Law firms are continuing to look for ways to move their Case Management and Document Management systems into the Cloud. Having access to cases and documents from anywhere in the world is a very attractive concept for most attorneys and firm administrators. By default, cloud software systems overcome some of the biggest technical hurdles for lawyers and law firms that need this kind of “anywhere-anytime” access. Firm locations, servers, and complicated networks really are a non-issue for cloud systems because the data does not live in your firm’s office. The data is hosted in secure data centers behind bank-grade security and is available to you from anywhere.
On top of that, cloud software providers have begun to partner up and build some very interesting integrations. One such partnership is the integration of Clio online case management and NetDocuments online document management.
Clio is an easy to use and intuitive online Case Management System. It does a great job managing Matters, Contacts, Calendars, Time Entries, Billing and various other types of case related data. It is also one of the few cloud case management systems out there with both Apple and Android apps for your iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, etc.
NetDocuments on the other hand is a powerful and highly customizable online Document Management System. It offers integration with most of the document programs you already use on your computer (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Adobe, etc.) thereby allowing you to save documents directly from your computer to the cloud.
These two systems can be linked allowing you to synchronize your Client and Matter directories.
You can see from the screenshot below of a matter in Clio, that each matter can be linked to its corresponding matter in NetDocuments.
Once done, documents added to the matter in NetDocuments will immediately be available in Clio (and vice versa).
Here is an example of a normal workflow:
Let’s say that you are drafting a document in Microsoft Word and now want to (A) save it into NetDocuments, and (B) create a billing entry for the work in Clio.
Step 1: Click the File menu in Word and then choose ND Save.
Step 2: You will now be presented with a “Save As” window allowing you to pick the appropriate matter and Document Type category from NetDocuments.
Once the save is complete, the document will be available in Clio as well.
Step 3: Back in Clio you will see that the document is now available from the matter and you can proceed to create your time entry by clicking the “Add Time” button.
Step 4: From here Clio will automatically add the Matter, Date, Rate and Description information to the time entry. All you need to do is fill in the Duration and make any necessary changes to the time entry Note field. That’s it!
Another benefit of the integration is the ability to “check out” documents from either program. This is a great feature because it reduces the need of having to bounce back and forth between programs.
If I am working in Clio at the moment and want to continue to work on the document in the previous example, I can just click the document link from within Clio.
The document will open back up on my system and show that it has been “Checked Out” in NetDocuments. From there, I can continue to work on the document and choose to overwrite the original version, save as a new version, or create a totally new document record.
All in all, this a very solid and functional link between two Cloud products.
Both products have many strengths and features all to their own that make them worthwhile, but put them together and you have a very strong “Cloud Solution”.