Information flows quickly in a law office.
A new case comes in. It’s assigned to a senior partner, who enlists the office’s interns to begin research.
The administrative staff gets involved. Other partners get involved.
Lots and lots of emails start flying back and forth.
Keeping track of it all can be a nightmare.
Today we’re going to show you how to reduce the number of internal emails you send and receive every day– dramatically.
We’ll start by introducing Gmail Label Sharing, which can quickly slash the number of group emails you send and receive.
We’ll then cover Gmail LabelChat, a new feature that can help you eliminate the long, back-and-forth, 20-email long “RE:” messages so common in most modern workplaces.
Part I: Gmail Label Sharing — Bring Sanity to Your Inbox
Law offices revolve around individual cases.
Your inbox—however—is a list of sequential messages about… all kinds of different cases.
By using Gmail Labels, you can easily organize your inbox by cases, instead of by the date a message was received.
Here’s an example to show you how it works.
Let’s assume you have a new case: Clarke vs. Stevens.
Here are the steps you’d take:
- Create a new Gmail Label for the case:
- For every email you send or receive involving Clarke vs. Stevens, add the “Clarke vs. Stevens” label.
Now all your emails related to Clarke vs. Stevens will be easily accessible from one place. If you need to find an email related to the case, just open Gmail and click the label.
*Pro tip: You can also set up filters in Gmail that will automatically sort your emails for you, directly into your newly created Gmail label.
Sharing a Gmail Label With Others
Once you’ve set up a label, you can share it with other people on your team.
When you share a Gmail label, you make it possible for others to access anything you’ve put in the shared label.
This is perfect for casework. It means you no longer have to “forward” messages to a list of people working on a case.
Instead, just add them to the appropriate label.
Here’s how to share a Gmail label:
- Install cloudHQ’s free Gmail Label Sharing Chrome extension.
- Open your Gmail account.
- Click the label you want to share.
- Click the “Share Label” button in the upper right:
- Add team members who are working on the case.
Each team member will receive an email invite to share the label. Once they’ve accepted the invite, they’ll have access to all messages in the shared label from that point forward.
Anyone with access to the shared label can add an email to the label.
This creates a simple, complete organization of all emails related to a case—accessible to anyone who’s working on the project. Next, we’ll look at workflow.
Part II: Why Law Offices Are Adopting Gmail LabelChat
Sharing labels is only the first step in organizing your inbox (and cutting down on the number of emails you send and receive every day). Still, it is the only way to reliable share a chunk of emails without getting lost in numerous email threads.
The second step is to eliminate the 20-message, back-and-forth, “RE:” chains.
That’s where Gmail LabelChat comes in.
How Gmail LabelChat Works To Reduce Time
Gmail LabelChat works by creating an instant-chat area inside Gmail.
Instead of sifting through countless mass emails, you and your team can simply chat back and forth inside Gmail.
You can even share files without having to attach them to an email.
All communications are timestamped and saved, making it easy to find past communications as a case moves forward. The entire conversation is also backed up automatically in a Google Drive document.
All Conversation About a Case, All in One Place
By using Gmail LabelChat, you can set up unique chat areas for each case, then archive them once the case is over.
That means no more digging through your email to find a conversation from two weeks ago.
Instead, the full conversation will be at your fingertips anytime you need it. Simply scroll back through the history to find the message you’re looking for.
How to Set Up Gmail LabelChat for Your Office
Here’s how to set up Gmail LabelChat for your office.
- Follow the instructions in Part I above to create and share a Gmail Label.
- Click the label for the case.
- Click the “Click to Chat” button to open the chat area.
From there, you’ll be able to chat back and forth with your team.
If you work in a law office, you might have developed a love-hate relationship with your email.
Adopting Gmail Label Sharing and Gmail LabelChat can bring some sanity to your inbox, perhaps for the first time.
It can help you cut down the number of emails flowing into your inbox. It can keep everyone on the same page. It can help your team work efficiently.
And it’s 100% free to use for anyone who uses Gmail or hosts their email through Google Apps.