Law Firm Technology Tips

Albert Einstein said that "… (technology is) this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier …" Here are a few such tips for consideration:

1.   Radio-frequency identification tags for your luggage will increase the chances of keeping your luggage and tracking it if/when lost.

2.   New workplace trend:  Use a gym ball in place of a chair. Ergonomic consultants suggest that gym  balls help strengthen one’s abdominal and lower back muscles as well as improving posture. Technology has helped design some of the fancy chairs now being sold for egonomic benefits. Going back, however, to some of the old ways may be the real solution to back and other medical ills.  Einstein went on to say that technology  fails to bring us happiness "…because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it." The gym ball may be one example of "sensible use" of existing knowledge.

3.   MapQuest on steroids — that’s how one describes the route optimization system that UPS now utilizes for its truck deliveries. Before the 2005 innovations, drivers used maps and 3 x 5 cards, as well as their own memory, to determine the best way to run their routes. Now, the new system selects the best routes — and need not depend on the memory of individual drivers. In other words, UPS has created "institutional knowledge," or "knowledge management," to improve their operations. The company no longer loses the drvier’s knowledge when they leave the company.

One benefit: A reduction in the number of miles driven — 3 million miles, and the gas thereby saved!  Oh, and one technique you might consider using:  The GPS system reduces the number of left turns drivers make, thus reducing waiting time and gas consumed!

4.   BlackBerry 8800, priced at $295, with a two year service contract from Cingular, is getting much favorable review by corporate and government users.  Some consumer features, not important to business folks, have been removed while email and user-friendliness have been improved.  Check it out.

5.    Registered E-mail® by RPost® provides a receipt with proof of what you sent, the content and attachments received by each recipient and when they received it. This works with your e-mail program and acts just like a postage meter. No fees until and unless you use the service. This system is different and superior to the e-mail system request for verification of receipt. Check it out.

6.   Use a laptop as a PDA. Finally, I followed my own wishes and didn’t allow myself to get talked out of buying a small laptop to replace the larger one. Can’t tell you how excited I am with my new IBM (Lenovo) ThinkPad®. It is smaller than my previous ThinkPad® (I’ve had 3 before), works really well, and gets through airport security stations so much more easily. The smaller unit still enables me to use PowerPoint® for my presentations; my earlier fear was that the screen would be too small for me to see – it’s fine! And I now use a Verizon calling card in the laptop so that I get Internet access whenever and wherever I can get cell phone reception. This means that I have full screen access to my email. And I no longer pay the hotels their outrageous daily charge for internet access.

The best part is that I can have a copy of my entire calendar and contact list from my PC with me at all times. By placing the laptop in "sleep" mode, I have quick access to all the information I need.  And, as a side note, since my earlier PDA "died," I have taken to using the FiloFax® system of hard copy calendar and contact information. Talk about speed of access! It’s immediate. As technology gets more complex and speed becomes so important, I’m learning that some of the "old" systems I used are providing advantages over the "new" stuff.

7.   Bosa Nova Beverage Group makes juices from açai berries. According to one research study, the açai berry contains more antioxidants than even the pomegranate and blueberry thought to offset cell damage leading to cancer.

8.   If you want to reduce the use of caffeine, reduce the consumption of soda pop. A 12 oz. serving of Coke has 34 mg; Pepsi has 37 mg; Diet Coke has 46 mg; and Diet Pepsi has 36 mg.

9.   "Lee Iacocca is mad as hell." So said the auto industry leader in a new book Where Have All the Leaders Gone? to be published in April by Simon & Schuster. This is more than technology. This is about what it means to be a leader. He discusses our corporate as well as our government leaders. And provides his special spin. Worthy of your consideration.


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