We are hearing about more firms choosing to work remotely during this time of the coronavirus. Our team has been able to work on collaborative projects from remote and field offices for many years now. We have tried and tested many tools to help keep us organized and thought we might share them here for law firms trying this for the first time.
We use the following software to keep us organized across multiple locations, and most of them have free versions or trials to keep costs down:
Slack is very much like a chat room for your company. Each member creates a user ID and can chat with everyone in your group. It keeps a rolling record of what has been discussed and allows you to send small files by simply dragging them into the window. There are many apps that can be added or synced to slack to bring even more functionality.
Trello is a free task management software. Tasks are created on "cards" which then can be assigned to people or put in categories. Notes, checklists, and files can be added to each card, keeping your tasks organized and letting your whole team see what needs to be worked on.
Dropbox and Dropbox Paper
Many people are aware of dropbox as a file sharing service. However, there is a lesser-known feature known as "paper" which allows real-time collaborative document creation. We sometimes use this with teams who are remote but need to create a singular document in real-time.
Crankwheel is a free Chrome browser extension that allows you to easily share your screen with anyone in the world. We use this when we are discussing a case over the phone but really benefit from showing people data from our screens so they can better understand.
If dropbox is too much for you, try Firefox send. Just drag and drop larger files and get a link to send files securely to anyone.
If you are temporarily working from home, or want to better organize your office, we can confidently recommend these programs because they have worked well for us.