Law Office Management Assistance

Law Practice Management Tips

PMA Tip of the Week - Save Time Printing Labels & Postage - 01/31/12

Randall Ryder, writing for Lawyerist.com, makes an excellent case for investing in a Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo Printer. These handy label printers can be used in a variety of ways to increase the efficiency in your office. The 450 Twin Turbo prints both address labels and postage labels. There are a lot of uses for these handy little printers. Some offices have a label printer set up to print appointment reminder labels--print a label with the date and time of the client’s next appointment, stick it on the back of a business card and give it to the client as the appointment reminder. Having a quick way to create file labels will increase the likelihood that files are properly labeled as they are created. The ROI is measured in efficiency and saves your regular printer from damage when label printing goes bad.

PMA Tip of the Week - Note That! - 01/17/12

Send an old fashion, snail mail note to someone once a week.  Make it a Friday afternoon, winding-down-the-week scheduled task.  Every week someone has done something which helped, motivated or touched you. Send them a note!  If you encountered someone who needs encouragement, send them a note.  If the court clerk was especially helpful or the security guard at the court house extended you a helping hand, send them a note.  Ending your week with a random act of kindness is uplifting and good marketing!

Gift Ideas for the December Holidays - 12/06/11
Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson have created the 49th edition of the Digital Edge podcast in the gift giving spirit of December.  The lively banter discusses a wide variety of tech items and gadgets both useful and fun in a wide price range that may help you with your December purchases.  In addition to their podcast, the list of show notes provides a links of all the items discussed. 

Reid Trautz, Chair of ABA Techshow 2012, has also issued his annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers.  This list also provides some product comparisons and purchase advice.  If you are looking for gifts in the productivity, food or just plain fun categories, check out Reid’s list for some great ideas. 

One more excellent list which provides a compilation of shopping ideas is Attention, Shoppers: A Lawyer’s Gift Guide from the folks at Attorney At Work.  In addition to looking at the list, take a minute to read some of the posts on this site whose motto is ‘one really good idea every day.’ 

PMA Tip of the Week - Sticky State of Mind - 11/29/11

Do you have yellow sticky notes all over your work space, attached to your monitor, cell phone, briefcase, laptop, and the dashboard of your car? Then you live in a sticky state of mind. Never fear, there is a free application to take your sticky notes to the next level. Integrate them into your computer desktop using an app appropriately called Stickies. This nifty little application functions like a to-do-list with alarms, a memory, and the beautiful square yellow visual of a sticky note. In a perfectly disciplined mind, all of the uses for sticky notes would be incorporated into the functions in your e-mail application using reminder notes, appointments, and tasks. For some of us, that will never happen. Enter Stickies. This tiny app, contained in a super fast download and install, was recently reviewed by PCWorld. Take a look and see if this might be a tool that helps your sticky state of mind stay organized. Once installed the icon resides in your task tray near the clock in the lower right corner of your monitor. A click on the icon creates a new note; a right click on the icon displays options to create a new note. A right click on the title bar of an existing note lets you change options. Although it is not a web-based mobile app, it is a very tidy, quite handy addition to your monitor desktop.

PMA Tip of the Week - Time Management – Who Has Time for it? - 11/15/11

Time management may be one of the most crucial factors in determining the success or failure of every attorney, but especially the solo small firm attorney.  There are books, seminars, blogs, software applications for your computer and your cell phone, plus time management specialists all devoted to helping you learn to manage your time.  Who has time for all of that?  If you recognize the need, but don’t know where to start, read “How to Manage Not to Waste Your Time” by Donna Seyle. Donna writes frankly and succinctly about her “less-than-productive time management system” and how she is working to change it.  Her post shares a list of 10 applicable concepts to help every attorney improve their personal time management skills.  It is a quick read too! 

PMA Tip of the Week - Gmail & Outlook Tips - 11/02/11

Gmail Conversation View Driving You Crazy? Turn It Off! 
By default, Gmail groups all e-mail items in a conversation behind the original email. You can easily manage the setting that turns the conversation feature on or off by following these steps: Click on the gear shaped options icon (upper right)> click on Mail Settings > scroll down to Conversation View > click on Off > scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Save.
If you turn this feature off, your e-mail will be arranged by date and time delivered to your inbox. This process can easily be reversed by repeating the same steps and choosing "On", followed by "Save".
Three Handy Keyboard Shortcuts for Outlook Users These three keyboard shortcuts are a powerful addition to help speed up navigation in Outlook.
Execute these shortcuts by depressing and holding the Control key(Ctrl), followed by the number key.
 
