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Smokeball: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a practice management system that integrates with Microsoft Word for document assembly and Microsoft Outlook for email (see article below), an iPhone app that enables you to chat using email, a budget Android smartphone, and a dashboard for iPhone and Apple Watch. Don't miss the next issue.

WHAT SMALL LAW FIRMS REALLY WANT FROM PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Even small law firms have many moving parts. This explains the word "system" in the term "practice management system." When shopping for these products, lawyers don't just want features. They want integrations and help setting up and using the integrations. In short, they want a "system," not just an app.

Smokeball … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Smokeball is a practice management system with integrated document assembly, document management, and email, as well as accompanying setup and training.

The Killer Feature

Smokeball integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Word via add-ins. For example, using client and matter data in Smokeball, you can auto-populate a Word template. Smokeball saves the draft and final document in the applicable matter after which you can email it to your client via Outlook. Smokeball likewise stores this email message and all future related email and attachments automatically.

"Smokeball integrates case management with sophisticated document automation," Smokeball president Jane Oxley tells us. "This means that while we help small law firms get more organized, we also genuinely empower them to get more done every day.

Other Notable Features

Every matter in Smokeball has an associated Matter Screen, a dashboard listing a snapshot, recent documents and email, upcoming appointments and tasks, and notes. Each Matter screen displays different information specific to the type of case. Smokeball offers a variety of matter layouts that get added to your account at the time of setup. For example, the snapshot for a real estate matter can list the buyer, seller, and property details. Meanwhile, a criminal DUI matter can list key information such as arresting officer, blood alcohol level, ticket numbers, and prior convinctions. You can drill down from a Matter Screen to whatever you need.

The document assembly templates in Smokeball can generate any type of document — agreements, briefs, court forms, deeds, letters, trusts, etc. The company helps you set up your first 15 templates. During this process, you learn how to create your own so that you can continue to build your library.

In addition to storing all documents it helps you create, Smokeball can store all your firm's other documents too. You can import entire folders or one document at a time. You can also scan directly into Smokeball through its integration with ScanSnap scanners.

Similarly, Smokeball can save email that originated in Outlook. You tag the email thread with the appropriate matter after which these messages and attachments appear in Smokeball along with threads that you began in Smokeball. As with email, Smokeball's calendars and tasks also integrate with Outlook via the add-in. This enables you to enter appointments and tasks just once in either application.

Other features include contact management, full-text search, and document versioning so you can revert to earlier versions.

What Else Should You Know?

Smokeball runs as a Windows desktop application with your data synced to Smokeball's cloud, enabling you to access your account from any PC as well as from your iPhone and iPad via the free iOS app. With Smokeball's cloud serving as your back end, you don't need a server in your office. Smokeball costs $69 per user per month. The cost of setup and training depends on the size of your firm. Learn more about Smokeball.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Top Five Scanning Apps Plus 68 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 27, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 69 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week.

How a Business Lawyer Automates His Practice

A Lawyer Reviews Apple Watch

The Seven Year Switch

In Apple Watch, Signs of a Familiar Path

Congratulations to Jill Duffy of PCMag on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Top Five Scanning Apps

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession (e.g., monitors, smartphones, scanners, the iPad, and more). But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

Newly Essential Legal Technology; Apple Watch Musings; Apple Watch Step Tracking and Heart Rate Monitoring Myths Busted

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, June 26, 2015

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Michael Schwartz, Technology That Has Recently Become Essential for Law Practice

Kalani Patterson, Apple Watch Musings From a Techie and Watch Fan

Neil Squillante, A Deeper Dive Into the Apple Watch's Step Tracking and Heart Rate Monitoring

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Pathagoras On Cloud: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud document assembly software with a built-in word processor designed for automating legal documents (see article below), an online marketing service for lawyers willing to review contracts for a flat fee, a secure portal for sharing documents with clients, and a legal dictionary app for iPad and iPhone. Don't miss the next issue.

CLOUD DOCUMENT ASSEMBLY WITHOUT PROGRAMMING

Like all technologies, document assembly has become accessible to law firms of all sizes thanks to advancements in computer power and software design. However, document assembly software has lagged behind other types of legal software in the migration to the cloud because of the complex setup typically required not to mention the need for a word processor.

Pathagoras On Cloud … in One Sentence

Launched this week, ISPV's Pathagoras On Cloud is a cloud document automation system.

The Killer Feature

Pathagoras On Cloud features a browser-based word processor designed for document automation. It runs in desktop and mobile web browsers, including Android, iPad, Mac, and Windows.

