Paralegals often think of themselves as indispensable superheroes for their firms, and for good reason. On a day-to-day basis, you’re asked to take on new challenges, requiring you to find more and more creative ways to accomplish things efficiently enough to enjoy some “me time” at the end of the day. And while overtime pay is a wonderful thing, no one wants to work overtime every day.
The key to carving out more of that coveted “me time” is to find and use the best tools for the vast array of tasks you perform every single day and when possible, develop processes that you can sequence and batch together for peak performance.
To get you started, here are 32 of the very best tools to help you master your time, featuring our favorite tool for each category and three runner-ups that we or our clients use daily.
Time Saving Paralegal Tools
From document organization through client contact and billing, there are plenty of powerful tools that can save you hundreds of hours a year. Start with those that can save you the most the time.
Looking for and reviewing documents is a huge time sink for all paralegals, but doesn’t have to be. The right tools can reduce labor costs, increase review speed, reduce frustration and improve your performance.
Managing your time is the fastest way to enjoying your job more. Stress less from deadlines, be more productive and organized, and handle those last minute emergencies with style and grace.
Traditional legal research is often frustrating and needlessly time-consuming. New research tools cut down on your time spent, reduce client expenses and makes you and your firm more competitive.
Scouring the net for relevant emails, documents, presentations, databases, voicemail, audio/video files and social media is hit and miss without the right tools. Check here for some of the best.
A paralegal’s to-do list is never done and even trying to complete it leads to burnout. Organize your tasks and priorities with these tools and you’ll get more done faster than ever.
Do you know where all of your files are right now? If so, pat yourself on the back. If not, check out these case management tools to automate and structure your day-to-day workflows.
Keeping in touch with your past, present and potential clients is imperative in today’s service-driven economy. Implement these client contact tools to improve relationships, solidify your brand and eliminate unneeded correspondence.
Just For You
A lot of people forget that paralegals are people, too, and have a life away from the office. Whether time is short or you just need to pamper yourself a little at the end of the day, check out these tools for staying refreshed.
Turn countless case pages into searchable PDF files quick and easy. No jams, no misfeeds, just fast, reliable scanning of single or double-sided documents.
Store any type of file, see them from any device, share files and folders with any email address and collaborate in real-time.
Create documents, spreadsheets and checklists that you and your team can edit and discuss in real time from wherever you are.
A simple, free and powerful tool to manage your firm’s recurring checklists and procedures. Living documents increase teamwork and saves time and errors.
Spend less time planning and more time doing with shareable calendars that integrate seamlessly with Gmail, Drive, Contacts and Hangouts so you always know what’s next, right now.
If you’re looking to do more while having a little fun doing it, The Pomodoro Technique and timer are perfect tools for you.
Toggl’s time tracker is built for speed and ease of use, allowing time logging that is so simple you’ll actually use it. Improve your planning and develop better client relations for higher profitability.
Tired of dealing with an onslaught of passwords? LastPass simplifies your life by securely remembering all of your passwords, so you don’t have to.
Black’s Law Dictionary
Black’s Law Dictionary is the most widely used law dictionary in the United States and is the reference of choice for terms in legal briefs, court opinions and has been cited as a secondary legal authority in many U.S. Supreme Court cases. A staple for all legal professionals.
Fastcase is a leading next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and smarter and more powerful searching, sorting, and visualization tools at your fingertips.
Save time and effort with instant legal reference lookups. Current, downloadable, and self-contained on your mobile device for easy access wherever you are.
PocketJustice features details on more than 600 constitutional law cases, short biographies of all Supreme Court justices, streaming and offline access to case audio and clipping and sharing of court audio, all from your mobile device.
Logikcull automates the process of discovery from end to end. Logikcull is a cloud-based, easy to use software that automates the process of discovery from start to finish, and offers unlimited storage, processing, users, and productions. Simply drag and drop your files into the software and they are uploaded securely to Logikcull’s cloud service. All files are scanned, filtered, and organized so that building a discovery database takes just a few clicks.
Perform native file processing, document review and production without installing any software. Nextpoint allows full control of your document set quickly so you can begin reviewing in minutes — without paying for hosting, OCR, imaging or user fees.
