Affinity Consulting Blog


Just released Microsoft Office 2016 is not yet compatible with any version of Amicus Attorney Premium Edition. Users of AA Premium Edition who upgrade to Office 2016 will lose the integration between Amicus Attorney and Outlook, Word, and Excel. We will post a notice when this incompatibility has been resolved. Meanwhile, Amicus Attorney Premium Edition users should not upgrade to Office 2016.

I have both an iPad and a Chromebook. I like them both. But when it comes to productivity tasks in my law practice, the Chromebook is more useful most of the time. The iPad is good for wireless presentations in a room where an Apple TV is available to connect to the projection system. It is also good for reading and annotating documents such as trial transcripts in my appellate practice. But for dealing with email, creating and editing documents, online research, and other web-based tasks, I prefer the Chromebook. Apparently, I am not alone.

If you ugraded to Windows 10, don't forget to learn the time-saving Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts. Keyboarding is nearly always faster than mouseing, Download the official Microsoft keyboard shortcut documents here.

The Lifehacker site has many useful travel tips. Many of us need to travel on client business, which means packing a suit. Carrying a heavy garment bag is not fun (indeed, air travel in general is not fun). So it is important to find a way to fold a suit jacket so it will fit in a small carry-on bag or even a backpack without getting wrinkled. Here's how.

This comes from the always useful site, Lifehacker. Many of us travel frequently on business. Most of us have left our cell phone charger behind when checking out of a hotel at least once. Here is the trick to keep your charger from being left behind.

When you are sure your mission-critical software is compatible with MS Office 2016 (and not a moment sooner), your upgrade will be smoother if you download Microsoft's free Quick Start Guides. They are available for both Windows and Mac versions of Office 2016, as well as Office Mobile for portable devices.

Auto Text - Save Time with Standard Replies

Do you get emails that require a standard reply? Maybe you need to send out a list of next steps or required documents, or perhaps you need to inform someone that a document is ready for pick up or review? Whatever it may be, chances are you have some information that you duplicate and send to multiple people, many times a week.

One great way to save time is to use the auto text feature. Here’s the quick summary of steps when using Outlook 2010 and on:

1. Open a new email.

2. Enter the text you want to use in repeat responses. Highlight this text.

3. Go to the Insert ribbon menu.

4. In the Text section, select Quick Parts and then "Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery".

5. Next time you want to use this text, go back to Quick Parts and select the applicable auto text entry.

6. Viola! No more time wasted retyping the same reply or searching back for the old email you sent and copying and pasting the text.

Capture Delegated Emails & Follow Up Later

You often send emails to others in your office asking them to take care of something that has been emailed to you. But do you have a process to make sure it all gets done?

The solution – set up an Outlook rule to capture delegated emails. This way whenever you delegate something via email, a copy of that email goes into a delegated items folder – effectively creating a safety net where you can access these items to ensure they’ve been handled.

Operate From Tasks Not Email

Stop operating out of email. Instead of using your inbox as a way to capture and review everything you need to accomplish in the day, put this information into a task list or calendar. This is important to clear your head so you can focus and single task. If you’re not operating out of your inbox, you won’t be distracted by every new email that comes in and you’ll be able to better focus on the task at hand.

Consider turning off your new message notifications so that you aren’t distracted by that pinging every time a new email arrives. Here are the quick steps to make that happen in Outlook 2010 and on:

1. Go to the File Ribbon menu.

2. Select Options and then Mail.

3. In the “Message arrival” section, deselect the various alerts and notifications.

These tips come from a presenation to the Legal Education Society of Alberta.

OK, it isn't quite that simple to get Microsoft's new Windows 10 voice assistant to dump the Bing search engine and switch to the more familiar Google search. But it can be done. Here's how.

With the recent resurgence of variants of the CryptoLocker ransomware virus, including CryptoWall, we remind clients how critical it is to make sure all key elements of your data are properly and regularly backed up.

For instance, several clients using Tabs3/PracticeMaster and Worldox were hit by the nasty CryptWall bug. They were using the Backup utility within the Tabs3 database, and then copying the backup files to an external or online backup destination.

Unfortunately, not all subdirectories within the Tabs3 directory are backed up automatically using the built-in Backup utility. Not backed up are the Reconciliations and Statements directories.

These directories contain PDF files of your historical bank reconciliations and statements sent via email, but are not backed up with the regular data files. If these are not separately backed up to a local or off-site destination, they cannot be restored properly after a virus attack. Every firm should make sure all of its data is being backed up. Don't rely solely on the default selections in built-in backup utilities or separate backup software programs.

Also, any backup system that relies on human intervention is going to fail. Use a local external hard drive as a secondary backup system so that lost or corrupted files can be restored faster than with an online backup. However, every firm should have at least one Cloud-based backup system. That system will do real-time automatic backup. To avoid the various Crypto ransomware problems, only use backup systems that do versioning. That way, earlier unencrypted versions of files can be restored even if the backup sysstem runs a backup of the newly infected/encrypted files.

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