In Brief: Cloud Computing for Lawyers

From: Law Technology Today, Posted by: Gwynne Monahan August 29, 2014

The phrase “cloud computing” is ubiquitous. Instagram. Dropbox. Google Apps. Evernote. Netflix. There is little in every day life not touched by cloud computing. That’s increasingly true for the practice of law and running a law firm as well. Here’s what you need to know to get the most of cloud computing applications, with an eye on ethics and client confidentiality.

The Basics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, broadly defined, is a category of software and services delivered over the Internet rather than installed locally on a user’s computer. Cloud computing offers a variety of potential advantages, including:

  • Low upfront costs.
  • Access from any device with an Internet connection.
  • Simple setup and configuration.
  • Built-in disaster preparedness.  <READ MORE>

The Dangers of Micromanaging: When to Delegate

From Intuit QuickBooks, by Bridgette Austin on June 25, 2014

For employees who’ve had to deal with or report directly to a micromanager, it can be a stressful and frustrating experience. As the CEO of your business, the director of a department or the head of a team, you should be concerned with leading rather than completing your subordinates’ projects. This can be especially difficult for founders or early employees of a business, since they have a large stake in succeeding and have set a vision for the company since the beginning.

In the article “The Consequences of Micromanaging,” The National Contract Management Association defines micromanaging as “a management style in which a supervisor closely observes or controls the work of an employee.” In other words, micromanagers tend to monitor and observe every step of every project instead of allowing employees to complete smaller tasks on their own. It’s no secret that this type of management style is toxic, ultimately reducing productivity and decreasing employee morale.

Most micromanagers don’t even realize they are doing anything wrong; their approach hasn’t changed, but their company has. As your company grows, you’ll need to recognize when to start letting go of more responsibility to focus on guiding and growing your business. Recognizing when to delegate is one of the primary skills of managersand the greatest shortcoming of micromanagersand it’s the first step to giving your employees the opportunity to excel professionally and help your business flourish.<READ MORE>

How to Improve Your Open Rate

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by April Maguire on July 17, 2014

It doesn’t matter how creative your email marketing campaign is if no one is getting the message. An open rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who are actually opening a given message in their inboxes. While research shows that email open rates are notoriously low, the good news is that businesses can take action to track and improve their open rates, and even a small boost in opens can make a huge difference in your email campaigns overall.

Best Practices for Solid Email Open Rates

Once you’ve tested new approaches to take with your email marketing, you can begin implementing steps to improve email open rates. It’s a good idea to keep some of the following email marketing best practices in mind when crafting your messaging:   <READ MORE>

5 Simple Tips to Improve Your SEO

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by Bridgette Austin on July 17, 2014

During the early days of the internet, major search engines paid lots of attention to backlinks (links to your website) and keywords, the words and phrases that websites use to define and describe their webpages (or integrated within the webpage itself) in hopes that they match the terms entered by users in search engines. Today, search engine optimization (SEO) is not just about optimizing your website with keywords, but it’s also about building content around concepts that enable search engines to deliver even better results in a highly interactive and social web. Practicing good SEO, the processes that drive free and organic traffic from search engine results to your websites, is also tied to creating quality content that can be easily crawled and indexed by Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines.

To continually deliver reliable search results, search engines are constantly refining their algorithms so their search engines are smarter and more intuitive when indexing content. Google claims that its algorithms (i.e. programs and formulas that dictate the actions of the online software) use over 200 factors to crawl and index web content that consistently matches the most relevant webpages with users’ keyword searches. Moreover, these “spiders” are not only crawling your webpages for relevant keywords, but also indexing content for behavioral, categorical, demographic and geo-localization purposes.

