The Best of TECHSHOW – Tips and Tricks

Every year the ABA TECHSHOW brings together some of the best legal technology minds our profession has to offer.  This year was no exception.  Over the next few posts I’ll share what I learned at this year’s conference.  Today: the best of 60 Tips in 60 Minutes.

Microsoft Office

Office Ribbon getting in the way? 

Use Ctrl F1 to toggle it off (and on).

View recently opened documents in Word with a quick right click

Want to see the most recently opened items in Word?  Right click on the Word icon on your desktop.  A list of recently opened items appears (whether Word is launched or not.)

Recover unsaved Word 2010/2013 documents or Excel 2010/2013 Workbooks

If your computer crashes and you haven’t saved your document or spreadsheet, act fast to recover your document. In Word or Excel 2010/2013, select File > Info > Manage Versions to recover your unsaved documents.

Print a blank Outlook calendar

A blank Outlook calendar can be handy for coordinating with others, but how can you print one that doesn’t show scheduled court dates, client appointments, or other events?  Easy!  The steps vary according to your version of Outlook.  Here are links to the instructions: Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013.

imagesReveal a sender’s full e-mail address

Sometimes e-mail messages only show the sender’s name.  If you want to see the full e-mail address, follow these steps:  In the blue message header, mouse over the name, right click, choose properties > show full e-mail address.

Need a system to follow-up on sent e-mails? 

Here are two approaches.

Option 1 – Create a “Waiting For” folder in Outlook

Drag e-mails that require a follow-up to this destination. If desired, add a “code” to the body of your message like “wff” (Waiting For Folder).  Create an Outlook rule that looks for this code and auto-files the messages that contain it in the Waiting For Folder.

Option 2 – The cc: method

Set up a “Delegated Mail” folder in Outlook.  Copy yourself on all e-mails that require a follow-up.  Create an Outlook rule that checks messages when they arrive, looks for your name as the sender and for your name in the cc: box.  Direct the rule to file messages that meet this criteria in a “Delegated Mail” folder.

Eliminate long, redundant e-mail threads

In Outlook 2010/2013, delete redundant e-mail strings by using “Clean Up a Conversation.”  The clean up function removes the prior e-mails and keeps only the most recent message – which has the entire thread.

How about a handy shortcut to an e-mail address? 

Create one right on your desktop.  Right click, select New > Shortcut.  In the “Create Shortcut” dialog box, type mailto: and the desired e-mail address. For example: (leave no spaces between the colon and the e-mail address). Click Finish.  You can now send an e-mail to Joe directly from your desktop without launching Outlook.

Never forget an attachment again

Download CodeTwo and never forget an e-mail attachment again.  This free download looks for keywords in the body of your e-mail like “enclosed” and “attached” and reminds you to add an attachment before your e-mail is sent.

Bloated e-mail inbox?

Clean it up with Outlook’s cleanup tools.  Choose File > Info > Cleanup Tools.  Choose Mailbox Cleanup… to manage the size of your mailbox with advanced tools, empty deleted items permanently, or move old items to an archive folder.

Disabling “reply to all” or “forwarding”

To prevent clients from forwarding e-mails or using “reply to all” inappropriately use this workaround to disable the functionality.  Yes, a persistent user can still “copy and paste” the body of your e-mail into a new message, but disabling forwarding or “reply to all” tends to stop 99% of perpetrators.

Work with clients or collaborate with colleagues in a different time zone?

Follow these easy steps to add a second time zone to your calendar in Outlook.

Open Your Mail and Calendar in Separate Windows

It can be annoying to toggle back and forth between your mail and other components of Outlook.  From anywhere in Outlook’s Navigation pane (Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes) right click on the second Outlook item you wish to view and choose “Open in new window.”

Security and Privacy

Looking for a secure flash drive?

Here are three good options: Imation Defender F200 Biometric, Aegis Secure Key, CMS Secure Vault FIPS.

Computer Screen Privacy

Keep prying eyes off your computer screen with PrivateEye from Oculis. Using facial recognition, the software instantly blurs your monitor if you leave your desk or turn away.

Wish you could monitor your servers remotely?

lockYou can with PC Monitor.  Compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod. Free for non-commercial use.

Secure external hard drives

Just as flash drives should be encrypted or protected with biometrics, lawyers should take similar precautions to secure external hard drives.  Here are three choices:   Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive, Aegis Padlock, CMS Secure Disk Vault.

That Pesky Facebook

If you love connecting with friends and family on Facebook, but are worried about who might have access to your data, check out MyPermissions. Sign up to receive alerts when a Facebook app gains access to your personal information.


Addicted to multiple monitors and wish you had one for the road?

You can with the portable Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421 14″ widescreen LED travel monitor.  Available on Amazon for under $200.

Looking for a fast, simple solution for installing apps on your new computer?

Try Ninite – directly download the most commonly used Web apps with no muss, no fuss.

proMeet the new scanner on the block

Everyone knows about the Fujitsu Scansnap s1500, but meet the new and improved kid on the block:  the Fujitsu Scansnap iX500. Bundled with Adobe Acrobat Standard, supports scanning to iOS and Android devices, improved resolution, and improved paper handling.  A work horse for under $500.  Ideal for most solos or as a supplementary scanner deployed at workstations throughout your office.

Stop carpal tunnel in its tracks

To avoid carpal tunnel, your keyboard must be appropriately positioned for your use. 3M offers quality keyboard trays that do the trick for around $160.

