Apps for Law Practice Management: Part Three

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 9.54.03 AMby Heather Hale

Managing a law practice is like balancing on a tight rope. If you place too much emphasis in one direction, you’ll be plummeting before you know it. Keeping everything in harmony, on the other hand, ensures a smoother walk. That’s why it’s so important to focus on all eight areas of practice management equally. I’ll explain how to use apps to help you accomplish the balancing act.

When most people think of information technology, they think hardware; what type of computer should I buy, is a wireless or wired router right for me, and do I purchase a tablet? Beyond your equipment, information technology speaks to your software, and of course, apps, as well. How you communicate with clients is chief among the considerations here.

Skype is a great way to combine a variety of digital communication styles into one place so you can tailor those to your client’s preferences. Skype has the functionality of a traditional telephone system where you can place calls, even internationally, but also allows video conferencing and instant message capabilities so you can increase your accessibility while maintaining a personal touch. As a bonus, because Skype is so widely popular it’s app integrates with a variety of devices. Here is a Skype iPad App tutorial:

Scanning and faxing is one of those information technology areas that is rapidly changing among practitioners. With the rise of the paperless practice, scanning especially has become increasingly necessary. DocScan HD offers the ability to scan directly from your iPad using the native camera function. It will autocorrect edges while you get the hang of it, and can store and email documents with ease. It also has faxing capabilities, eliminating the need for a separate digital faxing service, let alone a bulky (not to mention very stationary) fax machine. DocScan HD comes in a pro and a lite version, which you can choose between depending on your needs. DocSnan provides Evernote integration.

Every law practice, regardless of size, has to maintain seemingly constant marketing efforts in order to keep business coming in the door. With all the possibilities these days from advertising to the internet, it can be difficult to manage it all. HootSuite is a social media management dashboard that allows you to control all your social media platforms in one place. Input your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn information to not only schedule posts, making regular communication easier, convenient, and more automated, but also ensure brand and messaging consistency across platforms. HootSuite has built-in analytics too, so you can monitor which posts are reaching which people, and how effective and profitable those clicks are for your firm. (I wrote about using social media in your practice here.)

Automation and efficiency are really the name of the game with marketing apps. Just as snail mailing newsletters and law firm updates have become increasingly obsolete, manually managing mass email marketing is also going out the window. MailChimp, a web-based email marketing and client contact service, has a companion app that allows you to create, schedule and target mass emailing as narrowly as specific clients within a practice focus, or as broadly as every contact in your network. MailChimp also has an analytics feature so you can comprehensively monitor the effectiveness of your efforts. It’s much easier to maintain that constant contact when an app like this manages your subscribers and campaigns for you.

Getting that 30,000 foot view of your firm from a high wire can seem daunting, but with these powerful and user-friendly apps, you’ll be balancing your law practice management like a pro.

What apps do you use to help keep up with life as a busy solo practitioner? I’d love to hear from you!

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