Affinity Consulting Blog

Lawyers and law firm staff are discovering that the traditional ways of interacting with their computers, the keyboard and mouse, are not always the best ways. Windows 8.1 offers a new touch-based interface, for example. But voice interaction with our computers and tablets is potentially more useful.

Unfortunately, the microphones built into notebook computers are of modest quality. To get the most out of voice interaction with your technology, a good external microphone is needed. The portable and inexpensive (approx. $40 at Amazon at other retailers) Blue Snowflake is a versatile choice for lawyers with multiple devices.

Many people are frustrated with the default formatting Word 2007/10/13 applies to new documents. If you have to change the typeface (Calibri), the size (11 pt) or the justification (left) for every new document, there's an easy way to make those changes permanent so they will automatically be built into every future document you create. To make all of the following changes to Word's default Font, Paragraph & Section formatting, just launch Word and open a blank document.

We’ve probably met. You receive our newsletter, so you have heard of Affinity Consulting Group. You may even be a client (Thank You!). But do you know what we do? Or more importantly, why we do it?

As a longtime LogMeIn user (I even paid big bucks for their Ignition iPad app), I was sorry to see LogMeIn eliminate their free remote access and control service and switch to a paid subscription-only model. I don't use remote access often, so I didn't want to pay a subscription fee. When on the road, I access my important files using the excellent SugarSync cloud-based file synchronization service. I prefer SugarSync to Dropbox for its better user interface and more favorable subscription pricing structure. For viewing and editing documents on my iPad, Android phone, Chromebook, or Windows 8.1 tablet, access to files via SugarSync is more important to me than the ability to remotely access and control my primary PC.

But once every few months I need remote access capabilities to run software that is installed only on my primary PC. For that reason, having a reliable remote access service installed and ready to go is a good idea. For those who want to work at home and access their office computer regularly, a remote access service is even more important. Now that LogMeIn Pro (their cheapest option) is $99 per year, is there a free remote access and control service that works well?

Until recently, Microsoft Office was the undisputed "must-have" software for any law practice. While an office suite is still essential, and MS Office remains the most common choice, the use of scanning, electronic filing, e-discovery, and digital/paperless practice has made Adobe Acrobat equally important to law firms. The added features of Acrobat Pro make it a particularly useful upgrade from Acrobat Standard for law firm use.

The Pro version adds many batch processing features that can save time. Among them is the Action Wizard to automate many tasks including reducing the size of your PDF files. This can be done not just one file at a time, but with multiple files or entire folders.

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