Control + 1 will move you to the Inbox view
Control + 2 will move you to the Calendar view
Control + 3 will move you to the Contacts view
 
A more complete list of control key shortcuts is easy to access by depressing and holding the "Alt" key, followed by the "G" key or clicking on "Go" on the menu bar.

PMA Tip of the Week - Adobe Reader for Mobile Devices - 10/25/11

October 17, 2011 Adobe released Adobe Reader for iDevices and Android phones, a free application available from the App Store and Android Market in a very quick download.  The application starts with “Getting Started with Adobe Reader,” a tutorial explaining the Adobe Reader interface.  Even if you have a PDF application on your mobile device, add this one to your arsenal of mobile tools.  It is quick, easy, and offers some of the classic Adobe Reader options not found in other applications.  Features included in the Reader are search, magnify, vertical and horizontal scroll control, and bookmarks. 

It also supports password-protected PDF documents.  In any view, touching the middle of the screen brings up the toolbars, and touching the bookmark in the lower right corner will display an active bookmark window.  Opening a PDF file from your e-mail or a web page is easy.  In just 10 minutes, you can install this application, quickly run through the tutorial, and increase your PDF firepower.  This is a long-overdue solution for users who just want to open, read, and navigate PDF files on their mobile devices.

Tip courtesy of Diane L. Ebersole of the Law Office Management Assistance Program.

PMA Tip of the Week - iPhones and iOS5 Upgrades - 10/18/11

New iPhone – Worth the Investment?
Are you thinking about upgrading to a new iPhone 4S? Check out this post by Jeff Richardson, author of the iPhone J.D. Blog.  The post “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” not only provides you with Jeff’s insights, but also provides links to over a dozen additional reviews of the iPhone 4S.  A word of caution: Don’t read these reviews if you think you will be dissuaded from ordering the new phone.  It is likely that you will be queuing up online or at a store after reading these enthusiastic reviews.

Should You Upgrade the Operating System?
If you noticed the buzz about the latest operating system  iOS5 for your iPhone 3GS, 4, iPad or iPad 2 and wonder if it is worth the trouble to download and install it, once you read this post “E-mail Improvements in iOS5”  you will be sold on the system for the e-mail enhancements alone. 

Michigan attorney, Scott Bassett, shared a note he wrote on the same subjects which provides some great additional info. Thank you Scott!

For those of you who with iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices new enough to accept the iOS 5 update (iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2. iPad, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 3G), but have not been able to download the update file using the standard method in iTunes, try doing it outside of iTunes with a direct download. There are instructions and direct download links at the site below:
http://gizmodo.com/5849295/how-to-fix-the-ios-5-update-error-3200-updated

(If following the instructions at the link above, remember that it is Shift>Restore instead of Option>Restore if using a Windows PC.)

Note that the direct download links will only get you the update file more quickly. You will still need to connect to Apple's servers to authenticate the update after it is installed.
Plus, here is a useful update and getting started guide:
http://gizmodo.com/5849160/the-complete-guide-to-updating-to-ios-5

One of the nice new features of iOS 5 is that your device will now be completely independent of your Mac or PC.

Tip courtesy of Diane L. Ebersole of the Law Office Management Assistance Program.

PMA Tip of the Week - Save That Thought!- 10/11/11

Save That Thought!
Do you ever need to quickly capture a thought, list a to-do item or remember a parking spot location? Using an application like Tape-a-Talk for Android devices or Voice Memos for iPhones allows you to quickly create an audio reminder note. These apps can be very handy, making it easy to record a message and delete it after the reminder has served its purpose. Some of these applications also make it easy to send the recording as an attachment to an email. If you've ever found yourself wandering around a parking lot searching for your car—or hitting your forehead because you finally remembered what it was you were supposed to do—explore a “voice solution” through the Android Market or the Apple App Store.

Tip courtesy of Diane L. Ebersole of the Law Office Management Assistance Program.

