It’s possible you’ve already heard me sing Zapier’s praises before – but still, read on. Zapier is a tool that really gets to the heart of Hack your Practice, and it can help every single lawyer love their lawyer life more.
How, you ask?
Well, Zapier is a web-based tool that allows you to connect thousands of different apps together to create easy automations. You create a workflow called a zap. You design the process, then set it and forget it.
When you create a “zap” you move information between different programs that you already use. It links your web apps so they can share data.
I know, I know, some of you may already be thinking, “NOPE. I am not a techie lawyer, I’m just a busy one. My systems are fine.”
But, wait, here’s the best part: you don’t need to know how to code. It’s ALL based on logic. Which, as a lawyer, I’m guessing you’re pretty good at that. ?
Another awesome perk? You can create a FREE account. You can run 5 zaps at a time at that level, so you can test out some simple automations.
Then, if you reach the point where you need more than that, you can decide whether it’s worth it for the 10 bucks a month for a more robust plan.
For me, I’m at the point where I don’t want to invest in a new application unless it has a zap integration.
Why would I do anything that can’t connect to Zapier? It’s become that intrinsic to my practice.
So, how do you know what to automate?
I see an opportunity for a zap whenever I notice an annoying, repetitive, time-sucking task. Or, when I find myself making the same mistake 4 or 5 times in a row.
Here’s a good example.
I have a part-time, virtual assistant. She works for me half-time, and she has another job. She is really diligent about keeping her calendar updated with her work schedule so that I know when she’s available and when she’s at her other job.
But, I’ve messaged her with a request too many times without even thinking to look at her calendar. She rightfully reminds me she’s working at her other job for the day, and I feel bad about bugging her.
I realized that, realistically, I won’t always go into Outlook to open her calendar before every message to her. And it’s going to seem like I’m ignoring the fact that she only works half-time or that I don’t care about her schedule.
She offered to remind me before her shifts, but that creates more work for her. I don’t need her to remind me – this could be automated.
Now, anytime there’s a calendar event labeled “unavailable” on my assistant’s calendar, Zapier puts an event on my calendar with a reminder 2 hours before her shift starts. Now, she can just continue to maintain her calendar, and I will get a reminder that she’s out for the day.
This is where you say, “Oh, but it only takes a second to do it yourself.”
True. It only takes a second to for me to go look at a shared calendar. But, in reality, I wasn’t doing it consistently. And in the long run, that could cause an employee to feel disregarded or unimportant. And I could lose a good employee over a stupid little thing.
With Zapier, a future morale problem is waylaid by creating one little automation. Totally worth the 20 minutes to set it up, in my opinion.
And there’s SO MUCH MORE you can automate. None of us are perfect, so Zapier is there to help you avoid the little mistakes throughout your day. (This isn’t ad, I just LOVE Zapier, LOL.)
Can you think of one thing that would be easier if it was automated? Now’s your time.
Here’s a video tour I made walking you through the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2BN95l_474