When I first opened my solo practice, one of the first questions I confronted was “What am I going to use to manage my practice?” Being a long time Apple Mac fan boy, I knew that it had to be Mac based as that is the only hardware platform I would consider. At the time, there was no iPhone nor iPad to extend the office virtually so my focus was on a package that could run on both my office and home systems. And for at least the initial phase that meant on a laptop that I would carry back and forth to work.
In my previous business life, I had used Filemaker Pro very successfully and thought that that would be my starting point. But while Filemaker Pro is extremely flexible, I felt that the resulting practice management system would have too much of a homegrown look and feel to it and may not be considered “professional” should I expand my solo practice to include associates. Thus, I was looking for a more commercial application that would meet my needs – and that made the choices slim. The more established practice management software packages – such as Timeslips – were not available on the Mac and running them in a Windows emulator was not an option. Similarly, cloud based options such as Rocket Matter were just coming into vogue and I felt not yet mature enough to qualify. I will say that if I had to make the choice today I think that Rocket Matter would be a clear favorite.
In any case, I came to choose Daylite 3 by MarketCircle. Daylite 3 is an all purpose contact/schedule and resource management tool typically favored by sales forces. And while it was quirky and buggy in the beginning, DL3 has now matured and grown to the point that it is an indispensable part of my law office workflow. In it I maintain my contact database, my calendar, my project/case to do lists and action items, email archives, and much more. And with that I am only really scratching the surface of what the software is capable of supporting. I have yet to fully integrate mail merge, forms, pipelines, activity sets and a host of other capabilities. Daylite 3 also has client apps for both my iPhone and iPad that sync over the wireless network so that I always have access to my practice management system. I would like to see all three apps sync via Dropbox or even automatically over the wifi network but for now, manually initiating the sync is not much of a drawback. And I have yet to figure out how to reliably print from the database.
Over the next several post I plan to detail my DL3 workflows and show how I keep everything up to date and with me at all times. I'll also venture off into how other products such as Dropbox, Hazel, and Text Expander integrate into my practice management. So check back in with me later.