HoudahSpot Helps You Find Your Way Through Search, Paperless Strategies and Document Management

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While attending the Mac Power Users session at TechShow in March, renowed Mac-using attorney Randy Juip discussed Spotlight.1  For those of you unfamiliar with Spotlight, it is one of the great reasons to own a Mac. Released with OS X 10.4 Tiger in 2005, it is a system-wide, real-time search function built directly into every modern Mac.

At its most basic, clicking on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your menu bar, Spotlight lets you search your files by numerous criteria.2  When you begin typing, Spotlight instantly narrows matches as you continue typing. Spotlight searches by file name, metadata, and even file contents. It searches your documents, emails, addressbook, and calendar items. Spotlight can even launch applications and perform simple math. If you’re not using Spotlight yet, it’s an excellent way to speed up your file access.

Having said that, you may quickly run up against Spotlight’s usability limits. By making this feature so approachable, Apple hid much of Spotlight’s power.3  Fortunately for Spotlight fans, a third party program has stepped into the gap. Houdah Software created HoudahSpot, which approachably exposes the full capabilities Apple built into Spotlight. HoudahSpot’s easy access to Spotlight’s complete functionality makes Spotlight a topflight stand-in for legal document management on the Mac.4

Why is that important? As I joked to an older friend at a technophobic law firm, the future of storage is not in bankers’ boxes. If you’re not making a strong, successful effort to go paperless in your law practice, you’re wasting time (searching for documents), space (storing documents), and ultimately money. Either you’re wasting billable hours handling paper or you’re paying subordinates or offsite companies to do it for you. HoudahSpot lets you take scanned documents and access last year’s client matters as quickly as yesterday’s.5

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Product Review of the Worldox iPad App [Guest Post]

Worldox iPad AppI’m thrilled to have Paul Unger from the Affinity Consulting Group review the Worldox iPad App. For those that don’t know, Worldox is one of the most respected professional document management platforms available today, with numerous installations in law firms around the world. And while Worldox does not natively run in the Mac OS, the company recognized the potential and usability of the iPad.

To learn about Worldox and why your firm needs a professional document management system, I highly recommend John Heckman’s whitepaper hosted by Worldox: “Why Document Management?” (PDF).

If you use Worldox for document management, and you are one of the millions of people who have an iPad, the Worldox iPad App may bring you several steps closer to achieving a paperless law office. I’ve been using the app on my iPad now for nearly six months, and here are my observations.

The beauty behind the iPad is its instant-on capability and instant connectivity to the internet. To use Worldox in this masterful iPad environment is refreshingly easy. I’ve been using Windows-based tablet computers for over six years, but the main obstacles to making those tablet features truly functional were boot-up time, instant internet connectivity, and weight/portability. Worldox quickly realized that Apple solved all those issues with the iPad and they developed a fantastic app that gives users access to all Worldox-managed documents from the iPad.

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