3 Ways To Tame Your Emails

//3 Ways To Tame Your Emails

If you find keeping track of emails an overwhelming task, you are not alone.  Most small law firms struggle with the volume of emails received daily. Some may find that having multiple staff send and receive emails makes it almost impossible to get a true view of communication on any given matter.

The good news is that there is a real solution which makes it faster for you to find an email you need, track emails sent and received against each matter, and keep everyone in the loop so your staff can answer client questions without any delay.  Take these three steps to tame your inbox!

1. Find The Right Email Faster

Do you have countless emails between you and your client? Do you find yourself searching through Outlook or Gmail for the right email?  It can be a tedious and a daunting task to overcome but ensuring that your emails are managed is a fundamental part of your legal practice. You should have a system or process in place to manage your emails that will help you save time, increase productivity and reduce the risk of malpractice. Find a process to file your emails on all you matters so you reduce the headache of searching multiple terms or references you think you may have made in some email communication.

  • Create folders and rules to organize your emails based on case number, client name or other naming conventions that will work well with you and your team
  • Dedicate a % of your time to organize your emails so that you and your team can find it easily

The easiest and fastest way is to use a tool like Smokeball.  Smokeball’s email management feature can automatically, without a single extra step, file emails sent and received by every staff member against a matter.  Smokeball clients report that having emails saved against the file gives them at least 10% of their day back – you will never have to hunt through your inbox for the email like a needle in the haystack.  Allow technology to help you find your emails quicker especially because it’ll help you reduce administrative and non-billable time, so you can focus on your real work.

2. Stay In The Loop With All Emails Sent And Received Per Matter

The most frustrating part of email is that it is designed for one to one communication and in law firms it’s hard to streamline effective communication.  With multiple staff sending and receiving emails, it is extremely difficult to see what is being communicated with a client or other attorney. This can be problematic for your firm.  Do you come back to the office with a daunting number of phone messages to respond to?

Emails should be saved centrally meaning that when a client calls responding to an email you have sent and you are not available, your paralegal or other staff can help the client instead. This allows your staff to feel empowered to help your clients, it also means you will be able to return to the office with fewer phone messages, and most importantly, your client gets their answer immediately.

In the digital age that we live in, consumers expect immediate response.  For your small law firm to serve your clients well, you need systems in place to help you do this.  Happy, empowered staff and satisfied clients helps your work life and your bottom line when work of mouth is still the most important marketing tool for most small firms.  With the majority of complaints against small firms relating to neglect, this makes introducing easy-to-use systems to help you keep up with client communication even more important.

Ways to help you overcome this include:

  • Communicating with your team members where you save the emails to ensure that when you’re not in the office, someone will know exactly where the email is
  • Find a cloud storage service that will allow you the flexibility to save and access your files at any given time with your entire team

These methods always involve manual intervention and takes significant time on a daily basis to maintain.  If you would rather eliminate the additional effort of forwarding, bcc-ing, printing every email or filing it in your cloud service then look at Smokeball.  Smokeball’s email management tool automatically files all emails sent and received to the matter so that you no longer have to text, call or email someone for a specific email that you need.  With our iOS and Android app, you will also be able to see emails sent and received by your staff when you’re in Court or on the road.

3. Ensure All Emails End Up In The Client File

You have a duty of care to maintain a record of all communications that occur for every matter. It is common to see firms that don’t keep records of all emails because there are simply too many.  If a communication piece is missing, you may be setting yourself up for disaster over a simple error. If you have a manual system by forwarding, copying or printing that is a big step forward, but it is non-billable, time consuming, and sometimes you may forget to upload the email to your client’s matter.

By automatically saving all emails sent and received on a matter, by all staff, and from all recipients whether it’s a client, attorney, realtor or expert, Smokeball’s email management feature enables you to keep accurate records with ease.

By | January 9th, 2017|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.

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