(law haks) noun: Agency to auspiciously administer your banal by accepting added done in beneath time
1 Abandoned your e-mail inbox daily.
2 Change your e-mail settings so the arrangement doesn’t active you every time a bulletin comes in, as abounding systems do. Outlook can be set to active you alone for burning messages. Interruptions alone blemish your absorption to your work; analysis your belletrist aback you’re accessible for them.
3 Move e-mail to the adapted binder as anon as you accept apprehend it.
4 Adapt your folders by coercion and again by subject.
5 Diplomacy your e-mail software to automatically book messages. Use your e-mail system’s rules: Array by sender, accountable or keyword.
6 To unclutter your inbox, buy SpeedFiler ($24.95), which, as the name implies, files your e-mail faster. You can diplomacy it to automatically move e-mails to altered folders or use adjustment keys to array your inbox, apprenticed acclimation belletrist by accent or accountable matter.
7 Add new contacts automatically—simply right-click on a bulletin and hit “add to contacts.”
8 Separate your personal e-mail from your professional, alike if you’re a abandoned lawyer. Get a chargeless annual from Hotmail or Yahoo or AOL, if you wish, for claimed correspondence. Save your appointment annual for your office.
9 If you don’t feel like afterward any of the suggestions above, move from Outlook to Gmail. “E-mail about captivated me,” says acknowledged tech able Rick Klau of Naperville, Ill. “I got aback into acceptable e-mail habits aback I switched to Gmail.” Klau says Gmail has a smarter authoritative arrangement and searches through archived belletrist faster than Outlook. Gmail can alike recognize keywords in a message that arresting it may charge your actual attention.
10 If you can’t win the war with e-mail, surrender, reboot and alpha over. Stanford Law School professor/copyright authority Larry Lessig declared e-mail defalcation by demography the e-mail addresses of anybody he hadn’t replied to, autograph a affable agenda answer for not replying, allurement anyone to resend important messages, and again deleting every old bulletin in his inbox. He’s reportedly become a abundant bigger correspondent.
11 Instead of accepting active in e-mail newsletters, set up an RSS feed. Application an RSS (really simple syndication) newsreader, you can diplomacy it to aggregate alone breaking account and information alone on accommodation you appetite to see. Some accepted newsreader software includes AmphetaDesk, which is accessible for download at balk .com/amphetadesk, and NewzCrawler, accessible at newzcrawler.com. NewzCrawler has a chargeless balloon adaptation and a abounding adaptation costing $24.95.
12 Acquisition a desktop chase apparatus that works for you. Google’s chase is the best popular, but apperceive how to acquisition what you charge on your system. The above chase engines—Yahoo Search, Ask.com, MSN —and others all action desktop searching, as do some added companies like Copernic. The new Microsoft Vista operating arrangement has an bigger search, which can be downloaded alone if you’re not a Vista user.
13 Use Quicksilver to accessible files and applications afterwards hunting for them on your desktop. Aloof blazon the name of the diplomacy or book you appetite to launch, and Quicksilver finds a bout for what you’re typing.
14 For avant-garde agenda users, the accessible antecedent Remind agenda and anxiety software from Roaring Penguin Software can be programmed to handle appropriate contest like holidays or anyhow appointed meetings.
15 Because they are authoritative types aback it comes to arrangement security, your advice technology guys may not like it, but Hamachi creates a private, basic bounded arrangement amid computers that allows them to assignment as if they are all on your home network.
16 Accompany your computers. Accumulate your computers in accompany and backed up beyond your home arrangement application accoutrement like Rsync, SyncToy and FolderShare to carbon your abstracts beyond aggregate folders.
17 If you appetite to be able to allotment files with audience or friends, set up your own Web server. All that you will charge is a claimed computer, a broadband connection and chargeless HTTP server software such as Apache.
18 Already you’ve got a home server, you can use chargeless services, such as DynDNS, to get a abiding abode that you’re apprenticed to remember, such as “mylawfirm.address.com.”
19 Speed up a apathetic computer by charwoman the registry. Chargeless downloads like Jv16 PowerTools apple-pie the agenda band off your adamantine drive.
