Category Archives for "Roundups"

11 Why do lawyers resist document assembly?

This post was originally published in September, 2015.

If you have any interest at all in the intersection between technology and lawyering, you should really check out this week’s podcast over at Lawyerist, where Lawyerist’s Sam Glover interviews Dennis Kennedy of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. Some of the conversation goes where you’d expect—document review, artificial intelligence, technology versus offshoring, what really constitutes “lawyering”, etc.—but then around the 13:37 mark, the conversation turns to a subject near and dear to my heart; namely, document assembly (which Kennedy apparently has had extensive past experience with).

Although Sam’s not entirely convinced of its value (at one point protesting “I am perfectly capable of automating documents, but in my own practice, I almost never bothered, because it would have only saved me 30 seconds”), Dennis Kennedy responds with what I think are some critical insights: Keep reading →

The “I’m SO not a computer person” guide to computer security

Computer security used to be something you left up to professionals. You know, you hire an IT guy or gal, and they take care of securing everything for you.

That was back in the day when your boss provided all your technology. You used a computer someone else owned hooked up to someone else’s network, then went home to watch a TV that had a tube in it. Those days are over.

They’re over because you’re bringing your own smartphone and/or tablet to work and toting a laptop home and using the now ubiquitous “cloud”. Welcome to the age of BYOD.

All this means you need to take more responsibility for securing your data, especially if you have an ethical responsibility for client data (which, if you’re a legal professional, you do).

Fortunately, data security is not as daunting as it sounds, especially when someone like Sam Glover at Lawyerist breaks it down for you in his new guide, 4-Step Security Upgrade.

And when I say Sam “breaks it down”, I mean it. This 35-page guide shows you how to do the essential stuff in under an hour, including:

  • Encrypting the files on your hard drive (I didn’t know it was that easy)
  • Surfing safely on wi-fi (if you don’t know what “sniffing packets” is, then I suggest you don’t go to Starbucks again until you do)
  • Using two-factor identification for logging into key accounts (these days, you need more than a password to be safe)
  • Managing your passwords (that’s plural, people — do NOT use one password all over the flippin’ Internet!)

Lawyerist’s 4-Step Security Upgrade is a critical investment in peace of mind — yours and your clients’. Click here to check it out.
(No, I don’t make any money off this. Sam’s a friend, and this is a good resource. I did, however, get a free review copy.)

Weekly Roundup: Tips for redlining documents, tweaking Word Options, saving emails as pdfs, and fixing line spacing

For this week’s Roundup: several reasons you might not want to employ Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature the next time you redline a document, getting under the hood with Word Options (even if you’re not a techie), another way to save Outlook email as a pdf (in case you want to take it with you on your iPad or other mobile device), and one possible reason your line spacing changes won’t stick in Word (a problem several of you have reported to me). Let’s get it started:

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: Double-click shortcuts, the case of the missing ampersand, and more Office for iPad news

This week: Stop wandering around Microsoft Word’s Ribbon looking for commands and do some strategic double-clicking instead, why putting an ampersand in your Excel header or footer yields a weird result (and what to do if you really, really want that “&” to show up in your header or footer), and more news about an exciting iPad application that lets you edit Office documents. That’s right … it’s the Weekly Roundup!

Keep reading →

1 Weekly Roundup: Popular Word fixes, Excel row headers, and Office for iPad

Now that it’s past the annual holiday season here in the US (Santa brought me a way-big monitor!) it’s back in the saddle again for the Weekly Roundup. This week: Microsoft Office blog does its own list of most popular posts (including a couple of issues that continually plague legal Office users), a quick-and-dirty Excel tutorial on printing title rows, and an exciting rumor for iPad users.

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: Adobe’s way to archive old emails and good news for Ribbon-haters

For our Thanksgiving week Roundup: Adobe shows us how to print both entire batches and selected pdfs from an email portfolio (a great way to archive email for future reference), and if you hate the Microsoft Office Ribbon, you can get rid of it without downgrading your Office Suite.

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: Test your typing, frugal speech-to-text alternatives, Gmail in Outlook, and more

In this week’s Roundup of the reading file: a quick (and really fun and challenging) online typing test (how long has it been since you took a typing test?), how to configure Outlook 2010 for your Gmail account, some inexpensive speech-to-text alternatives for those who want to dictate to their PC, yet another reason to use Microsoft Word’s Style feature, and what those little black boxes next to your Microsoft Word text mean, particularly for your document’s pagination.

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: Paste text your way, troubleshoot Outlook, AutoCorrect secrets

From this week’s reading file: Vivian Manning shows us what that little blue line underneath some of your text in Microsoft Word really means, DIY IT Guy shows us how to re-start Microsoft Outlook in troubleshooting mode to save your data (and possibly your sanity), and Susan Harkins has several ways to paste text in Microsoft Word to ensure the least amount of post-paste cleanup (always a good thing, especially when you’re pressed for time editing).

