As an immigration attorney, your job is to manage information – to share it and shape it so that it delivers value to your clients. Your approach to the technology you use to manage that information – the tools that power communication, data retention, accounting and so much more – will define how productive you will be as you manage your immigration law practice.
I’ve been able to grow INSZoom into the company it is today without sacrificing personal time because I’ve been an early adopter of tech tools that have helped me more productively scale my ability to manage information. These tools have helped me effectively run the day-to-day operations of a multinational company with hundreds of employees worldwide.
I’d like to share with you some of the best tech tools I’ve discovered to help me succeed. These tools will help you as well by helping you more effectively manage your time, be more productive and scale your immigration practice for growth.
Online Conferences and Meetings: Everybody knows about GoToMeeting and WebEx, the two top players in online conferencing. But not as many know about Join.me, an easy-to-use and free online videoconferencing tool. Join.me can be accessed via a lightweight downloadable app. You can create a free account or invest $20 a month and get a branded version with a customized URL (e.g., join.me/your-immigration-practice). Join.me lets you share your screen or your attendees’ screens. You can also use it to pass mouse control to another person, which is great if you need quick technical support. Find out more at join.me.
Password Management: How many usernames and passwords do you have? How many times on a weekly basis do you forget what they are? If you haven’t done so already, you should immediately get a password management tool. It will change your life. I’m partial to 1Password, by Agile Bits. Their 1Password Families service can be accessed by up to five people, an ideal solution for a small immigration practice. Learn more at 1password.com.
Internal Communications: Traditional modes of internal communication, such as emails and meetings, are a mainstay of company management. But new internal social networking solutions are giving organizations of all sizes a new way to think about and manage internal collaboration. The leader in enterprise social marketing is Yammer. We implemented Yammer as INSZoom’s social network a few years ago and saw a 75% drop in email communication as a result. Our employees were using Yammer instead of email to share updates, manage projects and tasks, and in the process they were also networking and communicating. It was a win-win solution. Yammer is built into Office 365 Premium and Essentials editions. Learn more at yammer.com.
Text Expansion: Text expansion tools have been the secret weapon of computer programmers for a few years now, but are now becoming used by other fields. A text expansion tool converts snippet of text into more complex chunks of content. For example, you could tell your text expansion tool to convert the phrase” lgladv” into your standard boilerplate statement, “This email should not be considered legal advice.” TextExpander is one of the more well-known of the text expansion tools. Learn more at textexpander.com.
Notetaking: Smart pens like the new Livescribe 3 bring notetaking into the digital age. Write your notes on any paper with the Livescribe and your notes will immediately appear on a connected device. Then use Livescribe’s OCR functionality to convert your notes into text that can be saved, emailed or filed away. Livescribe can help you turn written notes into actionable content easily shared and managed in a digital space. Learn more at livescribe.com.
Productivity tools like the ones I’ve described can help you automate your tasks, more effectively manage business processes and get the most out of communication. This is exactly what we’ve focused on at INSZoom – using technology to help immigration professionals improve productivity and increase efficiency.
Umesh Vaidyamath is a leading entrepreneur and immigration technology thought leader. He is the founder and CEO of INSZoom.com, Inc., the world’s leading immigration software company, and Zoomlee, an app to help you store, track comply and share documents when traveling internationally. Follow him @Zumesh.