PMA Tip of the Week- Have an iPad but can't use it?- 10/04/11

Have an iPad but Can’t Use It?
So you went out and bought an iPad and now you are flummoxed trying to understand how it works. While it appears that very little documentation comes with an iPad there are a couple of surprisingly robust resources available if you have access to the Internet.

Using the Safari browser on your iPad click on the Bookmark icon. The iPad User Guide bookmark is preloaded and listed in Bookmarks. Simply click on it and you are linked to a comprehensive online source to help you master your iPad.

A second option is the complete PDF user manual available from Apple. This document is a 16 MB, 198 page, comprehensive manual which may take a few minutes to download. Once it has downloaded to your iPad, touch the screen in the upper right hand corner and you will have the option to open the User Guide in iBooks. Once saved into iBooks it will be at the ready whenever you need it regardless of Internet availability.

PMA Tip of the Week- NOLO's Plain English Law Dictionary - 08/23/11

NOLO’s Plain English Law Dictionary
This free application is available for both iPad and iPhone.  NOLO’s dictionary app was updated in October of 2010 and has even more definitions and features than the original 2009 version.  NOLO’s dictionary will not compete with the $50 Black’s Law Dictionary application, but it does a good job explaining common legal terms in plain English.  The NOLO dictionary is also available online from your computer. The application may prove most useful when attorneys are looking for the plain English definitions of complex legal terms to help their clients understand the legal lexicon.

PMA Tip of the Week (08/17/11): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force )
Checklists

Jim Calloway’s recent column for Lawyers USA entitled Using Checklists in Your Law Practice is worth the read!    If you need some inspiration to help you get organized or improve efficiency, take a minute and check out his column.  If you really want checklist inspiration, Jim recommends reading The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.  It is not expensive in paperback, but it is even less if you use one of the free reader applications to purchase and read it. 

Kindle and Nook both have free reader applications which can be installed on almost every platform including  iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Blackberry, Windows PC or Windows Phone 7.   You don’t have to own a Kindle or Nook  to take advantage of the reader technology.  Install the free application and then purchase the book to read wherever and whenever you have the time.  Put it on your checklist!

MassBar's Tip of the Week (7/21/11):
Outlook out of office assistance: Adding hyperlinks to your away message

Of course you want to put links in an automated response message. If you're out of the office, you want to point those who e-mail you to helpful resources, or to co-workers, who can assist them while you're gone.

But, when you compose an out of office message using Outlook's Out of Office Assistant, there's no hyperlink functionality. As an alternatirve, compose your automated response message in another application that's capable of supporting hyperlinks. Then paste that message, hyperlinks included, into the Out of Office Assistant window.

Be sure to use Ctrl + V when pasting the message since there is no right-click-paste function when using Outlook.

Tip courtesy of Rachel Willcox of the Law Office Management Assistance Program.

PMA Tip of the Week (7/11/11): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force )
Tools and Apps for Bloggers

Dan Pinnington, Practice Management Advisor and practicePRO Director for Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company, in Toronto, Canada, recently linked to a list of resources designed to make blogging easier.   If you are a blogger or interested in improving the quality of your blog, take a few minutes to read “20+ Essential Tools and Applications for Bloggers.”  The list includes resources to help you to organize your thoughts, develop interesting content, find keywords for search engine optimization, share your content, and publish and edit your posts.

Even if you don’t blog, the list includes information regarding how to create documents using a web-based word processor, save documents, tasks, and reminders that can be accessed from your computer or mobile device, and record notes and ideas using digital dictation.  

PMA Tip of the Week(2/01/11): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Do you...

Do you know all the passwords?  Do you know the password to every computer in your office including the server? Do you have a networked printer which requires a password to make setting changes? Do you know the administrator password for every software application in use in the office?  Do you know the password to your website, host account and domain registrar? What about on-line services; on-line banking, legal research, credit card services, health insurance or cafeteria plan, and TurboTax?  Does your firm have a blog, a facebook page, Twitter, or a LinkedIn account?  Do you have passwords for you mobile phone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, iTunes? What about Amazon or Staples and other on-line transactional services. 

You get the idea!  If you are managing by using the “Master Password” concept – re-evaluate!  If the task of managing your passwords seems insurmountable, read North Carolina Practice Management Advisor Erik Mazzone’s SmallLaw review of LastPass for one solution. (The review is under Recent Issues.)  

