If you spend a considerable amount of your working life drafting documents, as most lawyers do, the idea of “upgrading” your productivity software can be frightening. With briefs and pleadings to write and deadlines looming, who has the time to learn a whole new interface for Microsoft Word?
But as much we might want to keep our old, comfortable software indefinitely, there are good reasons to go through with an upgrade. Older software may reach an “end of support” status with the vendor, meaning that the vendor no longer provides security updates or provides technical support only at a significant fee. Older software may also lack features rendered necessary by changes in technology, like dependable metadata management. And sometimes, using old software can simply put you at a competitive disadvantage as other businesses use the latest-and-greatest features to give themselves an edge.
So how do you make the transition to an updated version of your productivity suite a bit easier? Knowledge is your best weapon. Knowing what changes are in store and how you may need to adjust your practices will allow you to hit the ground running when that new software is installed
To prepare for the next version of Microsoft Office, you’d do well to review Ars Technica’s excellent preview. The multi-part series includes an overview of the entire suite, and detailed previews of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote: