I’ve been a fan of Smokeball for a while, but I am finally getting around to doing a review. Now I am not devaluing all their other features, but what stands out to me the most is the AI feature.
Artificial Intelligence. Smokeball is practice management software. What sets them apart from their competition is their use of artificial intelligence to track your time for you! I can’t emphasize this enough, but I hated keeping track of my time. There are companies that have awesome timers and will let you click on a clock to start and stop tracking your time while you work on a matter, but not one does it for you automatically by tracking your activities.
Not only does it track your time for you, but it breaks it down so you can look at the time you spent on every matter and each task (see image below). If you’re spending too much time on emails rather than substantive work, you can adjust your practice and set aside 1 hour a day to manage emails and make sure you spend the rest drafting documents instead. It’s data you can use.
Integrates with the most-used software. So you love Word and Outlook? I don’t blame you. Let’s face it, it’s the most widely used software by lawyers. The great thing about Smokeball is that it integrates with what you already use. It will let you edit documents in Word, and save the new versions in the software (yes, version control is available) and time you automatically while you do it.
My favorite feature is the document automation. The ready-made templates have all the fields you need to complete that Notice of Motion in seconds. The software fills in forms for you with the data from the software.
Even every email is tracked and timed with the AI and stored in the software. You’ll never forget to record that email in your billables again! You can also attach documents to your Outlook emails from Smokeball directly and Smokeball will track every inbound and outbound email for you.
Ready-made Templates & Layouts. Aside from the AI, Smokeball also has ready-made templates and layouts depending on your practice. You don’t have to create new fields or try to fit your divorce case into a DUI intake form (see the difference below). It’s all set up for you. You’ll get specific forms, layouts and templates based on your areas of practice. They have over 70 different matter layouts, and continue to release new ones every quarter. So whether you’re a family or criminal defense lawyer, you’re covered. You will get premade templates and layouts for your use.
Implementation. What a lot of legal tech companies don’t tell you (yes, i’m going to say it) is that the implementation of their software is a nightmare! Smokeball promises to do it with you in 10 days. They have a representative who will help you along the way and make sure you are up and running in 10 days. Believe me, that is a VERY short period of time.
ROI Calculator. While Smokeball is affordable ($69 per month, per user), they have an ROI calculator. If you’ve ever wanted to know how much time and money you would save by using Smokeball, take their test here. I can assure you, it’s worth it.
- Available on all devices
- Tasks & Workflow management
- Case management
- Client management
- Document automation and management
Now, my favorite part: the Rating Scale.
UX – Ease of Use
5 – So easy to use, a 5-year-old can use it
4 – Good with minor improvements needed
3 – Needs some work
2 – Needs a lot of work
1 – I can’t use it
UI – Appearance
5 – This looks amazing. Clean lines. Legible. Organized.
4 – Looks great. Minor corrections needed
3 – Needs some work, but functions well
2 – Needs a makeover
1 – Too messy. Makes it difficult to use and understand.
Frequency of Use by Intended Users
5 – I need this every day
4 – I use it most days
3 – I use it as I need it
2 – I’ll use it a few times this year
1 – I’ll never use it
5 – Love it, can’t put it down. Tons of features.
4 – Keeps me interested most of the time. Has some good features.
3 – Not a whole lot to explore or keep me interested.
2 – I don’t hate it
1 – Yup, I hate it
5 – So disruptive, a lawsuit or angry publication is in your future
4 – You solved a problem and made someone angry
3 – Solves a problem, but not groundbreaking
2 – There may be something to it, but not quite sure
1 – Doesn’t really stand out or solve any problems
Yes, that is the first time I’ve given a company a perfect score. The AI, ready-made layouts and templates, and the customer service make this amazing software and a must have for all practitioners.
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