Kick-Start Your New Year

new year.jpgIf you are among the 45% who typically make a New Year’s Resolution, I genuinely wish you the best of luck.

If your goals for 2013 include any of the following:

  • Reducing your stress level
  • Improving your office routines
  • Increasing productivity
  • Streamlining office systems
  • Balancing the demands of work and home

then resolve to get a head start by “spring cleaning” your office systems and work habits.  Remember, you can always contact the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program if you are feeling overwhelmed.  The OAAP can give you guidance on how to develop your own stress management program using deep relaxation, meditation, time management, and other proven stress-reducing techniques.  Best of all, OAAP services are free and confidential.  Similarly, the Professional Liability Fund Practice Management Advisors provide free and confidential assistance with office systems.  Give us a call!  800-452-1639 Toll-Free in Oregon or 503-639-6911.

The Best of Solo by Choice Nothing Beats Cheap or Free

This is the second in a series of posts featuring the advice and insight of Carolyn Elefant of  Carolyn graciously agreed to speak at our recent Solo by Choice program.  Those in attendance came away with a copy of Carolyn’s book and a lot of great ideas, including these tips on cheap or free tools for a solo practice:

My two cents?  Also check out:

  • Dban – Hard drive disk wipe and data cleaning.  Meets DOD standards.  (Free)
  • PCDecrapifer – Uninstall unwanted programs and delete temporary or downloaded files you don’t need.  (Free)
  • CCCleaner – An aggressive clean up/disk defragmenter tool.  Used in lieu of operating system tools.  (Free)
  • LastPass – Online password manager and form filler. (Free)
  • ExchangeMyMail – For anyone who wants the functionality of running Microsoft Exchange Server without the hassle or big price tag.  (Starts at $12.99 per month.)
  • – Unlimited file downloads, online office applications, 3-person Web conferencing, and 5 PDF conversions.  (Free. Enhanced services start at $14.99 per month.)
  • GOOG-411 – Call 1-800-GOOG-411 for voice-activated 411 service connecting you to businesses in the US and Canada.  (Free)
  • ABA Legal Technology Resource Center – Online technology advice, articles, posts, and weekly roundup of practice management blogs.  My favorite part of this site is the FYIs: Technology Overviews.  (Online content is free.  Services available only to ABA members.)
  • Survey Monkey – Online client surveys (Basic services are free.)
  • Fastcase – Legal research (Free with your Orego State Bar membership.)
  • In Brief – 10 years of archived newsletters published by the Professional Liability Fund (PLF).  A great place to start when researching an issue.  Use the site’s Search link or peruse the Subject Matter Index of past articles.  (Free)
  • Practice Aids and Forms – Over 270 forms in 40 areas from the PLF.  (Free)
  • CLE – 17 Online/downloadable CLEs.  More than 40 on CD/DVD.  All from the PLF.  (All online CLE is free.  Most programs on CD/DVD are free.) 

Carolyn’s presentation and book, Solo by Choice, are available now on the PLF Web site for $30.  Select Programs on Audio or Programs on Video.  I have a few more tips to blog, but if you missed the live program, order the CD/DVD and get Carolyn’s book and handout material from this terrific CLE.