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Zola Suite Leaves No Practice Management Feature Unexplored Thanks to Five Years in Development

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, August 18, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers new cloud practice management software five years in the making (see article below), a Windows utility for managing multiple monitors, an online directory that connects you to prospective clients, and a Chrome plug-in that prevents you from using weak phrases in your email messages. Don't miss the next issue.

The expectations for practice management software keep rising. You want a polished user experience and design, the same functionality on your smartphone as on your desktop, workflow automation, email and document integration, financial management, and no data silos or duplicate data entry. Whew — that's quite a demanding list.

Zola Suite … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Zola Media's Zola Suite is cloud practice management software that includes document management, general ledger and trust accounting, and much more.

The Killer Feature

As I started my sixth page of notes during my online demo of Zola Suite, I asked Zola Media's Founder and Architect Fred Cohen how many years it had taken to build the software. "Five," he replied.

Cohen and his team seem to have left no feature unexplored, including parity between the desktop web app and the iPhone and Android apps. This means you can access the data you need on the fly in the mobile app as well as create new records. Additionally, the mobile app takes advantage of your smartphone — it contains a business card and document scanner with built-in OCR for adding contacts and searchable PDF documents to Zola Suite.

Zola Suite features many user experience touches such as the use of color — matters are purple, contacts are yellow, etc. The top right of every table has a real time search filter and a + button for adding a new record.

"As a former practicing attorney, tech geek and design nerd, I was frustrated by the limitations of the available practice management solutions," Cohen told me. "Together with my amazing team, we are doing things with Zola Suite that we believe will fundamentally change the way lawyers use practice management software. Our matter-based approach and dedicated iOS and Android apps that take advantage of smartphone hardware are creating quite a buzz and I am humbled by the response."

Other Notable Features

Zola Suite integrates with most IMAP and Microsoft Exchange email services, including Gmail and Office 365. Composing a new email message from within a matter automatically starts a timer. Contacts in Zola Suite auto-populate when addressing the message. These messages reside in Zola Suite but also behave normally in Gmail, Outlook, and on your smartphone. Similarly, you can file incoming messages in Zola Suite, and convert them into tasks.

Speaking of task management, you can "mind dump" as Cohen puts it to quickly enter tasks. These get assigned to you initially but you can later assign them to others, add a due date, and receive a notification when they're completed or overdue. Tasks contain a time entry tool and the ability to generate Task Templates facilitating multistep, recurring workflows such as client intake.

Cohen describes Zola Suite's Notes as "robust enough to replace OneNote." Similarly, Zola Suite can replace QuickBooks thanks to double entry general ledger accounting, check printing, trust accounting, and LawPay integration for credit card processing. The document management system offers nested folders with drag and drop, global search, retention of all document versions, and unlimited storage.

Other features include telephone call tracking, time entry, a calendar with support for email invitations, user permissions, and UTBMS codes.

What Else Should You Know?

When billed annually, Zola Suite costs $68 per attorney per month and $34 per support staff per month. A special plan for solos costs $49 per month. An optional branded client portal enables your clients to securely access their documents and pay invoices. Learn more about Zola Suite.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

How We Stopped Wasting Time on Email; iPad Pro as Second Display for Windows Laptop; Clio-Certified Independent Technology Consultants

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, August 15, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Wayne Pierce, How We Stopped Wasting Time On Email

Paul Harte, Review: Duet (iPad Pro As Second Display For Windows Laptop)

Joshua Lenon, Clio-Certified Independent Technology Consultants

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: Coming Attractions | Consultants/Services/Training | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Monitors | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Free Research Reports for Lawyers and Others in the Legal Industry

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, July 27, 2016

TechnoLawyer Library houses our growing collection of free research reports in PDF format. Reports of this caliber usually cost a fortune, but TechnoLawyer members can download all of them for free. TechnoLawyer membership is also free. Below you'll find links to selected research reports. Click any link to get started.

The Egg Theory: What Clients Really Want From Their Lawyers

Why Lawyers Need Not Fear Disruption

Three Common Productivity Tasks That an iPad Performs Better Than a PC

Chill, Grill, and Bill: Summertime Gadgets for Summer-Loving Legal Professionals

TechnoLawyer Demographics 2014

LitigationWorld Quick Start Guide to Mastering Ediscovery

TL Research Buyer's Guide to Legal Billing Software

Can Microsoft Win the Legal Industry's Mobile Race?

TL Research Buyer's Guide to Outlook Add-Ons for Law Firms

TL Research Buyer's Guide to Document Management Systems for Law Firms (Second Edition)

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Practice Management/Calendars | TechnoLawyer | TechnoLawyer Library | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Research

What the CaseRails Failure Says About Lawyers; Equipping a 30-Person Law Firm; Reviews of Midwest Legal Technology Consultancies

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 21, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, What The CaseRails Failure Says About Lawyers And Legal Technology

Donald Coker, Tips On Modernizing The Software In A 30-Person Law Firm

Benita Dansby, Review: Keno Kozie (Midwest Legal Technology Consultancy)

Thomas F. McDow, Review: Barron Henley Of Affinity (Midwest Legal Technology Consultant)

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: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Consultants/Services/Training | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Fastest Mobile Networks Plus 49 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 18, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 50 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Sascha Segan of PCMag.com on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Fastest Mobile Networks (2016)

Firm Manager 2.0 Broadens Its Appeal to Larger Small Firms

How to Add Real-Time Audience Responses to a PowerPoint Presentation

The Best Laptops of 2016

Five Mobile Dropbox Features You Need to Try

YouTube for Software Training

Fastcase 50 2016 Winners

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. 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. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Backup/Media/Storage | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | Presentations/Projectors | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

Firm Manager 2.0 Broadens Its Appeal With Features Requested by Larger Small Firms

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud practice management software with process automation tools that comes in two versions (see article below), a privacy tool for deleting your Google footprint, a note-taking app for Android and iOS, and a desktop scanner that offers more than double the speed of the ScanSnap iX500. Don't miss the next issue.

Process automation — streamlining routine tasks with the help of technology — has caught the attention of law firms. Who wouldn't want improved productivity, a better work product, more satisfied clients, and higher employee morale? The logical location for process automation is your practice management software.

Firm Manager … in One Sentence

Launched this week, LexisNexis' Firm Manager 2.0 is cloud practice management software with process automation technologies among other new features and key integrations.

The Killer Feature

Firm Manager's new customizable templates help get new cases off the ground and keep them on track. Matter Intake Templates contain practice-area specific fields for information you need to perform work. You can add custom fields and even create your own templates. Checklist Templates are designed to prevent errors and reduce time spent providing oversight. Each checklist template consists of a group of related tasks for one of your firm's workflows.

When you assign tasks, you can track their status in the Matter Status sidebar. The progress bar turns red when a task is overdue so you can quickly spot problems. If you assign a budget to a matter, a similar status bar displays how much of the budget remains as you and your team work on the matter.

Other Notable Features

The Home dashboard in Firm Manager keeps you apprised of your events and tasks, which you can sync with Google Calendar and Office 365. The dashboard can also list other information depending on your role such as recent activities from across your firm. With the new role-based permissions, you assign one of three roles to each user in your firm, two of which limit access. For example, you can prevent lawyers and staff from changing billing rates or viewing firm revenue.

Speaking of revenue, Firm Manager has beefed up its financial tools. Most notably, Firm Manager integrates with both the desktop version of QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. Creating an invoice in Firm Manager automatically creates the same invoice in QuickBooks.

Also new, batch invoicing enables you to create a workflow that comports with your firm's controls for processing and reviewing time entries. You can write off time, apply discounts to invoices, pay invoices from one or more trust accounts, and customize the design of invoices.

Firm Manager also offers financial reporting, including aging, billing and payment history, trust account summary, and productivity summary. The Money Finder feature lists all unbilled activities so that nothing falls through the cracks.

What Else Should You Know?

