Which Document Automation Solution is Right for You?

It depends on your documents’ complexity.

Thanks to our 2021 Customer Survey & Document Automation Industry Analysis, most American law firms are creating documents with one of three tool types:

  • Document modules within client or case management applications (Tier One Solutions)
  • Basic or moderately-equipped, stand-alone SaaS/desktop programs (Tier Two Solutions)
  • Advanced, full-featured, stand-alone SaaS/desktop programs (Tier Three Solutions)

Traditionally, each “tier” is sequentially more capable, yet more complicated to master, ergo, easy programs can only do easy things and powerful solutions may boast impressive features, but the secrets to mastering them are layered deep and training is complicated!

The Tier One Solutions aren’t very challenging to learn and they operate within your familiar CRM, but our customers say they hit the limits of these, pretty soon. Most are merely integrated mail merges and basic, “if/then” options. Client management platforms like Clio and Smokeball include document creation tools, but other Tier One Solutions are stand-alone packages like Woodpecker Legal and LawYaw and provide similar functionality through integration. For simpler documents and matters, these are adequate, but only to a point.

Most Tier Two Solutions introduce basic, conditional logic, single lists, external intakes, and, perhaps, an interview process, but the learning curve begins to creep and so, too, does the limit of these platforms. Examples of these are Documate and The Form Tool.

Tier Three Solutions, however, are robust and fully-featured packages, capable of building (almost) everything you need in your documents. HotDocs is the industry’s largest or leading? document automation platform (others are Expressdox and Contract Express) and, prototypical of Tier Threes, it’s certainly powerful. Complex conditional logic, nested lists, external intakes, list filters, signing blocks, and other features are all part of HotDocs and most Tier Threes.

But it can require months or even years to master these applications! And even then, their automation remains limited. HotDocs, for instance, STILL has the ability to re-use people in different lists, but it is complicated and time-consuming to set up.

Going Beyond Tiers

We built Knackly document automation software on newer architecture that doesn’t bloat or require excessive resources as you grow. We built it to be easier. We built it to solve the problems we all know existed in all three tiers of software that’s available.

Knackly performs all the functions expected in Tier Three Solutions and, yet, Knackly is remarkably easy to master. Like always, practice and familiarity increase one’s efficiency, but anyone can begin building documents with Knackly, right away. It’s too powerful to outgrow, yet, its learning curve is fair. Seriously, customers tell us this all the time. And, besides, our support is actually great … so, when you need to reach out, we’re gonna get you going.

Regardless of your eventual choice, we want you to find the best solution for your practice.

Get our Document Automation Industry Review & Document Difficulty Breakdown to identify the complexity of your documents and which Solution Tier might be right for you. Then, let’s schedule a short call to discuss your document problems and how we’d help you fix them!