These days there is an app for everything: Uber for taxis, Tinder for dating, Washio for laundry, and WhatsApp for texting. BigLaw has caught on to this trend and delivered its own range of legal services at your fingertips.
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has a global sourcing app that helps users calculate costs in outsourcing contracts.
- Baker & McKenzie has an app summarizing legal and tax issues for public companies granting employee stock options overseas.
- O’Melveny & Myers provides an introduction to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in its app. The app also reports on related enforcement actions and settlements.
Among those attorneys attune to the app age, 60.8 percent are accessing them on an iPhone (66.8% of the 91% of attorneys who reported using a smartphone), according to the 2014 ABA Legal Technology Resource Center Survey.
In addition to smartphones, lawyers are tapping away at tablets. From 2011 to 2013, the number of attorneys using a tablet increased every year. In 2014, roughly 84 percent of attorneys who use a tablet reported that they use an iPad, according to the 2014 ABA survey.
If Apple is dominating the app and portable device market for lawyers, MS Office still reigns in, well, the office.
The 2014 ABA Technology Survey Report suggests that Microsoft software programs are among the most used office productivity solutions within law firms. Law firms use Outlook for email, Word for documentation, and Excel for timelines and timesheet management.
Work with multiple time zones?
You can easily add a second time zone to your Outlook calendar. Although it varies by version of Outlook, go to File >Options /Microsoft Bubble > Options OR Tools > Options. On the Calendar tab, under Time Zones, select the Show a second time zone check box. In the Label box, type a name for the additional time zone. In the Time zone list, click the time zone that you want to add (read more here.)
Need to add a new person to your Outlook contacts?
Create a new contact in your Contacts folder from an e-mail message you have received by right-clicking directly on the senders name or e-mail. On the shortcut menu, click Add to Outlook Contacts.
Need to schedule an email to send later? No problem. In the email message that you wish to delay, find and click the Options button. Under Delivery options, select the Do not deliver before check box. Next, click the delivery date and time you want.
Finally, sometimes e-mails are more useful on your calendar than in your Inbox, emails such as payment reminders, conference call details, or docketing-related e-mails. Outlook allows you to drag and drop e-mails from your Inbox onto the Calendar folder to convert that message into an appointment
Now there’s one more way to use of Microsoft Office products.
LexisNexis Firm Manager, the cloud-based practice management solution for small law firms, has been integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office 365 since August this year.
The synchronization of these services streamline services for the computer-savvy attorney. For example, if a new law firm client is added to the practice management system, the contact and any associated calendar items will appear in Outlook.
“Microsoft continues to attract more users to using Microsoft Office 365 productivity solutions and with more independent attorneys using mobile and tablet devices such as the Apple iPad, we see an ever increasing demand for seamless integration between Microsoft technology and the LexisNexis Firm Manager solution,” said Susan Harman, vice president and product champion for the Firm Manager team, reported the Law Practice Advisor.
Further initiatives by the two companies include:
- an integration that will be a bi-directional synchronization between Microsoft Outlook calendar and contacts and those stored in the Firm Manager product. For example, if a new law firm client is added to the practice management system, the contact and any calendar items will appear in the Outlook client of the attorney working on that client’s matter, and vice versa.
- an app that will enable users to save documents generated in Microsoft products to the LexisNexis Firm Manager application and attach these documents to the relevant matter or client contact, as needed.
- the ability to save emails and email attachments directly to a LexisNexis Firm Manager contact or matter. These integrations provide additional simplicity and ease-of-use enabling independent law firms to keep their legal matters on track, from anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Need a little help navigating this new integration for better law office productivity? Take C4CM’s audio course called, “Microsoft Outlook: Unlock E-Mail, Calendar and Time-Saving Secrets” on Monday, January 19, 2015 from 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM EST.
You will learn faster and better ways to conquer your biggest time traps and regain control of your time. This is your hands-on road map to Outlook, and how it can send your productivity skyrocketing.
You will learn:
- Turbo-charge Outlook with powerful, little-known tips and tools
- Strategies to keep the Inbox clear and email under control
- How to track appointments, contacts, due dates, and tie them all together
- Build and maintain an Outlook database and improve business communications
- Ways to prioritize your daily tasks and long-term projects using Microsoft Outlook
- Helpful tools to manage your contacts and calendar
So whether it’s via your iPhone, iPad, or the new tools available through MS Office, you can shorten your work day to ensure you get home on time for the holidays.