Whew! ABA TECHSHOW is in the record books for another year. I enjoyed the Keynote and EXPO – always good to see product demonstrations and meet new vendors. And the weather was a welcome break for those of us who have yet to experience spring. As always, there is much to enjoy in Chicago by way of art, architecture, and museums. All In all, it was a perfect Silver Jubilee.
If you were following along, I live-tweeted these sessions:
Just click the links above to access my “Live Tweet Review” from each of these presentations – sans the hash tags, Twitter feed clutter, and occasional typo.
Hey – I sent well over 100 tweets using my iPhone with 3GS, not bad for a butterfingers – and you got to stalk (I mean follow) my whereabouts on Foursquare.
But what I really want to do now is share my favorite tips from 60 x 2, otherwise known as “60 Sites in 60 Minutes” and “60 Tips in 60 Minutes.” So without further ado:
All Things iPad
Take notes on your iPad
using a handwriting app. Try PenUltimate
($1.99) – choose from three different pens, writes in color, uses photorealistic paper, saves notes to PDF.
Want to view, edit, and sign PDFs on your iPad
? Try the ultra-cool SignMyPad
for $3.99. Visiting a client outside the office? Capture signatures on fee agreements with SignMyPad
, and then e-mail the signed contract to yourself and the client.
Just bought the new iPad2
and still learning how to use it? Subscribe by e-mail or RSS to Josh Barrett’s Tablet Legal blog
and learn all there is to know. (Another favorite of mine: iPhone J.D.)
Automate Certified Mailings
Can the Spam
- Everybody hates spam (junk e-mail that is, not the food). One way to nip it in the bud is to use a free, disposable e-mail address. Give it to vendors or use it for sites that require an e-mail registration when you don’t wish to provide your “real” e-mail address. Spamgourmet was recommended at TECHSHOW. Alternatively, if you want to keep your “real” e-mail address, but mask it from spammers try scr.im. This free tool keeps your e-mail address invisible and stops spam bots dead in their tracks.
- Looking for a way to better collaborate with in-house counsel? It’s Legal OnRamp to the rescue.
- Start using Web conferencing services like GoToMeeting (or my favorite: WebEx which supports audio over VoIP, toll, or toll-free numbers, video conferencing, desktop sharing, recording and collaboration over a secure connection.) For what purpose you ask? There are many, but one suggested at TECHSHOW – use Web conferencing to meet with your experts before they put pen to paper and write reports.
Download Online Videos
- Download online videos to store locally on your computer with Zamzar or KeepVid. (Without these services, you can’t pull content down from You Tube.)
- Want fax capability without the hassle and expense of maintaining a separate machine? Use an eFax service like EasyLink or Fax2Mail. Send and receive faxes as PDFs, view faxes as e-mail attachments, accessible anywhere, keep your personal fax number if desired. (My suggestion: Compare eFax services here.)
File Sharing and Sending
- Dropbox was all over TECHSHOW. It was mentioned at almost every session I attended. If you’ve been living in an undisclosed location recently and don’t know what all the hub-bub is, here’s the scoop: Dropbox is a simple, easy, FAST way to store, sync, and share files online. Initial storage of 2GB is free. Get more by referring others or buy storage to suit your needs. I’m a huge fan. I have Dropbox on three desktops, my iPhone, and my husband’s iPad. In fact, I just used it to transfer and share my TECHSHOW photos taken with my iPhone. A great way to collaborate, work on documents remotely or share documents with clients and others. Want another file sharing option? Try Ge.tt or SkyDrive.
- If you don’t want to use Dropbox and wish to send a large file directly to a client, then you’ll need a file sharing service. Consider the tried-and-true YouSendIt. (I recommend you also take a look at the newer kid on the block: SendNow from Adobe.)
- Use FileGenius to offer clients file transfer capability on your Web site without setting up an Extranet. Sign up for the service, set up a link on your Web site, then send the link to your clients. All they have to do is click and enter a username and password. Once clients are on your site, they can view and transfer documents. Starts at $159/month for 20GB of file space. Free trial available.
Keeping Up with Technology
- Staying on top of the latest gadgetry is challenging to say the least. Engadget can help with news, galleries, videos, podcasts, reviews, and more. (My opinion: I prefer Techlicious. The founder’s motto is “tech made simple” and it’s true. I like my gadget sites to be accessible, understandable, and topical – Techlicious delivers.)
- Makeuseof is a little bit of everything: cool Web sites, cool apps, how-to articles, tips, tricks, and downloadable guides. Registration is free.
- ABA members can get expert tech training in small doses with ABA TechEZ Training Tuesdays. Just one of the many benefits of being an ABA member. Check it out!
Legal Research, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Articles and More
Marketing and Web Sites
- Ever wish there was You Tube for the legal profession? There is. It’s called Legal Tube.
- Analyze your Web site at no charge with Webmastercoffee and fix what doesn’t work.
Miscellaneous Good Stuff
Online Annotation and Bookmarking
- Are you an Outlook user? Do you ever wish you could streamline saving attachments to your hard drive? Try EZDetach from Techhit. This Outlook addin allows you to save attachments from one or more messages (or folders) with a single mouse click. $39.95 with 30 day risk-free trial. While you’re at the Techhit site, be sure to take a look at their entire suite of Outlook utilities. I couldn’t live without SimplyFile, the intelligent filing assistant. And unlike other Outlook addins, I haven’t experienced major program conflicts requiring me to abandon or uninstall the product.
- Wish you could bypass the Recycle Bin and permanently delete Outlook e-mail? Use <Shift> <Delete.>
Presentations: Beyond PowerPoint
- Need to create a presentation? No one wants to “read” your slides. Ditch the text and get creative with tips and video blog posts from Presentation Zen.
- Maybe you’ve got the “Zen” of it down, but you’re looking for a cloud-based presentation tool? If so, try 280 Slides or Prezi.
- Social networking eating up too much of your time? Turn it off for a while with Anti-Social (Mac users only) or Freedom (supports Windows and Mac.)
- What are they saying about you in the cloud? What did you post? Find out using social search engine greplin. (Register for free, premium accounts available.)
Summarize and Examine Text
- Condense, examine, combine, and summarize text quickly with Topicmarks. Sort of a “crib notes” for readers. Receive your summary by e-mail. Easily set parameters to control summary length. Accounts are free.
- Tired of Expedia or Orbitz? Get hip with Hipmunk. Rated as “fantastic and surprisingly usable” by Lifehacker. Hipmunk has a helpful blog with travel tips, news, and insights as well as a “Pedestrian’s Guide to the USA.” If you’re an iPhone user, check out the app.
- If you are a frequent traveler, then you also may want to know about MedjetAssist – medical evacuation from (almost) anywhere in the world. Recommended this year and previously at TECHSHOW, it can literally be a lifesaver.
Voice to E-Mail and Call Recording
- Help! Windows 7 no longer shows me the full path of the current folder and file in the address bar! No worries, the solution is just a mouse click away! Right click any part of the address bar and choose Edit Address. Copy and paste the path as desired.
- Still trying to wrap your head around the many features of Windows 7? PC World offers Windows 7: A Complete Survival Guide.
If you haven’t been to the ABA TECHSHOW before, I hope you come sometime. Save the date for next year: March 29-31, 2012. Register early and take advantage of the Professional Liability Fund program promoter code to save money. (Details will be posted on the News page of our Web site at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012.) Meanwhile, enjoy this glimpse of Chicago. Hope to see you there in 2012!
Copyright 2011 Beverly Michaelis