Monthly Archives: August 2011

Just The Fax

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efax; RapidFax; MetroFax; Maxemail; Packetel – there’s all kinds of on line fax providers for an attorney to choose from.  How do you know which one works?

How do you know which one will be around in 6 months when you have all that pre-printed stationary*?

Even worse, how many of them openly email what could be your client’s confidential data?

That’s right – “openly” email.

Email is more of a postcard than it is a sealed envelope.

I can’t state it any more plainly than that and I’ve been using that exact phrase for close to a decade.  Fax to email is nothing more than email – and openly emailing things like your client’s confidential data is not the way to keep that information secure.

You should not be setting up processes that openly email any type of confidential information – but especially things like credit card numbers, social security/insurance numbers, banking information <-which bots (and humans, I imagine) are actively seeking out.

So your choices narrow quite a bit when you take “openly email” out of the digital fax process. I’d say 95% of the digital fax providers I’ve tested ONLY allow you to receive your faxes via email.

This is just one of the reasons I use and recommend Onebox to attorneys and those in “legal”.

Rather than openly emailing each fax, Onebox holds them securely in your account and sends out just a notification email that a fax has been received. This notification includes the sending fax number and number of pages, giving you a general idea of what you have just received. You then log in and securely download or view from whatever connecting device you happen to be using (you can even call into your Onebox and the computer will do it’s best to read you your faxes.)

Onebox is more than just fax.  It is a communications central command post in web space – calls, voicemails, faxes, contacts, tasks, notes and calendar entries can all be coordinated through Onebox and many mobile devices.

For all this power (having a web controlled toll free number at your bidding) – what’s the cost?  Did I mention you can coordinate remote personnel using this technology – by setting and giving each an extension on your Onebox…

Not nearly what you would pay for the same services through your own existing tech company (i.e. your ISP); and certainly a huge amount less than you would to have a similarly scalable in house pbx system.

The best part is – you already have your call process in place – perhaps have Ruby Receptionists answer the toll free?  Great!  You can still use Onebox to keep you digitally organized and just for secure digital faxing.  There is little known account type called “unified messaging” which is JUST fax/voicemail and only costs $12.95 per month. It limits to 100 pages on fax, but you can easily upgrade to the next level from within your new account and you may just get pricing and options not available on the website or to the general public.

If you want in – click here, select “Pricing” and “Unified Messaging” account type.

Onebox does not charge a set up or termination fee – but porting your number can get tricky.  If you’re going to port, set a call up with me first.

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*Yes, pre-printed stationary.  Just because I am a digital assistant who works virtually and does not recommend that someone buy a lot of pre-printed “letterhead”, business cards are a MUST and many attorneys put their fax number on their business cards.

Wanna Get Paid?

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In reading: Keeping the Cash Flowing: A Dozen Tips for Getting Clients to Pay More Promptly by Lawyer turned Coach Debra Bruce

I noticed the number one thing I tell attorneys to do in order to keep the cash flowing was not listed.

My number one rule to getting paid regularly is to bill regularly.  Set a deadline (mine is the 7th of each month) and no matter what else is exploding around you – get the bills out by that date.

This does two things:

  1. cements with clients that when you say you’re going to do something, you do (in a way that is not directly involved in their matter); and
  2. gets each client in the habit of accepting, reviewing and paying your invoices on a schedule.

You can facilitate payment by accepting credit cards, so long as you play by the rules re: your trust account. This is why I recommend http://www.lawcharge.com.  Long-standing player in the “legal” world, LawCharge is owned by an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the merchant account world the way you do a courtroom or the law library.

I understand just how hard it is to be solo – to have to do it all and how being solo makes some routine tasks infinitely more difficult.  A standard “where’s my payment” call can easily turn into an hour long discussion about everything when all you wanted to know was when you would be paid.

This is why my second tip would be to find and build a relationship with a bookkeeper or virtual assistant, then routine billing and follow up payment reminder calls can be competently performed by someone else -  freeing up your time and removing potential stress on the attorney-client relationship should the money not be flowing as quickly as you would like.

