Use Evernote for your Closing Argument “swipe file”

I use Evernote  for a lot of different things in my daily personal and business life.  This post is about one of the first ways I began using Evernote.
What is a Swipe File?

A Swipe File is a large collection of reference materials to help in the creative process.  Wikipedia defines, “A swipe file is a collection of tested and proven advertising and sales letters. Keeping a swipe file (templates) is a common practice used by advertising copywriters and creative directors as a ready reference of ideas for projects. Copywriters are not the only ones who can benefit from having a swipe file. … authors and publishers can benefit from creating a swipe file of best-selling titles to give them ideas for their own titles. Publicists can create a swipe file of great press release headlines. Swipe files are a great jumping-off point for anybody who needs to come up with lots of ideas…”

Trial Lawyers use of Swipe File
All Trial Lawyers should use a swipe file for capturing ideas, analogies and inspirations regarding specific cases as they progress.  These bits of information could be anything form a relevant news story to a magazine article or an advertisement of corporate defendant.
For years I used a regular file folder in the client file to keep these bits of inspiration.  However, this was often a complex task.  Most of the time when inspiration hit I never had that client file in front of me.  I would have to dictate into a recorder or scribble a note out on a piece of paper and then place it in the file at a later date.
 Why Evernote is the tool for your “Swipe File”
 I began using Evernote in October of 2009.  One of my first uses of Evernote was to capture notes and ideas for trial.  Now I have all my witness outlines, cross-examination outlines, and my master swipe file on Evernote.  I can get the information into Evernote in numerous ways.
  •  I can use Noteshelf on my iPad and actually write it down and export the note to Evernote straight from Noteshelf.
  • If I write it on paper, I scan the paper with my Scansnap scanner directly into Evernote.
  • If I am surfing the web and doing research and I find something relevant to a case I can use Evernote web clipper in Firefox or Google Chrome.
  • I can also use my phone to take a picture of a document or object directly in Evernote on the phone.
  • I can also use the Evernote app on my phone to dictate an audio note directly into Evernote.
  • Evernote also provides each account with a unique email address so you can forward email straight into Evernote.
  • I can also just open a new note in Evernote and begin  typing the idea or thought directly into Evernote.  (I actually wrote this blog post in Evernote)

Once the information is in Evernote you can easily find it with Evernote’s search function.  It will  even search your hand writing.  However, for my swipe file I tag the note with  “swipe file” “Client’s  Name”  (if needed) and the area I think I will need to use the information.  For Example if it is an idea for closing argument, I will add the tag “closing.”  You create your own notebooks and tags in Evernote so how you organize it is completely up to you.

Evernote is free for the first 60 Mg of data for every 30 day cycle, but you can upgrade to the premium account.  Personally, I have never needed to upgrade,  but I can see it happening soon because I use Evernote for  everything!
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One response to “Use Evernote for your Closing Argument “swipe file”

  1. Looks like I stumbled upon a gem here, I just download the scansnap. I have so many little notes around the office, so now I can get rid of them and scan in. I have yet to download the web clipper for firefox, but it seems handy as well. The audio feature was one I didn’t know about so I am about to explore! Thanks for the tips.

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