The calendar is the lifeblood of most, if not all, attorneys. Here are four tips to help maintain a healthy calendar in your office.
- Don’t just check your daily calendar, check what you have going on for the week and also glance at your month. Having a good idea what you have coming up in the next few days or weeks will give you an idea on the best way to spend your time. Living day to day will leave you unprepared for those court dates or client appointments that may creep up on you when you are having a busy week.
- Have a backup calendar. Most lawyers today probably rely on a computerized calendar, either Outlook or a software program that keeps track of their appointments. Having a backup, either on your phone or a hard copy, will ensure that anytime you have a computer issue, you will still know where you should be at any given time. Not only is this a good idea, but some states require you to have a backup, so check with your local bar association to find out what you are required to have. The American Bar Association recommends it as a “StressBuster” even if it is not required in your jurisdiction. http://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/solo_newsletter_home/trautz.html
- Institute a system of checks and balances in your office regarding the calendar. You may have only one or a very few number of people actually entering appointments into the calendar. Someone else will double-check to make sure all the necessary entries have been made so that no one misses an important court date or client meeting. For a small office where it may be a single lawyer and assistant, you may want to have a place where the assistant can initial that an appointment has been entered into the calendar, separate from the actual entry. In this way, a lawyer can have a process in place that ensures all appointments are kept.
- The key to having a good calendar is good communication among the staff. Ensuring that people are communicating appointments to one another and also letting others know of changes is essential to a well-run office. If a change needs to be made or something appears to be missing from the calendar, let someone know. This will also help to prevent duplicate entries from being made on the calendar. As new employees are starting at an office, make sure they are well aware of how calendaring is done
Following these tips will allow you to be where you should be at all times and relieve you of any stress about missing an appointment. If you have a healthy calendar system, you will have a healthy work life.
Time Matters can help streamline calendar functionality. If you are interested in learning how we have private one on one sessions available at LexisNexis University.