As I work with attorneys to improve their use of technology, I am often asked about the best way to incorporate scanning or paperless office technology into a case management system. My answer is always the same. There is no easier way to incorporate scanning into a case management system than to use the Fujitsu ScanSnap alongside LexisNexis Time Matters practice management software.
Time Matters provides attorneys with all of the tools necessary to manage their cases, contacts, calendars, e-mails and documents. Everything is organized into one central database organized around a case or matter. Specifically with regard to documents, Time Matters provides a simple way to save documents to the system from the most popular legal office applications, including Adobe Acrobat. (For more information on Time Matters visit http://www.timematters.com).
This is where the ScanSnap comes in. I often describe the ScanSnap to my clients as a “paper to PDF” machine. Using the ScanSnap, your law office can quickly turn paper into PDF files, which can easily be saved to Time Matters using the TM save button in Adobe Acrobat. It is then up to your firm on whether they would like to first review the scans within the ScanSnap Organizer, or simply scan directly to Adobe Acrobat. The benefit of scanning directly to Adobe Acrobat is that you are only one click away from saving the document to Time Matters. On the other hand, scanning to the ScanSnap Organizer allows you to scan in many documents quickly, without having to immediately save them. When you’re ready to save the document, simply open it from the ScanSnap Organizer to Adobe Acrobat and click TM Save. (For a White Paper on how to setup Time Matters Document Management see, http://www.krausepm.com/resources/tmdownloads.htm).
Another ScanSnap feature that works very well with Time Matters is the ability to scan and convert to a searchable PDF at the same time. Time Matters is capable of creating indexes for full-text document searching. Converting to searchable PDFs makes it easy to find previously scanned documents with the powerful search capabilities of Time Matters document indexing.
The ScanSnap and Time Matters are both useful tools to help your law office become more efficient and better organized. Combing the two provides an even more powerful set of features that complement and enhance each other.
Jeffrey S. Krause is an attorney turned technology consultant from southeastern Wisconsin. He helps other attorneys make more efficient use of technology and works with a broad range of products including case management, document management and other legal technology solutions. Read his blog at http://blog.krausepm.com/ or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.