In the fourth and final piece of this series, we will continue the theme of using Clio or your practice management system (PMS) for more than just time and billing functions. In this article, we are going to talk about task management within Clio.
As a reminder, in our last three articles, we talked about leveraging the calendar in Clio to schedule calendar events, working with Clio’s custom fields, and finally the use of document assembly. By taking advantage of these time saving features, you also utilize more of your Clio account that you are already paying for every month.
Task management is the organization of things to do for yourself, a client or matter. I find that some firms are taking advantage of the task management function within Clio, but they are seriously underutilizing it! Most firms use the task management function for their “To Dos” for a matter or for keeping track of things for themselves, but there is so much more to it!
While it is good to have a place for those tasks that need to be done, many firms are not taking advantage of the function that allows you to pre-program the tasks that need to be completed for each matter. Then, as matters come into your firm, that pre-set list of tasks that need to be accomplished can automatically be assigned to the matter and to the person who needs to do the task, and a deadline is set for the task to be completed. Whew! That is a lot, but let’s take a step back and talk about this process. In a law firm (or any other business), it is called a workflow.
Workflow is a way for firms to organize the steps to complete a matter from start to finish. You may think that this is an impossible task, but it is not, and the effort is worth it. Let’s revisit our estate planning matter to show an example of workflow.
When a client comes to you to plan an estate, there are a series of meetings and documents and projects that need to be accomplished throughout the course of the matter. Let’s consider everything that needs to happen for that matter – the initial meeting, design meetings, the creation of documents from wills to healthcare power of attorney and everything in between. Many matters in our estate planning practice area have processes that are similar from one estate planning matter to the next. It may be as simple as how you engage a client all the way through the thank you note and cookies that you send them at the end of the matter. Think about all the steps in between from start to finish as your firm’s workflow.
It sounds complicated, but let’s break it down even further using a workflow for a Simple Will. The Simple Will workflow would be all the steps that need to be accomplished in order for a will to be created from start to finish. This workflow includes every single step from the information that needs to be gathered, to documents that need to be created, to signatures that need to be collected. Workflow includes every step in the process.
You also may have lots of different types of workflows in your firm. There is a separate process for each type of matter from a simple will to a complex trust. You may also have an intake workflow for all the steps that you need to accomplish at the onset of a matter. Another example of a workflow would be the steps to close a matter including a handwritten thank you note, final bills getting sent out, a request for a Google My Business review and the final step of closing the matter in Clio. Every single little step is part of your workflow. Workflow is your firm’s process to complete a matter or a procedure in the office from start to finish.
Workflows in Clio are created under the Task List function in Clio.
Included in that in the workflow are not only the description of the tasks but also task reminders and deadlines, as well as who oversees that task. Task assignment is a key part of workflow so then you know who is charged with accomplishing that task.
By using workflow, these task list/workflows can be assigned to a matter at the beginning of a matter and then you know exactly where that matter stands at any point in time by just checking out the Task tab in Clio.
When you are ready to dive deep into Clio, check out the task list or workflow function and start getting more out of your practice management system. For more information on the Task List function, check out the Clio Help article here.
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