January 2012
Feature - Tech Audits
Discounted AU Classes in January
January Events
Magical Software Requires Solid Hardware
Word Tip of the Month - AutoCorrect
Outlook Tip - The To-Do Bar
Speech Solutions Rental Program
Review of the Month - TextAloud to Convert Text to Audio
Managed IT Services
Green Corner - Is Your Coffee Green?
Current Versions of Law Office Software
Feature Article:  Technology Audits - Creating an IT Road Map for Your Firm
- Alison Lukan, Marketing Director 
 Tech Audit - Road Map
It's 2012 and as we start the new year, many of us take time to plan for the coming months. Unfortunately, these plans don't always include planning for your technology needs.  Affinity's Marketing Director, Alison Lukan, describes how a technology audit can help create a road map to guide your technology planning and purchases.

Read the Feature Article on Technology Audits.
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Affinity University - All Classes Discounted in JanuaryAffinity University Logo


Last month, we stressed the importance of making training a priority in your firm. This month, we want to do our part to help you start your year off right
by discounting all of our one-hour live webinar and on-demand courses. These short but substantive courses and corresponding written materials are the perfect fit for your busy staff, with minimal disruption to your office and the convenience of attending right from your own desk.

See how easy it can be - and how happy your staff will be, with our discounted courses in January.  All live webinars are just $49, and all of our on-demand courses are $69! (Normally $99 and $119).  Review our January AU schedule below or on our web site.  Pick your courses and sign up today to reserve your spot!

Special Notice to Local Bar Leaders and Members: Contact us to learn more about our local bar program.  Send an email to training@affinityconsulting.com.
EventsEvents in January             


January 18 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley presents Adobe Acrobat for Law Firms in the morning and I'm Buried in Paper - What Can I Do? in the afternoon in Denver for the Colorado Bar. 

January 19 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley presents Legal Drafting with Microsoft Word 2007/2010 Basics in the morning and Microsoft Word 2007/2010 Advanced Techniques in the afternoon in Denver for the Colorado Bar.

January 25 - Affinity Partner Debbie Foster will speak at the Marital and Family Law Luncheon for the Hillsborough County Bar in Tampa. 

January 25 - Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger speaks for the Ohio State Bar Association on Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers and iPad for Lawyers in Perrysburg, OH. 

January 26 - Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger speaks for the Ohio State Bar Association on Adobe Acrobat for Lawyers and iPad for Lawyers in Akron, OH.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking - "Magical" Software May Require Upgraded Hardware
- Phil Metcalf, Speech Solutions Specialist   

If you are experienced enough to have been around at the dawn of speech recognition technology, you will remember the old "discrete speech" software that required you to pause briefly after each word.  Once you experience version 11 of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, you will think the advances in this technology are pure magic. 

That magic requires considerable computing power.  A technology audit as described in our Feature Article will help you determine if it is time to upgrade.  Affinity Speech Solution Specialist Phil Metcalf offers some advice on how much computing power you need to take full advantage of NaturallySpeaking while running all the other software you use every day.

Read Phil's Suggestions for Speech Recognition-Ready Hardware.
Microsoft Word 2007/2010 Tip of the Month - AutoCorrect Feature MS Word
- Barron K. Henley, Esq.


Historically, one of the complaints about Microsoft Word was that it tried to do too much automatically, depriving the user of control over his or her document.  Whether or not that criticism was valid, most Word users agree that Word's AutoCorrect feature is a great way to automatically correct hundreds of common typographical and spelling errors on the fly.  But you don't have to settle for only Word's built-in corrections.  You can add your own.  This month's tip shows you how.   


For help with Word questions specific to law offices, attend our Affinity University webinars for Word users of all levels.  This month all live AU courses are heavily discounted to $49 each.  On-demand courses are just $69 each.  The live Word Basics class is January 12 and the live Word Advanced class is January 26. 
Outlook IconMicrosoft Outlook Tip - The To-Do Bar
- Jennifer Ramovs, Esq.

If you use Outlook for email, contacts, calendar and to-dos, then you probably spend a good bit of time navigating around to different screens in Outlook. Save time by turning on the To-Do Bar in Outlook. Available from Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes, the To-Do Bar gives you quick access to many other Outlook records from one screen.

Read our Outlook tip on how to use the To-Do Bar.
SpeechExec Rental ProgramPhilips Announces Speech Exec Hardware and Software Rental Program  
If you think digital dictation would help your firm become more efficient, but you are concerned about the up-front hardware and software investment required to implement a state-of-the-art speech processing system, Philips has the answer. 

The makers of SpeechExec software and Pocket Memo digital dictation recorders announced a new rental program that makes it easy to start your firm on the path to greater productivity.  The minimum rental term is 24 months.  After the minimum term, the contract may be cancelled by you at any time upon return of the software and equipment to Philips.  The minimum order is for five users (combination of dictators and transcribers).  The rental program is available only through Philips partners such as Affinity Consulting Group

For details on this new rental program, contact Phil Metcalf at Affinity's Roanoke office at (540) 767-7633 or via email at pmetcalf@affinityconsulting.com.
Review of the Month - TextAloud to Convert Text to MP3 Audio FilesText to Speech
- Scott Bassett, Esq.

We are huge fans of Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Philips SpeechExec for the way they boost productivity by converting live or recorded dictation to text documents.  But what if you want to go in the opposite direction and convert Word or PDF documents to audio files?  First, why would you want to do this?  The complete review contains the answers.

Read the complete Review of the Month.
Managed IT Services Affinity Offers Managed IT Services

In addition to our expert consulting services in the area of law office software, Affinity Consulting Group offers a full range of Managed IT services.  Small and medium-sized law firms can rarely afford a full-time IT staff.  Let Affinity serve as your IT staff - we can manage your technology resources for you and correct any problems, often before you know anything is wrong.


For information on the many IT services we can offer your firm, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office. 

Green Corner - Is Your Coffee Green?
Green Coffee
There are days when your law firm runs on coffee.  Early mornings and late nights at the office increase coffee consumption.  Whether it is your first or fifth cup of the day, you probably didn't stop to consider the environmental impact of the energy-boosting liquid found in the kitchens and break rooms of nearly every law firm.      
According to the National Resources Defense Council, how coffee is grown has an environmental impact on Latin American tropical forests, leading to deforestation.  Buying traditional shade grown coffee prevents forest canopies from being destroyed and replaced by sun grown coffee fields. Saving the forest canopies preserves important natural habitat, particularly for migratory birds that travel between Latin America and the U.S.  Sources for shade grown coffee you can buy for your office are found here.   
Current Versions of Law Office Software

Check out our list of the current versions of important law office software we support.  Staying current is an important way to protect your data and documents.

Read the complete Current Versions list.