Time is not something you can create more of or borrow when you need it, yet it is one of our most valuable resources. In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, host Vicki Voisin talks to Adam Camras, CEO of Lawgical, about managing your law firm’s time effectively. According to Adam, one of the best ways to do this is by taking advantage of technology and apps, like Google Express and Uber. Additionally, Adam says, paralegals and other legal professionals save time by outsourcing, staying healthy, and even using a standing desk. Using these hacks and Vicki’s closing tips can help you dedicate more time to the important things in your life and career.
Adam Camras is the co-founder and CEO of Lawgical, a company that owns and operates leading legal brands including Legal Talk Network, Serve Now, and Serve Manager.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston University, NALA, and ServeNow.
Mentioned in This Episode
The Paralegal Voice
Time is the New Green_ Tips and Tools to Optimize Your Life
Vicki Voisin: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Paralegal Voice, and this is Vicki Voisin with you today on an extended episode of our show, a little longer than we are accustomed to, but my guest, Adam Camras, has so many tips for you that will help you reduce stress, increase productivity and in general, make your life easier. You’re going to love all of these tips. So I hope you enjoy this episode
Intro: Welcome to The Paralegal Voice, where you hear the latest issues and trends in the world of paralegals and legal assistants by one of the best-known paralegals in the industry, Vicki Voisin. A paralegal for more than 20 years, Vicki is dedicated to helping legal professionals reach their goals. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Vicki Voisin: Hello everyone. Welcome to The Paralegal Voice here on Legal Talk Network. I am Vicki Voisin, the paralegal mentor and host of The Paralegal Voice. I am a NALA Advanced Certified paralegal. I publish a newsletter titled Paralegal Strategies, and I am also the co-author of The Professional Paralegal: A Guide to Finding a Job and Career Success. You will find more information at HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalmentor.com/”paralegalmentor.com.
My guest today is Adam Camras. Adam is the Chief Executive Officer of LAWgical, the company that owns and operates leading legal brands including Legal Talk Network, ServeNow, and ServeManager.
The Los Angeles, California native has been involved in legal since 2001 and enjoys learning about the latest technology and trends affecting the industry. Adam travels the country for speaking engagements, CLEs, attending conferences and also meeting with members of the legal community. Adam was also a guest on The Paralegal Voice in 2011 for one of LAWgical’s sister companies where we talked about how to find and hire trusted process servers. That interview and our relationship also led to the acquisition of Legal Talk Network at the end of 2012. Welcome Adam.
Adam Camras: Thank you Vicki. Great to be here.
Vicki Voisin: So glad to have you. And indeed it’s been since 2012 that we’ve been partnered for this show. I like that.
So Adam before we began, our sponsors need to be recognized and thanked.
NALA, a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education and professional certification programs for paralegals at HYPERLINK “http://www.nala.org/”nala.org.
NALA is a force in the promotion and advancement of the paralegal profession and has been a sponsor of The Paralegal Voice since the very first show.
Our next sponsor is Boston University, offering an online certificate in paralegal studies. If you are seeking a professional credential or just want to further develop your skills, Boston University provides an affordable, high quality 14-week program. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalonline.bu.edu/”paralegalonline.bu.edu for more information. That’s HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalonline.bu.edu/”paralegalonline.bu.edu.
And ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experienced with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.serve-now.com” serve-now.com to learn more.
The goal of The Paralegal Voice is to discuss a wide range of topics important to the paralegal industry and share with you leading trends, significant developments and resources you will find helpful in your career and your everyday job. Guests are usually included to help explore timely topics, and for that reason I have invited Adam Camras to be with me today.
Today, Adam is going to talk about his presentation, Time is the New Green: Tools to Optimize Your Practice and Your Life. Adam has been giving some modified version of this presentation over the last 12 months at various legal conferences starting with the Ohio State Bar Association.
Now Adam, I am all about saving time and being more productive, and so that’s why I am so interested in your topic. So what is Time is the New Green?
Adam Camras: Yeah, well thank you Vicki. Again, I am so excited to be here with you on this episode. And I think before I get started I don’t say how appreciative we are enough and how grateful we are for one, the opportunity to be a part of the Legal Talk Network. We attribute all of that to you, but also every single month the time and effort that you put into creating this really educational beneficial content for your audience.
Vicki Voisin: Thank you. Thank you, Adam. I really appreciate hearing that. I am sure happy to be here and working with you.
Adam Camras: Well, I am definitely happy to be here. And this presentation really came about in terms of just about respecting time. It’s the most precious commodity that we all have, as we all know they are not making any more of it. And it boils down to, if you want more money, better health, experiences with your friends and family and everything you want in a life, you need time to be able to do that.
And so this presentation is about the tools and apps and technology, and what I call sometimes life hacks that I am using to recapture some of that, and kind of own my time better.
Vicki Voisin: Well, I like that. I always say you can’t make more time, borrow time, steal time, you can’t do any of that, you just have to use your time in a better way. So, tell me what made you want to create Time is the New Green?
Adam Camras: Yeah, the impetus was a lot of pain and a microphone.
Vicki Voisin: Okay. What do you mean about pain and a microphone? Tell us.
Adam Camras: Yeah. I guess I can elaborate on that. Well, the pain was really never having enough time, and always feeling like I am jumping from project to project, and task to task, and not ever really feeling like I was doing an excellent job at any of those buckets of my life that were important to me.
