The Web-based practice-management application Clio marked its third year of business Oct. 1. Today, to mark the occasion, it announced new features and unveiled a cleaner design.
The most significant changes announced today are that Clio users can now integrate their accounts with three of the leading cloud-based document management applications: NetDocuments, Dropbox and Box.net. The integration means that the documents you have in Clio’s document management system can now be synchronized with these other applications. Besides keeping your documents synchronized, this has two other advantages: it gives you access to your documents when you are offline and it provides a back-up copy of your documents.
To integrate with Dropbox, simply go to your settings in Clio and select the setting that authorizes Clio to access your dropbox account. As with Clio’s Google Apps integration, the connection is made using the OAuth protocol, which allows access without sharing your password. You are then asked to allow the connection between Clio and Dropbox (Figure 1). Click “allow” and Clio immediately creates a Clio folder in Dropbox and populates that folder with sub-folders for every matter you have in Clio. Once the process is done, you can view your Dropbox documents directly from within your matters on Clio. (Figure 2). As you drag and drop documents into Clio, they automatically show up in Dropbox, with no further action required.
Clio has also cleaned up its user interface by redesigning its pages to highlight the search bar. Needless to say, this is the trend among a number of sites — from WestlawNext to Lexis Advance — and emulates the simple design of Google. Clio has replaced its somewhat tiny search box with a larger, more prominent one (Figure 3) and eliminated some of the clutter at the top of the page. It has added a simple notifications icon that lights up red when you have unread messages.
Also enhanced is the search function itself. It now includes autocomplete, so that as you begin to type the name of a client or matter, a drop-down list appears of matching entries (Figure 4). That makes it a bit easier and quicker to find what you are looking for.
In announcing these changes, Clio provided some figures about its growth. In three years, it has grown to nearly 50 employees and its customers number “in the thousands.” It manages over 3.5 million contacts, 750,000 matters and 1.5 million documents. All tolled, customers using Clio’s time and billing features have billed $275 million.
“As a company, we’ve exploded over the past year,” Clio co-founder and CEO Jack Newton told me in an interview earlier this week. Clio will be rolling out more enhancements over the next six months, he added.