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Tables of Contents Secrets; Reviews of Chrometa, ACD, TValue; VoIP Providers to Avoid; Radio and Newspaper Advertising in 2015

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Robin Meadow, The Secret to Creating Tables of Contents

Colleen Heine, Review: Chrometa

Charles Kronzek, VoIP Providers to Avoid Plus Review of ACD

Adron Beene, Review: TValue

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL Answers | Utilities

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

Review of Litera Sync Plus Cross-Selling Excuses

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 23, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: You routinely send documents to clients and others. Email lacks security and runs into problems with size restrictions. Consumer cloud services address the size problem, but don't sync to your network drive or integrate with document management systems. Litera Sync claims to combine stronger security and more functionality without complexity. New Jersey lawyer Edward J. Zohn puts this claim to the test in this issue of SmallLaw. You'll also learn what Litera Sync costs. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for the real meaning of cross-selling excuses.

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 | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Privacy/Security | SmallLaw

Buyer's Guide to Microphones for Dragon; Technical Support for Legal Software; Running Legal Apps on a Surface 3; Best VoIP Service

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 23, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Paul Tredoux, Puff the Magic Dragon: A Buyer's Guide to Microphone for Speech Recognition Software

Donald Coker, Technical Support for Legal Software: We Need Data

Caren Schwartz, Running QuickBooks and Timeslips on a Surface 3

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 | Computer Accessories | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Answers

How to Use Deferred Email Plus 63 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 13, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 64 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.

Office 2016 for Mac Is Now Available

Five Client Portals to Consider

Surface Pro 4 v. Surface Pro 3 v. Surface 3

A Chronological History of Windows

Congratulations to David Sparks of MacSparky on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: How Lawyer David Sparks Uses Deferred Email

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

A Boston Law Firm's Favorite Cloud Services Plus 56 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 6, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 57 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.

9 Things Lawyers Need to Know About Slack

Four Ways to Boost Your Gmail Productivity

The Best Smartphones (July 2015)

Your Online Subscriptions Calculator

Congratulations to Nicole Black of Above the Law on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: A Boston Law Firm's Favorite Cloud Services

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud

Spark: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an email app for the iPhone with automation features and desktop-class attachment handling (see article below), a cloud practice management application for litigators, a combination battery charger and solid state drive for iPads and iPhones, and a Microsoft Word add-on for repairing documents. Don't miss the next issue.

DESKTOP-CLASS EMAIL ON YOUR IPHONE

The smartphone has become an efficient tool for reviewing email when not at your desk. This common activity prevents your inbox from getting out of control. However, Apple Mail on iOS lacks advanced features such as switching among multiple email signatures. Its attachment handling abilities also fall short. A more advanced app would enable you to clear through even more email than currently possible.

Spark … in One Sentence

Launched last month, Readdle's Spark is an email app for the iPhone with a focus on automation and attachment handling.

The Killer Feature

Spark offers desktop-class attachment handling. It can open just about any document you receive. You can search for attachments (and links) using natural language (e.g., Word documents from Joe Smith this year). Spark enables you save frequently-used searches.

Spark supports Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and other cloud services. This means you can save attachments to these services, and also tap into them for emailing one or more documents. You can also attach any locally stored documents and photos. You need not start from the document as is the case with Apple Mail.

Thanks to Readdle's PDF pedigree, you can convert email messages into PDF format. Once converted, you can save these messages in any supported cloud service or send them to a local app such as Adobe Acrobat or Readdle's PDF Expert.

Other Notable Features

Spark's unified inbox works across all your email accounts. It groups related messages into three groups — Personal, Newsletters, and Notifications. Spark uses an algorithm to figure out which messages qualify as notifications. It should alert you to questions from clients for example.

Speaking of notifications, Spark can let you know when a recipient reads your message. You can "pin" important messages that you don't want to forget about. Pinned messages appear in their own section. Similarly, you can "snooze" messages to make them disappear now and reappear later.

Quick Replies enable you to respond to email without having to spend time writing. With one tap, you can send customizable canned responses such as "Thanks" or an emoji. Another timesaver, Spark supports multiple signatures. You swipe through them, and then tap on the signature you want to use.

Spark offers a number of widgets that you can toggle on or off. For example the calendar widget enables you to accept or reject meeting invitations. Another widget lists only attachments. Also on the customization front, you can change the function of swipe gestures much like with mouse buttons on your PC.

What Else Should You Know?

Spark supports Exchange, Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, Yahoo, and IMAP. If you have an Apple Watch, you can install the Spark extension. Once installed, you can reply to email via dictation or Quick Replies. The Spark Glance shows you how many unread messages you have and lists your most recent email message. Spark is free for now. Learn more about Spark.

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 | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL NewsWire

The Best Business Laptop Plus 56 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, June 29, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 57 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 to Enable the New Undo Send in Gmail

Review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2015)

Seven Smartphone Myths That Just Won't Die

My Smartphone Gave Me a Painful Condition

Congratulations to Jarred Walton of The Wirecutter on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The Best Business Laptop

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 | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

SWING Porter for Outlook: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an Outlook add-on that exports messages and attachments into PDF format for document management and other purposes (see article below), a legal research service with a new online publishing tool for showcasing your legal expertise, an e-ink reader with a high-resolution display, and a WiFi security camera. Don't miss the next issue.

