10 Ways to Save More Time With Templates

//10 Ways to Save More Time With Templates

Quick and easy document creation is crucial to keeping your law firm running at the speed clients need and expect from modern law offices. Lawyers can stay on top of heavy workloads by using templates for efficient document creation. Adopt this approach at your firm and you will find that you can help more clients more effectively.

Try these ten ways to save time with templates:

  1. Create your own standard forms.

    Many clients need the same basic forms. Much of your client correspondence follows the same basic outline. Create and upload form letters and documents in Smokeball, and revise as needed to suit individual clients.

  2. Use general document templates when appropriate.

    Smokeball comes with thousands of court forms, which automatically populate with relevant information for each of your clients. You can then adapt these forms to suit each client’s specific needs.

  3. Easily incorporate firm letterhead.

    Save time making your documents client-presentable by formatting templates on your firm’s letterhead. This can be done quickly and easily in Smokeball.

  4. Make templates available throughout the firm.

    While many lawyers informally create templates to cut and paste when needed, this method usually involves many people duplicating one another’s work. With a cloud-based system like Smokeball, all members of your firm can take advantage of every template you have ever created.

  5. Keep documents up-to-date.

    With centralized templates, one administrator can update relevant sections of forms for the whole firm. Eliminate time-consuming work and avoid the accidental use of outdated information through these updates.

  6. Automate basic forms with templates and software.

    Combine the time-saving power of templates with features like contact databases and simplified administrative tasks for improved efficiency. Use Smokeball to quickly produce and deliver legal and administrative documents.

  7. Create and use templates in an easy-to-edit form.

    Smokeball integrates with Microsoft Word and Outlook. These features make it easy to create and edit templates, import relevant documents, and send finished forms to clients.

  8. Keep templates organized for ease of use.

    Once your firm has useful templates, they have to be easy to find when they are needed. With Document Management Tools Smokeball puts the templates you need at your fingertips, so every member of your firm can always find the forms they need.

  9. Keep notes to speed up the process of filling in a template.

    Useful templates often include notes on what information needs to be filled in as well as the form text. Make each document as easy to complete as possible with a few words on what goes in each blank. Your firm can edit Smokeball’s templates to make any notes you need.

  10. Avoid confusing duplicates.

    This is an area in which good document management software is crucial. Use Smokeball to organize your templates so that old and new versions of the same form never coexist in a way that could confuse a member of your firm. Always keep the correct, up-to-date templates close at hand with Smokeball.

Want to learn how to better manage your documents? Download our document management for law firms white paper to find out how you can get your office organized! 

Photo Credit: trenttsd via Flickr Creative Commons 

By | October 28th, 2014|

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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