When I started my office, one of my goals was to be paperless, or as paperless as possible.
Five things that I couldn’t live without in my paperless office:
- My Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500. I went to a legal technology seminar and the presenter raved about this thing. He was right. It is fast, has a logical format for saving documents, and is virtually trouble free. After using so called media centers (fax/printer/scanner combos) the Scan Snap was a breath of fresh air. I wish everything in my office worked so well.
- My Ipad. I recently decided to integrate my Ipad into my practice. I downloaded a notebook app (Note Plus) that allows me to write directly on the screen, in my own writing, using a stylus or even my finger. The notes can then be emailed or sent via Dropbox. Which leads me to . . .
- Dropbox. This is a service that allows you to save your files on their internet server and access them from any device, anywhere. It is very important to read the security terms when using a service such as this, but Dropbox provides encryption to keep confidential files, confidential. I can also allow others to access selected folders, for example when I am trying to make a file available for a client.
- Amicus. This is a practice management software that included calendaring, timekeeping, notes, communications, etc. I am not sure if Amicus is the best on the market, but some form of practice management software is essential. It assists in keeping good records, and the document generation feature saves a lot of time. I have used Amicus for years, but never took advantage documents generation, which is too bad. It is fast and easy. Amicus is geared towards law offices, but office management programs specific to various industries exist.
- Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. I upgraded to this the day it came out, and it is so worth it. Documents are completely editable, so I can assemble documents with multiple attachments easily, without ever having to print a page. Documents are also editable at the text level. I can add comments, edit text, or I can lock documents down, so they are more secure to share with parties or attorneys. It also handles a number of tedious tasks easily and quickly, the kind of things I used to have my assistant spend hours doing. Acrobat Bate Stamps, it permanently redacts, and it generates forms. It is so useful! Best of all, it will automatically convert emails to PDFs on a regular schedule and save them to whatever location I set up. Once again, Acrobat was something I had used for years without realizing everything it could do.