You may talk to a client over the weekend, spend time working on a brief at night after you put the kids to bed, or handle something in a courthouse because you happen to be there on another matter. iTimeKeep makes time entry so simple and accessible that you can easily enter your time no matter when or where you are working, and thus you don't forget to record your time entries.
Forgetting to record a few 0.1 or 0.2 time entries may not seem like a big deal, but over weeks and months it can really add up. This time that would have otherwise been lost is what Bellefield refers to as invisible time. With the iTimeKeep app on your iPhone — which is likely with you all the time — you can enter your time contemporaneously and before you forget about it. As soon as you enter time, the app quickly talks to your firm's time management system so that the activity is officially recorded. By using your iPhone to record your time entries at the time that you do the work, you don't have to worry about losing time that you forgot about as you try to reconstruct your activities at a later time. It’s not unreasonable to expect that you will record some additional billable time every day by keeping your time contemporaneously with iTimeKeep. Multiply that by 255 work days a year, and multiply that by your billable rate, and the value of iTimeKeep becomes obvious.
Contemporaneous time entry is good for another reason. It is much easier to keep track of what you are doing while you are doing it than it is to try to reconstruct your time entries at the end of the day (or on a subsequent day). We've all been there before — you are doing your time entries at the end of the day, and you find yourself staring blankly as you try to remember what it was that you worked on in the morning. Eventually it may come to you, but you are wasting your own (non-billable) time as you attempt to remember what you did. If you instead enter your time as you are doing tasks, you save yourself the agony of reconstructing your day. And because iTimeKeep makes it so easy to keep track of your time contemporaneously, over time you will find that you do it more and more.
iTimeKeep works with law firms of any size, integrating with several time and billing systems: Aderant, Elite, Omega, PC Law, TimeMatters, and many, many more which are listed here.
I started using this app in my own law practice last year, and I posted a comprehensive review in August. I have used this app on more occasions that I can remember to record my time when I am out of the office, time that I might have otherwise forgotten about. Thus, the app has helped me to get paid for the work that I am actually doing, plus it ensures that my timesheets accurately reflect all of the work that I am doing for my clients.
iTimeKeep validates your time against client billing guidelines, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to add a needed issue or task code for a file, or entering time in 0.1 increments when the client requires 0.25 entries. And you can use built-in timers to keep track of precisely how long you spend working on a task.
What surprised me about iTimeKeep is that it isn't just a tool for avoiding missed time entries. It is also a fantastic tool to use every day for recording all of your time. The iTimeKeep interface is so incredibly well-designed and fast to use that I often prefer using iTimeKeep over the interface for my law firm's time entry software. And fortunately, it doesn't matter which one I use — time that I enter in iTimeKeep shows up on my firm system, and time that I enter in my firm's system shows up in iTimeKeep if I have to go back and edit an entry.
I cannot type on an iPhone as fast as I can type on a computer keyboard. However, I can often enter time just as quickly using iTimeKeep on my iPhone. Sometimes I use Siri dictation to speak a time entry, which is fast and easy. Other times I use the iPhone's keyboard shortcut feature to speed up time entry. (In the Settings app, go to General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement.) For example, if I type "tcw" on my iPhone, it automatically changes that to "Telephone conference with " so I just need to type the name and the "re" information.
But iTimeKeep is not just a product for your iPhone (and iPad and Apple Watch, and even Android). You can also use iTimeKeep on your computer via a secure website interface. Whether I am entering time in the office on my PC or at home on my Mac, I frequently use the desktop version of iTimeKeep to type my time entries in the clean and efficient interface.
No attorney enjoys time entry, but it is a necessary part of the practice of law for most of us. With iTimeKeep, you significantly reduce the friction associated with entering your time, especially when you record it contemporaneous with performing the work for your client. Thank you to Bellefield for sponsoring iPhone J.D. again this month, and thank you for creating this perfect example of an iPhone app that greatly improves the practice of law for attorneys.