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: More Word, Excel and Outlook Tips

This week’s Roundup of the reading file is an embarrassment of riches from the usual suspects: TechRepublic’s take on the most important Microsoft Word skills, how to put time values into Microsoft Excel, Vivian Manning tackles Microsoft Word’s mail merge feature, making it easier to switch between Word documents, and how to share your Microsoft Outlook calendar. Click the “Read More” link for the details. Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: More shortcut keys, faster Word page setup, Quick Print

From this week’s Roundup of the reading file: some more shortcut keys you need to know about (particularly if you’re an avid Outlook user), a faster way to reach the Page Setup dialog in Microsoft Word, and how to add a Quick Print button to enable one-click printing from Word.

Keep reading →

1 Weekly Roundup: A neat Excel trick, customize Show/Hide, discounted Outlook tools

For this week’s Roundup: how to put zeroes in otherwise blank cells in Excel (and not the long way, either), how to pick and choose which formatting marks Word shows you with Show/Hide, and a heads-up on some hefty discounts on several Outlook plug-ins.

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: Printing sections, moving text blocks, turning off annoying Paste options

For this week’s Roundup: How to print a Word document by section numbers, an easier way to move text around in Microsoft Word, a few Outlook add-ins to consider, and how to turn off that incredibly annoying Paste box that pops up every time you cut and paste text:

Keep reading →

1 Weekly Roundup: Finding ‘Find’, 5 formatting shortcuts, and tricked-out TOCs

More tips from this week’s RSS feeds:

Finding where Microsoft Word 2010 buried Find — You know, I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t stumble across this first, but thankfully friend-of-this-blog Vivian Manning’s enlightened us all. You see, Microsoft couldn’t leave well enough alone and put the Find function (you know, this familiar dialog box below) …

… where it’s always been. They had to hijack my (and possibly your) beloved CTRL-F shortcut key to take us all to some Navigation Pane we’ve never seen before.

Vivian’s found our trusty Find box once again (it’s buried in the menu system, as she details in her post), but as you’ll see when you click through to the comments at the bottom of her post, that wasn’t good enough for me. I switched it back on my own Word 2010, and I left you illustrated instructions on how to do it yourself.

Five tips for lightning-fast formatting in Word — If you’re as big a shortcut key fan as I am, then you’ll love Susan Harkins’ assembly of the best formatting shortcut keys to memorize. Copy these down, post them near your desk, and use them often!

How to create one Table of Contents from multiple documents — I have to confess, I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m dying to. I didn’t know this was possible, and I’ll bet you didn’t either. Susan Harkins from TechRepublic (again!) gives us the skinny on using the RD function to drive this. She does admit that the master page numbering does take some fiddling, so try it on a dummy document before attempting it on a client project.

And for my U.S. readers, Happy Labor Day!

Weekly Roundup: Double-double emails from Gmail

From this week’s RSS feeds: how to avoid getting double emails from Gmail in Outlook and some tips on minimizing spam.

You’re seeing everything double in e-mail. You’re seeing everything double in e-mail. If you’ve got your Outlook set up to receive IMAP email from Gmail, this tidbit from a column in the Northwest Florida Daily News (right in my neighborhood) is for you, especially if you don’t want to get two copies of every single email you send. After all, it’s tough enough to keep the Outlook mailbox size down as it is. (There’s also a tip about limitations on sending attachments.) Click the article title above to read all about it.

Hate spam? Three ways to avoid it. If you’re determined to stop getting so many offers of cheap stocks and little blue pills (you know the ones I mean), then check out Microsoft’s three easy tips for making yourself a less-likely target. These are pretty basic, but I’m always amazed at how many people, for example, don’t separate their personal email from their business one. That’s just asking for trouble! Click the link above to read Microsoft’s anti-spam tips.

1 Weekly Roundup: Signature lines, Out of Office, shortcut keys

Going through my RSS feeds every day, it occurs to me that there is SO much good stuff out there on Microsoft Office that it’s a shame for me not to highlight it here. So, to make sure you’ve seen (and benefited from) these, I’ve linked to the best posts I’ve run across in the past week:

That’s No Table – That’s my Signing Line — Vivian Manning (whose staggering output as a blogger in the midst of a law firm merger is really starting to shame me into posting more often) shows us the right way to put a signature line on a document, particularly if you use e-filing (with the requisite e-signatures). One of the advantages to this method I’ve found is, if you’re pressed for space, you can put two or more signature blocks in the vertical space you’d usually use up for just one. Click the blog post title above to see her method in action.

Out of Office in Outlook 2010 — Where’s it gone? — If you’ve recently upgraded to Office 2010 and wondered where the Out of Office feature ran off to, never fear — Jason at No Option for Law Firm found it hiding under the shrubbery. Actually, he found it disguised as Automatic Replies, and he also tells us about handy some new Out of Office capabilities in Exchange 2010. Click the link above to sample the goodness.

Shortcut Key of the Week — Tech4Law has recently started a series called “Shortcut Key of the Week.” I hope they continue. I personally love shortcut keys because they keep my hands on the keyboard rather than flitting back and forth to the mouse. Click the link above for the third post in the series; the second post is here, and the first (including a link to their handy shortcut key guide) is here.

Well, that was a truly international edition of Weekly Roundup — from Canada to the U.K. to South Africa! If there’s a Microsoft Office blog you think I should be following regularly, tell me about it in the comments below.