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Review of Vonage Business Essentials, Nozbe, Time Matters; Apple Pencil Support Clarification

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, September 7, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Review of Vonage Business Essentials Phone Service

Tom Stubbs, Review of Nozbe (Project Management)

Jim Zadeh, Review of Time Matters

Ken Laska, Apple Pencil Support Clarification

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: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Cloud Document Management That Won't Change the Way You Work

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management system with a new document management component that works locally on PCs and Macs like a network drive (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a new payment processor with a flat fee per transaction that deposits funds overnight, a Microsoft Word add-in for drafting litigation and transactional documents with a new document assembly engine, forms library, and machine-learning tools, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Cloud practice management has many virtues but concerns about document management prevent some law firms from taking the leap. These firms understandably don't want to give up their network drives and folder hierarchies, manually upload documents, or change the way they work.

Centerbase … in One Sentence

Centerbase is a cloud practice management system that now offers document management which functions like a local network drive.

The Killer Feature

CEO John Forbes tells me I'm the first person outside of the company and a few early adopters to see Centerbase's new document management technology. A product CEO who spent years as a reseller, Forbes has a Steve Jobs-like enthusiasm.

Documents in Centerbase function on your PC or Mac like a network drive even though they actually reside on secure servers in the cloud. Centerbase uses WebDAV, a standard file protocol for Internet file sharing.

During initial setup, Centerbase's support team uploads your entire document library, and can help you map document folders to the correct clients and matters in Centerbase. Forbes tells me about a firm that imported 3.6 million files.

"After setup, you use your files and folders like you always have in Windows Explorer or Mac Finder," says Forbes. Any changes to documents are automatically reflected in Centerbase and vice versa. Forbes describes this as a "1:1 correlation." An optional add-on makes Centerbase files and folders available offline with changes automatically synced when you're back online. For new matters, Centerbase can automatically generate a set of folders.

"Centerbase has made transitioning to a cloud product for document management seamless," said Tait Johnson, paralegal at Sharpe & Associates, PLLC. "We no longer have to maintain our own file server, and we can now access our documents from anywhere."

Other Notable Features

You can view documents in Centerbase from multiple locations. The Documents File Explorer gives you access to all mapped documents. Navigate your folder hierarchies or run a search. Alternatively, you can access relevant documents in other areas of Centerbase such as in Matters, Contacts, and Billing. For example, each matter contains a Documents tab listing all related files.

Centerbase's Microsoft Word integration and Workflows (document assembly combined with project management) bring further automation. Workflows take you from Centerbase to Word to automatically generate a document that gets saved to the correct matter when finished.

At your option, you can create document profiles to track type of document and other metadata to improve search results. Centerbase enables you to keep every version of a document in case you need to revert. You can restrict access to documents. Also, documents lock when colleagues work in them. If you need more robust document management, Centerbase integrates with NetDocuments.

What Else Should You Know?

Centerbase launched several additional features since our initial report. Matters Templates enable you to create customized layouts for each of your practice areas with all the requisite data fields. Thus, a bankruptcy matter can track creditors, while an accident matter can track medical records and police reports. The new Report Builder offers the ability to create custom reports. Forbes showed me a report that lists matters comprising 80% of a firm's business. Finally, Centerbase's iPhone app now includes mobile time entries for billing on the go. Centerbase costs $52 per user per month. Learn more about Centerbase.

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: Document Management | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

10.5-Inch iPad Pro in a Real Estate Practice; Reviews of Amicus Online, Surface Pro

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 17, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Wesley Y. S. Chang, How I Use My 10.5-Inch iPad Pro in a Real Estate Practice

Dwight Sowerby, Review of Amicus Online

Christian Onsager, Review of Surface Pro 3 (Sleek Beast But Getting Old)

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity | Utilities

First Look at Slidebean; Lawyers, Ethereum, and the Blockchain; iPad Consumption/Creation Debate; Amicus Attorney Small Firm Quandary

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, July 13, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, First Look at Slidebean

