#MILOfest Rewires the Brain

Each year, when I return from MILOfest, the annual Macs in Law Offices conference, I come home with new apps, features to try out, and ideas for business growth and client satisfaction. It makes me feel like my brain has been rewired! Held every November in Orlando, MILOfest is a three day conference for Mac based law firms, recent switchers, and those wondering if going Mac will work for their legal practice.

While the majority of the presentations cover hardware, software and cloud solutions, topics also include marketing, keeping client’s happy, and even neurobiology and philosophy. It’s like a TED for Mac lawyers! Unlike other legal conferences, MILOfest feels cozy and intimate. Each morning starts with an attendee breakfast providing an opportunity to mingle and ask questions in an informal setting. Presentations have a lot more audience participation than a typical conference with frequent questions and comments. Between sessions, there are breaks to network, try out tips, or just listen to lively discussions on the best iPad stylus.

Even the sponsors tables are different. If you want to try out Clio, RocketMatter, Daylite, DocMoto, or DeskSpace, you can get a developer or even the head of the company, to walk you through the programs and answer questions. You may also get a preview of upcoming features. This year, Larry Port walked attendees through the new but unreleased email integration in RockerMatter.

There were a number of outstanding presentations in 2012. If I leave some out, it is only because there were so many amazing talks to choose from. Brett Burney presented on TextExpander, an app that lets you add signatures, paragraphs, even entire letters with only a few keystrokes. Brett’s presentation covered creating your first snippet, to advanced techniques such as creating forms and optional paragraphs. With Brett’s and MILOfest organizer, Victor Medina’s kind permission, I have a video of Brett’s presentation here: http://planet10tech.com/blog-2/blog-2/2012/11/textexpander-from-noob-to-ninja/.

Brett also provided Keynote tips. Did you know you can tear off an inspector pane by Alt + clicking it. If you are frequently switching between the transitions and the build in/out inspector windows, being able to keep both open at the same time is a godsend. Another tip is using Alt-Cmd-P to start a keynote on the selected slide (instead of the beginning); a great tip for testing presentations!

Larry Port, of RocketMatter, the guru of MILOfest, presented another consciousness expanding presentation on hacking your mind. Larry demonstrated how we are manipulated against our will, the impact of stress, ego depletion, and techniques to achieve greater happiness. Mark Merenda imparted marketing wisdom including how to price and present a premium service, dealing with requests to discount fees, and addressing questions about the adequacy of form mills.

Mark Metzger covered the benefits of using Alfred and Lauchbar over Spotlight for quickly finding documents, launching apps and performing common tasks. Amin Rahmani presented on how to handle negative online reviews and forum posts from unhappy clients. And Clio’s own Jack Newton provided lessons from Apple’s Genius Bar on keeping client’s happy.

Every year there seems to be a break-out application or tool. This year, there were two. Popclip lets you quickly copy and paste text using your mouse. Popclip also allows you to quickly search, format text, convert markdown to HTML, or send text to Evernote, Notational Velocity, Omnifocus and other programs.

ZoomIt was everywhere at MILOfest. Many presenters were using it to create a magnified loupe for call outs. While OSX gives you similar function, Apple forces you to choose between full screen and picture-in-picture zooming. With ZoomIt, you keep the full screen zoom in OSX and have a special call out loupe when you need it.

From new tools and app tips, to productivity and marketing suggestions, I feel I get more than my money’s worth each year.  For more information, visit MILOfest.com.

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