Q: I’m used to my old technology. It’s working—why should I upgrade?
A: Upgrading is a pain, plus it takes time and money. So why upgrade?
- You and your clients will be safer.
- You actually have a professional duty to be reasonably up-to-date.
- Your work will be done faster, and that translates directly into more free time and profits.
You wouldn’t use a bike lock with a barrel-shaped key these days, would you? (In case you didn’t know, you can open an old Kryptonite U-lock with a Bic pen shell.)
For the same reason, you need to replace Microsoft Windows 7 on computers and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 on servers. They are out of support and vulnerable to exploits when connected to the Internet.
Upgrading your productivity software, operating systems, and security tech seriously improves your safety. If you’ve been attacked by a virus, ransomware, or a data thief, you’re aware of its importance. If not, you really don’t want to learn the hard way.
Add to that your ethical duty as an attorney.
Rule 1.6 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Confidentiality of Information), requires that:
A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.
And according to Rule 1.1, Comment 8 (Maintaining Competence):
[A] lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology. . . .
Even moderately out-of-date technology can cost you time and money. The new stuff just works faster.
You may say, “But I bill by the hour. I don’t need to work faster.” There are three problems with that thinking:
- Part of your work is non-billable. Much of that is uninteresting. Some is even mind-deadening. The more of that work that your technology does for you, the more time and energy you have for billable work or time away from work.
- If you are able to make more clients happy faster, you’ll attract more referrals. Plus, if you work slowly, your competition will be able to charge less than you do and will reach more new clients faster than you do.
- Much of the time savings of new tech comes from reducing or eliminating boring, tedious, repetitive work that you are doing now. With old systems, time-wasting tasks are spread throughout your day. By upgrading or replacing, you reduce the mental cost and emotional drain of those demotivating tasks.
So, make some time in your schedule to bolster your defenses and sharpen your tools. One more thing: Technology costs are tax-deductible, so everything is on sale!
Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor, SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120, and Active Practice LLC, 952/922-1727.
Q: I am creating a chart in Excel 2016 to show attendance at a conference, but I want to add a label to the chart to show the number of attendees per year, not just the graph column. How do I do that?
A: For Excel 2013 or 2016, do the following:
1. Go to your chart and click on it to make sure it is active: