Law office managers are always looking for ways to boost efficiency. After all, office spaces require specific factors to create productive environments. Legal work requires huge amounts of paperwork. As a result, managers have to invest a huge amount of money and time into keeping paper files in order. Many legal practices are switching over to a paperless management system. The latest law office software makes this transition easier. If you are thinking about switching your law office over to a paperless system, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your law office software.
Plan Your Data Storage
Law firms hold on to enormous amounts of data. When you transition to paperless, you are going to need a place to store all those files. You have a few options to choose from, but all of them will end up saving your firm money in the long run. At the current rate, hard storage options will continue to get cheaper and more cost-effective. Each year, the price of a 1 TB hard drive goes down. This is the current benchmark, but if you have a large firm, you may want to consider an even larger storage capacity. You may also want to consider cloud storage. Most up-to-date law office software offers cloud-compatible storage. If you go this route, your attorneys and assistants will be able to access your company’s files anywhere. When choosing the best data storage option, make sure that your law office software is compatible with the method you’ve chosen.
Invest In A Good Scanner
Your law office software will aid in managing documents as you transition to paperless, but you will need to pair it with a reliable, high-quality scanner. To transition to paperless, you will need a good scanner that can upload directly to your law office software. Many vendors offer trial periods as part of their sales pitch. Try out a few different scanners to ensure that your choice of scanner pairs well with your law office software before you make your decision. Think of the scanner as a space-saving alternative to massive filing cabinets. Test the scanner with a variety of document types, including printed material and hand-written documents. The best law office software will aid you in configuring your scanner to recognize document types in order to save your staff time in poring through files.
Choose Software With Automatic OCR
Your law office’s software and the scanner you choose need to offer the best OCR technology. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities have vastly improved in the last few years. In just a few minutes, your staff can instantly search and sort any documents you scan. The software will recognize and transcribe the text, making it infinitely easier for your staff to search documents. This saves a huge amount of time and money. More so, it enables faster communication between both colleagues and clients. Combine it with the best office phone system to optimize communication. If your law office software does not offer OCR or is incompatible with an OCR-compatible scanner, you might want to reconsider your choice of software.
Backup Your Files and Information
Paperless offices are more productive, but you must still be prepared for the occasional setback. Create a backup strategy that allows your firm to function in the event of a setback. For example, if your firm uses cloud storage, implement a plan that keeps current files on local storage until they are no longer needed every day. Managers must use the same level of care for digital files that they would have for their print counterparts. Your law office software will occasionally need to update. Your scanners may occasionally need service. Create a contingency plan so that your office can continue to function smoothly in these situations. This will guarantee that you are able to reap the improved efficiency of going paperless using your law office software.
Test and Retrain Staff For Improved Workflow
The final step in reaping the productivity benefits of going paperless is training. Ensure that your staff can access all training manuals and help guides for your software and scanner. Dedicate time if necessary to working one-on-one with all staff members who will be using the newest software and scanners. Answer any questions they have and be patient. Many law office software vendors offer training courses. If you have your staff take time to prepare for the paperless transition, this extra training will pay off in the long run. To ensure that it pays off, use time management software and track the increased levels of productivity.
If you follow these tips, you will find it much easier to make your law office paperless. Your software already offers these capabilities, so taking advantage of them can save huge amounts of time and money. Have a storage and backup plan for your firm’s data. Make sure you invest in a quality scanner that offers OCR capabilities to streamline document scanning. Test your staff in these new workflows to ensure that everybody is on board. By using your law office software to go paperless, you ensuring greater efficiency and profits for your firm.