And the real thing was that I would have what I would think was this sort of a fulfilled day, but yet the pain of it is I would be going to sleep that night where I should be saying wow, this was great and look at what I achieved and what I accomplished and the opportunities that were created but I was closing my eyes going to bed thinking about all of the things that I didn’t get done that day, and that’s a terrible way to live, a terrible way to close your eyes at the end of the day.
And something happened that helped me get comfortable changing that and that was Laurence Colletti, who is the executive producer at Legal Talk Network, asked me to bring a microphone on a trip we were leaving on the next day. And I said no problem and I was getting everything ready for the trip the next day and I realized I had sent that microphone off to our Denver office because they needed it for recording.
And I live in Los Angeles as you mentioned and there is a guitar center not too far away from here and I started thinking about, wait a minute, I am going to leave here in the middle of the workday, I have got a number of things that I had planned on doing. I am going to spend and granted it’s maybe two miles, so I am going to spend anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours getting there in Los Angeles traffic, I probably should have just walked, buying the microphone and coming back and I started thinking myself there is got to be a better way and that just seems like a terrible use of my time. Why am I going to leave the office right now to go get a microphone? There is all these services out there that can help me.
So I called up this store, I called Guitar Center and I said do you deliver and they said no, we don’t, but we have Google Express will come pick up. I said, Google Express, well, I know Google but what’s Google Express? And by the way I also checked on Amazon to see if they had a same-day delivery or see if there is some other way and granted I spent a little time trying to figure this out, but when I figured out Google Express, I went there logged on, two minutes later set up account, they had a free three-month trial, ordered it.
By the end of that day the mic was there, and it was really that point on that I decided, I was going to make a transformative shift in terms of how I manage my time and try and use as much technology as possible to help me do that because it was broken. There is no reason why when there is a far better solution out there to have this delivered that I should be spending my time doing, and especially with Los Angeles traffic. You never know what you’re going to get.
Vicki Voisin: Well Adam, when you describe that I think you described the way about 99% of the legal staff feels. We are always far behind and not only that, but people are trying to balance work and family and so and their outside activities, and they feel all the stress. So they need to hear about this. You said transformative shift, now was this just with technology or was it with other things?
Adam Camras: It was a number of things. It wasn’t just technology but technology was a really important portion of it because there are so many incredible resources out there that can help take these things off your plate. I guess I’ll share with you how this really started for me and granted it’s a little personal, but I’m going to do it anyway.
It started with my own personal goals and my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 and they were the most specific that they had ever been and I think a lot of us do New Year’s resolutions and whether we keep them or not, we still do them. And this is a year that actually I made a commitment to doing things that were realistic but also doing things that were really going to be helpful for me and what I think and what I believed I needed.
So the start of that was a minimum of three days of exercise per week and for me personally that’s really important, because I feel better when I exercise. I have more energy, I’m on a plane a lot, I don’t get sick, I sleep better and my mind is better and my feeling was if I don’t have my health I’m not going to be good at any of these other things.
Meaning I’m not going to be a good husband or parent or co-worker or colleague or boss if I don’t have the effectiveness of health and wellness. So that was kind of my start is where I looked in and I said, okay, that’s got to be the first thing because if I don’t have that I can’t do anything else well.
And then the next piece of this and this is going to sound very hokey to some of you and I’m surprised that I am sharing this on the episode but I’m going to because it’s been instrumentally helpful is that I introduced meditation in terms of as a habit and this is not two hours and going off to another country and doing all these weird things, this is an app, it’s called Headspace. It’s very commonly used by many, many millions of people and 10 minutes every morning. It’s a phenomenal way to start off my day and this came from a good friend of mine Ray Abidine.
Some of you may know him, he was the past President, most recent past President of the Florida Bar Association and someone who is very mindful of his actions and what he’s doing and he talked about this. Another person that also talked about it was Ernie Svenson ‘Ernie The Attorney,’ some of you may know him as Ernie the attorney, I like to come aka, I like to call him ETA is what I like to call him. And he’s another person that also talked about the benefits but I when I started looking around at successful people in business and in society and I’d loved biographies on leaders that was one of the commonalities that I saw across the board is some sort of habit about time and meditation was a big key component of that.
Another thing that I saw was daily journaling, so again, this is not technology and this is taking my time. However it’s grounding me every single day to be freed up and focused to do things that are the most effective and best use of my time and daily journaling was another one of them. And this also came from Ray Abidine who really talked about his experiences with it and I use an app to do that as well. There’s an app called Day 1. It’s right there, it’s in my phone, it’s with me wherever, it goes across devices I always have that with me.
Another kind of element that I tried to subscribe to is outsource as much as possible and this is a hard one for me because I’m a control freak and I truly believe that there’s my way or the highway and nobody can do it better than I can and I’m so wrong, so wrong about that.
And when you start to think about what are these things that you can outsource and really think through how you’re going to do it and is this the best use of your time, it gets a lot easier and I use technology to do that as well. There’s an app which I’ll talk about later, which is called to Do it. So I started keeping tabs on things that I could outsource. And if it’s something I could do immediately I would find a way to outsource.
I’d find technology or a person, one of my colleagues or any way to get this outsourced and it was hard for me but it’s really important and that’s something that probably for you and if you think about what can be delegated and outsourced, it’s probably hard because you’re expected to do a lot of these things but, at least ask that question. And maybe if it’s not within the firm, maybe if there aren’t things within the firm that you can be outsourcing which I’m sure there are, but just in your personal life.
