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Prioritize and Conquer: Time Management Techniques for Lawyers Using Business Software

** Time is your most valuable asset as a lawyer. Managing your time effectively is crucial for meeting billable hours, completing tasks efficiently, and providing quality legal services to your clients. Many lawyers have begun incorporating business software into their workflows, which can greatly improve time management if used strategically. Here some tips for lawyers to manage time better with the help of common business software:

1. Calendaring

  • Apps like Outlook, Google Calendar, Calendly, and TimeTrade make it easy to block out time for appointments, court dates, and tasks.
  • Set reminders so you don’t forget important events.
  • Color coding your calendar can help visually organize your days.
  • Synchronize your calendar across devices for access on the go.
  • Share your calendar with colleagues and clients so everyone is on the same page. Products like Clio allow lawyers to maintain a shared calendar with the entire firm. Enter client meetings, court dates, and important filing deadlines.

2. Drafting and Automation

  • Take advantage of document editing tools. Whether drafting contracts, memos, or briefs, tools like Microsoft Word allow you to work more efficiently. Make use of features like autocorrect, templates, and keyboard shortcuts to speed up document creation. Set up saved templates for frequently used documents.
  • Instead of recreating the same documents, use tools like HotDocs to make templates. Produce contracts, pleadings, and other legal documents with just a few clicks. Set up questionnaires so the software asks you for case details, then inserts the answers automatically. This saves considerable time drafting routine paperwork.
  • Automate repetitive tasks. Tools like TextExpander and Zapier help automate mundane tasks like inserting frequently used text and transferring data between apps. Create keyboard shortcuts, templates, and workflows to complete routine tasks with just a few clicks. This saves time over the long run.
  • Use e-signature software. Systems like DocuSign allow you to send documents to clients for electronic signature. This eliminates the hassle of printing, signing, scanning, and faxing paperwork back and forth. E-signature helps speed up contracting and approvals.
  • Enable speech-to-text for documentation. Solutions like Dragon Naturally Speaking quickly transcribe legal calls, meetings, and dictations into text or emails, allowing lawyers to document work without typing. This makes notetaking faster and more efficient.

3. Time Tracking

  • Track time with timekeeping software. Apps like TimeCamp, Harvest, and Time59 allow you to closely monitor the time spent on different client matters and projects. Set up different task types for calls, research, travel, and more.
  • Generate reports to analyze hours worked and identify areas for improvement. Accurate timekeeping increases billing efficiency. Review reports to optimize your schedule.
  • Understanding how you spend your time allows you to identify areas of improvement. Apps like Toggl or Timely automatically track time spent on tasks via start/stop timers. Some programs integrate with billing software or calendar apps.

4. Get Focused, Anywhere

  • Limit distractions with focus apps. With apps like Freedom, Focus@Will, and Forest, you can block distracting websites and apps during designated work periods. This prevents wasting time on email, social media, etc. Concentrate on one task at a time.
  • Use cloud-based applications accessible from any device. Programs like Microsoft 365 allow remote access from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. You can manage contacts, check calendars, view documents, and track time regardless of location. Working seamlessly between devices keeps lawyers productive outside the office.
  • Use project management tools. Apps like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp help you break large projects down into organized tasks and subtasks. You can assign due dates, set reminders, attach files, and collaborate with team members. Keeping projects organized prevents wasted efforts.
  • Take notes efficiently with document apps. Apps like Evernote, OneNote, and Google Docs are great for legal notetaking, organizing research, and collaborating with colleagues on case work. Easily search keywords to find relevant information when needed. Sync notes across devices.

5. Leverage case management software

  • Solutions like Clio, MyCase, and Rocket Matter help lawyers organize client records, track billable hours, manage tasks and deadlines, and automate billing. This eliminates time wasted on administrative work.
  • Look for mobile apps so you can access details on the go.
  • Integrate with accounting tools to handle invoicing from the same system. Keeping case data organized prevents duplication of work.


Adopting the right business software allows lawyers to minimize repetitive administrative tasks and focus their energy on high-value legal work. With so many excellent legal technology tools available today, lawyers can transform their efficiency and time management. The key is finding tools that integrate with each other, fit seamlessly into your existing workflow, and best match one’s practice, work style, and preferences. With the right technology stack, lawyers can devote more time to substantive legal work while minimizing administrative burdens. Block out dedicated time slots to learn new programs and integrate them into your regular activities. With some discipline and practice, mastering these techniques will help any busy lawyer regain control over their schedule.

** Author’s Note:

Did you like this article? It was created by Anthropic’s Claude with the prompt “write a blog post outlining five time management techniques for lawyers using common business software”. The prompt was re-run four times, with variations captured to get the most expansive content. The blog title was generated by plugging the prompt into AI Blog Title Generator to get the most SEO friendly title.  While the information is generic, it is on point. The total editing time in MS Word to combine the multiple versions generated by the AI, formatting and editing was 35 minutes. The image was generated by AI with Bing Chat, powered by DALL-E.