July 2013
Paperless Office & Time Management
PCLaw Training in Atlanta
AU Classes and Free Webinars
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
MacCorner - Efficient Mac Lawyering
New Firm Tech Checklist
MS Word Tip of the Month
Notebook Buying Guide for Lawyers
New Digital Pocket Memo 8000
Windows 8.1 Coming
Cheap Chromebook - Linux Option
Time Matters 12/Office 2003 Integration Ends
Free Stuff
Managed IT Services
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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Paperless Office & Time Management

Our theme this month, Paperless Office & Time Management, may sound like a linking of two distinct law practice management concepts.  However, they are closely related.
Test this for yourself.  For just one day, keep track of how much of your time is spent (wasted!) chasing after paper copies of pleadings, discovery documents, correspondence and (egad!) email messages. Depending on how well your firm has moved from physical paper to digital files, your wasted time could measure in the hours, not mere minutes.  It's time (get it?) to move forward with your plan to reduce the amount of paper flowing through your office.  Doing so will let you manage your time more effectively. 
This month we are offering three FREE half hour webinars related to our paperless/time management theme.  They are:
July 11, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Scanning Solutions with Barron K. Henley, Esq.
July 23, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Symphony Suite with Greg Bray
Also read the many articles in this month's newsletter addressing time-efficient lawyering, both at the office and on the road.
PCLaw PCLaw Training in Atlanta - August 27-28
We are excited to announce our PCLaw two-day User Training class.  This class will help maximize use of your firm's time, billing and accounting software. 
Atlanta The instructor, Steve Best, will detail everything from PCLaw's basic features to tips and tricks that you will use daily.  Existing uses will have the opportunity to enhance their PCLaw skills. New users will get an excellent overview to begin using the software.

Regardless of what version you are currently using, this class is sure to help you make the best use of PCLaw.  
For the complete Workshop schedule and information on how to register, click HERE.
Affinity University - Affordable Training to Improve Efficiency and Productivity
Affinity Univeristy Logo
This month's newsletter theme is Paperless Office & Time Management. Improved efficiency is the goal. 

Fumbling around with the software you use every single day is one of the biggest drains on efficiency in law firms. Having fundamental skills in programs like Word, Excel, Outlook and other mission critical programs is essential to the efficient, stress free, and productive operation of a law firm. Take advantage of this opportunity to master the fundamentals of the programs that you rely on to operate your entire business.


July 10, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.:  Excel Basics with John Federico, Esq.


July 10, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.:  FoxIt Phantom PDF with John Federico, Esq.

July 11, 11 a.m. - 12 noon:  Word Basics with Barron K. Henley, Esq.

July 18, 11 a.m. - 12 noon:  PCLaw Tips & Tricks with Steven J. Best, Esq.

July 29, 11 a.m. - 12 noon:  Tabs3 Tips and Tricks with Sandy Adams

FREE WEBINARS:  In addition to our regular AU offerings listed above, we are presenting several FREE Webinars in support of this month's newsletter theme.  Each is 30 minutes long.  
July 11, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Scanning Solutions with Barron K. Henley, Esq.

July 23, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - Symphony Suite with Greg Bray

Note: All times are EDT.

Don't forget our on-demand AU webinars offering basic and advance classes on leading law office software packages including MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Amicus Attorney, Tabs3, Worldox, PCLaw, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking along with classes showing you how to use important productivity devices such as ScanSnap scanners and the iPad.
EventsUpcoming Events & Speaking Engagements                    

July 11 iPad for Legal Professionals, Boston, MA - Paul J. Unger, Esq. 

July 16 - Introduction to PowerPoint for Legal Professionals, Columbus, OH (simulcast to Cleveland), Paul J. Unger, Esq.
July 16 - Advanced PowerPoint for Legal Professionals, Columbus, OH (live simulcast to Cleveland), Paul J. Unger, Esq. 


July 26-27 - Advanced Issues In Law Practice Management, ICLEF Master Series Conference, French Lick, IN, Paul J. Unger, Esq.