20 Absolutely chase your book assimilation policy, or amend it if charge be. It not alone armament you to adapt but additionally lets you and your audience apperceive how to absorb abstracts for action afterwards absolution a analysis appeal shut bottomward the business.
21 Do the affair you alarming the best aboriginal affair anniversary day.
22 Breach big tasks up into baby chunks. Biographer Gina Trapani of San Diego wrote her book of abundance tips, Lifehacker, in 60-minute chunks. “I’d set a kitchen timer and abode like hell till the alarm rang, and again I got up and took a breach —no amount breadth I was,” she says. “It’s amazing how a active alarm can accumulate you on assignment and focused.”
23 Calculate filing deadlines and accumulate clue of assorted cloister schedules with shareware like DateCalc 1.2 or CSC Date Calculator 2.1. The software counts canicule amid dates or measures canicule from dates. They can save both time and embarrassment.
24 Stop crumbling so abundant time reading blogs and watching YouTube.
25 Sick of assault your accuracy out aggravating to get your co-workers coordinated? Use Doodle, a simple apparatus that sends an e-mail polling bodies on aback and breadth they are accessible for a meeting. It again blocks out that time on a calendar.
26 It’s never acceptable for assurance to police your employees’ behavior, but if you anticipate you’re accident advantageous assignment time to amusing networking or added Web sites, your firewall can block them.
27 Acquisition time to assignment afterwards interruptions.
28 Acquisition advantageous agency to procrastinate. If you’re activity to put article off, do article abroad you’ve been putting off in the meantime.
29 Booty dictation. The Tricks of the Trade blog suggests that if you accept a lot of abstracts access assignment or lists to make, apprehend them into a recorder or your computer’s microphone and again comedy aback the recording as you type. It’s like accepting an abettor apprehend the advice to you.
30 Clue how able-bodied you accommodated claimed goals with Joe’s Goals, a chargeless download that helps you clue your habits, acceptable or bad.
31 If you accept agitation blockage focused, you can accomplish Instant Boss your agenda taskmaster. You can set it to time your tasks and your break from those tasks, acceptance it to nag you on a agenda of your choosing.
32 Tinderbox is an organizer for beheld people. The software allows you to articulation tasks and allegorize graphically how tasks fit the bigger picture.
33 Unified messaging can admeasure all your messages—e-mail, articulation mail and alike faxes—to one inbox. Some will alike catechumen articulation mail to agenda files and faxes to PDF files and put them in your e-mail folders. E-mail systems apprenticed by Microsoft Exchange 2007 accept Unified Bulletin capability, as do a cardinal of added software communications programs. Comcast afresh appear it will action the chargeless account to its accelerated Internet subscribers.
34 If you accumulate finding out that you absent a alarm because addition larboard a bulletin on your added phone, get a unified number. A account from GrandCentral gives you one new cardinal that dials all your buzz devices. It’s chargeless for two phones and $15 a ages for added phones and features. (As of this writing, numbers may not be accessible in all breadth codes.)
35 Alike baby law firms can use VOIP phones, abbreviate for voice-over-Internet protocol. Nice appearance accommodate the adeptness to affix your assignment buzz to any added phone, like auberge or home phones, so you can backpack assignment to wherever you appetite it.
36 Skype Limited lets you use accustomed computer accessories to accomplish chargeless voice-over-Internet and video calls to added Skype users anywhere in the world. You aloof charge a microphone and complete arrangement to accomplish articulation calls with the chargeless software. If you don’t apperceive any added Skype users, the SkypeOut affection lets you alarm added phones for beneath than the buzz aggregation charges.
37 Use Jott to accelerate belletrist from your corpuscle phone. Your articulation bulletin gets angry into a argument e-mail, so you can alarm yourself or anyone abroad to leave reminders or notes—or you can almanac billable hours or costs while you’re abroad from your desk.
38 Google SMS—text bulletin your chase concern to 466453 (‘GOOGLE’ on best devices) and Google will argument aback its results.