Firm Manager comes in two versions — Starter ($29 per user per month) and Essentials ($44 per user per month). The latter includes intake and checklist templates, role-based permissions, QuickBooks integration, and reporting. "Solo and small firm attorneys can now choose the Firm Manager software package that squarely fits their business needs based on their firm's size and complexity," Director of Product Management Wes Gillette told me. "Whether a solo is looking to get more control over the practice as a whole, or a larger firm wants to chart productivity and grow its business, these new package options provide a tailored range of features and benefits." Learn more about Firm Manager 2.0.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

The Best Folding Bluetooth Keyboards Plus 60 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 11, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 61 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Seamus Bellamy of PCWorld on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The Best Folding Bluetooth Keyboards

Tips for Choosing Practice Management Software

Amicus Cloud Adds a Client Portal

Review: iAnnotate 4

The Future of Company Devices May Be as a Service

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. 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. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Computer Accessories | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Transactional Practice Areas

The Lie of Technology; Email and Security at My Law Firm; Why Our Law Firm Provisions 2 Monitors Per Person; Much More

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, July 8, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

David O'Connell, The Lie Of Technology And Productivity Plus

Email And Security At My Law Firm

Carol Baker, Why Our Law Firm Provisions 2 Monitors Per Person

Burton Bruggeman, How To Use A ScanSnap S510 With Windows 10

Jerald Stein, Great TechnoRelease But This Feature Isn't Exclusive

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: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Monitors | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

Review of PracticePanther Plus Ranking #1 on Google

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Coming today to SmallLaw: A practice management bubble exists per our recent reporting. This makes product reviews more important than ever. In this issue of SmallLaw, New Jersey lawyer reviews PracticePanther, walking you through setup, integrations, and marquee features such as the user experience, iOS app, and custom fields. As always, Ed also assesses the price and overall value. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw pick of the week to learn why ranking #1 on Google doesn't matter anymore.

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: Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Amicus Cloud Adds a Client Portal to Deepen Client Loyalty and Exceed Expectations

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management system with a new client portal (see article below), PDF software with legal features, an iOS calendar and task management app, and a cloud storage service with an iPhone scanner. Don't miss the next issue.

Clients want good outcomes for their matters, but that's no longer enough. They also want to access their file and communicate with you when convenient for them. This level of attention requires a client portal but not just any portal. Your client portal should work with your existing software, and offer deep functionality that you and your clients won't outgrow.

Amicus Cloud … in One Sentence

Amicus Cloud is a practice management system that now includes a secure, customizable client portal.

The Killer Feature

After you enable the client portal in Amicus Cloud, you can link to it from your website. To create a seamless experience for your clients, the client portal features your firm's name and logo. Even the login and password reset pages contain your firm's branding. Like the rest of Amicus Cloud, the client portal works in all desktop and mobile web browsers.

After the initial setup, you can invite clients to create an account. You can share just about anything in Amicus Cloud — documents, calendar events, notes, tasks, etc. Amicus Cloud displays a different icon for shared items so that you know their status at a glance. You can view all shared items in a list in the new Portal tab.

In addition to sharing information, you can also collaborate and communicate with clients. For example, you and your clients can exchange notes. You can also assign tasks and create custom records for clients to fill out. A dashboard and email notifications keep you and your clients apprised of these communications and other activity. Also, Amicus Cloud contains a client portal audit trail, and can send you a daily email message showing all client portal activity.

"Clients today have different expectations," Abacus Data Systems' Vice President, Software Engineering Chris Cardinal told me. "They want the ability to send you documents, review documents you've drafted, and receive updates. They also want secure electronic communications. With the new Client Portal, you can give all of this to them. Not only will this profoundly impact the way law firms operate, but also clients will feel more connected and in control of their legal work."

Other Notable Features

According to Cardinal, Amicus Cloud sets itself apart from other cloud practice management applications through its desktop-like features. For example, cloud applications typically limit you to one screen at a time. By contrast, Amicus Cloud's multitasking technology enables you to open and resize multiple windows all within the same browser tab. You can minimize tabs along the bottom of Amicus Cloud for fast recall.

Another example — Amicus Cloud's Precedent Workflows combine document assembly with project management. This enables you to automate any process in your law firm, including generating Word documents with client information and stored clauses.

What Else Should You Know?

Amicus Cloud uses integrations to extend its abilities. Key among these is Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Dropbox as they enable you to store all client-related email and documents in Amicus Cloud without changing any of your current habits. Amicus Cloud costs $49.95 per user per month ($45 if you're on an annual contract). Learn more about Amicus 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: Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire
 
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