Watch for more “Do you” posts in the upcoming weeks.

PMA Tip of the Week(1/18/11):(This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Quickly Reduce PDF File Size!

The use of Adobe Acrobat and PDF file format is a growing trend in almost all aspects of the legal environment.  Once PDF documents are created they are often transmitted electronically and file size can become an issue.  If you have a full version of Adobe Acrobat (not Adobe Reader), there is a really quick and easy way to reduce the file size.   Print the file to your Adobe printer!  This action does not create a printed document, but it creates an electronic file (It doesn’t make sense, but that is what happens.) When you create this file you are prompted for a file name. Create an amended file name before you hit save to protect your original.  The cautionary caveat is to remember that you are creating an “electronic printed file” so navigational tools you may have built into your original PDF, such as bookmarks, will not be available.

If you are creating your PDF from Word or Word Perfect, use the print to PDF option instead of “Save as PDF” and you will have created the smaller file size from the get go.  You still need to have a full version of Adobe installed to complete this option.

A third option available to reduce the file size in the Pro versions of Adobe can be found by navigating to  Advanced on the Menu Bar then to PDF Optimizer on the drop down menu.  Using this option will leave features like bookmarks in the document but still reduce the file size.

PMA Tip of the Week(1/11/11):(This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Secure your Facebook profile!

We have all heard the message but may not have heeded the call.  Why not?  For many of us, it is because we really don’t know how to lock down our profile.  Help is here.
 
ZDNet iGeneration blogger Zach Whittaker has posted documentation which will walk you through the steps to thoroughly secure your Facebook profile.  The instructions are divided into four sections: Securing your profile page, Secure your account settings, Secure your privacy settings and Securing the miscellaneous. The format of the instructions may not please all viewers, but if you open two browser windows, one for Facebook and one for the instructions, it is a pretty speedy process to complete.

Overlooking security settings on your business or personal Facebook profile could prove to be a critical miss-step.

PMA Tip of the Week(12/21/10):(This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Google Labs  Announces Ngram Viewer

Google Labs has released a powerful new analytical tool, Ngram Viewer, based on their Google Books digitized library.  When you enter phrases or words into the viewer, it creates a graph displaying how those words have occurred in books over time.  This article from the Wall Street Journal provides a good overview of the recently released Viewer.  You can skip the article and go directly to Google Labs for a test drive or check the additional resources provided by Google to help you learn more about Ngram Viewer.   While Ngram Viewer may not increase your legal proficiency, it will demonstrate the power of digitized documents.

PMA Tip of the Week(09/21/10):(This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Wireless Keyboards for Smart Phones
Are you among the many users of smart phones who would create more documents on your phone if you had a full size keyboard to use with the phone?  Are you using an application like Documents to Go but find yourself frustrated by the keyboarding process?  Could you leave your laptop at home and just use your phone as your computer if you could only key in text using more than your opposable thumbs?  Take a look at these options and see if there is a solution for you.

Apple Wireless Keyboard for the iPhone: http://www.apple.com/keyboard/   Jeff Richardson, author if the iPhone J.D. blog, has a good review of this keyboard at http://www.iphonejd.com/.

The keyboards for Verizon Droid from The Pocket Solution look promising, but be sure to read the info under Important Please Read! http://www.thepocketsolution.com/PSI-62901.html

Another option is a flexible (roll-up soft touch) keyboard available from http://www.wetkeys.com
 
If you can wait a few months the Jorno keyboard (folds up to the size of a deck of cards) option from https://jornostore.com might be worth waiting for.  It is available for pre-order now and delivery in January.

If these keyboards seem like they may be a useful tool for your practice on the go, do some shopping and be sure to check the specs for compatibility and power requirements. 

Does anyone remember that Targus made a great little fold-up keyboard that was cutting edge at the time for Palm devices?  That is ancient history, but the setup was the envy of everyone who saw it!

PMA Tip of the Week(09/14/10):(This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Using Multiple Outlook Windows

Have you ever been looking at mail in your Inbox, then wanted to jump to your calendar without losing your place in the Inbox? Outlook makes it possible through the use of multiple windows. To open multiple windows, right click on an icon in the Outlook bar (say the Calendar) and pick "Open in New Window". Now you can see your calendar and your inbox at the same time!