CloudNine is simplified eDiscovery automation that allows you to immediately upload, review, and produce electronically stored information in support of litigation, audits and investigations for law firms of all sizes.
CasePoint is a unified eDiscovery platform that provides ease-of-use, scalability and security for cloud collections, processing, advanced filtering and culling through ECA, complete review including a number of cutting-edge technology features through production under one umbrella.
Evernote allows you to create project to-do lists, snap pictures of sketches and documents, and clip articles for later reading. You can then access these notes wherever you go. Search for handwritten words, text, images and documents with ease and even share big ideas by collaborating seamlessly with co-workers and clients in group notebooks. Notes also instantly sync across all your mobile devices and keep even the most egregious information hoarders organized.
A direct competitor of Evernote, TickTick makes it easy to stay on deadline. Customize the layout of your calendar to see as far ahead as you need, set multiple reminders for tasks, and even create voice tasks through your iPhone.
Trello gives you everything you need to organize and complete projects of any size. Create lists from individual cards. Open a card and you can add comments, upload file attachments, create checklists, add labels and due dates, and more. You can even create groups and teams to keep your entire firm on task.
Perhaps you prefer a more analog world of paper and pen. If so, the line of classic Moleskine notebooks is a great place to start. High-quality hand craftsmanship, environmentally-friendly manufacturing and product sourcing and acid-free paper that rarely bleeds create a notebook you’ll love to carry with you throughout the day.
If you’re looking to really streamline your practice and go paperless, Practice Panther can help you achieve that goal by eliminating many of the other software tools you rely on. Work from anywhere in the world using any smartphone or tablet with their mobile-friendly site and take care of all your client management, billing, communications and calendaring needs in one place.
Clio helps you organize your entire law firm from intake to invoice, with powerful features to manage cases, clients, documents, bills, appointments, time-tracking, reporting, and accounting with complete access from any device.
Create a digital file that contains every email received and sent by everyone on your team, together with every document, contact, and task relating to the matter.for every matter, enabling your small law firm to work more efficiently than ever before and liberating you from the paper file.
Rocket Matter helps law firms increase revenues by capturing more billable hours and offer better client service by reducing administrative time and expenses with a powerful all-in-one legal practice management that’s easy-to-use.
Organize your team conversations in open channels for a project, a topic, a team, or anything. For sensitive information, create private channels and invite a few team members. No one else can see or join your private channels. To reach a colleague directly, send them a Direct Message. It’s completely private and secure with an elegant interface at Slack.
Track email open and reply rates, link clicks, attachment opens and presentation pageviews. It’s all valuable information that will help you identify the best possible message for every step of your sales, marketing and case process.
Save time billin/invoicing with Freshbooks’ cloud based small business accounting software. Send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, and even accept credit cards. Best for smaller firms on a budget but grows as you do to scale to any size business needs.
Just For You
When you’re lucky, you get the full night sleep you deserve. But the right mattress can make up for many of those lost hours of sleep and get you started with your day feeling more refreshed. The Casper combines memory and latex foams to create a sleep surface that’s both soft and supportive, with just the right sink, just the right bounce, and it keeps you cool all night. And because you order online, it sells for less than your traditional mattress.
Who doesn’t appreciate a glass of wine (or two…) after a long day of averting crises? Winc delivers superbly crafted wines specifically tailored to your tastes direct to your door on flexible plans of your choice. Cheers!
No matter how busy you get, someone still needs to make dinner. Blue Apron makes cooking fun and easy by delivering all the ingredients that you need to make a delicious meal in exactly the right proportions right to your door. Enjoy making dinner together!
Sometimes all we need is few minutes away from the chaos surrounding us to get back into a productive mode. Relax with Calm, a simple mindfulness meditation app that brings clarity and peace of mind into your life in just a few short minutes when you need it most.
It may take trying a few of these tools out to find the ones that truly save you time and energy, but with so many hats to wear throughout your day, it’s vital that you work with technology that is easy to learn, can be implemented quickly and cuts down on repetitive tasks.
Let us know what you think of the tools suggested, if you give them a try and most of all, if they work for you or your opinion for better alternatives.
Please include attribution to http://www.jplps.com/ with this graphic.