Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Joys of a Home Office

Da Bear.
Therapist, Centurion,
Expert Witness on the issue of napping,
Counter Surfer
First off, I am a firm believer in the traditional brick and mortar law office. For me it is important to have a place dedicated to work and my law practice. I can control the environment. I make it louder or quieter. It is secure, and private. It gets me closer to my co-workers. Also, I firmly believe family law clients expect an office (rather than a coffee shop or a public library). I believe a physical office is an important component of a lawyer's credibility and reputation. Other lawyers will argue contra, but for me a professional office is a must.

That having been side, I also have a wonderful home office that I use a lot. Being able to get away from my traditional office can be a real refresher. There is also a sense of comfort and satisfaction in being able to work from home in sweats and a t-shirt -- while still being able to be productive. Having the dogs running around can also be very therapeutic.




So, how do I make it work?

Below is a picture of my home office. I think it is pretty nice.



Big secret: I am writing this post from that very desk.  Could have just as easily been my law office desk. Who could have known?

What's really nice about my home office?
  • That wall of bookshelves in the back is what makes it. Plenty of storage to keep the space clutter-free. Also pleasing on the eye.
  • I have a Google Home device on the shelves to the right (a thank you gift for serving as President of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) so I can listen to music, check the weather, check traffic, etc.).
    • Jazz makes life so much better!
  • The windows let in light and fresh air.
    • Take a deep breatttthhhhhh....

What's functional about my home office?
  • The desk provides a large work surface.
    • I love the wood. My wife hates it because I bought it a Cost Plus.
  • There is a full-size, all-in-one, wireless printer/scanner/copier on the shelves to the left.
    • Can't tell you how many times I have had to print something before leaving for court.
      • Make sure you have plenty of extra paper and toner. That stuff tends to run out at the worst times.
  • I have a Mac (with its Giant screen) installed on an Ergotron adjustable platform. With it I can have a stand-up computer when I want it, or I can drop it down to desk level.
  • Google Wi-Fi allows for connectivity of everything
    • So nice not having a web of tangled wires laying around


Then there is the technology that really brings it all together.
  • Telephone.
    • At my brick and mortar office we have a VOIP telephone system from 8x8. 8x8 also has a virtual office app for smartphones, and virtual office software you can install on your c computer. I have it installed on my iPhone, my Mac, my Mac Book Pro. With the app I can forward office calls to my iPhone and computers. I can retrieve office voice mails from my other devices. The iPhone connects to the wi-fi network so that spotty cell coverage is a non-issue when making and receiving calls. No one on the other end of a phone call could ever guess I was not in the office.
      • Our 8x8 service also includes faxing, although faxes have pretty much gone the way of the Do-Do bird.
  • Mac Book Pro. Goes with me everywhere. Sitting on the desk at home it gives me a valuable second computer and monitor. Also gives me a change of scenery if I want to move away from the Mac.
    • Actually typing this blog post on it.
  • If I want a third computer or a third monitor, out comes the iPad Pro with keyboard.
  • Legal pad. Yep, there it is on the desk next to my laptop. 
    • Still gotta be able to jot things down...
  • The Cloud. Our law firm is almost entirely Cloud based. As such, I can work anywhere I have internet. Our Cloud system includes:
    • Office 365 for so, so, so much:
      • Multiple-platforms means full functionality on desktop computers, laptop computers, iPads, iPhones . . . . Anywhere, and on any device I've got:
        • Word
        • Excel
        • Outlook
          • A huge advantage being able to send, retrieve, and index emails from anywhere
        • Sharepoint. An online repository for all client files.
          • Like taking the office file cabinets with me wherever I go. Again, a huge advantage.
    • Rocket Matter
      • Simply the best practice management system out there! On every device I have all my contacts, cases, calendars, billing, documents and records. The list goes on and on....
    • Skype for direct, real-time communication with office colleagues. 
      • It's the modern intercom with video.
      • And, it is included with our Office 365 subscription.
    • LogMeIn. Occasionally I will need to get on my desktop PC at my law office. LogMeIn let's that happen.
Virtual lawyering, home lawyering, remote lawyering, satellite lawyering, smart lawyering . . .  Call it what you want, a home office can be a real treat! With a couple of exceptions, it can be a duplicate of your regular office, Mine is pretty fancy. It can just as easily be a folding chair and table and a laptop in the corner of an apartment (or even less). Change is good. A home office is a great change of pace for me.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Friday, July 28, 2017

And The Best New Laptop Is?

PC Magazine has release its list of best laptop computers for 2017. And the winner is?

At an average street price of $265, the Acer Chromebook 14!

Here's what PCMag has to say about Chromebooks in general:

These power-efficient systems are made primarily to surf the Internet using Chrome OS. Small in stature, tall in power, narrow of purpose, and wide of vision, Chrome OS is essentially the Google Chrome browser running on hardware specs that would be considered "tight" for a Windows PC. System memory is typically a lean 2-4GB, and local storage is commonly limited to 16GB of flash memory (though you will see systems with 32-64GB). But that's certainly enough to get on to the Internet, where cloud services like Google Drive store your files.
A primary benefit of Chrome OS is that it is relatively immune to the malware plaguing Windows systems, because you're not running Windows programs at all. Chrome OS updates also take seconds, rather than the minutes and hours you'll wait on macOS and Windows. If you spend more than 90 percent of your computer time in a Web browser, you should have no trouble using a chromebook as your primary PC.

As for the Acer:

The Acer Chromebook 14$264.99 at Amazon has an expansive 14-inch screen that's easier on the eyes and likely to serve a wider audience. Add to this sturdy all-metal construction, almost 12 hours of battery life, a full HD screen, and above all that competitive price, and you have our top recommendation for chromebooks.
Acer photo


If you are looking for a more robust machine, PCMag says the HP Spectre x360 13, with a street price of $1200, is the one to choose.

The original HP Spectre x360 was a hit when it debuted back in 2015, and we liked the 2016 model even more. It's back again this year, keeping much of what we love, but adding a refined design and a super sharp 4K touch screen. In addition to the UHD display, the latest HP Spectre x360 13 (starts at $1,199; $1,599 as tested) packs USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, plenty of fast SSD storage, and a chic new color scheme. Given the upgrades to what was already our top choice for high-end convertible laptops, the 2017 model is an easy Editors' Choice pick.
HP photo

I just got me the new Mac Book Pro, which I love. It is also a PCMag Editor's Choice. But of course, it also the highest price laptop on the list.

MacBook Pro CNET photo


Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

USB Connections

It is amazing how much stuff I have plugged in to my computer. There is my internet phone. My webcam. Speakers. Multiple monitors. Wi-fi. A ...