PMA Tip of the Week(08/10/10):(This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Can't Read It!
Would you like to read articles on the web without the surrounding clutter?  Would you like to control the relative size of the text in web page articles?  Would you like to print only the article in a format that is truly readable? Explore the options for Internet Explorer,
Firefox and Safari at the following websites:  

Readability for IE
“Readability™ is a simple tool that makes reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you're reading. Follow the steps below to install Readability™ in your Web browser.” Copied from: http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/. This site has a short video to help you set up Readability on your Favorites Bar.

Readability for Firefox
 “Readability is a new Firefox add-on that makes reading web pages simpler and more enjoyable. The system strips the superfluous information and shows the main content in a single column of easy-to-read text. It is also a precious tool for printing the web pages in less.” Copied from: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/46442/

Safari Reader
“Safari Reader removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles. So you get the whole story and nothing but the story. It works like this: As you browse the web, Safari detects if you’re on a web page with an article. Click the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field, and the article appears instantly in one continuous, clutter-free view. You see every page of the article — whether two or twenty. Onscreen controls let you email, print, and zoom.
Change the size of the text, and Safari remembers it the next time you view an article in Safari Reader.” Copied from: http://www.apple.com/safari/whats-new.html#reader

PMA Tip of the Week(08/10/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
The Ultimate Guide to Gmail

The Ultimate Guide to Gmail by Taty Sena is a handy, very informative PDF guide to using Gmail.  It also includes valuable links to Gmail shortcuts and a Gmail cheat-sheet. It explains labels, setting, advanced settings, filters and more.  If you are using Google Docs, Google Calendar, Tasks, or need help on just about any topic in Gmail this handy PDF document will likely provide some useful assistance for you.  http://manuals.makeuseof.com.s3.amazonaws.com/gmail-guide.pdf

PMA Tip of the Week(07/27/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Information Overload Help

If “information overload” or “information disorganization” is driving you nuts, check out Evernote http://www.evernote.com/ .  The free version is amazing, and the purchased version at $5/month is even more powerful.  This application works on practically every platform, integrates across devices, and is so easy to use; it is almost guaranteed to be a major contributor to your sanity. 

A very comprehensive review of Evernote is available from:
http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100120/evernote-review/ .    This is
the introductory paragraph: “What if you could collect, in one well-organized, searchable, private digital repository, all the notes you create, clips from Web pages and emails you want to recall, dictated audio memos, photos, key documents, and more? And what if that repository was constantly synchronized, so it was accessible through a Web browser and through apps on your various computers and smart phones?”

The  Evernote review at
http://thebloggingacademy.com/evernote-review-10-reasons-why-you-should-download-and-try-evernote/
 includes “10 Reasons Why You Should Download and Try Evernote.” 

Read these reviews and see if this tool might be a valuable addition to your arsenal of information management solutions. Try the free version and upgrade to the paid version if you determine you need the additional features.  The comparison chart is available at:
http://www.evernote.com/about/premium/

PMA Tip of the Week(07/14/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Check for Plagiarism

Think someone might be plagiarizing your work?  Did you know that you can cut and paste an entire block of text into Google and search the internet to see if your words appear elsewhere?  You can also use this trick to check if something someone has presented to you as their own work really is.  Just cut the questionable text and paste it into the Google search box.  Make sure you put the material in quotation marks and search.  If someone has copied something word for word, it won't take long to find them out.

PMA Tip of the Week(05/25/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Create a Photo Book Using “Blurb”

http://www.blurb.com/

Blurb is free book creation software which can be downloaded to your PC or Mac.  The software premise is centered on a photo rich book creation. The application can be used to create wonderful memory books of your vacation adventures, cookbooks, family histories or a book to place in the reception area of your firm.   The firm book could be a variation of your web page information.

Blurb makes money by publishing/printing your books at fairly reasonable prices.  Your books can also be made available for sale on the Blurb website.  Publication takes around two weeks from ordering to delivery. 

The application is very well designed, facilitating quick integration of photos and text in a wide variety of formats.  The 37 minute Introductory Tutorial is excellent.  Watching it will have you creating your first book in no time.  Viewing the Intermediate tutorial (26 minutes) will have your inner Rembrandt in high gear with creative projects that benefit friends, family and maybe even your practice!

