Personal Productivity for Lawyers
This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.
There are tons of resources on Lawyerist about how to go solo. If you have hung your shingle, congrats—you have passed the first major hurdle. Once things are rolling, however, always make an effort to evolve your law practice to keep it successful.
Experiment with different systems
Sam might hold a record for experimenting with various client management and project management systems. While the experimentation can be frustrating, it also leads to long-term success. Figuring out what works, and what does not, is one way to increase the efficiency of your practice. In this case, Sam ultimately decided that the system we already had in place for client management worked well.
He also decided that BaseCamp helped him organize projects between himself and co-counsel. If he had not experimented, he never would have figured that out.
Understandably, if you are just getting started, you cannot afford to hire a virtual assistant to handle intake and other tasks. Eventually, however, your workload will reach the point where it can be worth the extra expense to free up more of your time.
For some, freeing up extra time means more time with your family. For others, the extra time allows them to add another practice area, or perhaps take a few more cases. If you do use outsourcing, make sure it either allows you more time to do what you want, or to bring more money in the door. The danger to freeing up your time is that you may not take advantage of the extra time.
If you tend to handle cases in one area of the law, consider subtle changes in your strategy. Your current method might work fine, but maybe there is an even better way to handle certain cases. The other problem is that if you always handle cases the same way, the other side can start adapting. Beat them to the punch and constantly consider new strategies for cases.