AN ADD-ON FOR OUTLOOK'S MISSING PDF EXPORT

Many of email's pain points no longer exist thanks to accounts accessible from multiple devices, push notifications, robust searching, and effective spam filters. However, one pain point remains for lawyers in particular -- getting email messages and attachments out of Outlook and into PDF format for archiving purposes, ediscovery, and sharing with clients.

SWING Porter for Outlook … in One Sentence

Launched recently, SWING Porter for Outlook is an add-on that automates exporting email from Outlook and converting it into PDF format.

The Killer Feature

SWING Porter for Outlook resides on the Outlook Ribbon after installation. If you have many users, you can also perform a network installation of the software. Once installed, you can export one or more messages, folders, etc. In addition to exporting email messages and their attachments to multiple PDF files, you can also export to PDF Binders or PDF Packages.

When you create a PDF Binder, SWING Porter for Outlook converts all the email messages or folders you select into a single PDF file. Inside, a table of contents mimics your organizational structure in Outlook's Navigation Pane. "In this way, you can conveniently create an electronic closing binder with just one click on the SWING Porter for Outlook export button," SWING CEO David Jakelic tells us.

A PDF Package provides an alternative method of saving multiple email messages and attachments in a single PDF file. Each message exists as an attachment within a PDF Package. A built-in navigation pane enables you to browse, search, and sort these messages by date, sender, etc. "Coupled with the ability to import Office and other types of documents, a PDF Package provides an ideal way to save your client matter data all in one place," says Jakelic.

Other Notable Features

Dynamic Conversion Profiles enable you to apply different conversion settings to each PDF export. The default profiles should cover "90% of use cases" according to Jakelic, but you can customize these defaults or create entirely new profiles. Settings include the context in which a profile should appear (e.g., single message selected, folder selected, etc.), the format of the export (multiple PDF files, Binder, or Package), the file naming convention, and the destination for the file.

File names can match whatever system your firm uses thanks to the ability to create a formula from all the data fields available in Outlook. For example, you can use date and time sent or received, the sender and/or recipient's name, the name of the folder in which the message resides, etc.

Instead of manually invoking SWING Porter for Outlook, you can automate exports by setting up a rule on a timed schedule.

What Else Should You Know?

SWING Porter for Outlook starts at $99 per user. Volume discounts exist. For example a 5-user pack costs $420. A license includes all updates for the current version and email support. You can try the software for free. Learn more about SWING Porter for Outlook.

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: Coming Attractions | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Legal Research | Privacy/Security | TL NewsWire

Inbox by Gmail: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Monday, June 1, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an app that uses machine learning to help you manage your email (see article below), an iPhone app that tracks your time at different locations, metadata removal software, and a stand for the Apple Watch. Don't miss the next issue.

RETURN OF THE EMAIL DISRUPTOR

You may not use Gmail, but Gmail explains why you have virtually unlimited storage, can search your email on the web, and rarely receive spam. Email before Gmail was like mobile phones before the iPhone. Never a company to rest on its laurels, Google now seeks to reinvent email again.

Inbox by Gmail … in One Sentence

Launched last week, Google's Inbox by Gmail is an email client that uses machine learning to automate routine tasks.

The Killer Feature

Transactional email messages often contain just a few key informational tidbits of interest that you have to hunt for because of a poor design or unwanted upselling. Inbox by Gmail enables you to obtain key information from these messages without opening them.

For example, when an order ships and a retailer sends you an email message, Inbox by Gmail displays the retailer, order description, and a tracking link rather than just the subject line. Just click the tracking link to find out when you can expect delivery. Similarly, Inbox by Gmail unearths key information from travel-related messages such as your flight number and check-in link.

Other Notable Features

Email nerds like to group similar messages together in folders or with labels. Inbox by Gmail automatically groups transactional messages into three "Bundles" — Promos, Purchases, and Trips — that obviate the need to open these messages. You can also create your own custom Bundles that follow rules you set up.

Inbox by Gmail contains a built-in task manager. You can convert an email message into a task and append a note. You can also create one-time or recurring reminders unrelated to email messages. Reminders appear at the top of your inbox. The Assists feature offers to help you with reminders if it can use data from your account or the web. You can also list your Google Keep and Google Now reminders in Inbox by Gmail.

This being a Google product, you can search your messages. You can snooze messages so that they reappear in your inbox later when you're ready to handle them or when you're at a certain location. You can view these messages anytime in the Snoozed list. If you choose "Someday," the app moves them to the Someday list.

What Else Should You Know?

Inbox by Gmail has a feature that all email clients should "borrow" — it delays sending messages for a few seconds and offers you an Undo button in case you forgot something, misaddressed the message, or have second thoughts. Inbox by Gmail is free. You can use it on the web as well as in the native Android and iPhone apps. Currently limited to consumer Gmail accounts, support for Google Apps for Work is en route. Learn more about Inbox by Gmail.

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 | TL NewsWire
 
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