From Arita's Desk   

April 2012

 

Tabs3 Version 16 Adds Contact Manager

The latest version of Tabs3 billing software improves the management of clients, matters and related parties.  Version 16 distinguishes Clients from Contacts with a new Contact Manager.  It elegantly handles individual and corporate contacts and lets you easily connect individuals to companies. All Clients are Contacts and version 16 adds your existing Clients to the Contacts list. Contacts optionally synchronize with Outlook. Other version 16 enhancements include: Workflows to automate common tasks, automatic emailing of statements, a Matter Manager and an Inactivity report to track clients and matters with no activity within a certain time period. 

Billing Matters Stays

LexisNexis Practice Management has announced plans to continue Billing Matters, reversing its earlier announcement that the product would sunset at the end of 2013. Billing Matters is the full-featured, fully integrated billing option for Time Matters. Users of the accounting features of Billing Matters (formerly known as Billing Matters Plus), will likely lose that functionality after 2013 since the company still plans to sunset the accounting portion. Billing Matters linked to QuickBooks is our recommended transition for Billing Matters accounting users.

Timeslips Adds Document Management

It's not close to full-featured document management, but Timeslips 2012 provides access to your client file folders, and automatically saves PDF copies of bills to the client's folder. Timeslips uses Nickname 1 or Nickname 2 for the client folder and will create the folder if it does not already exist. 

Other Timeslips 2012 new offerings include: 

  • Merge templates for letters to clients
  • Print Timeslips Today dashboard
  • Email bills without printing first
  • Lock out users during critical functions



To see a complete list of Timeslips new features added for all versions since version 6, download our
Timeslips Features by Version list.

 

 

WSBA Conference

 

Join me at the 7th Annual Washington State Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Conference, Ocean Shores, WA. July 29-21, 2012. For program information visit to the conference site.

 

Billing Services Now Available

 

Having trouble getting bills out on time?  Our Bills Out service can help.

 

 

GPSOLO 50th Anniversary Issue Features the Latest in Practice Management Software Trends

GPSOLO, the publication of the ABA's General Practice, Solo, & Small Firm Division, celebrates the division's 50 years by taking a look back and forward at practice trends for small firms (
GPSOLO March/April 2012). See how far law office technology has come in the last 50 years. The issue discusses mobile, front office and back office trends and includes Ten Things You Need to Know about Back-Office Systems by Arita Sims Damroze. Is your firm keeping pace?

 

Synching Your Time Matters Calendar with Google Calendar

I use Gmail for my personal (non-business) email. I recently started using Google Calendar so that I can take advantage of the sharing option to share events with other Google calendar users.  Synching with my Time Matters calendar gets these events into Time Matters, where I keep my central office/personal calendar. Here are the steps I took to synch my Time Matters and Google calendars.

Prerequisites: Time Matters Enterprise with the Exchange Synchronization running; Outlook 2003 or higher; Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

1.    Backup Time Matters

2.    Backup Outlook

3.    Download and install Google Calendar Sync to synch with Microsoft Outlook. Read about it here:
http://support.google.com/calendar/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=98563

4.    Set your Sync options.  I use 2-way sync.  That means that every event added, changed or deleted in Outlook will be added, changed or deleted on my Google Calendar and vice-versa.  My Time Matters/Exchange Sync settings are also 2-way except deletions. I prefer to delete events only on the Time Matters side.  I set my time interval option to 120 minutes.  So every two hours, any Google Calendar changes are updated in Time Matters, and vice-versa.

Thatís it!

Combining PDF Files

PDFMerge.Com Provides Online Tool for Combining PDF Files

If you need to combine a group of PDF files into one, PDFMerge.com lets you do if free without downloading and installing any software.  It will even combine PDFs files that Adobe Acrobat will not combine with (such as those created by PCLaw when printing invoices to PDF).  The drawback is that you must select one file at a time; but upload is quick for small files.

 

LexisNexis Previews Time Matters for Outlook

 

A Technology Preview was launched this month for a new Time Matters add-in that presents Time Matters information in Outlook. When on an Outlook email or calendar entry, Time Matters for Outlook (TMO) will display in a side panel a count of Contacts and Matters related to the entry. From there you may preview the Time Matters information or open the Time Matters Contact, Matter or record records for editing. The preview is set to run through May 31, 2012.  If you would like to participate, go to the LexisNexis Support Center for Time Matters 11.

 

 

 

No Case Management? Get Started with a Cloud-Based CMS

 

Getting your office organized takes lots of time and lots of money. Acquiring the computers, networking, software, and training for getting case management of the ground can be overwhelming. Cloud-based case management systems address these concerns by getting you up and running quickly for a reasonable monthly cost.  All you need is an internet connection. I have evaluated a few of these systems and have given high marks to Clio.  From managing and sharing your client files to billing and online payment, Clio handles all that the typical small firm needs for a reasonable monthly subscription fee. Sign up for a test drive, or call 206-396-6390 to schedule a demo consultation.

 

Copyright © 2012 A.B. SIMS, LLC        Phone: 206-396-6390                        For back issues go to www.absims.com

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