‘Manage’ has one of the weirder etymologies. It comes from an Old French word meaning ‘horsemanship.’ The 16th-century French art of manège is a form of complicated horse-dancing, ancestor to modern dressage.

With that kind of history, how can we even think of ‘managing’ email? Some days, email feels like a herd of feral bucking broncos. How could anyone transform this into a perfect, controlled dance?

The answer lies in Filevine’s email management tools. If you’re not using these techniques yet, start today to save time and improve your work.

Raise your firm’s communication standards with the Filevine ‘send email’ action button

Drafting routine email takes time and can introduce errors, leading to confusion or more serious problems.

But you can instead send templated emails with the click of a button. Filevine’s ‘send email’ action button gathers information already in your files and uses it to create personable, precise, and professional emails. 

Add the action button to your case files and get started today. Follow the instructions here to create a new widget, select ‘action,’ and then select ‘send email button.’ You can then draft your templates, noting which information should be taken from the case file.

Best practices for the ‘send email’ action button:

  • Create customized email templates for key moments in each matter’s life cycle. These can include follow-up emails to potential clients who haven’t yet signed, a welcome email for new clients, monthly status updates for every ongoing matter—the possibilities are endless.   
  • Hone the voice of your firm or legal group. Templated emails ensure your communication carries the language and tone that best represents your brand.
  • Insert the ‘send email’ button into your task flows, so staff can immediately send off the right communication at precisely the right time in the matter’s life cycle. 
  • It’s difficult to remember exactly who needs to be included in emails regarding a certain matter. Create a blank email template in a project that includes multiple email addresses from multiple contact records in a project. This could be for the opposing counsel’s full legal team (attorneys and paralegals) or for any other set of people who should receive certain kinds of email communication together.
  • Edit the templated email before sending if needed. Before the email is sent, you’ll be able to review it and make any necessary changes.
  • Don’t use the ‘send email’ button if you need extensive formatting or images in your email. The action button doesn’t support html formatting or images, but it will include your signature block.

Learn more about setting up the ‘send email’ action button and other smart widgets here:  https://support.filevine.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018875351-Widget-Types 

Add email into the right case file with Filevine email extensions

Did you know that you can move an email into the relevant Filevine file — without ever leaving your email inbox?

If you use Outlook or Gmail, install Filevine’s email extension. This will let you send any email to a project file, where it will appear in that project’s activity feed. 

Email is chaotic and difficult to keep organized. When you move matter-related emails into Filevine, they are archived in a robust, secure case file system, created specifically for legal work.

Best practices for email extensions:

  • Move all relevant emails into the corresponding project file. When using multiple programs, communication platforms, and apps, it’s hard to know where any piece of information lies. It’s best to unite them all into one system, where matters stay organized and linked to your task list and calendar. Your documents coexist with communication and notes for each other. This leaves a clear record of all interactions and case work in one place.
  • Does the email require additional action? Send it as a task to yourself or another team member. Use the ‘@’ symbol to assign someone to take action, and the ‘*’ symbol to affix a due date.

This keeps your workflow in one system so each member can prioritize their work and complete each task in time.

  • Make sure the emails you send are automatically archived in the right case file. When composing your email, select the matter name in your extension and hit ‘send.’
  • Keep the extension open. In Outlook, open the add-in and click the ‘pin’ icon so the add-on remains open while you switch between emails. Learn how to create clever action shortcuts here.
  • Manage which attachments are included in your case files. When you use the extension, attachments will have a checkmark next to them which you can remove if they’re not needed in the file. You can also rename the attachments to make their identity clearer.

Email either silos information or spreads it too wide. It’s difficult to ensure that email recipients are precisely those who need that information. 

But when you attach emails to a matter in your legal operating core, it ensures that the specific members on their legal team can see them. You have control over who gets to view and access information in Filevine. If one member is waiting on a piece of information, they can access it as soon as it’s added to the file.

Learn how to set up Filevine extensions for Gmail and Outlook here: https://support.filevine.com/hc/en-us/sections/360011528032-Email-Extensions 

Email is notoriously overwhelming and difficult to organize. But with Filevine’s templates and extensions, you can rein in email and retake control of your inbox.