You can either create documents from scratch or upload templates in Word format. Either way, you can store an unlimited number of templates and documents in your account using a traditional folder system. You can sync your Pathagoras On Cloud folders with folders on your desktop computer (Windows available now, Mac soon).

"We listened, and have finally made our 'plain text' approach to document automation available to a larger audience," ISPV Founder and Chief Programmer Roy Lasris tells us. "With the launch of Pathagoras On Cloud, anyone anywhere from any device can create transactional and other documents for their clients. Like Pathagoras 'on Earth,' Pathagoras On Cloud doesn't require any programming skills."

Other Notable Features

The core tools of Pathagoras On Cloud consist of Variables and Conditional Text. Variables substitute client-specific data throughout a document (e.g., client name). Conditional Text ranges from words, phrases, and clauses to whole paragraphs that you choose to include or omit. You create Variables by enclosing your own descriptive text in brackets, while you create Conditional Text by enclosing text within curly braces. Hence, the billing of Pathagoras On Cloud as using plain keyboard characters with which legal professionals are already familiar.

The Instant Database in Pathagoras On Cloud stores all the data required by your documents. Customizable fields enable you to enter anything you'll need in a document.

Unique to Pathagoras On Cloud according to Lasris is live testing -- editing and reviewing occur in the same environment. This obviates having to process your document periodically to ensure the desired output. Instead, you can preview your document as you draft with changes instantly displayed.

When you complete a document, you can download, store, and email it in Word, PDF, or plain text formats.

What Else Should You Know?

If you use the desktop version of Pathagoras, you can transfer your templates and instant database records to Pathagoras On Cloud to minimize setup. Pathagoras On Cloud costs $30 per month for the first user and $10 per month for each additional user. Discounts exist for volume purchases and also for Pathagoras desktop users. You can try Pathagoras On Cloud free for 30 days. Learn more about Pathagoras On Cloud.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Online/Cloud | TL NewsWire

Apple Watch Step Tracking; Online Banking Security Tips; ActiveWords v. Stock Windows, Word, and Internet Explorer

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, June 12, 2015

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Apple Watch: Step Tracking

Tom Trottier, Online Banking Security Tips

Nicholas Bettinger, ActiveWords v. Stock Windows, Word, and Internet Explorer

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Law Office Management | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

Review of Word Renovation Tools (Word RT) Plus Transitioning to a Remote Team

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, May 22, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: TechnoLawyer members have ranted for years about paragraph numbering in Microsoft Word. So when we heard about Infoware's Word Renovation Tools (Word RT), we asked lawyer and legal technology consultant Seth Rowland to investigate. In this issue of SmallLaw, Seth puts Word RT to the test with a set of Word documents converted from WordPerfect. Seth also evaluates Word RT's other features, and explains how Infoware prices Word RT. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for tips on transitioning to a remote team.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

Ranking Apple's Apple Watch Apps Plus 52 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, May 11, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 53 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week.

How Spera Law Group Uses Document Assembly

The Best Stylus for the iPad

A Voicemail Tip for the Four Major Carriers

Tablet Market Trends and Observations

Congratulations to Susie Ochs of Macworld on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Every First-Party Apple Watch App Reviewed and Ranked

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession (e.g., monitors, smartphones, scanners, the iPad, and more). But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets

Reviews of iPad Calculators, TranscriptPad; The True Purpose of ActiveWords; The State of Your Cloud

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, March 6, 2015

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, The Best iPad Calculator Apps

Kenneth Curtis, Review: TranscriptPad

Emmett Raitt, The True Purpose of ActiveWords

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | TL Serendipity

Top Five Law Firm Inefficiencies Plus Online Reviews of Your Firm

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, February 20, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: Law Practice Advisor Heidi Alexander has helped so many small law firms that she has noticed certain inefficiencies cropping up again and again. In this issue of SmallLaw, she sets forth her top five inefficiencies, and explains how to eliminate them. From too much paper to disjointed systems to lost billable time and much more, you're bound to pick up some valuable tips and discover new technologies. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn how to obtain good online reviews and why they're important.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Why Windows Is No Match for ActiveWords; Tools; Review of WUNoAutoReboot; Why Lit Software Is a Force for Good

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, January 30, 2015

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Dave Culbertson, Why Windows Is No Match for ActiveWords

Steve Buchwalter, Review: WUNoAutoReboot

Mark Unger, Why Lit Software Is a Force for Good

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Networking/Operating Systems | TL Serendipity | Utilities
 
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