Vicki Voisin: Yeah I do agree with you. Sometimes they think it’s easier to do it yourself than to try to explain it to someone but you need to get over that too and just do the outsourcing. Let people run errands for you and things like that. So go ahead, I’m interested in this and I think you’re going to tell me that you use a standing desk.
Adam Camras: I do. In fact I’m using it as we speak here today and there’s lots of them out there. The prices of them have come down. I got mine from Ikea but for a few hundred dollars you can find them online where you push a button your desk goes up. Where you push a button it goes down, there are some that have cranks as well.
I find that when I’m standing my blood is flowing better, I’m more focused I’m more aware and so the standing desk was another piece that I introduced and it’s a byproduct of my work. I know that some people use treadmill desks or even elliptical or bicycle desk. I haven’t gotten that far yet but that would be nice to be able to walk or bike while you’re at your desk. I haven’t gone that far yet.
But I think it’s really about just the mindset of multitasking. Multitasking to me is kind of the notion of it has changed but it’s about, well, so I should say multitasking there’s a good multitasking and there’s a bad multitask.
Vicki Voisin: Absolutely
Adam Camras: And there are things that you can do while you’re doing other things that aren’t going to interfere with you being mindful and focused on what you’re doing at that exact time. And I mean things like podcasts, and all of you that are listening to this, you’re listening to this today so you get that.
You get the benefits of it but podcast are things, and obviously we have a men’s bias because of Legal Talk Network and this is the business that were in but forget that, it has fundamentally changed my life, the convenience of consuming a podcast because when I’m getting ready in the morning, when I am doing chores around the house, when I am traveling, when I’m exercising, I am never without ear.
If I’m having an appointment and I’m waiting and they’re late, I’m never without education or entertainment and unlike a video or a webinar or a whitepaper or a book or an article or a magazine I can’t do those while I’m driving. I can’t do those while I’m on a bicycle or while I’m waiting in line at TSA or while I’m kind of doing things around the house but with a podcast I can, and that’s something that’s fundamentally changed my life because I can get that education and entertainment while I’m doing these other things.
Vicki Voisin: Well, Adam I want to interject right here is that I think some of us can’t help but at multitask because we don’t sit still easily and I have a feeling you’re one of those people too. I should ask you if you are Gemini because that’s an issue with Geminis too. But anyway, I’m always listening to a podcast or a book anytime I’m doing anything, driving, dishes, laundry you know, I don’t stand in line or anything like that without having something else going on.
And I use, and you probably know about this audible.com, and I would never read an entire book because I would go to sleep without, you know, I can’t sit down and just read a book. So I’m always listening and it’s amazing how many books you can read that you wouldn’t get to otherwise or podcasts and so forth. So I think multitasking in that way is a really good thing but do you multitask other ways?
Adam Camras: So I used to think that I could and I think that that shift has changed and there’s been scientific data that is proven, we actually can’t do multiple things, at the same time the brain just doesn’t function that way and they’ve proven this with numerous studies, and it’s interesting because when we look for kind of new team members to bring on and we used to look for that, oh multitasking, they can multitask and as you think through that do you really want somebody that’s going to lose focus on one thing while they do something else?
And for everyone that’s listening, if that’s on your résumé right now and it’s still something that people want to see on there, I would say take multitasking off there and shift that focus to, I can prioritize and focus on my tasks and I am task oriented and can get the job done, because it’s just something that’s become so common, but it’s really what you’re saying is acknowledging that I’m going to fail. That I’m not going to do something great.
So I don’t like to call it necessarily multitasking and I’m sure that there’s a better word that we can come up with. But some of these things I like to call either life hacks or doing things because I’m doing something else and there’s got to be a better term that we can coin for this.
Vicki Voisin: Okay. Well then give us an example of that.
Adam Camras: Well some of my life hacks and I guess a better word for or another way you can look at this is optimization or byproduct of because I’m doing something, I’ll share one, well I guess we will share a few, but this one is, it’s pretty embarrassing. But one of my commitments and it came from my colleague here in the Los Angeles office was about hydration, and drinking a lot of water and that’s all separate conversation that we can have about it. But I am drinking a lot of water throughout the day and we know what happens when you drink a lot of water you go to the restroom a lot.
So every time I do that, I come back to my office and I try and use that opportunity to kind of step away which I do, and then I come back and then I do some sort of exercise when I come back to my office, and where I will do push-ups or squats or sit-ups or your calf raises or stretch or sometimes I will sit on an exercise ball in our office.
I know that everyone listening, this is not something that you can do in your office and I can tell you it’s pretty awkward when we have somebody new in the Los Angeles office, and they see me doing push-ups or something weird, as soon as I come back from the restroom, but it’s a way to introduce a change up in my day, get the blood flowing and get it moving, and it’s just something that I use as a life hacker or as a tool or as a reminder to do something good for myself, the things going to help me with my day and balance and focus me.
Vicki Voisin: Okay. Now you mentioned that you drink a lot of water, are you going to talk about an app that reminds you to do that, by any chance later on or now or when do you want to do that, I bet that there is one?
Adam Camras: Yeah. I am sure there is one, and it’s interesting. I just got the Apple Nike watch and they have a breathe app on it that reminds you to breathe, so I am sure that there is probably something on it that reminds you to hydrate, although it’s probably not measuring my hydration.
I am a little old-school, our accountant and colleague who is in the next office over to me bought me this giant metal jug that I fill up when I come to the office and I don’t know how many ounces it is but it’s big and my barometer is I need to finish that by the end of the day and some days I am heading out of the office chugging water, but that’s kind of my measurement of how I do it. But I will be on the lookout for that app.
Vicki Voisin: Okay. Well, I know there is one because I have read something about it the other day but I didn’t write it down or go to it. So anyway, I am sure our listeners will let us know about that. Go ahead and tell me about your standing desk.
Adam Camras: Yeah, and it’s a really easy way to — I mean, there is a lot of options out there. You can get some that just — there is a little like shelf you can put on your existing desk that you can raise up when you want a different perspective.
As I mentioned, I have this one for my key, I push the button it goes up and down. I try and stand for at least three to four hours of my day and there was this — I can’t remember how long ago I saw it but it was a headline that says, sitting is the new smoking. And the premise behind it is all the damage that we cause to our body from sitting all day and that’s why they always say, when you are flying or take time stretch, move your body.
So who knows we may get at the point where they say, standing is the new smoking and we should be sitting again. But for right now I find the benefits because it keeps the blood flowing. I have also got a wireless headset that I can walk around and pace. Everybody loves it when I am pacing, yelling on the phone call. But it helps me focus and keep the blood flowing it and move around and I, I personally find and feel the benefits of it.
It was very noticeable for me when I shifted from this. And I will tell you the first day I had my standing desk and I went home that day and I was sitting on the sofa and this never — I mean this hasn’t happened to me since college, but it was 8 o’clock and I was sitting on the sofa and I woke up and it was like two in the morning and I like passed out with drool coming down the side of my face, and my phone next to my side and that’s probably more information that you needed. But I just passed out from my day of just a few hours of standing.
So there is certainly is something there and that was one of my testaments that said, okay, there is probably some value here.
Vicki Voisin: Right, right. Well Adam, it’s time to take a short break for a word from our sponsors; NALA, the association of legal assistance and paralegals, Boston University and ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. And when we come back we will continue our discussion with Adam Camras, and he is going to be talking about more tools for helping us with our day.
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Vicki Voisin: Welcome to The Paralegal Voice. I am Vicki Voisin, and today my guest is Adam Camras. Now Adam has shared a lot of his personal habits in the origins of Time is the New Green, but now Adam let’s get into some of the tools and the apps. Tell us what are some of your favorites?
Adam Camras: Yeah. Well, so there is definitely a lot of them that are out there and I try to narrow it down to some of the favorites for this. I guess let me kind of set this up how I originally — when I set this presentation and was giving it, I kind of broke it down to your personal life and there is some overlap there as well as the firm and your work life.
And the personal life I created it around the story, it was framed around Brad Pitt as he was trying to date Angelina Jolie and how they met in their first date. However, being that they are either divorced or getting divorce or already divorced, probably no longer appropriate to include that portion.
But I told the story about using all these apps as they were trying to date, and the first app in that was called Burner App, and that’s B with the burner, and basically what this is, some people heard of burner phone. So this is a burner telephone number, and it’s an app that allows you to set up a temporary telephone number.
I used it when I was selling my car because I don’t want my cell phone number. We have a home phone number, I don’t know what the number is, and if someone called it no one is going to answer it anyway. So I didn’t want my cell phone number all over the internet selling this car and people calling at random times. So I set up a burner, a burner number, where it’s a temporary number, you set it up, you can get it within your area code, and then it forwards text messages or phone calls to your cell phone via the app.
And there is a number of ways in which you can use that personally, professionally, within the firm. You may not want a client calling you or a lawyer calling you having your direct cell number or if you have a client that’s not following up or not answering the phone call, you can get maybe call from a different number, maybe even on the collection front, obviously you got to check your ethics, and pre-texting laws in your state, but that’s one way that you could use the Burner App. I think it’s just a neat piece of technology to have this temporary telephone number that you can get rid of when you’re done.
Open Table is another one. This is a restaurant reservation booking app, obviously doesn’t apply to everybody, but the old school way of booking a reservation is, you would call up the restaurant, you would leave a message, then somebody would call you back a couple hours later or a day later and then you would miss that call and your phone tag back and forth.
Now you just go on there, find the restaurant, put in the guest, put in the time, put in your feedback, special requests. Boom, it’s booked and then you can share it with everybody else and you get emails notifying you. Just again, saves a lot of time.
Uber, so I would imagine most of you heard about Uber and what they have done is they have taken what historically for me has been a very bad experience getting into a taxi and being in a taxi and they have made it better, cheaper, easier and more transparent.
And not only does it save me time but it saves me money for so many reasons and I think I just read, this is a company, this is a startup that wasn’t around a few years ago and now I think they’re on track to do about $5 billion in revenue. They have evaluation of $65 billion and it all started with this premise that said you know why taxis aren’t a great experience and they solved it and they’re doing all kinds of other things now to make your life easier and more efficient and more effective.
I can tell you, I travel a lot, I no longer when I get to an airport get on a shuttle, go to the rental car place, wait in line for 30 minutes, as I’m walking out of the airport, go to the app, I order the Uber, it’s usually there when I get out, they take me to my destination. It’s far cheaper, more efficient, more effective than renting a car and it gives me more time because I’m in the back working and on the phone and doing things.
I guess that’s another example of multitasking or a hack where I can now work as opposed to I have to focus on driving and directions and figuring out where I’m going.
Another one that I definitely take some heat for, because I’m a little militant about using it when I get into an Uber if by chance I have to take a taxi, it’s called Waze and this is a mapping tool and directions and it’s CrowdSource. So I remember I was driving through Illinois and this is the first time that I’d seen this notification where it said in 500 feet it’s going to rain, but it’s CrowdSource from all the other drivers on the road, and so it tells you if there are police, if there’s debris on the road, certainly if there’s traffic or an accident, in 700 feet there is a vehicle on the side of the road, but outside of that it gives you real-time directions and has even when I know where I’m going and in Los Angeles this is a crazy place to drive, but it finds you these roundabout routes that get you to your destination much faster and to me it can be a big time saver.
There’s this debate because Google owns Waze and Google has its own mapping and some people say that they are the same, it’s not the same. To me, Waze is better; we can have the debate later. I use this, it saves me a lot of time and when people don’t use it I find that they’re wasting my time. So I get a little crazy about it.
Vicki Voisin: Right. Adam, let me interrupt you right there, do you get a voice telling you these things with that app or do you have to read it or —
Adam Camras: Oh, yeah, no, it’s turn by turn on your phone. That’s a good question, so just like other turn-by-turn navigation, it tells you when to turn and turn right or turn left and approaching roundabout and all these other things. Yeah, it definitely walks you through, but it also gives you, you know tells you about the notifications of what’s coming up.
If there’s a red light camera or other things, I mean it’s really to me it’s about the traffic and finding the best route. Now you can’t use this blindly, because it does, you know, it’s not perfect, sometimes it will have you get off the freeway or the highway and gets you right back on, but overall I find that it gets me to my destination much faster than I could have gotten there other ways.
Lux is another one, and like the name luxury, this is sort of a luxury, but this is your own personal valet parking. It’s an app and you tell it where you’re going, you put in the destination and you get there and somebody the blue coat shows up. Let’s hope it’s the person who works for the company, they take your car and they park it for you. They can also fill it with gas and wash it and do these things. I know that this sounds like a luxury however, if you live in a big city where parking can be expensive, this is actually usually far less expensive than parking in a lot of your downtown garages for the day.
But here’s the real kicker. Let’s just say you have lunch in one destination where you drop off your car and then you’ve got to go to the courthouse after, when you’re done the courthouse you can order your car back to the courthouse and bring it to where you are and you don’t have to walk back to the garage or where you were originally or if you’ve got multiple meetings within a day, it’s actually, it’s a beautiful way that technology is making things easier and again it’s you know more cost-effective than parking and most of these garages.
Another one being respectful of your time is, this company is called Filled or Purple and this is only Purple app, this is only in a few cities right now, but it’s gas delivery. You don’t have to go to the gas station anymore and wait for the car to fill up or wait for the line and go there and get the gas. They’ll come to you, they’ll fill up your car.
It’s there you’re paying a little bit of a premium for it, but I think we’re going to continue to see things like this where these services are delivered and they are at or below the cost that you’re used to paying, because you don’t have to pay for all the overhead of a physical gas station and they can do this and come to you, bring it to your home or your office and deliver it.
There’s a lot of these other services that are out there for vehicles where they will come and they will fix your car and do repairs. You don’t have to go and wait at the repair shop, I mean there so many of them out there, but if you have to do those things you can, I just — remember the days when you had to have somebody drop you off at the repair shop or come pick you up and then drop in. You can now use Uber and it’s usually a couple dollars to bring you back to your office or to bring you back home.
So this is I think it’s a really interesting app and it’s called Service. The URL of the website is getservice.com and their motto is, having issue with the business, let us make it right for you. So I don’t know how they make money, because it’s free but if you have a bad experience at a hotel or a restaurant or fear like you’re charged airline fees erroneously or even something they right or even warranty issues, they will go out on your behalf.
You go to the website, you fill out a quick intake form, put in some information and they’ll go out and try and solve that for you in terms of getting you some money back or credit or something along those lines. I think it’s really interesting these services that are allowing it outsource and take things that will be pretty painful. I mean that’s probably one of the lowest forms of the way I wanted to use my time in terms of your complaining about an experience or service they had. There’s now a company and a tool that will do this for you.
Vicki Voisin: And excuse me I want to add that that is terribly time-consuming when you’re trying to do it yourself. So definitely I want to use that one. Okay.
Adam Camras: Yeah so Honey is another one. This is joinhoney.com and this is a browser plug-in or an extension that you add to your browser. And so I don’t know about you, but whenever I go to a website and an e-commerce site and I’m checking out and they’ve got the total and the tax and everything and on the shipping and then it says, do you have a coupon code, or promo code, I can tell you how I feel but I don’t know, Vicki how do you feel when you see that?
Vicki Voisin: I wish I had a promo code, that’s how I feel.
Adam Camras: Yeah. I always – I feel like I’m overpaying, like someone is getting a better deal than I’m getting. Well, so what Honey does is, Honey and so do you take the time to go out and search for the Target coupon and see if you can find one that’s valid and put it in there.
Vicki Voisin: Right. You’re also getting on somebody’s list when you go out to do that. So again, waste of time but if Honey will help – I thought you were going to say honey do. So, I like this.
Adam Camras: Yeah so it’s automatic. As you go to checkout, it automatically crawls the web, searches for discounted coupons or promotional codes for you. If they have them they plug them into that section on the website and you just hit submit just like you would normally do.
