Professional is one software product that could revolutionize the way
you work if you spend a lot of time searching your computer or network
for information you know you have but can’t seem to find. AskSam is a
free-form database that makes virtually anything on your computer
searchable. You can capture information you acquire via e-mail and other
documents including attachments, Web pages, spreadsheets, newspaper or
magazine clippings, and research documents. You quickly can make
databases of telephone call notes, to-do lists and software inventories.
Searches in askSam can be as simple as
entering a couple of words, or as complex as any database. Supported
searches include full-text, wildcard, Boolean, proximity, numbers,
dates, fuzzy, multiple database as well as case-sensitive. AskSam has
the unique ability to add notes, comments and keywords to your
information sources, which lends functionality to searches.
Included with askSam 6.0 are 42
database templates for collecting common types of data, which easily can
be modified and adapted to fit your needs. Predefined templates
particularly useful for the legal professional include: case
information, citation, clippings, document archive, e-mail, fax and
memo, Internet, meeting minutes, phone directory, research and Web
The case information template is a
great way to share vital information about legal case files. Information
can be shared and edited by all users with the network version.
Likewise, the citation template allows you to corral all of your legal
research. The ability to permanently save Web pages also is a great tool
The “Report Manager” creates beautiful
predefined and custom-designable reports that can be sorted
alphabetically, numerically or by date, and include totals and
subtotals, as well as headers and footers. AskSam 6.0 Professional also
allows full-text indexing, word lists (which display every word in an
indexed file), and ActiveX control to create customized askSam
Because askSam is such a powerful
program, there is quite a learning curve. While basically a
user-friendly program, some features take a while to grasp.
Unfortunately, from a practical standpoint, it might be hard to persuade
the attorneys you work with to invest the time necessary to fully master
askSam. Animated Quick Tours available online at
www.asksam.com/quicktours.asp, provide information to get started,
but there are no online tutorials available for Version 6.0, and the
user’s guide is hard to comprehend and follow.
Overall, I find askSam to be a
revolutionary and indispensable knowledge management tool. It has
limitless possibilities for corralling information. I am hooked.
Network Version 6.0
(800) 800-1997 •
$395 ($149 for askSam Standard Version) •
Pros: A unique, powerful and
flexible free-form database for knowledge management with limitless
applications for the legal professional.
The user’s guide is difficult
to comprehend, and because it’s such a powerful and flexible program,
the learning curve is a bit steep.
I highly recommend askSam 6.0
Professional for paralegals because of its broad knowledge management