Web/Tech

Top 10 Tech Tips for 2010

June 17, 2010

Woman with laptopWhen was the last time you really considered how you are using technology?  Using the right technology (and using it effectively) can be one of the most powerful things you can do to leverage yourself and your firm.  But the tech world moves so fast these days, that it can be hard to keep up.  If you haven’t done your own tech review lately or even if you have, consider implementing any of the 10 Tech Tips below.  Your practice will thank you for it!

1. Upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010. If you’re still working in Office 2003, you’re missing out on a lot of great productivity tools in Office 2007.  And if you’re already working in Office 2007, why not consider an upgrade to Office 2010 which hit stores on June 15.  You can try out Office 2010 with a free web-based version.  Learn more about MS Office 2010 and the free web-based version from Affinity Consulting Group.  Check out www.officeforlawyers.com to learn all there is to know about Office 2007 and 2010.

2. Get a smartphone.
My personal preference is the iPhone, but there are a number models to choose from:  Blackberry, Droid, and Palm Pre to name a few.

3. Bring your dictation into the 21st Century with Dragon Naturally Speaking 10. The latest version of Dragon dictation software is light years ahead of older versions.  And if you’d like to check it out for yourself, download a version to your new smartphone for FREE.  Dragon Email is available for Blackberry models on both Verizon and AT&T’s mobile networks.  Dragon Dictation is available for your iPhone or iPad.  Did I mention these apps are FREE?

4. Clean up your inbox with SimplyFile. SimplyFile from www.techhit.com is nothing short of awesome.  Get it and clean up your inbox in no time. Click here for more information on SimplyFile from a previous blog post.

5. Backup your data.  Backup your data.  Backup your data. It’s a good idea to have redundant back-up systems.  Consider using an offsite backup like Carbonite, Mozy or Zmanda.  You should also have an onsite backup system.  You also may want to your personal files to an external hard drive.  If you need help deciding what you need for your firm visit www.affinityconsulting.com.

6. Social media. If you haven’t jumped on social media train, it’s time. Social media networks are not going away.  And sooner or later, lawyers will get on board.  Why not make it sooner? Ten years ago, when I was a bar executive, the biggest technology question lawyers were asking was, “Do I really need a website?”  Now, it’s, “Do I really need to participate in social media networks?”   You know the answer to the first question, and the answer to the second is the same.  If you’re still not convinced, try out LinkedIn.  It’s a network for professionals and a great place to start.  If you want to learn more, check out Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, by Nicole Black and Carolyn Elefant.

7. Consider working in the cloud. Check out cloud-based case management software like Clio or Rocket Matter.  Click here for more information on cloud-based computing from a previous blog post.

8. Use eNewsletters to stay connected to your referral sources. Lawyerist.com reported recently that a study by Jakob Nielsen has shown that the best way to build relationships and stay connected to your customers (clients) online is through eNewsletters.    An easy way to get started is with ConstantContact.  They offer a free 30-day trial membership.  Be sure to check the Rules of Professional Responsibility in your jurisdiction before using eNewslsetters.

9. Get a digital photo frame for your reception area. Click here for more information on digital photo frames from a previous blog post.

10. Use two monitors. Research has shown that individuals who use two computer monitors instead of just one can increase their productivity up to 42%!  Think about that – not only for yourself, but for your staff!  Click here for more information on using two monitors from a previous blog post.

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