Now it does take a few seconds as they crawl to see what’s out there, but this is not something that you have to go out and do on your own, and I think to kind of close up the personal piece, this has been one of my favorites, and again, I have embarked on this, this year and continue to try and find these time sucks for me that are draining and there’s the premise just about anything can be delivered, and there are so many companies that are trying to do lane grabs and market share that they are losing money on their services because they want to build a customer base and an audience and they have the financial backing to be able to do this.
Look at in your world, see what you’re doing and chances are there’s probably 3834 an app tool or company that can do it far more cost effectively than you can and bring it to you. I mentioned Google Express before. This is one of my favorites. because there’s a company that a store that some of you may know about and I don’t know if they have one near you. Vicki, is there a Costco near you?
Vicki Voisin: Oh yes and Sam’s Club.
Adam Camras: Okay. So what happens every time you go to Costco or what happens to your cart in terms of — how does it look?
Vicki Voisin: Well you know Adam, I usually go in for one or two things and I end up with a cartful, so — and it happens to everybody. There’s no one who can go in there and buy one thing.
Adam Camras: Yup, and they’ve created a beautiful experience and they’ve taken the guesswork. I mean it’s magical what they’ve created at Costco. I do enjoy going there however, here in Los Angeles, that’s a half a day experience because you’ve got to drive there, you’ve got to park half-mile away, you’ve got to get your cart, the line to get in, you go through oh, let’s try this, look for something special, same thing, you fill up your cart with all the stuff you didn’t come there and intended to buy.
Well, Google Express has solved that for me because you can order from Costco on there and either that day or the next day whatever you order will be at your home or at the office and it’s $75 for the year. There are a number of other stores that Google Express works with, and again, this is not in every city yet, but it will be.
Well, maybe not every city, but it will certainly be in the larger cities. And this is one where the $75, it’s a lot of money, but if you think about what your time’s worth, that’s one visit to Costco. I’ve made and not having to go there, forget everything that I would have bought that I didn’t need to buy. I paid it, it delivered, it shows up at my office or home and it’s phenomenal. And still lets me go to Costco, but yet I don’t have to go there with all the pain of going there.
Vicki Voisin: Absolutely not. I want to ask you this seems similar to Amazon Prime and I don’t know if you want to talk about that right here, but there always is an annual fee and I notice that you said this cost $75. If your order is over $15 is the delivery fee, is that how it is?
Adam Camras: Yes.
Vicki Voisin: Okay
Adam Camras: Yes, and I should have mentioned that Amazon Prime, I guess, I feel that that’s one that probably most people know about. They do have Amazon to have same day, I can’t remember what they call that as well. I haven’t used that as much, but when I was back there looking for that microphone that was one of the places I was checking and I love Amazon Prime and I think that getting things within two days to your door is phenomenal, but Amazon, at least to my knowledge isn’t going go to Costco for me.
Vicki Voisin: No, they’re not. So okay –
Adam Camras: I want Kirkland, I want my Kirkland products Vicki, Kirkland.
Vicki Voisin: Absolutely. Now tell me if you have some apps that you can use at work that will help paralegals in their work.
Adam Camras: Yeah sure. So these are some of the shifts that we’ve made at our company and immense time-saver. So the first one that I will start with and I know there’s a lot of big fans of Outlook and Office 365 and moving to the cloud I think it’s kind of the first shift to that, but for us, and this was something we did a long time ago and I remember going from Outlook to Google for work is what it used to be called. It is now called G Suite and that’s your email, those are your spreadsheets, those are your docs, it’s all collaborative.
It’s a shift in terms of how you manage the email, because you no longer have to delete it and it’s on every single device. I think from the times, and there are so many elements that make this better than supporting email in your firm or using your IT firm to support your email. There’s a ton of time savings that happen, but for be the immediate notice, the immediate measure that I noticed was I was saving about an hour a day in spam protection, because the spam technology is so strong and you go in there and look your scam folder, I mean you’ll see the hundreds of messages a day, they’re being automatically moved over to spam that you don’t have to go through.
So that was a huge shift but just like in preparation you are now having, if any of you have a multiple offices or colleagues that are working remote or from home, this shared spreadsheets you can all be looking in real time at a document or at a spreadsheet and make a change and you don’t have to save it, attach it, send it in email, wait for a revision to come back and even with our counsel I push them to use Google because I hate Version Control. That’s just crazy to me, when you can do this on Google Doc, you can see the archive, you can see the history, you can see the changes and it’s all in real time and I don’t have to download and attach and reattach and change the name and all those things that really bug me.
Vicki Voisin: Adam, this is one of the things that keeps you, me and other people in the industry from being stressed and that’s the most important part. So go on and tell us some more of these apps that you like to use.
Adam Camras: Yeah. And you actually just brought up another idea and in a stressful busy law firm, the other push was hardware agnostic. Meaning, I can take my laptop, smash it with a sledgehammer and because we’ve migrated what we do to the cloud, I am immediately set up on an iPad, on another computer, on my cell phone, anywhere. I’m no longer tethered to this notion that I have to be at the office. Now that can be a bad thing, especially with the workloads that we all have but that notion of you’re preparing for trial and all of a sudden your computer crashes, well, that’s no longer a concern anymore because of the use of technology.
Vicki Voisin: Actually Adam, I’ve been reading about lawyers who actually go to trial only with their phone, because they have so many things, the apps that are on there for them to use, they don’t have to even take their iPad. So definitely makes life easier.
