Affinity Consulting Blog


Stop losing receipts when you travel! Apps like Scanner Pro or TurboScan on the iPhone (both $2.99) or CamScanner on Android phones are fantastic for scanning documents and receipts while traveling. Scan them, e-mail them, and then throw the paper away!!

As I enter the training area set up at this small, but prestigious law firm, the trepidation in the air is palpable as the attendees know what I’m about to suggest. Give up paper? How can it be? Not use “PRINT” as the known and comfortable stamp of document completion? Say it isn’t so!

But yes, this is what I’m about to suggest and everyone in the small training room knows it. I enter the room. The room gets quiet except for a small giggle of nervousness coming from the lead legal assistant. Although the room is carpeted, you can still hear my shoes make a solid clicking noise as I boldly walk into the room, ready to throw caution to the wind and utter those two words that I know will bring out fear among the staff in the room.

I arrive at the make-shift lectern and begin my introduction, advising the room that I, too, at one time in my life, worked in a law firm and cherished the printed document. I open my lips, take in one bold breath of air and then say the words that everyone in the room was dreading….”less paper will make you more productive and save this firm money”. There, it’s been said and the staff realizes that, hearing those words wasn’t so bad. Now to the bigger quest…getting them to BELIEVE it.

I use respected resources to prove my hypothesis such as this from the American Bar Association: “…paper brings with it a number of disadvantages: the expense of paper, ink and file storage; delays associated with finding and filing documents; and various problems with misfiling, versioning, and poor organization.” (SEE: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/departments_offices/legal_technology_resources/resources/paperless.html)

I remind them that less paper includes better management of documents. Storing the electronic document is one thing, finding the content later requires software that can search content and search it quickly and accurately. And such software is much more reliable and less expensive than two paralegals and a legal assistant stopping what they’re doing to start the hunt for a key document or exhibit that was misplaced or mis-filed.

Then I turn and speak to firm leadership and point out key facts in the quest for less paper:

Reduction of costs including printing supplies, copier supplies, paper, postage, and more ;

Inexpensive and easily searchable document storage

Improved client communication and service

Paper can be torn, burn or be destroyed by water; PDF’s cannot;

The cost of the paper footprint in the office (i.e. how much office space is taken up by the storage of paper) is almost ridiculous compared to the cost of storing digital content.

I remind my group that many questioned the viability of e-mail a mere 15 years ago and I challenged them to find two lawyers in a one mile radius in any city who, today, do not gain great benefit from communication by email. In fact, I would surmise that in 2015, lawyers rely more on e-mail communication than by letter writing/snail-mail communication.

Embracing the benefit of printing to PDF, mastering the art of PDF manipulation and putting a plethora of knowledge available at your fingertips is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in the paperless quest. And after only 2 hours of “less paper” training concentrating specifically on PDF skills, search skills, and document management, the training group heads back to their desks with great enthusiasm. I did my job; I can only hope they adhere to the skills we reviewed and reap the benefits of their new “less paper” world. If they do, they truly will be more productive and less apt to lose a document in this non-printing world to which I’ve introduced them.

This is a blog and my word count is already too high. I conclude with this bold statement: Fear not lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants and staff, you too, can become a less paper more productive law firm/legal department. There is no day like today to get started. There are several resources available to help you begin including:

http://www.affinityconsulting.com/capabilities#docmgt

http://www.paperlesschase.com/

http://abovethelaw.com/2014/07/is-it-possible-to-go-completely-paperless-in-a-law-office/

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/law_practice_magazine/2013/september-october/simple-steps.html

For more information or if you have questions, feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Good news! The retail price of the excellent Sony Digital Paper device is dropping to $999.99 effective October 1, 2014. Also, because it will now synchronize files with the Box Cloud-based service, users no longer need to purchase access to the Worldox FileCloud service. Contact Affinity Consulting Group for more information on this device.

Read more about real-world use of the Sony Digital Paper here and here and here.

Microsoft has taken a direct shot at Google's Drive cloud file storage by upgrading OneDrive to a full 1 Terabyte of storage for all Office 365 subscribers. If you subscribe to your copy(s) of MS Office via Office 365 (which is a fabulous bargain on its own), you now get this huge OneDrive storage increase as part of the package. Here is a way to make better use of OneDrive.

I previously posted my initial impressions of the Sony Digital Paper e-ink document reading and management device. That was before I made my first road trips with the device and used it to prepare for and make appeal oral arguments. Since then, I've taken it on two trips from Florida to Michigan for that purpose.

My Sony Digital Paper device, along with my credentials to install and use the Worldox FileCloud service, arrived just as I was preparing to spend several long days reading trial transcripts in preparation for writing an appeal brief. Until now, I have been reading transcripts, typically received in or scanned to searchable PDF format, on my iPad using the excellent iAnnotate app. Annotations were made on the iPad's screen using my Wacom Bamboo stylus.

The problem is that long hours in front of any backlit LCD-type screen, including a Retina-class iPad, can induce considerable eye strain. Also, writing on the iPad's screen with even a very good capacitive stylus like the Bamboo feels unnatural and is less than ideal. Still, it is better than any other solution I've found - until now.

Worldox is the leading Document Management System (DMS) for law firms. Worldox will integrate with practically any scanning system available. However, there are many few variations as to the type of integration available betweeen Worldox and your scanning system. Here is a summary of the main integration processes and examples of the devices that are used for each.

Last month, the Sony Corporation announced that it had partnered with Worldox to launch its newest digital device, known as Sony Digital Paper. The new device is not a traditional tablet or e-reader (although many tech reviews seem to mistakenly lump it into that category), but rather a digital replacement for paper.

THE NEW IX500 IS THE SUCCESSOR TO THE S1500

As many of you know, we have long recommended the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 as the go to scanner for legal professionals. You may have noticed that this model is no longer available on the Fujitsu website - although many vendors do still have them in stock if you want to stock up.

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