National Clean Up Your Desk Day

Did you know that National Clean Up Your Desk day is Monday, January 14th this year? Every second Monday of January professionals around the country finally get around to putting that old coffee (or tea) cup in the sink. Ok, I might have a few lingering coffee cups myself!

If you are like me, you want to start the new year fresh, which includes freshening your environment. Use my 8 tips to clean and organize your desk:

1. Schedule it: Make a meeting with yourself to organize your desk. By booking the time in your calendar, you are letting yourself (and others) know you are serious about this task. If you already have a scheduled Monday, consider arriving to the office an hour earlier to get this done.

2. Trash it: Remove any old coffee mugs, utensils, or clutter that does not inspire you. Then review your desk for papers you no longer need. I know I typically have convenience copies or marked up drafts on my desk. So, I toss them in the trash (or shredder if they are confidential).

3. Process it: Are piles of paper lingering on your desk because they serve as a reminder of a task to be completed? A better way to track that task is to put it into a To Do list. I use Asana a free cloud based app that you can access from anywhere. Once it is in Asana, I can either trash the paper or scan it.

4. Scan it: Scan your important papers that you need to keep. I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap personal scanner on my desk. At the end of a meeting I scan any paper meeting handouts with my personal scanner onto my computer and trash the paper. Most of my papers are project based, so they get scanned to a specific project folder.

5. Keep it: One way to get rid of paper is to keep that document or email electronically. Do you really need to print out that email? Could you just bring it with you by accessing it on your smartphone or tablet? Or, for those of you that can, why not take notes electronically?

6. File it: And for those documents you absolutely need to keep in paper, file them away in a folder. I have some paper project files. I also have an alphabetical subject file as well. I find that if I am going to go through the trouble of filing a paper document, I want to use a label maker (like Dymo) on my folders to make them look neat. It looks 100% better than handwriting and makes my organizer soul happy.

7. Clean it: Wipe down your desk, telephone, keyboard and computer monitors to get rid of dust bunnies and any germs. Set out any fresh materials needed for business.

8. Maintain it: And, as with any system, it will need maintenance. Ideally you would want to take time keep your desk clean before leaving for the day. But, reality is you may need to book an appointment with yourself once a week to clean up. I think of this as my simple desk time. It is an investment in my sanity. I actually feel better and energized when my desk is clear and organized.

Let me know how your National Clean Your Desk day went in the comments below.

If you want to chat with me about making it easy to manage your emails, documents and paper files feel free to schedule a quick 10-15 minute call: QuickCall

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.InfoCompass Business Solutions

How to Create Disposition Notes in IRM

iManage Records Manager (IRM) is records management software utilized by many law firm and professional services organizations. As a consultant with many years experience in designing, implementing and teaching IRM, I have found similar questions arise on how best to use it. I will periodically produce videos on IRM tips I think each user should know to get more out of their iManage Records Manager software.

I have had quite a few IRM users ask about how to use disposition notes and where they appear in IRM. See my video where I review just that.

As you can see from the video, it can be helpful to use disposition notes to record who authorized a destruction or maybe document a transfer of records.

Please feel free to contact me if you need further clarification on what I presented in the video.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Want to learn more about iManage Govern Records Manager from Nitza Medina-Garcia, CRM? Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

How to 10X Your Email, Letter and Message Writing with TextExpander

I love finding tools that make tedious business tasks quicker and easier! I have to tell you about this tool I have been using for the past year called TextExpander. It saves you a ton of time with repetitive typing tasks. I wrote up how I personally use it in this article on LinkedIn. I also created this video to show how I use it in real time.

TextExpander has a free trial, so certainly check it out! If you do, can you let me know in the comments? If you use another tool, let me know that, too!

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a real world plan to become paper-light and reap the benefits.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

What is Records Management?

Records management is the formal systems used to govern your business information to help you:

  • Keep the information you need to keep
  • Get rid of the information you no longer need
  • Find the official information you need when you need it
  • Share the information you want with the people you want and keep others away

Good records management is good business!

