I came across an extremely handy utility the other day while helping a lawyer get his all-Mac office set up. Like many Mac-using lawyers, he planned to “manually” manage his documents and files which meant he needed to 1) always be consistent on naming files and 2) have a consistent structure of folders in which to save his files.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with “manual” document management. Larger firms use legal-specific document management systems (DMS) such as iManage, OpenText, Worldox, or NetDocuments to manage files, but these are overkill for smaller firms, and they don’t fully support macOS. Honorable mention does go to DocMoto, however, since they offer the only Mac-native option for document management, and I know several Mac-based law firms that are happily using the platform.
… back to my story …
For file-naming consistency, I always recommend using TextExpander (sign up for the free webinar I’m doing with Smile Software on TextExpander next week). TextExpander worked wonderfully for this lawyer on filenames, but then he asked about an easy way to automatically create a set of folders for each matter so he (or his assistant) wouldn’t have to manually create them every time. I knew there were ways to do this using AppleScript, but I don’t typically recommend that angle for lawyers.
So I was elated to come across Client Folder Maker from GeekSuit, LLC (what a GREAT name!). This simple (AND FREE!!!) little app lets you automatically populate a structure of folders and sub-folders whenever you need to. Watch the “Demo Video” on www.clientfoldermaker.com which gives you all you need to know about building your set of folders. The interface is simple to understand, and you can assign a keyboard shortcut to populate your set of folders in your current Finder folder. I plan to do a more extensive video review of Client Folder Maker soon but I had to let everyone know about this amazing (and FREE!!!) little utility that should be on any Mac-using lawyer’s computer.
Client Folder Maker in the App Store
I can’t remember exactly where I heard that quote but I love it because it appropriately describes what TextExpander can do for you every single day. Whether it’s your e-mail address, phone number, office address, courthouse, judge’s name, etc. there are things you type every day over and over and over and over. And if you are manually typing those things every single time, you are WASTING TIME!
Why not let the computer actually do something FOR you? TextExpander is one of those tools that is a NO-BRAINER.
My free TextExpander Webinar last month was a HUGE success and I’m thankful for everyone that logged in. And we’ve continued the conversation on TextExpander in the Small Firm Bootcamp Facebook Group (closed group for members of the Small Firm Bootcamp course – you can sign up here).
Even better, the folks at MacBundler are offering a 1-year subscription to TextExpander for only $19.98 which is half the regular price of $39.96. This is my affiliate link to the site or you can visit www.macbundler.com on your own and search for TextExpander. This is the best price I’ve seen for TextExpander, equivalent to the upgrade pricing if you owned an older version of TextExpander.
The subscription is good for Mac, Windows, and iOS since TextExpander now works across ALL of those platforms. Plus with the subscription all of your snippets sync across devices.
If you don’t have TextExpander yet, I strongly recommend picking up a 1-year subscription from MacBundler. And then start with something simple like your e-mail address. My “official” e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org but I never, NEVER type it all out – it’s not very long but it takes a few extra seconds each time to type that repeatedly throughout the day. I simply type “bc@” (without the quotes) and it IMMEDIATELY expands out my full e-mail address. Start as simple as that, then add your office phone number, your office address, etc.
And for a Pro Tip look into the “inline search” function which is wonderful when you start getting too many snippets to remember all the time.
Let me know if you have any questions – always happy to talk about TextExpander!
Every couple of months someone on MILO asks what this “Growl” thing is popping up on their screen, especially since they don’t remember installing it and they’re nervous about a virus or malware. I’ve responded to the the list before but I wanted to provide more information on this handy notification utility.
Here’s the short definition from Growl’s homepage:
Growl lets Mac OS X applications unintrusively tell you when things happen.
And the longer definition:
We distribute a framework to application developers to make it easy for them to use Growl in their applications. They don’t have to write all of the pages of code necessary to send messages to and receive messages from Growl; they simply drop in our framework and write a few lines to tell the framework what to do.
Growl is not a standalone application, it’s a “universal utility” used by Mac software developers to provide on-screen notifications.
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