PMA Tip of the Week(05/04/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Your Elevator Speech

The State Bar of Arizona has posted a 6 minute video discussing how to create your elevator speech.  The presenter is a marketing expert who makes some excellent points and delivers some relevant examples.  If you don’t have your quick self introduction down pat, take a few minutes and gather some ideas from this presentation.
http://lit.myazbar.org/VideoResources/ElevatorSpeech/tabid/128/Default.aspx

PMA Tip of the Week(04/27/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Limit a Web Search to a Single Domain

Have you ever hit a website that doesn’t have built in search capabilities?  The absence of that little search box can result in too much time spent clicking links looking for that item or person you know is on the site.

This challenge can be solved by limiting the search to a domain.  Two solutions follow:

The first requires entering the search term, followed by site: followed by the domain name in the search box.  (In Mozilla Firefox you can make this entry directly into the URL box and it works.)

Example:
green resources site:michbar.org

The same results can be achieved without having to remember how to format the search by using the Google Advanced Search link. Start at a Google search window, click Advanced Search. In the first box (All these words) enter the search term ‘green resources.’  In the last box (Search within a site or domain) enter “michbar.org.’ Hit the enter key or the grey Advanced Search button and the search is executed on only the website designated in the search parameters.

PMA Tip of the Week(04/21/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Capture online video - FREE!

Have you ever needed to show online video when you had no access to the Internet?  Here are two free applications that allow you to convert online video into a MPEG, AVI, WMV or a host of other formats. 
Zamzar, an online service at: http://www.zamzar.com Vdowloader, an app you download and install at:
http://www.vdownloader.com

I have tested Zamzar and was impressed.  Using some of the older capture applications, the process was long, convoluted and generally painful.  Zamzar made it a snap.  Zamzar captured a two minute video from You Tube in no time then sent an email with a link to the file which I then downloaded. The quality in the resulting WMV file was as good as the You Tube version and it played flawlessly. 
 
These files can then be used in any venue with no anxiety about the Internet accessibility, speed or buffering.  The caveat of course is the copyright.  Be careful what you copy and how you use it!

PMA Tip of the Week(04/13/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
iPhone J.D. and 60 Apps in 60 Minutes

If you are an attorney and you use an iPhone, you need this blog – iPhone J.D.
http://www.iphonejd.com/iphone_jd/2010/03/60-apps-in-60-minutes.html
Jeff Richardson, a Louisiana attorney blawgs as iPhone J.D.  His March 30, 2010 post lists all the applications that Jeff and Reid Trautz presented at ABA TECHSHOW this year in their session “60 Apps in 60 Minutes.” 
iPhone J.D. has an Index located directly above the ABA Blaw logo.
Using the index you can find reviews of many of the apps listed.  If you are dedicated to your iPhone don’t forget to use the RSS feed so you never miss a post from iPhone J.D.

PMA Tip of the Week(04/06/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
60 Sites in 60 Minutes

One of the most popular sessions at the ABA TECHSHOW is 60 Sites in 60 Minutes.  It is traditionally the last session of the event because it is so good attendees actually hang around to attend the session! This year the presenters included Toby Brown, Debbie Foster, Adriana Linares, and Ernest Svenson.  The rapid fire presentation of 60 resources that are practice related, informative or sometimes just fun is the grand finale to the conference.  The following link has a listing of all 60 sites including a brief synopsis of each site.  Check it out at:  http://new.abanet.org/calendar/TECHSHOW/Pages/60Sitesin60Minutes2010.aspx

PMA Tip of the Week(3/17/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Cell Phone Data

If your cell phone has a major failure, the equivalent of a hard drive crash, can you recover all the data that was on the phone? You can do an Internet search for “cell phone backup software” to see the many options available to backup this data.  Your cell phone provider may have a product designed to work specifically with their line of phones.
There are even free applications. OxyBook Free 1.1.0 is one example of a free application http://3d2f.com/programs/4-682-oxybook-free-download.shtml . As with many products there are upgrades available for a charge. 

We are not recommending a specific product, but recommend that you think about the possibility of losing all the data that is currently stored on your cell phone. Can you afford the time to try and recover all of the data?  Do you have documents stored on the phone that are at risk? Have you added a memory card? Is it encrypted?

