another bland and boring discussion which I don’t care to have) but the important thing to remember is that the “model” makes no sense whatsoever. Devoting large amounts of administrative time to collect your fees, which is what law firms typically do, kills profits. Eliminating administrative time, which we’ve stressed in this series, is one of the keys to truly getting ahead. Going paperless is big part of dumping that administrative time.

Today’s action item is simple. Create “pleadings” and “discovery” notebooks in Evernote. Save your pleadings and discovery into these notebooks and use the “tagging” feature to separate it out by client. As we discussed yesterday, don’t create a separate notebook for each client as that becomes cumbersome. This is the whole point of the tagging feature.

During the last twenty-nine days we’ve moved a lot of information to online resources. Tomorrow we’ll make sure that your data is as secure as Fort Knox. See you tomorrow for the last day of our challenge.