Contact us today! Let us help you with your business information needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

New Webinar: what to consider BEFORE you move to iManage Records Manager

New to iManage Govern Records Manager? Want to know what you need to know before you move to a new records management software?

Join founder Nitza Medina-Garcia for our new webinar “What to consider BEFORE you move to iManage Records Manager 10”.  It will cover:

  • Main features of iManage Records Manager 10 ($250 value)
  • Typical software project plan ($500 value)
  • Top tips to make your software implementation a success ($1,000 value)

Total value of attending this webinar is $1,750.

This webinar will be beneficial for law firms and other professional service firms who are considering a new iManage Govern Records Manager software implementation.

If you will be implementing a brand new records management software or need to move from LegalKey, FileSurf, ARM, Accutrac, Elite or other records management software to iManage Records Manager, you will not want to miss this webinar where Nitza Medina-Garcia will be sharing what she has learned during her 10+ years of IRM software implementations.

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

iManage Releases New Standalone IRM Web Client

iManage has released its new stand alone iManage Govern Records Manager Web Client. The initial IRM 10 Web Client was a plug-in to the iManage Work Web Client. This required deploying iManage Work Web in order to utilize the plug-in. With this new release, the IRM Web Client is a stand alone client that features:

  • File Plan: the file plan shows the high level taxonomy of your files, such as clients and matters for a law firm.
  • Configurable Filters: filters help with refining displayed lists.
  • Relating Records: relationships help attorneys create two-way relationships with files.
  • Reporting: enables attorneys to generate multiple reports.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

How to Take Paperless Notes Like a Boss

Over the past year I have been piloting paperless note taking using my iPad Pro and the Notability app. Like many people I was frustrated with keeping several volumes of notebooks that contained my notes from meetings, to do lists and other random thoughts. They served me well in the short term, as I had one place to enter my notes. But, I was always running out of pages and needed to buy a new notepad.

The question then became: what do I do with my older notepad? It still contained valuable information that I needed to reference, albeit not as often. I initially began separating the pages out and scanning my notes into my computer, using my desktop scanner. This was a step forward, but now I would need to set aside time to separate the pages, feed the notes into my scanner, make sure the image was clear and save the file into the appropriate file folder. This often became a backlog as other tasks took priority.

I had thought about typing my notes as I attended meetings, but I had two challenges. It was difficult for me to type and listen at a quick enough pace. This is a drawback especially if you are in a sales situation. My second challenge was my preference for note taking with a writing instrument, where I could circle, box or highlight ideas.

I decided to invest in an iPad Pro 12.9 inch with an Apple smart keyboard and Apple Pencil. I decided to use the Notability app because I could choose where to back up my notes, I could voice record, it had access to many of the most popular file sharing services: like DropBox, Box, Google Drive and OneDrive. I took it on several of my client appointments that included meetings and interviews.

Here are what I found as major benefits:

  • Hand Write Notes: with the Apple Pencil and the Notability app, you can hand write your notes to your heart’s delight! The pencil is responsive just like a pen or pencil.
  • Voice Recording: when taking notes, you can also enable voice recording. This is helpful if you have a question about why you wrote a certain word. You just tap on the word, and the voice record jumps back to that spot on the recording!
  • Digital First: there is no need to scan paper notes into your computer. The notes are already digital and you can set it to be backed up to your desired file sharing location.
  • Import PDFs: you can import a PDF as a note. I found this handy when marking up a PDF for revision or using a PDF form as a template for taking notes.
  • Add Text/Images/Stickies: you can type text if you want in part of or all of the note. You can add screenshots and sticky notes.
  • Handwriting Search: Notability converts your handwriting so that it is searchable! So, if you are looking for a certain word across all your notes, it can find it for you. This is a new feature that is very helpful when you have a large amount of notes.
  • Handwriting to Text: Notability can convert your handwriting into text. This a new feature that many of my clients had asked about.
  • Multi-Note Mode: Notability allows you to see 2 notes side by side. This is great with the iPad Pro 12.9’s big screen.
  • Access to All Notes: with the Notability app, all my notes are centralized in one place. No need to sift through all my notebooks to find a page.