Adam Camras: Yeah, the folding cart business, I would be concerned –
Vicki Voisin: But you know what, you’re going to put paralegals out of business because that’s what we took care of.
Adam Camras: There are far better –
Vicki Voisin: Far better uses for paralegals, I agree, I agree. Okay, let’s move on here.
Adam Camras: Yeah. Next one, so, and this one is an interesting one is that I like too. It’s the Outlook app for Gmail, on Apple or iOS devices and to me this is the best email app out there on the market right now and obviously that could change. But what’s interesting is Microsoft and Apple and Google, none of them liked each other. However I find it interesting that Microsoft created the best Gmail app for the iPhone, and one of the best things about it is the ability to schedule appointments in there and kind of share times that they can pick from.
Another one, this is a big time saver in the firm and your day are Snippets and I don’t know if you’ve covered Snippet, have you talked about Snippets in the past?
Vicki Voisin: No.
Adam Camras: Okay. So one of the tools that’s out there is basically a Snippet is it allows you to put in a code, so like a two key code on your keyboard, and then it can add your disclaimer. And some people like putting those in the signatures or some repetitive use of verbiage that you’re using. It certainly could be in motions or documents your things that you’re saying the same thing, if they’re already not in a template somewhere that you’re using. But you just have this little key code, you key in and it will add it to the document and you can share that with the rest of the teams so that you can all have the exact same Snippets.
A tool that’s out there, that’s called Text Expander, that’s one of the tools you can look at, and so that you’re not typing directions to get to your firm every single time, you just hit two little key buttons in there, it automatically adds it, because that’s the Snippet that’s been created for this.
Vicki Voisin: Wow! Okay!
Adam Camras: Big time-saver.
Vicki Voisin: Big time-saver.
Adam Camras: Yeah. Especially if you look at that collectively out over the entire firm, what are these repetitive messages? So this has been one of my big ones and I really love it, it’s X.dot and I can 46:44, I said love about technology. So it’s called Xdot.ai and this is an artificially intelligent virtual assistant. So what that means, and it’s not .com, you know, it’s AI instead of .com. So it’s just the letter X and AI.com. So what this is, is you get a virtual assistant, that’s a robot and you can choose from Amy or Adam and what they do is they schedule your meetings for you. Schedule calls and the process. You are on an email exchange or you’re on a phone call and you say, in the email, great let’s have a phone call and I say, I’ve cc’d Amy, my (BOT assistant) to schedule the call and then I’ll put a little message, Amy, please set up a time for Vicki to talk.
And then Vicki looks forward to connect you. So I CC Any on there, Amy will behind-the-scenes look at my calendar, reach out to you and start having some dialogue saying, hi Vicky, this is Amy, I’d like to get something on the calendar with Adam. Please let me know if these times work. If not, you can have full sentence conversations with Amy and the end result is she will put — when she has worked this out with you, she’ll just add it to my calendar. All I have to do is accept it, meeting booked. Gone are the days of 20 e-mails back and forth to schedule a phone call or meeting.
Vicki Voisin: Adam, I’ve actually been the recipient of email from you through Amy and I would have sworn I was working with the real person. So that was interesting.
Adam Camras: What’s interesting is that — and I always put that, that’s a BOT in there because I don’t want people to be caught off guard, but sometimes they don’t see it and they’re having full-on conversations with Amy and asking questions about me and I don’t know what those responses are, but she somehow finds a way to handle them, and especially like if they get off track, she will notify you. But outside of that it’s out of sight out of mind, it just gets taken care of and it saves me a lot of time.
Another one kind of along that vein is called Charlie App and this is meeting intelligence. So what Charlie App would do is, it will go through and scan my calendar and it will find email addresses within my calendar and then it will create a profile based on who that person is. The old days I used to go through and I would when I was having a phone call, I would set up a — I would go to LinkedIn and I would search for social media, I want to be prepared for the meeting, and see what I could find out about the person. This will go in there and do it for me and create a profile and based on a number of criteria. So it’s all just set up, I can go see that preview, I can go see the links to LinkedIn or to their twitter handle and it’s all set up for me before the meeting.
Vicki Voisin: Adam, these are all great tips, but we’re running out of time and so let’s run through these last ones and just give everybody an overview. I’m really interested in HelloSign.
Adam Camras: I love HelloSign. It’s basically gone are the days of download, sign scan, save, reattach, email, send, it’s just right from the attachment you sign it; you send it right back and same thing for mobile. It’s a really seamless experience.
Vicki Voisin: Okay.
Adam Camras: Another one that is great, it’s part of mobile is, it’s called Scanbot and I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten attachment that says photos that they’ve taken and you have ten different photos show up.
What I love about Scanbot is, one it scans really well, converts your PDF, but you can put multiple pages in there, all within one PDF, so you scan it, add pages, attach this all on one PDF, zip it, send it right from the e-mail, right from the app and sends it off.
Vicki Voisin: Oh great!
Adam Camras: Another one is called Todoist and as I mentioned this earlier in the conversation this is how I keep track of all my todos and tasks and if I do have one of those days, again where I’m thinking about all things I didn’t get done which doesn’t happen as often, I can just add them to Todoist. Something I think is really important for security is using a password program, and there are a number of them that are out there. Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, but you want to have obviously different passwords on all your devices. I don’t have to go and look it up because there’s a browser plug-in where I just come on and click on the password, put in my one made password and it automatically populates the password for me on all the programs we have them set up.
