Setting up systems that work with InShort, an iPhone App

Last weekend at the NACBA annual fall workshop in Colorado Springs, we talked about the importance of The E-Myth Attorney concept of creating and using systems and processes in your law practice. Lots of great questions from an audience that craved systems analysis and the profit, both personal and professional, that can be had from it.

Naturally, people wondered what we used to create the systems we use in our own law practice.

For the litigation side of our practice, we commonly use Amicus Attorney - partly because our firm grew up with it from version 1.0 and everyone knows how it works and it fits us perfectly. But for the bankruptcy side of the practice, Amicus doesn't seem to fit very well for designing systems and processes there.

Instead, we're getting used to an iPhone app called InShort which we use on our iPad - not the iPhone version, for reasons we'll get to.

Both simple to learn and able to get complex, InShort has a lot of promise. The User Manual for instance, which is built into the app itself as its opening screen on your first use, actually walks you through a sample process, showing you step by step what each aspect of the program means and how it works and how to create your own. Smart move.

For creating a system or process for your practice, this looks like a great approach to the problem so far. In some ways, it's a bit like mind-mapping a system out except that this app lets you then apply that system and check off your progress after you design it and start to implement it in your practice.

The InShort app is $6.99 in the iTunes Store (used to be under $5), which is just slightly higher than most productivity apps, but it is slick and highly polished and worth it. The InShort app lets you diagram out the process you are trying to create in a sensible and methodically manner. You can actually start with nothing but an idea and create your process inside the app if you want - getting rid of the usual pen and paper first step. So far, it looks awfully good on an iPad - but kind of tight on an iPhone.

You can check out a good review of it here (click) at the iPhone App Review site. But like everything else when it comes to finding or creating a system or process that works best in your own law practice, it's all up to you. You have to check out lots of alternatives and settle on the one that works best for you because, at the end of the day, the best system in the world (or the program that creates it) isn't worth anything at all if it doesn't work good for you.

Ron Burdge
Helping lawyers helping clients