Category Archives for "Guest Posts"

Learn how to use email better and fix your Word line spacing

Just because I haven’t posted here in a couple of weeks (longer?) doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy! Here are some tips I’ve posted elsewhere on the interwebs recently:

Declutter Your Inbox — Six experts (and I) share our top tips on keeping your email inbox sane. We each weigh in on Inbox Zero and share our best practices on dealing with the influx of daily messages. Click here to read what Lee Rosen of Divorce Discourse, Heidi Alexander of the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (MassLOMAP), Catherine Sanders Reach (Director, Law Practice Management and Technology, for the Chicago Bar Association), Mark Rosch and Carole Levitt of Internet for Lawyers, Nora Regis (Trainer & Coordinator, Law Practice Management and Technology, for the Chicago Bar Association) and I have to say about how we optimize our email.

Fixing Your #@(*$#)$( Single-Spacing in Microsoft Word — Confession: I swear at Microsoft Office occasionally. And one of the things that frustrates me the most is a setting that Microsoft (in its not-so-infinite wisdom) re-set in recent versions of Word. Lawyerist recently re-published this article I wrote for them back in 2013 because, well, people are still wondering why their single-spacing looks a little off. Click here to find out why and how to fix it … permanently.

Did you miss these Outlook tips on Attorney at Work and Lawyerist?

If you’re not following my social media feeds on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, you might have missed a whole bunch of Outlook tips I’ve published recently at Attorney at Work and Lawyerist. Here are links to each article:

The 4 Most Dangerous Features in Outlook. Convenience can sometimes be dangerous, especially in a legal context. In this two-article series for Attorney at Work, I show you four features you need to either disable or (at least) use very, very carefully. Click here for Part 1 and click here for Part 2.

3 Microsoft Outlook Quick Tricks. Lawyerist recently re-published an article I did for them a while back about three Outlook features you probably didn’t know existed. Learn how to automatically organize emails into conversations for easier reading, how to re-direct email replies to your assistant or someone else, and how to get Outlook to calculate due dates by clicking here.

How to Fight Inbox Overload with Outlook. We’ve all got inboxes that are full to overflowing. In my newest post at Lawyerist, I’ve got a detailed, illustrated tutorial (with 22 screen shots!) on how to use Rules and Quick Steps to automatically deal with routine emails so you can concentrate on what’s critical. Click here to learn these time-saving techniques.

(photo credit: simiezzz via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/simiezzz/1070601182/)

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: How to Format an Appellate Brief

If you’ve never had to tackle an appellate court brief, I envy you. (If you’ve ever had to do a U.S. Supreme Court brief, you have my sympathies.) As one commenter on my latest post on Lawyerist notes, sometimes formatting the stupid thing takes as much time as writing the substance of it.

But armed with my guide to formatting an appellate court brief, you can master the common elements that tend to pop up in most appellate courts’ requirements and spend less time formatting and more time writing.

Click here to read the full illustrated tutorial (including two short videos to show you how to do two of the most complex tasks: controlling page numbering and creating a template for future use) and learn why one commenter said she’s going to make this  “required reading” for all her 2Ls.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Microsoft says no Office for iPad

Last week, my guest post at Lawyerist gathered together some of the news coverage surrounding Microsoft’s release of Office 2013 (a.k.a. Office 15), including Bloomberg Businessweek’s interview with Steve Ballmer in which he responded, “I’m not going to talk about that” when asked when Microsoft would add an iPad app to Office.

The response was staggering — over 100 comments (so far), with what could politely be referred to as a diversity of opinion.  Within a couple of hours of publication, the editor at Lawyerist reported that traffic to the site (and to my post) was going through the roof.

Click here to read the article and see what the excitement’s about.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Don’t let Track Changes trip you up

If you’ve tried to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature without someone to show you the ins and outs, you probably had a pretty frustrating experience. But what you might not know is that Track Changes can even be a bit dangerous in the wrong hands.