While the thought of optimizing a website to adhere to 200-plus values might seem overwhelming, there are simple best practices you can follow to help boost your site’s search rankings. If SEO is brand new to you, view this videoby Google engineer Matt Cutts for a basic overview of how search works. However, if you’ve already dived into the basics of SEO and are ready to take your search strategy to the next level, continue reading below. <READ MORE>

One of the best password managers for your PC, devices, and the cloud

FromPC World – Security – by Lincoln Spector, Posted August 25, 2014

Everyone who uses the Internet absolutely must have a password manager. Without one, you’ll forget some of your passwords. Or you’ll use the same password for different sites, which allows a thief who’s hacked one password to know them all. Or you’ll use simple passwords that are easy to remember but also easy to hack.

A password manager program stores your passwords and other login information in an encrypted database. If you need to log into a website or a secure application, you open the password manager, type the password to your password manager (which is the only password you’ll ever have to memorize), and get the information that you need.

But which password manager should you use? <READ MORE>

How Lawyers Get into Trouble with Technology

From: The Lawyerist.Com Blog

By on

When it comes to using technology, it appears that common sense is a lot like Bigfoot. You hear people talk about it, but you don’t invest your own money looking for proof.

The legal profession and the practice of law — like many other professions and businesses — are undergoing profound transformative changes driven, in large measure, by rapid technology changes. Most lawyers will be impacted, including large multi-office firms who face greater competition for their services, small firms and sole practitioners who lack in-house IT staff but must file electronically and connect with clients, in-house counsel who face increasing cost pressures to rationalize their legal spending, and litigators who must address age-old disputes with the rules of civil practice and the modern realities of stored electronic information.

Before identifying some of the myriad ways in which lawyers can get into trouble with technology (as well as offering a few practical suggestions), let’s first scope the opportunity. <READ MORE>

Top 10 New Technologies That Will Change Small Business

From: Intuit QuickBooks, by Nicklas Prieto on June 26, 2014

The digital age has brought with it innumerable innovations that continue to change the way the world does business. Buzzwords abound on the internet, bringing to light terms that often fade into obscurity as quickly as they rise to prominence. But some innovations occasionally stick, and the 10 new technologies discussed in this list are definitely here to stay, at least until new tech comes out that makes them obsolete.

Until then, follow along to learn how these new innovations can help change the way you conduct business. <SEE TOP 10>

Does My Business Need an App?

From: Intuit QuickBooks Business Blog, by Megan Sullivan on July 18, 2014

The allure of having a fancy mobile application associated with your business can be strong. With the thousands of apps out on the market, you might feel like having an app is a requirement for any successful business. However, determining if your business really needs an app is important, as building one can require a significant investment of time and money.

So what’s the best way to determine if your business can benefit from an app? Start by asking yourself these questions. <READ MORE>

BigHand announces increased law firm efficiencies and attorney productivity, as revealed by Blue Hill research

From: Legal IT Professionals, August 12, 2014

BigHand, a global leader in voice productivity technology, today announced the release of an independent industry analyst report that reveals increased law firm staff efficiencies and improved attorney productivity as a result of the use of BigHand digital dictation and voice productivity technology.

The research was conducted by Blue Hill Research, an analyst firm that documents how technology supports business success. 

The analysis reports that the law firms studied realized improved support staff efficiencies as a result of better allocation of work, automated distribution and rerouting of work, and visibility into the status of projects. The firms saw financial gains in won-back time for support staff and improved support staff to attorney ratios. Blue Hill Research also reported that the firms realized gains in attorney productivity because those professionals were using BigHand not only for standard dictation, but also for note taking, communication of tasks to staff, and on-the-go dictation. <READ MORE>

Know the Features Before You Move: Google Apps v. Office 365

From: Law Technology Today, Posted by: Pegeen Turner August 15, 2014

I’m a huge fan of Google Apps for Business. It is one of the main products I recommend as a technology consultant. It has it’s quirks but I have been pretty happy with it; it syncs to all of your mobile devices, syncs to Outlook and the same folders and subfolders structure in Outlook is replicated in the Google Gmail interface.

Along came Office 365. Because of the Microsoft name, I thought that this product was a Google Apps killer. However I think both products have their merits. Consider the following for each of these products: <READ MORE>