By David J. Bilinsky
Email is the bane of most lawyers and law offices. Handling the volume of incoming emails has become a real problem. Fortunately, there are three tools that can help tame the email beast, provided that you are using Microsoft Outlook as your email client. These are “SimplyFile,” “EZDetach” and “Adobe Acrobat Standard” or “Adobe Acrobat Professional.”
SimplyFile and EZDetach
SimplyFile is undoubtedly the best tool I have found for helping with email. It is an Intelligent Filing Assistant for Microsoft Outlook. Once you install the plug-in for Outlook, SimplyFile “guesses” the folder that an email should go. One click later – and it is filed. It does the same for outgoing emails too – which ensures that all your emails – both incoming and outgoing – are in the correct client folder in Outlook. No more searching in “Sent” to try to find an email that you did on a client file. This filing ability vastly speeds up handling the email avalanche!
The companion product is EZDetach, which does the same thing for attachments to email – it guesses the folder into which the attachment should go.
Both products can be found at: www.techhit.com.
Standard or Adobe Acrobat Professional
Adobe Acrobat – either the standard or professional versions (not the Reader!) has the ability to convert a folder (or series of nested folders) into one large PDF Portfolio. When it comes time to close a client file, you can use this function to take all those emails that you have just organized using SimplyFile and convert them to a searchable PDF that contains ALL the emails on that client file. You can now delete the emails from Outlook and store the PDF portfolio with the rest of the electronic file in the “Closed Files” partition of your network. This way, the file is accessible, printable and searchable – but the emails no longer take up room in Outlook.
The views expressed herein are strictly those of the author and may not be shared by the Law Society of British Columbia. David J. Bilinsky is the Practice Management Advisor for the LSBC. Email: email@example.com; Blog: www.thoughtfullaw.com.
This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of BarTalk and is reproduced here with permission of both the author and the Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia Branch.