July 30 - How to Start a Successful Law Practice, Columbus, OH (live simulcast to Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, and Perrysburg), Barron K. Henley, Esq.
MacCorner - Efficient Mac Lawyering
- Jeffrey R. Schoenberger, Esq., Mac Specialist/Consultant, Columbus Office MacCorner
The theme for his month's newsletter is efficiency in legal practice, with a special emphasis on paperless office and time management.  In an earlier MacCorner column, I discussed working from anywhere using a program called Byword.  This Mac program, and its iOS companion apps, allow you to work wherever you are on the same document seamlessly.  In this month's column, I write about several tools that can help you be more efficient when you are in the office.
Tech Checklist
Tech Checklist for Your New Law Firm 
- Barron K. Henley, Esq., and Britt Lorish, Affinity Partners 

Many new grads coming out of law school have no option but to start their own firms. More senior lawyers may suddenly find themselves in a solo or small firm setting if their big firm contracts and reduces its legal staff. 

There are a lot of things to consider when starting a new firm from scratch or breaking away from an existing firm.  This month we provide a Tech Checklist as a helpful tool for making sure nothing falls through the cracks when you're putting together budgets and considering everything you'll need from a tech perspective.  
To be clear, this is a list of issues and items, not a list of specific hardware, software, and service recommendations.  Each new law firm will have unique needs based on a variety of factors.  For specific recommendations tailored to your needs, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.

Word Logo
MS Word Tip of the Month - Creating an Efficient Word Environment
It is important that you set up your MS Word working environment to allow maximum efficiency.  Here are a few things to consider:

1.  Display all of the formatting marks you need, such as spaces, paragraph marks, tab characters, etc.  You will find this setting in Word under Options>Display.  In Word 2010/2013, Options is under the File Ribbon.  In Word 2007, it is under the large Office button.

2.  Display your bookmarks.  When drafting a longer document such as a brief or contract, you may create many bookmarks so you can quickly find your way back to a specific location. Choose to see all of your bookmarks at Options>Advanced>Show document content and check Show bookmarks.

3.  Adjust the size of what you see with the Zoom slider.  At the bottom right of your Word window is the Zoom slider with a "-" at the left and a "+" at the right.  Click on the pointer in the middle and drag it in the desired direction until you have the view you want.  You can quickly zoom in for larger type when your eyes are tired or out to see two or more pages at once.

Sign up for our July 11 Word Basics AU course taught by nationally-known Word maven and Affinity Partner Barron K, Henley, Esq.
Dell Laptop Notebook Computer Buying Guide - Mid 2013
- Barron K. Henley, Esq., Affinity Partner 

Buying a computer today is a lot like buying a new car. Choices have to be made on models, options and warranties.  While the automobile choices are usually straight-forward and understandable, the parallel choices for a computer are often the opposite of that.  

Many lawyers I speak with feel as though they have no idea how to make the many decisions required. Everyone they ask about it seems to give them different advice.  In an effort to help, this is a guide for what to look for in a new laptop computer in mid-2013 so you can make an informed purchase.  

Digital Pocket Memo 8000 Philips Introduces Digital Pocket Memo 8000 Dictation Recorder 

Digital dictation recorders, especially when combined with workflow software such as SpeechExec Pro and speech recognition software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, can greatly increase your efficiency.  The latest developments in digital dictation technology have been incorporated into the new Philips Digital Pocket Memo 8000 recorder.  
The 8000 features:
  • 3D Mic system for best audio quality and accurate speech-recognition results
  • Built-in motion sensor for automatic microphone selection
  • Ergonomic slide switch for efficient single-handed operation
  • Robust stainless steel casing for extra durability
For productivity and security, it also has:
  • Large color display and clear user interface for easy, intuitive operation
  • Docking station for fast battery charging and hands-free recording
  • Light and motion sensors for extended battery life
  • File encryption and device PIN lock for high data security
If you have questions about the Digital Pocket Memo 8000 and using speech to increase your workflow productivity, contact Phil Metcalf, Affinity's Speech Solutions Specialist, at (540) 767-7633 or pmetcalf@affinityconsulting.com.
Start Button Windows 8.1 with Start Button Coming Soon

Windows 8 boots and runs faster than Windows 7, but has received almost as much criticism as Windows Vista among recent Microsoft operating systems.  That criticism is mostly unfair, except for one thing - the missing Start button.

