In today’s fast-paced legal landscape, every moment counts. Everything in your world is moving target: marketing, client acquisition, case load management, research, admin, invoicing, and the list goes on. In order to manage all these elements effectively, you need a way to collect, store, organize and access your data. Articles, email correspondence, collaborative documents, drafts, briefs, and more, it piles up pretty quickly. Ideally, you need a single solution that helps you manage all of these things, something that gives you the ability to annotate documents, apply a digital signature, and share information with your colleagues, and more. The good news is that all things can be accomplished with one tool. It’s called Evernote, and you need this.

Evernote is a free, cloud-based productivity application, and it is available on all mobile and platforms, although you can also access it through a browser on your desktop. Evernote is also available for Apple Watch and Android Wear, if you’re a wearables kind of person. Since it is cloud-based, all of your devices are synched, so it doesn’t matter where you’re working, you can always access your files. Start with the free version, and if you find you’re needing more options, there are premium plans available. Try it and you’ll probably agree – it’s a small price to pay for being awesome.

Evernote can be extremely valuable for attorneys. In it, you can keep your case research, admin data, archive your emails, file just about any kind of document, create to-do lists, and more. It is flexible enough for you to tailor it to your own personal workflow, and you’ll soon find it to be an invaluable tool at the office, in the courtroom, or on the go.

There is even an e-book dedicated to using Evernote as a law practice tool. In it, the authors outline tips, shortcuts, and essential features to help you get the most value from it.

Here are some of the things Evernote can help with:

Build your own legal research archive

Evernote has a web clipper that allows you to save and organize articles you find on the internet. For your desktop, all you need is the webclipper extension, which installs directly onto most popular web browsers. Text, images, articles and more can be saved directly to the application, where you can then file them into sub categories or subject matter groups (called notebooks) which can then be tagged however you see fit, whether that be case numbers, jurisdiction, or whatever makes sense to you. That way, whenever you need to reference an article, all you will have to do is enter the appropriate search term and up it comes. You will essentially be holding your entire catalog case and law library in the palm of your hand.

Forward and archive your email

Delegate your important incoming email directly to Evernote using your own Evernote email address (premium feature). In Gmail, you can use webclipper, or install the extension for Outlook (2010 and 2013 versions).

Take and save searchable meeting notes

Open a new note with one click, even if you are off-line. Evernote auto-saves and synchs the note to all your devices as soon as you re-connect. Even handwritten notes can be searchable in Evernote: simply take a photo and upload directly to your account. Evernote saves it as a PDF, which then becomes searchable.

Store and file business cards

What happens to all those business cards you collect? Do they just pile up on your desk or in your pocket until you have the time to enter them? Evernote provides an easy solution: simply snap a photo of the card in Evernote, and all the pertinent information is automatically imported into your account, as well as your other contact databases. Evernote even has a nifty LinkedIn feature: click on a card and it will locate your contact on LinkedIn and make a connect request.

These are just a few of the things Evernote can do for you and your legal practice. If you’re looking for ways to make better use of your time and cut down on the need for support staff, Evernote might be just the thing to help you make that happen. Check out the e-book here.

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