The big news from the Clio Cloud Conference is Clio’s exclusive integration with Fastcase.
Exclusive, as the press release states, means that “Clio will be the only cloud based practice management tool to offer an integration with Fastcase, and Fastcase will be the only online legal research tool available through Clio.” Lawyers who use Clio and Fastcase can now track time spent researching and save relevant documents to matters in Clio. No more guess work on how much time was spent looking for cases in Fastcase as it is all pushed to Clio, and no need to download/upload documents. A few clicks and poof! One less workflow interruption.
My first thought:
— Gwynne Monahan (@econwriter5) September 22, 2014
Judging by the crowd’s reaction to the short demo given by Clio co-founder and CEO Jack Newton during his opening keynote, my first thought seemed right. Being able to do research in Fastcase while tracking your time for it in Clio, and save relevant documents to matters in Clio, removes a number of cumbersome steps. Except it sounded familiar, and, yep, Thomson Reuters Firm Central does that. Clio has upped the ante, so to speak, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
While Fastcase was the big announcement, Clio also announced improved integration with online accounting software app Xero, and integrations with QuickBooks Online, JurisPage and Zapier. While JurisPage automatically creates contacts in Clio whenever someone fills out a form on your website, Zapier automates. I have been messing with Zapier and Slack for a large writing project, and have used Zapier to connect Evernote to Slack, and Google Drive to Slack. Whenever I create a new Note for the project, be it writing or research, it automatically appears in Slack for my editor to review and comment. Same for drafts ready for review from Google Drive. It has done wonders to cut down on the amount of email exchanged. For Clio users? I’m interested to see what Clio users do with Zapier.
Clio also announced Clio Next, which includes a facelift. Like the rest of the Internet, Clio has gone blue. Newton stated that yellow was being used like more of accent color, and is still found in its native mobile applications.
The crowd cheered the absence of yellow, and talking to some attendees, the change to blue is welcome. One key thing Clio Next does is put data dashboards on your home screen, or Practice tab.
The buzzword “big data” was thrown around often during the first day, from the session on metrics to Richard Susskind’s keynote. There was acknowledgement that “big data” is a buzzword and not something new. Little of what is discussed is new; it just seems new because technology makes it so. Now you can do what Walmart has been doing with data. By putting your data dashboards front and center, Clio makes it more convenient to monitor the health of your law firm.
Convenience, I often argue, is what drives adoption. The more convenient, or easy, it is to do something, the more likely people are to do it and keep doing it. Think of how we pay for things. We’ve gone from bartering to cash to checks to credit cards to various iterations of mobile payments. The most convenient wins.
Clio has made it more convenient to see your law firm data and thus more convenient to pay attention to your best referral sources, most profitable clients and whatever else you want to know so you can run your practice efficiently, effectively and get the most out of the extra eight hours a week Clio gives you.
Clio Next isn’t just about a color change, either. Newton discussed improved functionality, including:
- More robust document creation, management and collaboration options, doing away with the need to use cloud storage services like Dropbox.
- One-page billing, so you can generate bills on the fly for new clients, matters and time entries, without having to create the entries first in Clio.
- New document storage and sharing features.
Clio isn’t the first to release a native Android app. MyCase released its app in May, while Rocket Matter’s has been out for more than a year. Now Clio users who prefer Android devices have access to a native app “with the same functionality and ease of use” Clio iOS users have been enjoying. In other words, Android users now have a native app instead of having to use the mobile optimized web version. It looks exactly like the iOS version, and its key features include:
- Track time and expenses on the go
- Access your matters and associated information
- Keep on top of your tasks on the go
- View and reach your contacts
- Access and modify your calendar
- Offline access – you can use Clio’s Android app without network access to use your data offline
That just leaves Windows phones without a native app.