This special edition of TL NewsWire was originally published on December 15, 2011.
In 2011, we reported on 212 new products in TL NewsWire — far more products than any other legal publisher to my knowledge (TL NewsWire is one of nine TechnoLawyer publications).
For each product we cover, we track the number of clicks. Not for nefarious reasons mind you. We track clicks in the aggregate so that we can see which products you and your fellow subscribers find most and least interesting to help guide our future coverage. We also track clicks so that we can engage in one of publishing's most enduring cliches — the annual top 10 list.
Wait. Did I say top 10? Silly me. At TechnoLawyer, we always give you more for your money (even though TL NewsWire is free). Below you'll find the TL NewsWire Top 15 Products of 2011.
In the year of the iPad, it seems fitting that an iPad app tops the list. TrialPad replaces an ELMO for displaying documents. Lit Software recently released version 2, which contains more advanced trial presentation features. Will TrialPad disrupt incumbents Sanction and TrialDirector? Only time will tell, but Lit Software appears to be the leader among companies developing legal-specific iPad apps.
You have to give Workshare a lot of credit for its insane pace of software development. It's the Adobe Systems of the legal industry. Speaking of which, Workshare PDF Professional takes aim at Adobe's Acrobat with a low price of $79.
As someone who appreciates elegant design and feels there's too little of it in our industry, the imageFORMULA DR-C125 captured my attention because of its space-saving upright design and U-turn paper path. Apparently, many of you agreed by ranking it third.
SmallLaw columnist emeritus Mazy Hedayat (Crazy Mazy) is a tough lawyer to please. So imagine our surprise when he praised Firm Manager, LexisNexis' cloud practice management system. Thanks in part to Firm Manager, 2011 marked the turning point for cloud applications in the legal industry.
Document management remains the most popular topic among TechnoLawyer members, but I didn't realize how many of you have an interest in Microsoft SharePoint until we covered Workshare Point, which transforms SharePoint into a legal-specific document management system. Kudos to Workshare for having two products in the top five.
6. MyCase V2.0
The second cloud practice management system on the list, MyCase uses Facebook-like technologies for interacting with your clients, including billing, communications, and document sharing. Perhaps the more apt comparison is Salesforce.com's Chatter.
Another hot area — project management, especially for law firms charging flat fees or under pressure from clients not to exceed engagement letter estimates. Traditionally, you practically needed the equivalent of a medical residency to use project management software. Smartsheet is a cloud application that attempts to simplify this once obscure (for law firms) discipline.
Too little too late for this troubled American icon? Well, many of you found Kodak's entry into the sheetfed scanner market of interest. Like Canon's scanners, the SCANMATE i920 supports supports TWAIN and ISIS applications.
Easily the biggest surprise on the list. Why? Because it's the only product among the top 15 that we covered in a roundup article as opposed to a feature article (roundup articles appear below the feature article in each issue of TL NewsWire so they're not as prominently, um, featured). Incidentally, I have two of these sleeves — one for my iPad 2 and one for my MacBook Air. It was my search for a sleeve with handles that led to our coverage of this product.
RogueTime ties into your iPhone's Phone app so that you can convert phone calls into time entries (iPhones capture the time of each call). Apps like RogueTime could persuade lawyers to use their iPhone as their only phone.
KnowledgeTree is a cloud document management system. In our coverage, we focused on the new KnowledgeTree ExplorerCP, a desktop application that connects to the mothership.
12. Doxie Go
I think we covered this portable scanner before any other legal publisher. Its cable-free and PC-free design seems liberating. Doxie Go will soon have some competition. We received a pre-release demo this week, but I can't tell you about it yet. Stay tuned to TL NewsWire.
Cloud skeptics at small law firms rejoice — a document management system for 1-20 users that runs on your own damn hardware.
Yes folks, another document management system. And none other than the undisputed champion of cloud document management systems. NetDocuments redesigned its user interface this year.
This Outlook add-on learns your habits so that it can start taking care of tasks for you. It can even make email messages disappear for a specified period of time so that you can fool yourself into thinking you've achieved zero inbox.
You Want More?
So there you go. The top 15. What's that? You want a top 20? Okay, okay. I won't write about them, but numbers 16-20 were (drumroll please):
18. Pathagoras 2011
19. Credenza Pro
How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.