FYI, this is not a commercial for LegalTypist. I do not offer bookkeeping nor does anyone in my organization call my client’s clients.  If I had a good contact in legal to recommend for the bookkeeping, I would.  Unfortunately, the best virtual bookkeeper I know – @CandyTX at http://www.offassist.com – prefers not to work with attorneys … something about how they can be difficult.

Who … what…  attorneys?!

Nozbe for lawyers … NOT!

From time to time I like to remind people that before you agree to download, install, sign up for, integrate or populate any technology, you MUST read the FULL Terms of Service, and you MUST understand what you are agreeing to.  Otherwise, in all reality, you have NO IDEA what is in store for you or your data, and even worse who has access to your data.  For lawyers, not knowing who has access to their client’s confidential information is a huge deal.

In fact, you may have recently heard about the issues that cropped up with Dropbox and their TOS.  On May 16, 2011, I first wrote about the issue here: DropBox Not So Much and then on May 24th an update: DropBox Update

Today I saw this tweet from “lawyertechrvw”:

Nozebtweet

I’m always excited when I see some new way for me to help people get things done and stay organized.  Special bonus if we can all get at everything from the web. I had reviewed Nozbe several years ago, just after I finished Getting Things Done by David Allen – in the hopes I could use it for legal.

Well lawyers reading thus far – you tell me… how do these terms sit with you:

Service

Apivision.com may suspend the Service for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to, repairs, planned maintenance or upgrades, and will not be liable to you for any such suspension.

Apivision.com reserves the right to make any changes to the Service or to discontinue any aspect or feature of the Service without notice, and will not be liable to you for any such change.

Apivision.com, in its sole discretion, has the right to suspend or terminate your Account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Service, for any reason at any time.

Such termination of the Service will result in the deactivation or deletion of your Account or your access to your Account, and the forfeiture and relinquishment of all Content in your Account.

Apivision.com reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service without the express written permission by Apivision.com.

http://www.nozbe.com/show/site-terms

These terms, if not exactly the same, are at least close enough to what I recall reading years ago which made me say “NO WAY!” to Nozbe.

Which now brings us to who is “lawyertechrvw”  and why do they think they are qualified to review technology for lawyers?

I’m intrigued …

Virtual Lunch Today at 12:30 ET

lUNCHHosting a virtual lunch today at 12:30 ET in the web conference room. Topic: Using web based technology to run your business.

Have your  mic plugged in before you click here

Those without a mic can also join in – use your speakers to hear the conversation and the text chat area for your remarks and questions.

Don’t forget your lunch!

Let Me Google That For You

Let Me Google That For You (http://www.lmgtfy.com)  is a website that captures you entering a query into Google. Here’s what the LMGTFY Facebook Page has to say: “For all those people that find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than google it for themselves.”

When you go to the site and enter your search term(s) you are provided with a url.  When you click on that url, you are taken to a screenshot/video of your actual input of the search term(s) and then the Google results are shown.

In most instances, I will use LMGTFY to be funny – someone asks a lame question on twitter so I”ll put the query in LMGTFY and supply them with the url.

Just yesterday, I think I used LMGTFY to illustrate a point in a pretty cool way:

I am trying to impart to new businesses people, those new to social media and such that if you are typing something, the communication is not a conversation.  Typing and texting are literally one-way communication. You do not get to two-way “conversation” until you talk.

However, lots of bloggers and people I know “on line” like to call the comments section of their blog a “conversation”. Others believe posts on list servs are “conversations”.

Uhm, no.

The comments section of your blog is where you will connect with readers; you may even go back and forth several times – that still doesn’t make it a “conversation”. Conversation REQUIRES spoken words (in real time).

So,  going against the popular interpretation (who ME??), I wanted peeps to understand the proper definition of the word.  But how to do that in 140 characters or less … ?

TA DA:

Typing/texting is always one way communication. You don’t get to conversation until you talk. See: http://ow.ly/5XH1g

Thanks Let Me Google That For You – not only do I get to show LMGTFY to lots of new people, but I bet the “define:” I placed in the Google search box is something I’ve shared that many of you have not seen before.  You all know how I love to share! :)

If you’ve used LMGTFY or any other tech in an innovate way, share your story: