5 Free Productivity Tools for Lawyers. Lawyers are sometimes overwhelmed with schedules and this can lead to missing deadlines. Be productive by recording billable hours and journaling your progress. These 5 Free Productivity Tools for Lawyers can help increase your productivity and avoid forgetting deadlines.
Billable hour is one of the things that lawyers need to record in their profession and sometimes recording the time spent for working is not easy. Instead of estimating the time used, lawyers can use a simple excel and mobile app to help them speed up their productivity. Even if you are not billing by the hour, it is best to track your progress so that you will not feel like you did not do anything for the day. The following ‘5 Free Productivity Tools for Lawyers’ are useful to lawyers who are beginning their career as lawyers:
1 Time Recorder Mobile App
Track the time you spent in working on a case such as preparing an email, calling clients or offices, and researching jurisprudence. A simple start and off timer will help you record your activity time. I recommend the app “Time Recorder” by JK. Fantasy because it is a simple app that records your start and end time.
2 Use Google Sheets to Record your Billable Hours.
I use Google Sheets and Google Docs in drafting everything before I finalize them in Microsoft Word/ Excel. All files are automatically saved and can be accessed in any device. I suggest that you also use cloud services or google docs so that you will not have to worry about losing your files or forgetting your USB/ Flash drive. To record my Billable Hours, I modified a template and used it to record my start and end time, the client or case, what I did, and how many hours I spent working on it. Philippine laws do not require a billable hour but other countries are required to present their billable hours to client. Recording your billable hours is a good habit to track and reward your progress in a case.
You can access the FREE Google Sheet template using the link below. This template works with Google Sheets but not with Microsoft Excel. To edit the file, just click file and then click the ‘Make a Copy’. To record time press the following keys at the same time: CTRL SHIFT ;
TIPS on Recording a Billable Hour:
- Use Verbs in describing what you did. Be creative and make it more compelling and important even if it is just a simple research or e-mail.
- Record your Billable Hours everyday and not every week.
3 Google Speech to Text
Some writers use Speech-to-Text programs to speed their work because the computer encodes whatever they say. I use Google Speech-to-Text when creating essays and you may also use it to cut your time encoding sentences. This tool is useful specially if you cannot type as fast as other people. The downside is that sometimes the app cannot recognize what you said especially when you are not using American accent. You can always edit some words and this tool is generally helpful in cutting down the time needed to encode things like numerous numbers and citations.
4 Lawyer Handbook+Diary App
Another App that I found useful is the ‘Lawyer Handbook+Diary App’ by Psycho Technology. It is an Indian App but it will be useful to you too. The image below is the screenshot of the app. You can list your clients, their cases, and the status of their case. I find this useful except that the Handbooks are all Indian laws and there is no way to change it. Nevertheless, this can help you summarize your cases.
5 Journal App to record your day-to-day Activity
Some people use diary notebooks to record their daily activity. In addition to my Record Book (literal record book) that I use to record my Day In and Day Out Tasks, I use ‘Journey Diary, Journal’ by Two App Studio Pte Ltd. I use this App to record my daily activities (sometimes even non-lawyer stuff) because I can access them through the web in case I forgot my phone or when my phone’s battery died. A simple reminder will help in case I needed to recall something in the future. This app can attach photos together with the details that you wrote. You do not need to become a premium member to enjoy the great benefits of this app. The downside is that the option to upgrade keeps on popping up every time you open the app. Just close the popup and enjoy the great app for free.
These are the apps that I use most of the time to help me record my daily activities and increase my productivity. It was helpful to me and may be helpful to you.
IOS/ Apple Version?
I am not sure if these apps have apple version since I use android more than I use IOS. I will try to test IOS apps in the future and update you on that.