Shyp, S-H-Y-P, I don’t know how many of you are — when you’re sending things, if you’re going off to FedEx or UPS or the post office, that was another pet peeve of mine is going to that post office, didn’t seem like an environment where things were happening as fast as I wanted them to here in Los Angeles. Well, Shyp has taken that off your plate, you take a picture of what you want to send, somebody will show up, pick it up, package it for you and find the most cost-effective way to send it for you.
PerfectIt, this is another one this is actually a disclaimer; it is a new sponsor to Legal Talk Network on New Solo. If you go to intelligentediting.com, right now that’s just a PC version, but they’re going to have a MAC version shortly. It’s editing software and it checks for all the things that your current software in terms of word and docs is not checking for and there it’s proofreading and checking for grammar and other elements in those documents and capitalization and those things that you’d want to catch, because you don’t want that document showing up to the lawyer or to the client wrong. And this does it and goes in there for you and it’s a very, very cost-effective way to do it.
And I think the final one, and I touched on that before and obviously you are already listening to Legal Talk Network Show, but Legal Talk Network, it’s a great way to stay on top of what’s happening within legal and just podcast in general for anything that you want to learn about or work on in life or entertainment, there are shows out there that are riveting and the content is amazing and you can do this while you’re doing other things.
Vicki Voisin: You know Adam, the one thing I do like about Legal Talk Network is that you do go to different conventions, and so forth and you interview people there and I think that’s so important for the people who aren’t able to be there to really get a feel for what’s going on, so I think that’s a plus.
Now, I have a question for you speaking of conventions, if our audience wants to hear more about all of this, do you have any seminars planned?
Adam Camras: Yeah, it looks like the next one on the docket where we will be touching on some of these is that 2017 ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago that and that will be in March and I’m going to be on a panel called 60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes and my co-presenters are Deborah Savadra, Rochelle Washington from the DC Bar, Ivan Hemmans and Jack Newton who is the Clio co-founder also going to be on the sharing, just like I shared some of these today, and there’s a lot more that I have in the presentation, sharing those tips that are helping their lives or help optimizing their lives and their practices.
Vicki Voisin: That sounds wonderful, and I hope I see you at the NALA Convention in Tampa in July.
Adam Camras: I don’t know if we have that on the calendar yet, but I’d certainly love to be there and who knows, maybe this is even a seminar we could give at NALA this year.
Vicki Voisin: Sounds like a plan. So is there anything else that you want to leave with our listeners today?
Adam Camras: Well, I’ve certainly taken a lot of this today and it’s a little odd, because this is an episode about time, but we’ve used a lot of it and there’s unfortunately, there’s a lot of tips and tools that we can go through. But I think the premise is, be curious, ask yourself questions about is there somebody better or more cost-effective and kind of knowing your pay rate and see if you can find somebody that’s a low pay rate that you can outsource this to, or is there a technology and yeah, just asking yourselves if this doesn’t feel right, what are some ways that I can do this differently and it’s really about finding ways to respect your time and optimize your life, just so that you can have more of it and do the things that you really want to do with it.
Vicki Voisin: Adam that’s all the time we have for today, but if our listeners want to get in touch with you or find out more information about you. How would they do that?
Adam Camras: Sure. Twitter is a great place. I am @adamcamras and I’m sharing things that I think that are interesting or articles that I’m reading about technology and legal. LinkedIn is another place and certainly at the Legal Talk Network.
Vicki Voisin: And that’s legaltalknetwork.com, right?
Adam Camras: Correct.
Vicki Voisin: Thank You. Thanks Adam, I hope to have you again someday.
Adam Camras: Thank You Vicki that was fun.
Vicki Voisin: Bye now. Let’s take another short break, don’t go away, because when I come back I will have news and career tips for you.
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Vicki Voisin: Welcome back to the Paralegal Voice. This s the time of the show when I have my Practice Tips for you, and I know that we’ve gotten a lot of great tips from Adam today and one thing that he said that really resonated with me was that pay attention, respect your time and when you see something or hear something, investigate, and see if it’s really going to work for you. There were several of these apps that I think I’m going to certainly look into, but I just read an article over the Internet and it was called 18 Best Apps for Lawyers. And actually this is from Clio.
Clio is also a sponsor of Legal Talk Network, but they had some apps that I’d heard of, not all of them were unique, but it’s where the attorney can use all kinds of apps to make their lives easier and to make going to court easier.
One that he mentioned is Tripit. It tracks travel expenses. It will do that for you if you’re going to a meeting and you need to be reimbursed and it syncs with Microsoft Outlook and your Google Calendar. So take a look at that and you might also want to read that article. It’s 18 Best Apps for Lawyers, just Google that and it will pop-up for you.
Now, that’s all the time we have for today for The Paralegal Voice. If you have any questions about today’s show, please email them to me at HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]”[email protected]. Don’t forget to check out my website, HYPERLINK “http://www.paralegalmentorblog.com” paralegalmentor/blog, and you’ll find resources there, you’ll find a link to my blog and so forth. And everything there has been designed to help you move your career in the right direction, and that’s always forward.
This is Vicki Voisin, thanking you for listening to The Paralegal Voice, and always go out and make your paralegal voice heard.
Outro: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Thanks for listening to The Paralegal Voice produced by the Broadcast Professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join Vicki Voisin in her next podcast on Issues and Trends Affecting Paralegals and Legal Assistance. Subscribe to the RSS feed on legaltalknetwork.com or in iTunes.