There are many free and paid third-party add-ins that let you boot Windows 8 directly to the Desktop complete with a Start button.  This CNET article has a fairly comprehensive list. 

Now Microsoft has decided to (partially) address that problem with Windows 8.1, a free update to Windows 8 that will be officially released later this year, likely well before the holiday shopping season.  A preview version is available now, but if you are risk averse (as you should be with your office PC's), you may want to wait until the official release.  

In addition to many new features and fixes, Windows 8.1 (code named "Blue") will let you boot directly to the Desktop complete with a Start button.  However, this is not the full Start menu from prior versions of Windows.  The new Start button will simply be a quick way to access the Start Screen with its Modern user interface tiles.  For that reason, the release of Windows 8.1 may not put third-party Start button add-ins completely out of business.
Linux on Chromebook Cheap Chromebook - The Linux Option 
- Scott Bassett, Esq., Senior Editor, Affinity Publications


In the last two newsletters (May 2013 and  June 2013), I wrote about my experiences with the inexpensive ($250) Samsung Chromebook. One of the advantages of the cheap Samsung Chromebook is its light weight and good battery life (around 6.5 hours), along with its low price.  Much of this is due to its use of an ARM processor more typical of tablets than notebook computers.  In an increasingly cloud-centric world, the "limitations" of a browser-based operating system such as Chrome OS are not a huge problem for most types of legal work.


However, there are times when it is handy to have a "real" operating system.   You can't run Windows on an ARM-based Chromebook.  But you can run Linux. This month's article will look at why a mobile lawyer might want to install Linux on a Chromebook.


Time Matters Time Matters 12 Integration with Office 2003 Discontinued 
Time Matters 12 SP2 will not be compatible with Microsoft Office 2003  This includes Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003. Users of Time Matters 12 who upgrade to Service Pack 2 will need to upgrade their Microsoft Office and/or Microsoft Exchange software to a version that is supported by TM 12 SP2.  This includes Office 2007, 2010, and 2013.
If you have questions about whether this change affects your firm, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.
Free Stuff Celebrate Freedom with Free Stuff

With Independence Day here, we celebrate freedom.  Enhance that celebration with free stuff. We've already mentioned our FREE 30-minute webinars this month (see the AU schedule above). Here are a few free applications you may find useful on your home or office computer:
  • Chrome Remote Desktop - We've long been fans of LogMeIn, a remote access-control software/service combo with free and paid versions.  But if you use Chrome as your web browser, try the free Chrome Remote Desktop add-on.  It works a lot like LogMeIn or GoToMyPC, and it is completely free.
  • SlimDrivers Free - Faulty or outdated hardware drivers for video cards, sound cards, and other devices are a frequent cause of computer crashes and performance glitches.  SlimDrivers Free is a utility that runs in the background keeping track of driver updates for your installed hardware and automatically installs them for you.
  • Personal Software Inspector - It isn't enough to keep up with patches to your Windows operating system (we all love "patch Tuesday" - the first Tuesday of each month when Microsoft releases Windows patches). You have many third party programs installed that can present security risks if no fully patched and kept up to date.  Personal Software Inspector is a free utility that keeps track of updates to your installed software and automatically installs them.
  • Feedly - By the time you read this, Google Reader will be gone (or nearly so).  No one knows why Google killed its popular newsreader, but if you get your news via RSS (real simple syndication), try Feedly as your Google Reader replacement. There are Android and iOS apps and you can import your Google Reader subscriptions.
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.   

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