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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

Translating Dragon's Accuracy; Cost Recovery; Large File Transfers; PCLaw-Time Matters Integration; Timekeeping on the Go

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 9, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Steven Schwaber, Translating Nuance's Accuracy Claims for Dragon

Mark Chernoff, Cost Recovery, Hard v. Soft Costs, Large File Transfers

Pat Cunningham, Integrating PCLaw 14 and Time Matters 14

Caren Schwartz, Three Apps for Timekeeping on the Go

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

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

Review of Worldox; Consultants Versus Technical Support; Calculating Judgment Balances

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 2, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Cynthia Zook, Review of Worldox: Document Types, Customization, and More

Colleen Heine, Certified Consultants Versus Technical Support

Robert Price, Tip: Calculating Judgement Balances

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

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Consultants/Services/Training | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

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

Battle Tested Backup Plan for Law Firms; Integrating PCLaw and Time Matters; Paragraph Numbering in Word; Review of Everything

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, June 26, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Karen McCormick, A Battle Tested Backup Plan for Law Firms

Caren Schwartz, Tips for Integrating PCLaw and Time Matters

Terese Driscoll, Simple Paragraph Numbering in Word (Yes It's Possible)

Tom Trottier, Review: Everything for Filename Searches

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

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

Customizing File Fields and More in Amicus Attorney; Reviews of Genie9, SpeakWrite, Brother Laser Printers

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Thom Miranda, Customizing File Fields and More in Amicus Attorney Premium

Philip Franckel, Review: Genie9

Paul Bannon, Review: SpeakWrite for Transcription of Handwritten Documents

Scott Bassett, Longevity of Brother Printers

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

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

Five Small Firm Financial Faux Pas Plus Your Unknown Problem

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, May 28, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: Many small firm founders neglect the business side of their practice, which inevitably results in arrears and other financial problems. In this issue of SmallLaw, Law Practice Advisor Heidi Alexander explores five common financial blunders and how to avoid them with a combination of best management practices and software. From lost billable time to write-offs to poor client selection and more, you'll surely pick up a helpful tip. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn about a problem you don't realize you have.

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 | Coming Attractions | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Backup Strategies for Law Firms; Reviews of Live Inbox, ScanSnap iX500; PCLaw Integrations

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Brad Painter, Backup Strategies for Law Firms

Mark Olberding, Review: Live Inbox

Al Greene, Review of ScanSnap iX500 Plus Office 365 Versus WordPerfect

Elisabeth Sachs, Review: Integrating PCLaw With Amicus Attorney or Time Matters

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

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

Reviews of PracticeMaster and Tabs3, Cleanup Duplicate Contacts; Windows Desktop Search; Acrobat and Outlook Integration

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, May 7, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Ken Laska, Review: PracticeMaster and Tabs3

Brian Peterson, Windows Desktop Search Tips

Colleen Heine, Review: Cleanup Duplicate Contacts

Scott Collins, Acrobat and Outlook No Longer Integrate

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

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

60 iOS Apps in 60 Minutes Plus 74 More Must-Reads (Double Issue)

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 75 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.

Comparison of Practice Management Apps

What Lawyers Need to Know About Acrobat DC

iPhone JD Reviews Apple Watch

Why Women Lawyers Will Love Apple Watch

Tips from ABA TECHSHOW

Congratulations to Jeff Richardson of iPhone J.D. on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: 60 iOS Apps in 60 Minutes (2015 Edition)

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: BlawgWorld Newsletter | CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars
 
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