Why is your fillable form blank?

To “lock in” the contents of a fillable form, you must flatten the PDF.  Here’s how in Acrobat 9.  In Acrobat X or later, use an action.

Tip Grab Bag

Shopping for the best cloud service to backup your data?imagesCAVCNTYX

Visit Backup Review or follow the site on Twitter @backupreview – new reviews daily.

Splash happens.  Want to waterproof your iPhone?

Not a bad idea since water damage voids the warranty.  Try Liquipel.

Are you on LinkedIn

Did you know that you can reposition the components of your LinkedIn profile to feature preferred content? By default, Experience, Skills & Expertise, and Education appear “below the fold” after Activity and Background.  If you prefer a different sort order, simply drag and drop.

Many thanks to the 60 Tips in 60 Minutes presenters for all these great ideas

All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis – 2013

The October issue of In Brief is Now Online

The October issue of In Brief is now available on the Professional Liability Fund Web site.  Articles and announcements include:

ABA Techshow 2013

Adjusted Tort Liability Limits Against Public Bodies

Check Scams Become Even More Sophisticated and Generally Have No PLF Coverage

Data Breach Coverage Added to 2013 PLF Excess Coverage

Immigration Law Resources

In Brief Returns to Print

Modification to Civil Case Management System in Multnomah County

New Foreclosure Law Requirements and PLF Practice Aids

PLF Claims Attorney Position

Reporting Responsibilities Under Medicare

Tips, Traps, and Resources

Tips, Sites, and Gadgets

On July 9, Dee Crocker and I presented a special one-hour version of our Tips, Sites, and Gadgets roadshow as part of the OSB Sole and Small Firm Section’s Cloud Computing CLE.

As a follow-up to that presentation, here are my personal top 10 Tips, Sites, and Gadgets:

Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis

19 Tips Every Windows 7 User Needs to Know

Courtesy of Gizmodo, check out 19 tips every Windows 7 user needs to know, including:

  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Using the Problem Steps Recorder
  • Mastering the Font Manager
  • Burning CDs and DVDs
  • Using Hidden Wallpapers
  • Understanding UAC (User Account Control)
  • Running the Calculator Applet
  • Revealing all Drives
  • Working with the Devices and Printers Dialog Box
  • Callibrating Your Text and Color
  • Controlling Autoplay Settings
  • Running Convert.exe for Backups to External Drives
  • Converting WMC (Windows Media Center) Recordings to Run in Vista and XP
  • Generating an Energy Report
  • Exiling Programs to the System Tray
  • Managing Your Jump Lists
  • Organizing and Customizing Your Taskbar
  • Accelerating Your Start Menu
  • Arranging and Sorting Files
  • Pinning Folders to Favorites and Start Menu
  • Loading Windows 7 to a Bootable USB Key

Many thanks to Practice Management Advisor extraordinaire, Jim Calloway, for finding this useful resource.

Acrobat Tips and Tricks from the Experts

Adobe’s Rick Borstein and Mark Middleton team up on a regular basis to offer free training on Acrobat 9 for legal professionals.  Recently, Rick and Mark hosted a reprise of the popular 30 Super Acrobat 9 Tips and Tricks: Optimizing Your PDF WorkflowEven if you’re an old hand at Acrobat, you may learn a thing or two from this Webinar:

  • With Acrobat 9 and Word 2003 or 2007, you can run a mail merge and create individualized PDFs for e-mailing to recipients.
  • Anything you can copy and paste to the clipboard in Windows or Mac can be converted to PDF.  Simply select and copy content to your clipboard, launch Acrobat, choose File > Create PDF > From Clipboard…  This is an easy way to capture Web content or selected portions of a document or e-mail.  (For example, you may want to create a PDF from the body of an e-mail message without the header.  Using Create PDF > From Clipboard… would be the way to do it.)
  • Acrobat can be used for basic document management once you master index building and searching. 
    • Embed an index in an individual PDF by opening the document and choosing  Advanced > Document Processing > Manage Embedded Index…
    • Or index a directory of PDFs for faster searches across folders.
    • Learn how to search and mark multiple words in a PDF.
    • Search across multiple PDFs in one or more folders in a few easy steps:  launch Acrobat, choose Edit > Search.  When the search panel opens, enter the word or phrase you want to search for, then select “All PDF Documents in” and choose the folder(s) you wish to search. 

30 Super Acrobat 9 Tips and Tricks also covered:

  • Preference settings
  • Additional PDF conversion techniques
  • Annotations and comments
  • How to OCR, optimize, and clean up scanned documents
  • How to copy, move, and extract pages from multiple PDFs
  • Creating and customizing a Table of Contents
  • Customizing bookmarks and setting PDFs to open to bookmark view
  • Running batch sequences to make PDF processing more efficient
  • Creating interactive PDFs for the Web

If you read this blog, you know I am a fan of Acrobat.  It’s the cream of the crop in my opinion and has much to offer over free PDF converters. 

You can find the recording from Rick and Mark’s Webinar here and download Rick’s 30 Top Tips and Tricks for AcrobatI recommend downloading Rick’s Tips and Tricks first, then launching the Webinar.  This will make it easier to follow along.  (Don’t forget to turn up the speakers on your computer.  If necessary, you can pause the Webinar any time.  This is a fast-paced program, and you don’t want to miss anything.)

Also take the time to checkout these online resources from Acrobat, courtesy of Mark Middleton:

Sign up for future Webinars and Acrobat 9 events here.   

Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis