(9 min read)
I am a government-regulated UK Immigration Lawyer running a busy private company and was offered a free trial of Checkwiz about 10 months ago. Always seeking to improve the efficiency of my business, I accepted. From the start, I realised that this was a tool which could be very useful in my line of work.
There were a few issues for which I could see room for improvement and after pointing these out, the Checkwiz developers fixed them very nicely. What they have produced I believe is a quite outstanding programme.
One of the biggest challenges in day-to-day practice is staying organised and on top of the multitude of cases that come your way. The nature of immigration cases is that the application process from start to finish can take weeks, and remembering what is going on with each and every case is very challenging, especially when clients are continuously contacting you for updates and progress reports.
Whilst juggling your caseload one inevitably forgets what is going on until you have time to dip into a file and do the necessary investigation. It is imperative, therefore, to have a system where one can quickly and easily know where one is at with a case at any given time. One also needs to have a broader overview of one’s general caseload to keep things in perspective. In this respect, Checkwiz is a lifesaver and an excellent tool for being able to see in an easy, clean and well-presented format the position of your caseload.
What this boils down to for immigration cases, (and no doubt many other case types), is the collection of documents relevant to and required in the application process. Checkwiz comes into its own in this regard as being a quite genius list-building tool. I have come across nothing quite like it which is so effective for this purpose.
The beauty of Checkwiz is that it can be entirely compatible with your existing legal framework. It is not seeking to take over or replace your present work system. This would not be helpful as people or firms have usually developed their own system over a period of time which they are happy with. However, Checkwiz can operate entirely independently and act as a simple ‘add-on’ to your existing system, making your life easier still.
Immigration (and no doubt other) lawyers know full well that their cases revolve around sending a ‘document list’ to your client and then waiting for the goods to arrive. The more refined and personalised the list is, the easier it will be for your client to speedily gather the items and not bother you with further questions. Hence the ability to quickly and effectively construct a list is essential. Once all the documents are received it is a ‘Hallelujah’ moment since you know there are no more obstacles to completing the case.
Most of the information needed to complete the application form is also gleaned from the documents you are requiring. Many people use standard lists (not personalised) or a word processor to create the list which can be burdensome. Both of these can be a thing of the past. Checkwiz provides a slick and clean interface with which to get that list polished off in no time. It is what I would term the ‘Swiss Army penknife’ of list builders because you can simply whip it out (onto the screen) and with great effect begin immediately cutting up and piecing together your list.
The ease and speed with which a list can be built is a thing to behold and quite outstanding it has to be said. One cannot really appreciate this until it has been tried and tested. What stands out is the ‘copy and paste’ feature which I would say is a game-changer for companies needing to organise and work with their templates.
Basically if one already has a template eg in a Word document, then you can simply ‘copy and paste’ this directly into Checkwiz. Living up to its name, Checkwiz then masterly and magically creates a list which is then instantly incorporated into the Checkwiz ecosystem. It can then be used at will for your present and future cases. Lawyers will no doubt have lists all over the place in different folders for different purposes. All these lists can be compiled into Checkwiz in seconds to create a system of templates, which can be edited and fired out as the need arises.
All your templates will be filed and then easily accessible from the template section of Checkwiz. The ability to edit lists is so easy and effective that you can tinker about with the lists to your heart's content. One cannot really underestimate the value of this in terms of organisation and time-saving.
In addition, Checkwiz also operates as a communication tool. Everything is online these days and most interactions with clients are remote or online via email, WhatsApp or video call etc. This is especially so in immigration cases where increasingly one does not see the client in person, especially if applying from overseas. Hence the ability to be on the same page with your client is essential. Checkwiz ticks the box in this regard as it provides the means to communicate the most important information to the client in a professional and presentable way which is easy for them to access and understand. In particular, this will be the list of documents required from them as well as their progress in providing these to you.