Do you have any security set on your phone?  Do you have a PIN code programmed into your phone with a short timeout set before you have to reenter the code? If your phone is stolen, is there confidential client data on the device?  If there is data, and it is lost, what are the ethical implications? Using a PIN on your phone is a pain!  Using the full capabilities of the phone can be a great time saver. Weigh the options and make the decisions that protect you and your clients.

PMA Tip of the Week(2/23/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Plain English vs. Legalese

I recently saw the following quote by Mark Cooney, Associate Professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School discussing the use of plain English in the legal environment. When you start using big words and long sentences in your writing, remember Professor Cooney's advice.

"The utilization of inflated language characterized by exceptional verbosity is not the most efficacious methodology for accomplishing the communication of sophisticated ideas. To sound smart, make it simple".

PMA Tip of the Week(2/16/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Favorite Windows Key Shortcuts

Could it be that the older you are the more likely you are to use keyboard shortcuts? If you started using a computer before the advent of the mouse the keyboard shortcut may be second nature to you. Whether you are an old hand at shortcuts or a newbie, try a couple from this very short list of favorite Windows Key shortcuts. They are easy to remember and very efficient. Add a couple to your repertoire this week and a few more next week. You may be surprised how powerful they make you feel and how much time they save!

WINKEY Opens “Start”
(Then use arrow keys to move to your selection and hit the enter key to select)
WINKEY + D - - Brings the desktop to the top
WINKEY + M - - Minimizes all windows – (great escape)
WINKEY + SHIFT + M - - Undo either of the previous shortcuts
WINKEY + E - - Open Microsoft Explorer (My Computer)
WINKEY + L - - Lock the computer (Windows XP and above)

PMA Tip of the Week(1/26/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Facebook Settings You Need to Check Now!

If you have a FaceBook account this New York Times article ‘The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now’ is a must read http://tinyurl.com/y9s38ol.

Failure to correct settings in Facebook may make public all of your pictures, status updates, personal information and what information is being indexed by search engines.

Negatively interpreted information about your personal life could have a huge negative impact on your professional success so don’t delay - make these changes today!

PMA Tip of the Week(1/12/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
The Oyez Project
If you are interested in what is happening or has happened at the Supreme Court go to www.oyez.org.

“The Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality 'tour' of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.” (from www.oyez.com/about )

You can browse for cases by issue, court term or view recently updated cases. The court calendar shows the docket at a glance. The “Browse the Justices” section provides biographical information and financial disclosure reports for the justices.

The impressive and fast audio accessibility to the oral arguments is worth a look and listen! Bookmark this valuable well designed site!

PMA Tip of the Week(1/05/10): (This tip is from the LPM Practice Management Advisors Task Force)
Eliminate Long URLs

Use www.tinyurl.com to make long URLs short!  This following URL has 337 characters in it.   Perhaps the most valuable use of TinyURL is when it is necessary to put a URL in a printed document.  No one would want to type this address.
http://wildfire.gigya.com/wildfire/WidgetPreview.aspx?ut=dBFII5RbVxUc8nBdc3bMDT7hmmrIvgen1w
CG_dxqadJhAAWkNZSIhV-1DGKZvwZ0-DQUg5JS8Y61ukrjwOp8p81S9pP6R_BhovjemyHtbA0dAsx-PMuL2zIosIacrUvj3lTh1WL6rg0IY1bFO3pdiq0GQ8TwM6enbZKtH_hLTWs8vQjDY3Qox9rE89GXwqHo
K35zq9_BP6E6bvaCn4ajfIfeSuRXr50TKatcgwkOXkkTLHfn4lq_6Ok69RVgFUSohI1MWSdqhNKzWUS2SszLQ
..
Using www.tinyurl.com the link can be transformed into www.tinyurl.com/yzndtwa which was created automatically by allowing TinyURL to determine the new URL. Alternatively,   by using the option to name the URL yourself www.tinyurl.com/doghouseChristmas was created.  “Doghouse” was taken but the addition of Christmas created a unique URL.  Once created the new URL stays active indefinitely.  An additional option is to create a URL using the preview feature.  This will allow you to see where the TinyURL is going before actually going to the site. 

Check out the additional features available at the TinyURL site and add it to your favorites or links toolbar.