January 2013
Tech Resolutions for the New Year
AU Classes in January - Back to Basics
Transitioning to Windows 8
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
MacCorner - Mac New Year Resolutions
MS Word Tip of the Month
Oral Argument App for iPad
Use SpeechExec Remotely
AU Qualifies for CLM Credit
Consolidated Teams and Phone Systems to Better Serve You
Managed IT Services
Green Corner - Energy Saving Checklist
Current Versions of Law Office Software

Software Updates 

Make sure you stay current by checking out the Current Versions list on our web site.
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Resolutions for the New Year
- Our Suggestions for Starting the Year Right
2013WOW!  That was fast!  It seems like yesterday we were working on our January 2012 newsletter.  Now here it is, a year later. Did you accomplish all that you planned in 2012? 

One of the most interesting (and sometimes painful) New Year exercises is to revisit the resolutions we made in prior years.  Last year, we urged our readers to be proactive in planning for your firm's technology needs rather than be reactive to a tech crisis that may cause you to spend more money than you have to - and sometimes on the wrong hardware, software, and services. 

This is a good time to re-read Alison Lukan's January 2012 feature article on technology audits that will help your become a proactive tech planner.  Or take a look at our January 2011 tech resolutions for law firms.  If too many of these old resolutions are still applicable to your firm, perhaps it is time to revisit how your firm addresses its technology needs. For most of us, change is difficult and, therefore, incremental.  Others make huge changes rapidly and take it all in stride.

No matter how you need to change your approach to your firm's technology, we are here to help.  This year we have a new list of top five tech resolutions to help you move forward toward greater efficiency and productivity.  With our consolidated telephone system now used by several of our offices (see the notice at the end of this newsletter), that help will be easier to find.

So let us embark on 2013 full of hope and vigor with confidence that we can meet any challenge.  Read our tech resolutions here.
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Blog Icon The Affinity Consulting Group Law Office Technology Blog has up-to-date information on hardware, software, and tips for using technology in your practice. Click on the icon above to visit now.
Affinity University - Classes in JanuaryAffinity University Logo
- Back to Basics with a Focus on Productivity

Affinity University is the go-to resource for online training on the legal software you and your team use every day. Focusing specifically on real world tips and tricks, our certified experts provide training on popular Practice Management, Time/Billing/Accounting, Document Management, Productivity Software and even Microsoft Office.  If you "attend" a live AU webinar, you can watch it again within 30 days of the original live date at no additional charge.

For January, we are focusing our AU class selection on a tool every law firm uses, but few use as well as they should - the Microsoft Office Suite. In addition to our collection of one-hour classes focusing on the key components of MS Office, we are offering our popular one hour class on the iPad for Lawyers and a two-hour class on Time Management for Lawyers.  The Time Management class is approved for CLE credit in Florida.

January 8 at 3 p.m. - Word Basics with Barron K. Henley, Esq.

January 9 at 3 p.m. - Word - Mail Merge with John Federico, Esq.

January 14 at 11 a.m. - Outlook Email Management with Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.

January 16 at 1 p.m. - Excel Basics with John Federico, Esq.

January 22 at 10 a.m. - Time Management for Lawyers (2 hours - FL CLE Credit) with Debbie Foster and Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.

January 23 at 1 p.m. - Outlook - Contacts and Calendar with Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.

January 23 at 3 p.m. - PowerPoint Basics for Legal Professionals with Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.

January 25 at 3 p.m. - iPad for Legal Professionals with Paul J. Unger, Esq.

January 29 at 1 p.m. - Microsoft OneNote - Basics with Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.

Note:  All times are Eastern Standard Time

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.
John F Transitioning to Windows 8? Do It Right!

In last month's newsletter, we warned about upgrading to Windows 8 before making sure all of your mission critical software is compatible with the new operating system.  Our warning was not meant to besmirch Microsoft's latest operating system.  In many ways, Windows 8 is a notable technological achievement.  Our consultants testing Windows 8 agree that It boots more quickly and runs faster than Windows 7 on the same hardware. 

If you have determined that all of your important software will operate properly under Windows 8 (call us if you are unsure) and are ready to give Windows 8 a try, our own John Federico, Esq., wrote a two-part guide on transitioning from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  You will find it and lots of other useful information on our Affinity Consulting Group blog.

Part 1 - Transitioning from Windows 7 to Windows 8

Part 2 - Transitioning from Windows 7 to Windows 8
EventsUpcoming Events & Speaking Engagements                    
January 8 - iPad for Legal Professionals, Boston, MA - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

January 11
- iPad for Legal Professionals, Denver, CO - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

January 14 - iPad for Legal Professionals, Columbus, OH -  Paul J. Unger, Esq.

January 15 - Technology Tuesday, Montgomery, AL - Steven J. Best, Esq. speaks on Word 2010, Adobe Acrobat, and Cloud Computing.

January 18 - Social Security Success!, New Orleans - Debbie Foster speaks on Adobe Acrobat.

January 18 - Everything You Need to Know About Ethics, Columbia, SC - Steven J. Best, Esq., speaks on the ethics of cloud computing.

January 18 - The Technology You Need To Start A Law Practice Or Overhaul The One You Have, Boston, MA - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

January 23 - Help! My Outlook Inbox is Exploding, Columbus, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

January 25
- Technology Road Show, North Venice, FL, Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq., and Cindy Emmerson address a variety of law office technology topics. 

January 25-26 - AAML Florida Marital & Family Law Review Course, Orlando, FL - Debbie Foster and Katie Kennedy will staff the Affinity Consulting Group booth at this event.

