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3 Tools to Make You a More Productive Lawyer

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. | Last updated on

We all want to do less and earn more. But when that doesn't happen, we need to do more to earn more.

But you don't need to work through the night in order to get work done. There are plenty of tools out there to help increase your productivity, helping you become a more efficient, effective attorney. Here are three.

1. ActiveWords

If you find yourself writing the same thing over and over (don't we all?) or don't like searching around your computer for files and programs, you might like ActiveWords. ActiveWords essentially lets you create shortcuts to help you handle repeated tasks, everything from typing out an email to simply clicking your mouse. You can, for example, set ActiveWords to replace the phrase "lhead" with your set letter head. In any document, anytime you type "lhead" and your firm letterhead will automatically appear.

But it doesn't just replace text. Drafting a document in WordPerfect and want to hop over to Westlaw to do some quick research? You can set a trigger so that every time you type "Westlawme" you're transported to your Westlaw account, instantly. The same goes for sending emails, finding documents, launching apps -- and you can sync your triggers across multiple devices and platforms.

Is using your mouse to open files and navigate between apps so difficult? No, not at all. But typing is faster. Each trigger might just save you a second or two, but that could be a second saved on thousands of tasks a day -- and when your time is money, those seconds are valuable.

2. Thomson Reuters' Practice Point

As lawyers, having accurate information is key to doing our job. But getting all that information in a quick, reliable way can be difficult. Enter Practice Point, the newest legal solution from Thomson Reuters. (Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is FindLaw's parent company.) Practice point works by combining the best of Westlaw, Practical Law, and Thomson Reuters' legal expertise and organizing them by task.

And that task-based organization can save you time and help you make money. If you need to draft a joint venture agreement, for example, just look for the joint venture task and suddenly everything you need is there: international agreements, licensing agreements, administrative services agreements, etc. And that information isn't just gathered, it's curated, by a team of over 200 in-house attorney-editors, so you know you can rely on it.

3. Evernote

Accordion folders are great for storing your paper files, but they're not exactly suited for the digital age. Here's where Evernote comes in. Evernote allows you to collect your online research, URLs, and even business cards all in one place. And that's just the beginning. With Evernote, you can also record voice memos, type up notes, take photos, even doodle, and your information will be organized and easily available. You'll never need to search through a (accordion or file) folder again.

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