10 Ways to Use Evernote in Your Law Practice
A recent Lawyerist post detailed how to import your data from Evernote into other popular applications. The piece was in response to the recent price increase to a not-so-whopping $70 annually for the Premium version. Still a great deal.
Or, you can opt for the free edition which lets you synch your data to two devices only. That covers a laptop and iPhone which is enough for me. For those who have a laptop and desktop computer, a phone, and a tablet, all of which they use regularly, the free version won’t do. There’s middle tier for $35. The cost of one frappuccino a month, with fewer calories.
But enough with the pricing, this post is about how you can use Evernote in your law practice. And, don’t forget: Evernote seamlessly integrates with your legal practice management system.
Now, let’s get to it.
1. Legal research – Clip articles, pages, cases, links, and other items into a “research” notebook which can be organized by client, matter, or other taxonomy.
2. Witness interviews, deposition outlines, and photos to use in court – Type interview directly into Evernote or drag a PDF or other document format into the notebook. Audio? No problem. Enable the microphone in the mobile app and start recording or import the audio file. For sensitive information, you can add another layer of security by encrypting that portion of the note.
3. Sample forms, pleadings, and motions – Create a library of samples and templates. Google Docs is also good for this, but it helps to have everything in once place.
4. Conference notes and contacts – Plan ahead and create a “conference” notebook with a note for each session you plan to attend. See: Use Evernote for a Rewarding Conference Experience. And, when you collect a business card, snap a pic of the card into Evernote and add contextual notes.
5. Blog post and article ideas – Many ideas – some brilliant – are forgotten in the rush to get things done. Recording ideas in one place, as they occur, solves that problem. See: Use Evernote as an Ideas File for Your Blog Posts.
6. Website and marketing copy – After a meeting with your marketing team or outside agency, take a picture of the whiteboard notes and drawings and post-it scrawls and import to Evernote. Create additional notes for design and copy ideas.
7. Meeting notes – Get into the habit of opening up a note in Evernote before every meeting or conference call and start typing. Create a “Meetings” folder to store these notes. It’s a lifesaver.
8. Office processes and procedures – Don’t reinvent the wheel. Document repetitive processes and office policies. This includes paperless office protocols.
9. Checklists – Checklists reduce errors and facilitate consistency and completeness in carrying out tasks and activities with multiple steps. Attorney at Work has a good post on this: Using Master Checklists in Evernote to Be a More Productive Lawyer.
10. Presentation prep – Create a “presentation” notebook, add a new note for each presentation after agreeing to be a speaker and start preparing by adding links, notes and emails from collaborators and event host.
You can, of course, use Evernote for lots more, limited only by your need and imagination. The more you use Evernote, the more useful it becomes. You’ll never again forget where something is. Just open Evernote and search for your note or if you’ve organized effectively, locate the notebook and note.
A couple of years ago, I asked a few lawyers to share how they use Evernote. See their stories here, some of which are expanded on in this post.
How do you use Evernote? Please add your comments below.