Thomas RuBane, Lawyers, Ethereum, and the Blockchain

Mike Brem, iPad a Consumption Device, Not a Creation Device

Ron Kovach, Amicus Attorney Small Firm Quandary

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 | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | Presentations/Projectors | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Serendipity

Case.one Brings Desktop-Class Features and a Disruptive Pricing Model to Cloud Practice Management

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management app with desktop-class features and per-case rather than per-user pricing (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a practice management system that automatically captures email correspondence, integrates with Outlook, and offers a secure client portal, cloud litigation management software that enables you and your team to analyze the key documents, testimony, and witnesses in your cases, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Legacy desktop practice management software requires a significant upfront investment, which can contribute to cash flow problems at a new law firm. Cloud practice management software alleviates this pressure somewhat but most products cost just as much the first month as they do a year later. Ideally, the cost of practice management software should align with your firm's growth.

Case.one … in One Sentence

Case.one is a cloud practice management system with desktop-class customization and a unique per-case pricing model designed to reduce costs.

The Killer Feature

Case.one is free for up to 10 active cases. Once your firm uses Case.one to manage 11 or more cases, it costs 99 cents per case per month. This all-inclusive price includes unlimited users, storage, and technical support. Even better, Case.one offers discounted pre-paid plans.

Most competing products charge about $50 per user per month. Case.one's per case model and discounted packages makes it less expensive by comparison. For example, a high-volume immigration firm with 5 lawyers, 10 paralegals, and 300 active cases would spend about $750 per month for a per-user product versus $197 per month for Case.one. A low volume firm staffed the same but with only 50 active cases would spend the same $750 per month for a per-user product versus only $35 per month for Case.one.

Other Notable Features

Case.one greets you with the Firm Feed when you login, a tickler that provides an overview of upcoming deadlines and activity in your cases. Similar, more focused feeds exist in each of Case.one's major areas — Billing, Calendar, Cases, Contacts, Files, and Tasks.

CEO Bahar Ansari describes Case.one as "second generation cloud practice management." During my demo, she takes care to point out Case.one's desktop-class features. Remember the PBX integrations of yore? Case.one integrates with VoIP telephone systems so that you can click to call and automatically bill the time. Acknowledging the financial controls many firms have, Case.one enables you to create a billing approval process. The billing system supports billing codes, client-specific rates, contingency and flat fees, expenses, and origination credit. You can customize your bills, deliver them via email or PDF, accept credit cards via LawPay, and automatically record bills in QuickBooks.

Case.one helps automate work product too. Practice Area Libraries save you time by adding data fields, templates, and workflows you're likely to need. You can add your own custom fields, and create your own workflows, which consist of groups of related tasks such as for client intake. Assign tasks within a workflow to members of your team, and create dependencies so that completion of a task automatically triggers and assigns the next task in the sequence. Built-in document assembly automates the creation of documents required by a task.

In addition to its desktop-class functionality, Case.one also takes advantage of its modern underpinnings. A client portal facilitates secure collaboration and communication with clients. When Case.one recognizes a common activity, it can prefill much of your time entry and even offer a suggested time based on historical data. Dropbox integration makes all your documents available, and Office 365 and G Suite integration syncs your calendar, contacts, and tasks across all devices.

What Else Should You Know?

Reports in Case.one provide in-depth analysis of your firm, including productivity. Administrator tools enable you to create roles and control access rights. Case.one or one of its authorized consultants can help you with data migration and customization if needed. Learn more about Case.one.

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

Is the Vision of Law Firms in the Cloud at Risk?

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: The winding down of LexisNexis' cloud practice management software Firm Manager after six years on the market has law firms wondering whether smaller players can survive. In this issue of SmallLaw, practice management veteran Cathy Kenton draws on her experience to address this concern. She also explores related questions about the overall reliability of cloud software and the difficulty of migrating from one cloud product to another. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn about a law firm's unusual recruiting strategy.