To keep from tripping over Track Change’s stumbling blocks, head over to Lawyerist (after 11 am CT) and check out Don’t Let Track Changes Trip You Up, where I show you what settings you need to be aware of to keep your document safe.

Click here for the full illustrated article.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: 4 Ways to Make Outgoing Emails Work Harder

One of the biggest email-related time-sucks is the whole follow-up business. You can’t just send an email out and just mark that task “done.” Oh, no. You have to make sure your recipient actually gets your email, you have to get a response (and the right one at that), you have to do the next task in line, etc.

And even though I covered the whole “flagging emails for follow-up” in excruciating detail here on Legal Office Guru, I’m giving an overview of that and three other related Microsoft Outlook features you’ll want to consider using before hitting that Send button next time.

Click here to read the full article (after 11:11 a.m. CT, which is when the post goes live).

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Get Reveal Codes in Microsoft Word with CrossEyes

Hands-down, the number one complaint I get from former WordPerfect users is, “But Word doesn’t have Reveal Codes!” And, to a point, that’s true.

But as my ongoing (really, never-ending) research in the wonderful world of Microsoft Office plug-ins (a.k.a. add-ins or extensions) has shown me, it’s often a case of “seek and ye shall find.” Because there are a lot of enterprising programmers out there adding heretofore unavailable features to Microsoft Office.

Specifically, for Reveal Codes, there’s CrossEyes. And if you want to get a gander at what this plug-in can do, click here to read my review on Lawyerist.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Searching Microsoft Outlook with Lookeen

If you’ve ever been frustrated when attempting to search for an email you just know you received (or all the calendar items or tasks that have a particular party’s name in them, etc.), you may appreciate my latest guest post at Lawyerist. It’s a review of Lookeen (version 8), a popular search plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that not only searches Outlook .pst files (a.k.a. where all your Outlook data is stored), but can also be configured to search selected folders on your computer.

Click here to see the full review.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: How to Customize Your Microsoft Office Ribbon

Hate the Ribbon? You’re not alone. Lots of folks screamed in agony when Microsoft replaced Office’s familiar 2003 menu system with the Ribbon, effective with version 2007. So many people screamed, in fact, that someone even created a plug-in to switch it back.

But not many users know you can actually modify the Ribbon (at least in version 2010 – Ribbon modification in 2007 requires mucho programming). Click here to learn how.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Microsoft Outlook Accidents (and How to Fix Them)

Ever hit a wrong button or moved your mouse the wrong way in Microsoft Outlook, only to see something essential disappear? Apparently, it’s a common problem, since I get quite a few distress calls from co-workers saying, “Help! My [fill in the blank] disappeared from my screen!”

In my latest guest post at Lawyerist, I cover some of the most common oopsies I see and how to restore your Outlook to look the way you had it before you did that one-two-switcheroo.

Click here to read the full illustrated article.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Taming Microsoft Word’s Autoformat As You Type

While I’m a big fan of smart software, I don’t like when software tries to out-think me (and does a bad job of it). That’s why I’m not an especially big fan of Microsoft Word’s AutoFormat As You Type feature.

If you’re not familiar with this feature, it’s the one that turns “1/2” into “½” and does various other “oh, let me re-do that for you” functions that can get in the way, particularly if you’re a speed typist and not exactly the world’s best proofreader.

In my latest guest post at Lawyerist, I show you how to find this feature’s control panel and disable any part of it you’re having problems with.

Click here to read the full post.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Review of Smart Schedules for Outlook

Have you ever had an event on your calendar — an upcoming trial or a recent case assignment — that you needed to create a bunch of preceding (in the case of the trial) or following (for the case assignment) Tasks and/or Appointments in Outlook? If you could automate the creation and management of those related Tasks and Appointments (ever had a trial continued and had to move a bunch of related deadlines forward by X days?), how much time would that save you?

