I'm giving a presentation this week on implementing a paperless law office. I realize that about 25% of the presentation will be the nuts and bolts of putting a paperless technology together. 75% of the presentation is actually going to demonstrate the benefits of PDF, digital dictation and other advantages and efficiencies.
I'm thinking about digital dictation, I have come up the following list of advantages over cassette based dictation:
- The best thing about digital dictation is that you can send it anywhere, either over the network or by email. with a cassette tape, you dictate to a single person (usually your secretary) and routing is typically a walk down the hall and dropping the cassette tape in your secretary inbox. My digital dictation goes where ever it needs to, including staff, virtual employees, clients and experts.
- The second best thing about digital dictation is that you aren't limited by the physical constraints of the cassette tape. Even the mini cassettes have practical limitations. You feel like you have to keep dictating on the cassette in order to fill it up or at least add substantial dictation before routing it to your secretary. With digital dictation, each separate item can be immediately routed to where ever it needs to go. That means that my dictation isn't sitting in a recorder for a day or day and a half while I wait for it to fill up. My dictation goes out immediately, making it timely and goes exactly where it needs to go.
- The third best thing about digital dictation is that it is portable. I use my Phillips 9350 portable/handheld for over 50% of my dictation. I take my handheld with me everywhere. This allows me to dictate from the car, from home and even while sitting on the chair lift while skiing. the moment a thought or to-do item pops in my head, I immediately record it. The next time I am logged onto my laptop, I can then route it where it needs to go by email or over the network.
- The next best thing about digital dictation is that many of the systems are really powerful. My quick scribe digital dictation system can insert markers into the dictation. A maker can be text from a word document or a digital image. If I'm dictating a trial brief, I can grab whole sections of the mediation summary, copy them and then paste them into the marker. My staff then does the same thing in reverse in order to insert it into the document. Even more importantly, I can use digital dictation as a training tool. For instance, as I walk my virtual workers through the system for the first time, I dictate my instructions and then use screen capture to insert images which the employee can then refer to.
- The next thing digital dictation offers is the ability to insert into the middle of dictation. In effect, you are able to edit your dictation. This can come in very handy and offers incredible flexibility.
We all know that lawyers can talk. Many lawyers don't type that well. dictation has always been a key tool for lawyers. digital dictation explodes this capability to levels which many lawyers have never even contemplated.
Imagine being able to instruct your staff with digital dictation. No longer are you stuck waiting for an opportunity to provide information in a face to face meeting at the law firm. No longer are you trying to remember what it is you were going to say to a staff member or client after a long weekend or vacation. No longer do you have to break away from other priorities during your day in order to provide administrative information to your staff.