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 | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

LEAP Brings Automated Email Organization and Secure Communications to Practice Management

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, June 29, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a practice management system that automatically captures email correspondence, integrates with Outlook, and offers a secure client portal (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of cloud litigation management software that enables you and your team to analyze the key documents, testimony, and witnesses in your cases, a new research service that collects primary and secondary sources related to cybersecurity and privacy issues, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Practice management software sits at the heart of your law firm. Some would characterize it as the beating heart of your law firm, especially when used for timekeeping, billing, accounting, document assembly, and other vital functions. But email also resides at the heart of your firm. It seems like these two core technologies should work well together.

LEAP … in One Sentence

LEAP is a cloud-based practice management system with a new suite of email tools, especially for Outlook users.

The Killer Feature

LEAP automatically stores your incoming and outgoing email messages and those of your colleagues — including attachments. This feature works with Office 365.

Let's say you draft a Word document within LEAP and want to email it to a client. From within LEAP, right click on the document and select "Email" or "PDF and Email" depending on whether you want to send it in Word or PDF format. LEAP auto-creates the subject line based on the corresponding matter, which you can edit if you wish. You can attach other documents or save your draft to finish later. After sending the message, LEAP prompts you for a time entry and automatically files the message in the correct matter. If you switch over to Outlook, your iPhone, etc, you'll find this message in your "Sent Mail" folder.

If your client replies, LEAP automatically captures and files this reply and all future email correspondence in the correct matter. It doesn't matter which email app or device your client uses. This automatic capture even survives changes to the subject line and additional recipients. LEAP performs this magic through an invisible code in the initial message designed to withstand the rigors of an email discussion.

Other Notable Features

The LEAP integration with Outlook adds a number of functions to the ribbon. For example, you can access any document in LEAP from within Outlook, attach it to a message, and bill the time spent writing the message. When you receive email initiated by clients and other external contacts, you can file these messages from Outlook into the correct matter in LEAP and bill the time you spend reading them. Both LEAP and Outlook contain all your contacts, calendar appointments, and tasks.

LEAP's email functionality also works from the free mobile app for iPad, iPhone, and Android. If a client needs a document when you're out of the office, you can send it to your client from the mobile app, bill your time, and capture all subsequent communications.

When you need a more secure form of communication than email, you can use LawConnect, the client portal built into LEAP. Right click on the document or folder you want to share and select LawConnect instead of emailing it. A few more clicks and you'll create a secure web portal in which your client can view the document and communicate with you. LawConnect notifies you when your client has viewed a shared document, and enables you to manage your client's access rights (you can revoke access anytime).

What Else Should You Know?

LEAP offers a full suite of practice management features in addition to these communications tools, including a growing library of forms and accompanying document assembly engine as alluded to above. LEAP can also design and host your website. Learn more about LEAP.

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: Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Inside My Mac Law Office; Reviews of Smokeball, Amicus Attorney, PDF Expert; Mouse v. Trackpad

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, June 29, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Scott Gardner, Inside My Mac Law Office: PDF Expert, iPad Scanning, and More

Ted Alatsas, Review of Smokeball

Sharon Sperling, Review of Amicus Attorney

Tom Trottier, Mouse v. Trackpad

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Computer Accessories | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Reviews of ProLaw, Time Matters, Power PDF 2, Windows 10, Surface Pro, RingCentral

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, June 23, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Robert Pennell, What I Use and Why: ProLaw, Windows 10, iPhone 7, Acrobat Pro 11, Power PDF 2

Theodore Borrego, Review of Time Matters

Andrew Condlin, Review of Surface Pro

Walter Reaves, Review Of RingCentral

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: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

Reviews of Mitel IP Phone System, Cisco Umbrella, PFSense; 4K Monitor Advice; Lower Cost Practice Management Options

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, June 22, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Chuck Pollack, Review of Mitel IP Phone System Plus Failover Internet Access

Tom Trottier, Reviews of Cisco Umbrella and PFSense

John Ahern, Advice for Running Old Apps on 4K Monitors

Donald Coker, Lower Cost Practice Management Options

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 | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Monitors | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity | Utilities
 
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