Checkwiz serves a dual purpose as not only does it show your clients what documents are needed, but is also a reminder for you of the same. More importantly, as the client provides their documents to you, Checkwiz allows you to easily check them off and then send an email update to the client to confirm your receipt and acceptance of these and point out what documents remain. Again this is not only a record to your client but also a record for you whenever you need to check the client’s file for what is outstanding. No more trawling through client files trying to figure out what documents you are still awaiting. No more having to scratch one’s head and be burdened by your clients’ constant pleas to tell them what is left. Now you just enter them into the Checkwiz search bar, bring up their list, and you will know at a glance. Then effortlessly send them out an email with the list attached so they can see it for themselves. You could also just send them a link to the list as a text message which will also open the list as a PDF. After that, silence is golden.
I cannot overstate how impressed I've been with the facility and ease of list building with Checkwiz. This cannot be overstated because as well as being useful, a programme also needs to be pleasant to use. Checkwiz seems almost too good to be true in how effortless it is to build lists and create templates. Of course, one is constantly having to edit and change lists or templates as one goes along. Templates are constantly needing to be tweaked and individual lists may need to be changed as the case progresses.
One may also need to add further details or instructions to the list for the particular client. Again, Checkwiz steals the show in this regard. It is SO easy to edit templates, move things around, add things, delete things, move them up and down the list, add or remove headers etc. Everything can be done with such speed and precision. There are no lags, no jumping around, no wondering how it all works, just serious no-obstacle list building. Hence why I have given it the ‘Swiss Army Penknife’ label.
Once constructed the list can then be instantly emailed out to your client along with a covering letter containing any other information. Once your client has got their list, you know the ball is in their court, and so you just sit back and wait. If necessary, you can go back into the list at any time and edit as necessary eg when further items need to be added or deleted from the list. Once edited, you can then fire off another email, so the client will get the updated version. The list will be updated for them in any case, whether or not they open your email. They can also see where items have been ticked off and any notes that you might wish to add to advise or guide the client.
It is very reassuring to know that each and every one of your clients have their own personalised list which they can access at any time to assist them in the document collection process. You are also keeping in touch with them via the list to assist them, cutting out any unnecessary or distracting communications which might otherwise have come your way.
From the lawyer's perspective, one has a beautiful panel showing a full list of all clients who have been provided lists as well as some very useful ‘at a glance’ information showing the percentage progress, date of the last contact, and the facility to generate auto-reminders where an up-to-date list can be auto-sent to the client at the desired interval. This could also be set to manual if one wants to be sensitive to clients and you prefer to personalise your reminders.
As well as having the general client panel, by clicking on a specific client one gets an instant drop down into their document list so one can see all the particulars. You can then check off, edit, email, or print the checklist as required. Another great feature is being able to create a template from the already created list, which is useful should you be needing to reuse more or less the same list for other cases.
There are many other features and ways of using Checkwiz that I have not had time to go into. These are possible because it is such a flexible programme. Suffice to say that Checkwiz is a powerful and effective tool which is guaranteed to make your case-working life much easier. Gone are the days of burdensome list building and the tedious back and forth between you and your clients.
Checkwiz takes this over and does the job for you. You will find your brain much less scrambled, and your grey matter becoming more black and white. This is a tool which will help you get organised as well as keep your client in the know about what is required of them. There are many gimmicky programmes out there with various fancy features claiming to improve your work life. In my experience, very few make any real practical difference, and can even complicate and put extra burdens on you. Checkwiz, however, keeps it simple and provides a real use case, which is what tools are supposed to do. Checkwiz is like the helpful middle man between you and your client making everything smoother and more straightforward.
I hope as many people as possible will benefit from this programme. This should not just be lawyers but anyone whose profession includes the necessity of creating and sending out lists to their clients. I am sure Checkwiz will continue to develop and improve further, as I have found the developers very responsive and open to feedback in seeking to evolve the programme. I would therefore highly recommend anyone to have a trial of Checkwiz to see just how practically useful it can be for your business or practice.
Immigration Street Legal