In my latest guest post on Lawyerist, I review a product called Smart Schedules for Outlook that does just that. You tell Smart Schedules what the triggering date or event is and, based on a template (either Smart Schedules’ delivered templates or one of your own), all the related Tasks and Appointments (or, as they call them, “events”) will be created for you. You can even edit individual Tasks or Appointments without disturbing the “project” (what Smart Schedules calls the set of inter-related events) and assign certain ones to other members of your team.

Click here for the full illustrated review.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Using Microsoft Word’s Table of Authorities

I received a special request from a reader for my latest post on Lawyerist for a post on how to do a Table of Authorities in Microsoft Word. Although I’d covered the subject in depth with a post on marking citations here and generating the Table of Authorities here (with another post based on a suggestion from a reader here), I was happy to write up a more concise set of instructions for the Lawyerist crowd. One subject I address there that I did not in my own blog is the plugins that are available to make Microsoft Word’s Table of Authorities feature a lot easier to deal with, since it’s one of the most problematic features in Word.

Click here to read the full post.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Technology Competence for Technophobes

If you’ve heard any of the blogospheric noise surrounding the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20′s discussion of technology’s impact on law practice, you may have wondered to yourself, “How am I supposed to ‘keep abreast of … the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology’ and practice law, too?”

In my latest guest post on Lawyerist, I propose some answers to that question, answers that don’t involve you becoming an uber-geek or taking a second job as a professional technology student.

Click here for the full article.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Microsoft Office on iPad

If you’ve got an iPad and are frustrated by Microsoft’s failure to (thus far) create an Office app for iOS, I’ve reviewed several possible alternatives on my guest post on Lawyerist, “Microsoft Office on iPad.” Some are, frankly, better than others; some are free while others require a subscription.

Find out how you can edit your Microsoft Office files on your iPad by clicking here.

2 Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Send SMS Via Email for Faster Responses

The trouble with email these days is that everyone is getting so darn much of it that a lot of it gets ignored. But what if you have an urgent message that needs to be read NOW?

Studies show that, increasingly, the go-to technology for reaching someone quickly and getting a response is SMS (popularly known as a text message). With more and more people constantly connected to the grid via their smartphones, it makes sense: a text message will get attention and response more quickly because of the medium’s built-in immediacy.

The good news is, you don’t have to pick your own cell phone (and incur your carrier’s charges) to send a text message. You can do it via Outlook 2010, which has the advantage of allowing you to keep all your messages (email and text) in one easy-to-search file.

Click here for the full article.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Using Microsoft Word to Edit by Committee

Ever experienced “death by redlining”? You know what I mean. It’s that headache-inducing series of emails in which you and your colleagues send seemingly endless drafts of the document  du jour back-and-forth, ad infinitum.

While I can’t do anything about those unreasonable people who don’t like the way you phrased something or other, I can help you make up for their lack of skill with Microsoft Word. Click here to read the full article before your next “editing by committee” session, and you’ll be prepared to deal with other people’s bad formatting without tearing your own hair out.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: 6 Essential Skills for Coping Sans Assistant

Imagine this: you’re in the office alone on a Saturday (or you’re there on a weekday and your assistant is out sick, tied up with another project, or otherwise unavailable), and it’s just you and the computer, trying to get your work done.

How well would you fare?

Over at Lawyerist, I take a stand on what I believe are six essential skills any lawyer needs to have on those days he or she is having to work without the benefit of some clerical help.

Click here, and start brushing up now for that inevitable day.

Software Review @ Lawyerist: Email Notes for Outlook

Have you ever wanted to add a note to an email without having to print it out and write on it? If so, you’re in luck: over at Lawyerist, I reviewed a new Microsoft Outlook plug-in called Email Notes. It’s like putting an electronic sticky note on an item in your inbox.

This piece of software is part of a new trend of developers offering ways to add functionality to Microsoft Office. Click here for a complete review of this plug-in (with screenshots) and see if it will help make Outlook work better for you.

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