January 29-31 - LegalTech 2013, New York - Britt Lorish will attend as Chairperson of the upcoming ABA TECHSHOW 2013.  Past ABA TECHSHOW Chairperson Debbie Foster will also attend.  Katie Kennedy will be helping staff the Amicus Attorney booth in the exhibitor area.
MacCorner MacCorner - Mac New Year's Resolutions 
- by Jeffrey Schoenberger, Mac Specialist/Consultant, Columbus Office

Your Mind and Body Shouldn't be the Only Focus of Improvement in 2013.  The December 13. 2012, edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychology contains statistics on the types of New Year's resolutions that Americans make. The research indicates that 45% of Americans make New Year's resolutions. Apart from the resolutions being spectacularly vague, which may account for the 8% success rate, there are some interesting bits of information.

Word Logo MS Word Tip of the Month - Calculate!


Legal documents consist of more than words.  Many also contain numbers.  Sometimes those numbers need to be added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided.  You can open the Windows built-in calculator or an Excel spreadsheet.  But why not just use Word?


Yes, Word has a Calculate feature.  It isn't easy to find and most users are not aware of it.  But once you find it, it is useful.  Step 1 is to make the Calculate feature more easily accessible.  Do this with the Quick Access Toolbar ("QAT") at the top left of Word's window.  Right-Click on the QAT and select the "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" option. Change the "Choose commands from" window from "Popular Commands" to "All Commands" and scroll down to find "Calculate."  Click the "Add" button to add it to your QAT.  Then Click OK.


Now, type a sentence that contains numbers, such as "The marital home equity is $76,500 and the vacation home equity is $22,450."  If you highlight that sentence and select the Calculate button on your Quick Access Toolbar, Word will add the numbers and give you a total in the status bar at the bottom left of the document.  This is the basic addition function.   


Word can also handle other functions by using the appropriate mathematical expression.  For example, type and then highlight "256.22-112.54"  Now click the Calculate button for your answer.   


To summarize, Word will add automatically or subtract ("-"), multiply ("*"), or divide ("/") for you.  Just type your numbers and the correct mathematical symbol. 


Oral Argument by TabLit Oral Argument App for iPad - A Mini-Review
-by Scott Bassett, Esq. Sr. Editor, Affinity Publications

I've been taking my iPad 2 to appellate oral arguments, sans paper, for well over a year.  This is convenient because I reside in Florida but practice in Michigan, flying north from Tampa to Detroit, Lansing, or Grand Rapids for my appeal arguments.  It is much easier to travel with an iPad than a huge and heavy case full of paper files.

Initially, I used standard PDF annotation and note taking apps such as Notability, Good Reader, or iAnnotate PDF (all of which are incredible bargains) to not only access the trial and appellate court files I'd scanned to searchable PDF format and transferred to my iPad using SugarSync (which I prefer to Dropbox), but also to prepare my notes for oral argument and reference those notes during argument.  All three apps worked well, each having its own strengths and weaknesses.  But I wondered if there was an app designed for appellate litigation in the way that TrialPad was designed for trial court litigation.  Then I found Oral Argument by TabLit.

Read the review of Oral Argument by TabLit.
SpeechExec Use Philips SpeechExec Remotely

You are home, but the document you need to work on is on your office computer.  This problem has existed for years and there are many solutions.  One is GoToMyPC, a subscription-based ($9.95 per month) remote access and control system.  Assuming a decent internet connection at home and at the office, you can remote into your office computer and use your office software applications to access and edit your office documents. 

The remote access and control capabilities extend beyond using basic applications such as word processing or email.  You can also run more sophisticated software such as Philips SpeechExec Pro Dictate on your office computer from your home computer.  And the software need not be installed on your home computer.

If you have questions about using digital dictation or speech recognition on your home or office computer, contact our speech solutions specialist, Phil Metcalf, at (540) 767-7633 or pmetcalf@affinityconsulting.com.
Affinity and the ALA
News Updates
Affinity University Live Webinars Qualify for ALA CLM Credit ALA VIP

Whether you are in the process of applying or re-certifying to become a Certified Legal Manager (CLM), Affinity University Live Webinars are a great way to get relevant training on the software you use every day. And the best part is - you get CLM credit.

New Applicants may use any Live Webinar toward their Information Technology education requirement, and CLMs going through recertification can use any Live Webinar toward their Operations Management education requirement.


And remember, ALA members receive a 25% discount on all AU courses. Contact Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq., our Director of Education, to find out how. 

New Consolidated Teams and Telephone System Will Improve Our Ability to Help You

Telephone Help

Starting later this month, we are combining our Affinity Southeast-based and Columbus-based teams to provide all of our clients faster and better service.  Calls coming into our Tampa, Atlanta, Naples, and Columbus offices will be handled by a consolidated telephone system that will let us get you to the right consultant for your question as fast as possible.


Our goal is to provide every client with access to a larger team of consultants to ensure that your issue is addressed promptly. We want you to get back to practicing law...not worrying about your technology.


To learn more about our team and also the best way to reach the person you need, visit the How to Reach Us When You Need Us web page. 

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 - Checklist for Energy Savings FEMP Logo
The U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) published an energy saving checklist for office use.  Nothing on the list will be a surprise, but it is nice to have 13 easy to manage tips collected in one place. 

The tips include switching to compact fluorescent lights (CFL's), using natural daylight when possible, and illuminating just your work area rather than the entire room.  One very simple thing we can all accomplish is to use durable coffee mugs instead of disposable cups.