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This post, like some of my earlier posts regarding computer software for family law attorneys, focuses not on family law topics themselves, but rather on a recent switch I made to Apple computers in my office, and information for anyone considering doing the same.

I had gotten to the point where, to say the least, I had begun to become a bit frustrated using the computer in my office — programs slowing down, things not always working. I looked at solving the problem by buying a new windows pc — I’ve used windows computers for a long time; and up until the past several months had not thought much of changing.

As I looked at new computers, I started to consider an Apple computer. They’re really pretty machines; the operating system seemed enjoyable to use; I wasn’t liking the new Windows operating system. One point of view could be that it’s not so important to enjoy using the computer you use; it’s a work tool; work’s not supposed to be enjoyable — that’s why they call it work. But there is something to having nice things, a pleasant work environment/experience, even for attorneys; or maybe even a Feng Shui notion of organizing a work environment in a positive way.

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This post will be a bit different than my others so far – it deals with computer software rather than divorce or other family law issues. I recently updated some of the computer software I use in my office, and wanted to share what has been working well for me, and how I think some of it could be helpful to someone about to start or in the process of going through a divorce or other family law case. I’m finding that software that works well and is pleasant to use makes the day a lot easier.

The first program is CLIO, a practice management program for attorneys. It’s practice management software in the “cloud” that you use in your web browser. I’m liking the interface – pleasant and easy to use, and it has some features I like. You can associate/link emails you send with a client file in the program, and there’s a feature that gives you a secure place to post documents on-line for your client to view. The price is reasonable I think, and it avoids needing to update the software or have a maintenance contract, or network computers in your office – you access the program on-line.

I started using the business version of Google Apps for my email. The setup to use my domain for my email was not too bad. I’m liking Google’s system of “labels” for email versus folders. I’m finding that it’s making it a lot easier to clear my inbox each day. I watched a “podcast” about office software a few weeks ago that talked about achieving “inbox zero” I think the phrase was. I’m liking having a clear inbox – I think when I switched over from Outlook I had hundreds of emails in my inbox. Google’s spam filter seems to work really well also. Clio integrates with the Google Apps calendar, so has been a very easy way to have my calendar on my “smartphone”.

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