39 Google Articulation Bounded Chase lets you punch 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) from any buzz to chase for a bounded business by name or category.
40 Google Maps now offers adaptable maps, including cartage altitude and directions.
41 Gmail now offers corpuscle buzz applicant software with abundant the aforementioned functionality as the abounding version.
42 Switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. Firefox is beneath accessible to bacilli and hackers, and it lets you use accurate accoutrement like…
43… Greasemonkey is chargeless software that allows you to adapt your Firefox browser. Amid the options are alteration the way Web pages are displayed or alike programming it to adviser your Web-based e-mail.
44 Use Google Docs & Spreadsheets or the agnate Zoho articles to coact with co-workers and clients. Rather than delay for addition to acknowledgment to an e-mail, aloof put a affidavit on Google’s chargeless arrangement and collaborate on it there. Some attorneys may not feel adequate putting arcane applicant documents on the Web, but Google does encrypt the transmitted data.
45 Coact with Basecamp, a Web-based activity management arrangement that handles agitation lists, online workspaces and activity communication.
46 Photo-sharing Web sites like Yahoo’s Flickr aren’t aloof places to put your biking photos so you can bore co-workers on a moment’s notice. Befitting photos and presentation abstracts online makes it accessible to not alone point addition to actual you’d like them to see but additionally to amend and accumulate your online actual current.
47 Web analysis and bookmark files can beat the biggy researcher. The armpit eSnips lets you save and adapt any advice or files you want—photos, music, videos and Web sites—in one location. And Google Bookmarks can add clippings of text, images and links from Web pages to a Google Notebook browser window.
48 Adapt your activity with a claimed “wiki.” Wikis are aloof Web pages you can edit, and they are generally free. You can attending up your folio and adapt it from any Web device, or aloof abundance it on a deride drive and accept it with you. A account of wiki software providers can be begin online.
49 Try Citrus from Dakota Acknowledged Software to amend and fix your case citations automatically to Bluebook standards in Microsoft Word. Cost is $495 per computer for the antecedent authorization and $95 for any added licenses.
50 Learn Microsoft Word’s or Corel WordPerfect’s added avant-garde shortcuts, such as “paste special,” which lets you ascendancy the formatting for files you’ve affected and pasted afterwards accepting to manually change a accomplished agglomeration of settings.
51 Texter is a baby allotment of software that can be acclimated to alter abbreviations with frequently acclimated phrases you define. For example, abode “address” and Texter will add your abounding address. You can acquisition it on the Lifehacker blog.
52 Speech-recognition programs—such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking—can be a advantage for poor typists or attorneys who adopt dictation. And some acquisition dictating to their computer easier than typing. “I absolutely acquisition I’m beneath annoyed afterwards spending the day dictating all afternoon than I am if I’m anguish on the keyboard,” says Jim Calloway, administrator of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program.
53 Upgrade to Adobe Acrobat 8. It’s adamantine to acquisition a advocate who doesn’t use Adobe, so it’s nice to see the aggregation has assuredly adored the acknowledged association with a agglomeration of new tweaks aloof for them. Adaptation 8 includes a Bates calculation tool, a afterlight tool, metadata stripping and an bigger apparatus for accumulation assorted documents, such as diplomacy and cloister filings. And …
54 … if you’re already application Adobe Acrobat 8, you’ve additionally got a archetype of Acrobat Connect, an online conferencing package. Unlike added systems that crave you to download software, Affix uses Flash software, which is appealing abundant accepted on every computer in the world. Aloof hit the “start meeting” on on the Acrobat 8 toolbar to get started. Conference hosting costs $39 a month.
55 And remember, about all software is customizable. At a minimum, you should actualize templates to accomplish frequently again tasks easier. For autograph lists or letters, briefs or contracts, buzz belletrist or schedules, ability users should accomplish the software attending and assignment the way they want.
56 Aback the Department of Defense approved to adapt some of the diplomacy surrounding the adventitious cutting of an Italian announcer in Iraq, it abstruse the adamantine way that accoutrement cyberbanking argument with a atramentous bar doesn’t work. Bloggers apparent that they were able to archetype the covered argument to a bare affidavit and apprehend it. Lesson: Use a absolute redacting apparatus aback redacting, like the one congenital into the new Adobe Acrobat 8.
57 Don’t absorb a lot of time annoying about metadata—that annoying book history anchored in your documents. You can band it calmly afore sending abstracts with programs like Metadata Assistant. Bigger yet, use Adobe PDFs, which accommodate little accidental abstracts that could be acclimated adjoin you.
58 If all of this tech actuality leaves you cold, don’t use software or gadgets. Folders, cardboard and agenda cards are authoritative a comeback. Besides, why accelerate an e-mail anyone can avoid aback you can stick cardboard in their face?
59 Don’t use a complicated arrangement for demography notes. “Collecting advice is actual altered from organizing,” says alignment authority David Allen of Ojai, Calif. “It doesn’t amount if you accomplish addendum on the aback of a atom of cardboard so continued as you can seamlessly access that advice later.”
60 Did you anytime bethink that you larboard a CD you charge in the deejay drive afterwards axis off the computer? Apparently, this is a accepted botheration because Dallas advocate Tom Mighell says he gets the best enthusiastic acknowledgment from audiences at his lectures on tech tips with this one: You can accessible the drive by afraid a cardboard blow into the little aperture aing to the CD drive on any PC.
61 Get book folders for your paperwork and bills. The Accepting Things Done tickler book arrangement (see the sidebar, “Cult of Productivity,” below) calls for keeping clue of 43 folders—12 account and 31 daily—in adjustment of aback things charge to be done.
62 If you’re absolutely activity to get rid of all those abstracts abashing your office, don’t decay your time on a bargain shredder. They’re apathetic and ineffective. Absorb the added few bucks on article like the Fellowes Powershred SB-95C. It makes armament out of up to 1,700 pages a day, as able-bodied as paperclips, CDs and DVDs.
63 Use the alphabet as your filing system. As acknowledged blogger Klau says, “Simply assort what you accept in your hand—and I beggarly simply—put it in a manila folder, characterization it and book it beneath the aboriginal letter of the label.”
64 If you biking the apple generally and backpack your electronics with you, GizGeek says its Universal AC Biking Adapter will fit all your U.S. plugs into the bank sockets of added than 150 countries. A aberration of the fist-size adapter will advance out a array of bung modules. And its amount is a world-beating $17.
65 Acquisition a additional brain. Big-ticket organizers are nice, but aloof putting information like addresses, birthdays or important ddata on cardboard (or in a chat processing file) frees your academician to apply on absolutely accomplishing assignment instead of hunting for information.
66 Accepting agitation befitting clue of your clients’ names and faces? Booty a attending at Apperception Tools, a armpit alms academician exercises. Chase for “mindtools.com” and “memory games.”
67 The Web armpit SharpBrains suggests self-improvement exercises. Try this one: Booty five-minute visualization break with abysmal and approved breathing, picturing admirable landscapes or affable or acknowledged memories, abnormally afterwards finishing a boxy task.
68 Improve your brainy acuity by adding numbers, i.e., 7 from 200 (200, 193, 186, 179 …) or practicing an exponential alternation (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 …). The point is not to become a algebraic ability or be smarter than a fifth-grader, but aloof to accumulate your apperception sharp.
69 It takes a arrangement to be productive, but it’s additionally advantageous to try article altered every day to break sharp. For example, try commuting abnormally or talking to new people.
70 Anticipate afore sending an e-mail. “This ability be a aitionist notion, but anticipate about whether you should aces up the buzz and allocution to somebody instead of aloof beat ‘send,’ ” says Catherine Sanders Reach, administrator of the ABA’s Acknowledged Technology Resource Center in Chicago.
(See aftereffect beneath for tips 71-78.)
79 Use Giveaway of the Day to get accountant software for free. Best of it will be clutter you don’t need, but occasionally you’ll acquisition article useful. Dallas advocate Mighell says he’s gotten advantageous accoutrement there like …
80 … FlashSpring Pro, which plays PowerPoint presentations as Flash animations. That way you can booty all those abundant PowerPoint presentations you’ve got sitting about and column them to your Web site, breadth you can affect prospective clients.
81 GreenPrint is a $35 account that sits amid your computer and printer anecdotic and eliminating ashen pages that don’t charge to be printed—saving ink, cardboard and the planet at the aforementioned time.
82 Baby firms can’t consistently attempt with the big guys, but there’s no acumen your cartoon should be beneath absorbing than theirs. “Photoshop is the gold accepted in photo editing, but it’s too big-ticket for best people,” says Mighell, the Dallas attorney. “But there’s a agglomeration of alternatives that I anticipate are at atomic as acceptable as Photoshop— and alike better, they’re free.” Alternatives accommodate Paint.net and GIMP.
83 ABA affiliate Christen Millard from Raymond, Ohio, says, “Pay and amusement your abettor well. Treating anybody with respect, including the bodies you supervise, should be the rule. However, a advantageous and admired abettor will actual about any blemish in your alignment system.”
84 The key to technology is award accoutrement that fit the way you work, which is why a lot of attorneys are discovering book PCs. “The abundant affair about the book is it straddles both worlds, putting handwritten addendum into agenda files and accomplishing aggregate a approved PC does,” says Calloway, administrator of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program.
85 Acquisition a PDA that works for you. Some bodies appetite all the accretion and whistles, while Merlin Mann, a San Francisco blogger, invented the “Hipster PDA”—a set of 3×5 cards abrupt together—because it was easier to use than his Palm V.
86 The Fisher Amplitude Pen is conceivably the best overengineered autograph apparatus in the world. It’s a pen advised to abode underwater or in aught gravity. But the convenient, bullet-size pen fits calmly in your pocket, so you’re consistently accessible to jot bottomward addendum or flashes of afflatus no amount breadth you are, alike added planets.
87 Use your scanner on everything; bandy abroad every bit of cardboard you can. “When addition calls and asks for a document, all I do is click, click, click, and I’ve begin it,” says New Orleans abandoned advocate Ernie Svenson. “I can do that because I’ve scanned everything. If I had all paper, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t accomplish it as a solo.”
88 Stop annoying about accident your basic data. The Computrace LoJack for Laptops ($49.99) will locate a baseborn laptop for you.
89 Laptops and advancement tapes accommodate your clients’ confidential data. You can defended it with passwords and encryption. To use encryption in e-mail, all you charge is a agenda certificate, which Outlook will automatically advice you find, costing about $20.
90 Acquisition out what clutter may be active on your computer with ProcessLibrary.com. Hitting ascendancy alt annul will acquaint you what’s active on your computer, but the chargeless Process Library account tells you what it is and whether it’s bad for your PC.
91 Aegis experts say that it’s a actual bad abstraction to reclaim passwords, and they recommend that log-ons accommodate numbers and syms—but who has the academician amplitude for all that? RoboForm does. It generates and keeps clue of passwords, and it includes harder-to-crack syms. The chargeless adaptation food 30 passwords, and a $30 adaptation will bethink an unlimited cardinal of passwords.
92 Aback up your computer’s drivers. This may assume like a absurd exercise until your computer crashes and you accept to reinstall them all one by one.
93 Abode a adversity accretion plan and convenance abating your arrangement to accomplish abiding the plan and your technology work.
94 Consistently accept a layered advancement plan. That agency abetment up your advancement or demography some accumulator media offsite on a approved base so a adversity won’t clean you out.
95 Baby law firms can use hardware such as the Mirra Claimed Server—a baby computer with the accommodation to abundance up to 250 GB of data—for backups. Alternatives accommodate alien adamantine drives that are connected to a arrangement router to aback up computer systems.
96 Alternatively, baby law offices ability like software such as Advancement My PC to automate the advancement and restore functions, or try online advancement like Mozy to save files to a alien location.
97 Deride drives can backpack several gigabytes of abstracts to accompany files (and alike software programs) on the alley with you.
98 Hunt and annihilate spyware and adware on your computer with anti-virus software. It can allay the acrimonious suspicion that your computer is out to get you. Chargeless software includes Ad-Aware and Spybot. But versions supplied by your ISP can additionally do well.
99 To get alike added abundance hacks and tips, analysis out blogs like Lifehacker, Lifehack.org, 43 Folders and the ABA Acknowledged Technology Resource Center’s ABA Site-tation. The ABA Techshow additionally publishes its accepted “60 Sites in 60 Minutes” technology presentations online. And Techshow’s accepted “60 Tips” programs are accessible on DVD from the association’s Law Convenance Management Section.
100 The Accepting Things Done Outlook Add-In Support Armpit has advice for authoritative Outlook assignment with the GTD system.
101 Our aftermost tip comes from ABA affiliate Tim Miller of Scottsdale, Ariz., by way of the age-old Greeks. “For years, I approved to force myself to become organized application some billet authoritative method. In the end, they all fell short. It was not until I absolutely assessed my strengths and weaknesses that I was able to advance a adjustment that works for me. I accept now accomplished a akin of alignment that improves my ability and abundantly reduces my accent that article is actuality overlooked. So my tip: Apperceive thyself.”
Business adviser David Allen’s authoritative arrangement has an about cult-like following. And Silicon Valley techies are amid the best agog supporters of Accepting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity—strange, aback the best frequently mentioned apparatus in Allen’s book/system is the cardboard book folder.
But Allen of Ojai, Calif., is not against to application technology to be productive; he aloof wants bodies to be acute about how they use it. “There’s no one apparatus to use. The alone apparatus is the one that works,” says Allen. “What it comes bottomward to is: If aggregate you charge to do is in your head, you’re toast.”
As a Southern California-based consultant, Allen spent years aggravating to amount out why workers were bootless and stressed. He says the best important acquaint he abstruse came from managing a gas base off the Santa Monica Freeway, aback he was affected to accent and organize in a high-pressure environment.
Allen’s arrangement is advised to chargeless your apperception from accepting to bethink aggregate that needs to be done so you can apply on accomplishing your job and accomplishing your bigger goals. That can beggarly application book folders, agenda administration or debris of paper, aloof as continued as you can adapt and act on all the advice you move out of your apperception and collect.
“If something’s on your mind, you accept to do article with it,” he says. “You accept to handle what’s got your absorption appropriate now to acquisition out what’s absolutely got your attention.”
Though technology can be a accent inducer, Allen is a big backer of aggravating as abundant new technology as he can to advice him assignment better. “If it’s small, atramentous and high-tech, I appetite it,” Allen says. “I’m a gearhead. I’d say my buy-to-use arrangement is 10-to-1, but I adulation aggravating new things out.”
71 Chase Allen’s two-minute rule: If it will booty beneath than two account to do something, do it appropriate away.
72 Use Allen’s tickler book system, aka “the 43 folders,” to adapt paperwork. Use 12 folders for anniversary ages and addition 31 folders for anniversary day’s work.
73 To administer your inbox, chase a austere workflow. Alpha at the top, assignment beeline bottomward and never put annihilation aback into your inbox unfinished.
74 Adapt your agitation account tasks by context, like buzz calls or affidavit to be signed.
75 Accomplish agenda of the tasks you charge to do in a way that works for you. For example, Allen says already aback he bare adulation he didn’t accept time to abode it down, so he threw an abandoned band-aid box into his inbox so he’d apperceive afterwards to get more.
76 Accomplish your handheld accessories into smarter organizers. Palm users can use Bonsai for analogue and agitation lists. Try MyLifeOrganized for PocketPC, Mandala Notebook for Sony Ericsson smartphones, and NextAction for BlackBerry devices. Propel’r is a GTD organizer for any Web-enabled device.
77 Analysis out a account of GTD software accoutrement that can advice organize your assignment according to Allen’s program.
78 There are array of software programs advised to advice users stick with the Accepting Things Done program. Try Simple GTD—a free, Web-based advantage that can advice you get started.
Jason Krause is a acknowledged diplomacy biographer for the ABA Journal.
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