Today’s law practice requires you to be über efficient with your time. But, how is that possible when you’ve got a slew of never-ending moving pieces—administration, marketing, finance, case management, legal research, and more? You need a central repository for storing and using information that you need on a daily basis. Evernote is one solution. Evernote provides a way to collect, organize, and access data; save and store web articles and e-mails; draft content and take notes; collaborate with others; annotate PDFs; and much, much more.
Evernote is a free, cloud-based service with premium options. You can access Evernote through your web browser and you can download it to your desktop and mobile device. Evernote also makes apps for wearables, including the Apple Watch and Android Wear. Because it is a cloud-based app, all your stored data can be synced and thus accessed on the device of your choice.
Attorneys can use Evernote in a plethora of ways. Evernote might contain your legal research files, firm administration and management data, e-mail archive collection, marketing plans, case and matter information, documents, and tasks. There is no right or wrong way to use it, and indeed the attorneys I know who use Evernote each tailor it to their own practices.
Evernote as a Law Practice Tool, my new book published by the ABA Law Practice Division, delves into how lawyers can use Evernote effectively in their law practices, including instructions for new users on essential features and tips and tricks power users to get the most out of Evernote.
Below I’ve shared a few of my favorite Evernote features and examples of how to use them in your law practice, which I discuss in much greater detail in my book.
Create a Searchable Legal Research Repository
Most attorneys I know who use Evernote in their law practices use Evernote’s web clipper to save and organize their legal research. With the web clipper, you can save articles, text, and images from the web directly into Evernote. Download the web clipper browser extension from https://evernote.com/webclipper for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 7+, Firefox, Opera, and mobile platforms.
You can use Evernote to organize your stored case research into topical notebooks, such as Employment Discrimination, Landlord Tenant, Search and Seizure, etc. Then, when you save individual research files, such as case law, you can assign it to the proper topical notebook and tag it with identifiers such as the matter(s) it references, its case proposition and disposition, fact pattern, and jurisdiction. The next time you need a SCOTUS case on sex discrimination, you can use Evernote search terms to retrieve it. No more wasting time searching through stacks of printed case law for that one case proposition you need or reinventing the wheel by doing sophisticated searches in Westlaw or Lexis to locate something you’ve previously found.
Clear Your E-mail Inbox with E-mail Forwarding
Use Evernote on your quest to achieve Inbox Zero. Delete, delegate, respond, or file (to Evernote). Many times, you’ll want to keep an e-mail for reference; if so, you can forward the e-mail to your Evernote account by using a unique Evernote e-mail address (for premium users only) or by using the free Evernote web clipper with Gmail or free Evernote add-on for Microsoft Outlook (Outlook versions 2010 and 2013).
Take Quick, Searchable, and Organized Meeting Notes
Evernote is an excellent tool for quickly taking and saving meeting notes. Start a note with a click of a button from your computer or mobile device. Evernote automatically saves the note and syncs it to all your devices when you are connected to the Internet.
You can also save handwritten notes as searchable PDFs in Evernote by using Evernote’s built-in mobile photo tool to snap a picture of your handwritten notes for direct upload to your Evernote account.
Click To Enlarge
Collect and Store Business Cards
What do you do with all those business cards you brought home from last night’s networking event? Do you leave them on your desk to inevitably be trashed or put them in a box in perpetuity never to be referenced again? Instead, upload them immediately to Evernote. By snapping a photo of a business card using the Evernote app from your mobile device, all the relevant information is immediately collected and imported into your Evernote account, as well as other contact databases such Outlook. You can also use Evernote’s one-click LinkedIn feature to find your business card contact in LinkedIn and request a connection.
Click To Enlarge
The tools mentioned in this article merely scratch the surface of Evernote’s capabilities and benefits to your practice. For more information about how Evernote can help your practice, go now to http://ambar.org/evernote to pick up a copy of the new book!
*** This book will be available for purchase at the 2017 ABA TECHSHOW. For more information about TECHSHOW or to register click here.
Looking for a simple and cost-effective way to organize your practice? Evernote is the answer. This program is a memory aid for just about everything you do. Say goodbye to hours spent searching for those meeting notes you saved somewhere on your computer or mobile device or that to-do list you think you put in your briefcase, and say hello to the single program where you can access important data with the click of a button and save important information wherever and whenever you need.Read More