Years ago, the legal world was evenly divided between fans of WordPerfect and Word. Eventually, Microsoft Word won out, although there are still a few diehard loyal lawyers who still use WordPerfect. Even so, most lawyers have switched to Microsoft Office, for better or for worse. And because so many law offices use Office, CLEs focused on using Office more effectively in law firms are always tremendously popular.
Such was the case at ABA Techshow earlier this year when Bob Ambrogi and Catherine Sanders Reach presented on the topic at a seminar entitled “Legal Super Powers: Supercharge MS Office With Add-Ins And Apps.” During this talk, Bob And Catherine offered a host of useful tips and tricks designed to tailor Office to your firm’s unique needs, making it all the more useful, while Stephanie Crowley took visual notes of this session on behalf of MyCase.
Below you’ll find the visual notes from that session along with some of our favorite tips and links to sites that provide further information (click to view larger image):
1. Create forms with Form tool
Lawyers work with forms all the time. Anything that streamlines that process is worth looking into. That’s why the presenters recommended TheFormTool. It’s a free add-on for Word that simplifies the process of creating and working on forms. You can download it here.
2. Use Office Mix for more engaging presentations
Communicating effectively is an important part of practicing law. One way to get your point across is to create an unforgettable PowerPoint. After all, the more interactive your message, the better it will be received. With that idea in mind, the presenters suggested using Office Mix, a free add-in for PowerPoint, to enhance PowerPoint presentations and create an even more interactive experience for your audience. Because Office Mix is so effective at making presentations more interesting, teachers love it and often use it in their classrooms, with great results. For tips from a teacher on using Office Mix to its fullest, check out this useful post. You’ll find that the ideas will translate well from classroom to courtroom!
3. Easily create Tables of Authorities with Best Authority
Another tool recommended by the presenters was Best Authority. This software is designed for lawyers and works with Word, making it easy to create Tables of Authorities from a legal document. Instead of pulling all of the citations out of the document manually, the software does it for you. It’s not free, but if you’re a litigator with a document intensive practice, it might be the perfect tool for your law firm.
4. Manage Outlook attachments with EZDetach
For many lawyers, email is the bane of their existence. Staying on top of incoming emails and the attachments is a task in and of itself. And, oftentimes, the attachments are the most important part of emails, but managing and tracking attachments can be challenging. That’s where EZDetach comes in. It’s a low-cost tool designed to work with Outlook that the presenters recommended. With EZDetach, you can quickly and easily remove and file an attachment. Less hassle, less stress!
5. Control your email with SimplyFile
Another tool the presenters recommended to streamline email was SimplyFile. Emails can be filed in the correct folder with one click; no need to drag and drop. It also increases your efficiency by allowing you to turn emails into tasks and appointments. Looking to save even more time? You can find additional useful Outlook add-ins here.