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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

Hidden Gems in Document Management Systems Plus Facebook Advertising Campaigns

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, July 17, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: In this issue of SmallLaw, legal technology consultant Jack Schaller continues his series on hidden gems in modern legal software. This time he discusses five time-saving tools in modern document management systems. You'll learn how to eliminate duplicate documents that result from email attachments, automate the storage of incoming and outgoing invoices, receive alerts when documents change, and much more. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn how to use targeted advertisements on Facebook.

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 | Document Management | SmallLaw

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

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

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

Reviews of Dragon, Tabs3 Connect, Everything; Surface Pro at Trial; Storing Client-Related Email

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, June 11, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Roy Greenberg, Review of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Plus Headsets

Donald Coker, Review: Tabs3 Connect for Mobile Time Entry

Miriam Jacobson, Storing Client-Related Email; Review of Everything

Nancy Chausow Shafer, Using a Surface Pro 2 at Trial

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 | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Presentations/Projectors | TL Answers

Review of QuickFile 5 and SimplyFile 5 Plus Better Introductions

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, May 18, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: New Jersey lawyer Ed Zohn is an aficionado of both Outlook and document management so we asked him to write a comparative review of QuickFile 5 and SimplyFile 4. These Outlook add-ons enable you to file incoming and outgoing email into the correct folder with one click. Ed covers setup, core functionality, and pricing. He also explores advanced features such as snoozing an email message to make it disappear until a later time. Don't miss Ed's verdict. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for nine tips on how to write introductions that keep readers engaged.

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 | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | SmallLaw | Utilities

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

Free Research Reports for Lawyers and Others in the Legal Industry

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, April 30, 2015

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 and also to the TechnoLawyer Library Sweepstakes. Click any link to get started and join TechnoLawyer today.

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)

Enter the TechnoLawyer Library Sweepstakes. There's no limit on how many times you can win.

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

Worldox GX4: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document management software that automates the creation of document profiles (see article below), a cloud practice management application for bankruptcy lawyers, an iOS PDF app, and a help desk application for your firm's IT department. Don't miss the next issue.

EFFORTLESS DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT

Document management systems work best when everyone in your firm creates a detailed profile for every document. This enables anyone to instantly find a document hours, days, and years later. With lawyers perennially in a hurry, the document profile process should take as little time as possible. Human fingers won't get any faster anytime soon so the answer lies in intelligent automation.

Worldox GX4 … in One Sentence

Launched last week, World Software's Worldox GX4 is a document management system designed to streamline document capture and facilitate document access from any device.

The Killer Feature

Worldox features Active Profiling technology to automate the creation of document profiles. In particular, the Follow Me Favorites feature keeps track of which files you worked on recently, presenting you with these choices in the Open and Save dialog boxes. If you choose from among the options in the Save dialog box, you need only name your document and assign a document type as Worldox will enter the remaining profile information based on where you've chosen to file it.

In addition to listing recently accessed Cabinets, Follow Me Favorites also displays your designated Favorite Matters and Quick Profile tabs. These additional choices further minimize how often you'll need to create an entirely new document profile.

Other Notable Features

Worldox also automates email capture by integrating Active Profiling with Microsoft Outlook. Using a proprietary heuristics algorithm, Worldox monitors your incoming and outgoing email, assigns client/matter data, and queues these messages for your review. This enables you to batch file your email with one click. You can also have the folders for your Favorite Matters appear in Outlook, enabling you to move email into Worldox as well as access previously filed email.

You'll find similar automation in Microsoft Word and Excel thanks to a new QuickSave toolbar icon with which you can access existing documents and save new documents. This toolbar also enables you to search Worldox from Microsoft Office.

The company also enhanced the Worldox client. For example, Worldox now offers user-defined categories (tags) that you can apply to documents. You can then sort, filter, and search using these tags. This enables everyone in your firm to customize Worldox in a way that suits their personal style.

Inline searching offers another way to find documents. The new inline document viewer within search results enables you to view documents without opening them. In addition to sorting search results by categories, you can also sort them by document type, date, and other fields from document profiles.

"It's not easy to build a product that is super powerful and feature rich yet simple to use, so I applaud our development team for doing just that with Worldox GX4," World Software President Ray Zwiefelhofer tells us. "With Executive summary views, one-click saves, and active email profiling, our initial test groups have been impressed with the ease of use and productivity gains."

What Else Should You Know?

Pricing for Worldox GX4 starts at $460 per license. If you don't want to maintain a server, the company offers Worldox GX4 Cloud, which it hosts in secure data centers. Midsize and large firms can opt for Worldox GX4 Enterprise. Learn more about Worldox GX4.

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 | TL NewsWire
 
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