Here is what I found as some of the drawbacks:

  • Pencil Battery: I often would forget to recharge my pencil battery. Luckily, you can quickly charge it by placing it in the iPad connector for about 30 seconds.
  • iPad Battery: I would forget to recharge my iPad. The charging cable needs to use the higher voltage one to charge with any speed, otherwise it may take 10x as long to recharge.
  • Bottom Page Writing: sometimes, I would write towards the bottom of a page and it would not recognize the pencil. Or, I would accidentally hit the iPad Home button. This can be mitigated by being more aware and flipping to the next page.
  • Multi-Tasking: I found if I needed to do heavy computer work and take notes at the same time, I would still need my laptop computer. Although the iPad split screen view is available to see two apps at the same time, the screen is just not big enough to see them both like you would in a two screen set up. So, in those cases I brought both my iPad and laptop to a meeting.
  • Cumbersome for Informal Settings: a smaller notebook might be a better choice when out networking or to record an idea in a random moment.

I would recommend to those who need to take notes, to consider using the iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Notability app for your note taking tasks. I can really see this being helpful for consultants, lawyers, secretaries, business owners, sales representatives or other heavy meeting attendees. It has been a game changer for the way I work.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a real world plan to become paper-light and reap the benefits.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

Top 3 Things I Learned from iManage ConnectLive

iManage ConnectLive 2018

I attended iManage ConnectLive in Brooklyn, NY where iManage showcased its vision and roadmap of features to come. The conference is a great place to meet other users of iManage software, take a deep dive into case studies and best practices, and to directly speak to iManage product managers and developers to ask about your preferred features.

In this video live from iManage ConnectLive I discuss the top 3 things I learned at the conference:

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

InfoCompass Business Solutions

Boutin Jones Recommends InfoCompass

Sacramento law firm Boutin Jones, Inc. hired  InfoCompass Business Solutions to advise on records management policies and procedures, vet records management software solutions and implement iManage Govern Records Manager. Learn why Boutin Jones chose InfoCompass to help them with their records management challenges and why they highly recommend us in their own words!

Contact us today to find out how we can help you solve your records and information management challenges!

iManage Govern Records Manager 10 File Share News

iManage has shared more exciting information about their upcoming iManage Govern Records Manager 10 release. iManage Govern Records Manager (also known as IRM) will now be able to manage electronic records retention on file share content. This is big for Records Managers!

IRM allowed Records Managers to “manage-in-place” electronic documents and records in the iManage Work document management software (DMS). Firms did not need to separately file their declared records into a records management software, but could leave it where it was in the DMS. Firms were advised to move other electronic content into the Work libraries to manage their security, collaboration and retention. This left a gap, because firms were not saving all electronic content into iManage Work. iManage’s expansion of the Policy Service to manage retention on file share content is exciting because it addresses this gap and indicates IRM is no longer confined to managing just iManage Work content. This is the beginning of IRM managing content in the many places firms create documents and records. So, you could say IRM’s “manage-in-place” will now be expanded to mean “manage-in-more-places” to include file shares.

Records Managers will be able to create an IRM File Part that represents a file share location. The File Part will need to specify the UNC path for the location (for example, \\\\servername\\sharename\\directory\\).  Records Managers will be able to destroy the File Part as per the specified Retention Schedule, similar to a Workspace in iManage Work. This allows Records Managers to track retention, perform destruction and have an audit history on file share content actions.

The set up for the file share File Part can be manual, or IRM will be able to leverage the Standards and Templates feature to automate the file share File Part creation. The Template File Part creation does require the file share naming convention to be standardized. I hope to learn more details about this once the software has been released.

iManage is targeting the release of IRM 10 for end of 2017.

Nitza Medina-Garcia, Certified Records Manager, Records and Information Management Consultant

Contact us today! Let us help you create a plan to meet your firm’s needs. To be notified of new blog posts and news, sign up for our email newsletter.

Looking to upgrade your version of IRM? Check out my free webinar to learn what you need to do to prepare: REGISTER FOR WEBINAR HERE

InfoCompass Business Solutions