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Legal Writing References; Review of Amicus Cloud; CiteAdvisor Tip; Suddenly Seeking New Legal Software

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, November 3, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Edward Zohn, The Best References On Legal Writing Best Practices

Ben Ballard, Review Of Amicus Cloud By A Former Credenza User

Neal Frishberg, Tip: CiteAdvisor For Creating Tables Of Authorities In Word

Caren Schwartz, Suddenly Seeking New Document Assembly And Practice Management Software

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

The Best Bluetooth Keyboard Plus 51 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 52 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Kimber Streams of The Wirecutter on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The Best Bluetooth Keyboard

Credenza Is Shutting Down

10 Reasons You Should Use Practice Management Software

The Lawyer's Guide to a Well-Appointed iPad

Samsung Kills the Galaxy Note 7 for Good

Florida Becomes First State to Mandate Tech CLE

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: BlawgWorld Newsletter | CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Computer Accessories | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

How to Use Twitter as an Information Resource Plus How to Respond to an RFP

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, October 7, 2016

Coming today to SmallLaw: Dozens of articles exist on how to use Twitter for law firm marketing, but none exist on how to use Twitter as an information resource — until today. Imagine all your favorite newspapers and news magazines except only the stuff you care about. That's Twitter, which is to general news what TechnoLawyer is to legal technology. In this issue of SmallLaw, TechnoLawyer publisher and Twitter enthusiast Neil Squillante offers step-by-step instructions on how to effectively (and safely) use Twitter to stay on top of information important to you. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for a tip on when you should respond to an RFP.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | SmallLaw

The Evils of the Comma Splice; CRM v. Practice Management; Acrobat Pro v. Power PDF for PDF-Word Conversions

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, February 26, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

John Hightower, The Evils of the Comma Splice

Donald Coker, The Difference Between CRM and Practice Management

Pam Rolph, Review: Acrobat Pro v. Power PDF for PDF-Word Conversions

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

60 iOS Apps in 60 Minutes Plus 74 More Must-Reads (Double Issue)

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 75 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week.

Comparison of Practice Management Apps

What Lawyers Need to Know About Acrobat DC

iPhone JD Reviews Apple Watch

Why Women Lawyers Will Love Apple Watch

Tips from ABA TECHSHOW

Congratulations to Jeff Richardson of iPhone J.D. on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: 60 iOS Apps in 60 Minutes (2015 Edition)

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession (e.g., monitors, smartphones, scanners, the iPad, and more). But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Please subscribe now.

Topics: BlawgWorld Newsletter | CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars

Overcast: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, July 18, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an app for managing and listening to podcasts on the iPhone with playback technologies that shorten their duration (see article below), an iPhone app for contemporaneous time-tracking, an iPhone app for analyzing your website, and an Android, iOS, and Windows Phone app for referencing information published by Microsoft about its products. Don't miss the next issue.

LISTEN FASTER WITHOUT MISSING ANYTHING

Here you are now in the 20th year of the post-Cobain era. Do you really want to hear Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for the thousandth time? Or a radio advertisement for a lawyer? Leave your overplayed playlists and radio stations behind for podcasts, which are free, contain few to no advertisements, and include both big media programming such as Bloomberg Law as well as notable indie phenoms such as Legal Talk Network. All you need is a podcast app.

Overcast … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Overcast is an iPhone app for finding, subscribing to, managing, and listening to podcasts.

The Killer Feature

Many podcast apps exist (including one by Apple called Podcasts), all of which enable you to play episodes at a faster speed to save time. This seems like a good idea, but in practice probably only works well for John Moschitta.

Taking a different approach, Overcast features a technology called Smart Speed, which eliminates silent gaps in podcasts. Also, you can ratchet up the speed in very small increments such as 1.1x to prevent podcasts from sounding like, well, John Moschitta. Overcast tracks and displays the time you save versus listening in realtime.

Other Notable Features

Overcast has a built-in podcasts directory that should eventually mirror iTunes given its high profile creator Marco Arment of Tumblr, Instapaper, and Accidental Tech Podcast fame. The app also provides editorial picks in various categories to help get you started. If you can't find a podcast, you can manually enter its RSS feed. Overcast can also import podcasts from other apps.

Once you subscribe to a podcast, you can choose how many unplayed episodes to keep, whether to receive notifications of new episodes, and whether to use Smart Speed (see above) and/or Voice Boost. The latter equalizes volume across podcasts.

The playback screen has play, skip back, and skip forward buttons (you can adjust the time interval for each in the app's system-wide settings), and also provides access to show notes with a swipe gesture on the podcast's cover art.

Overcast enables you to create customized playlists to organize the podcasts to which you subscribe. Various settings exist such as whether to play newest to oldest or vice versa.

What Else Should You Know?

Overcast offers a sync service that will become more useful when the iPad version ships. The app doesn't support video podcasts. Overcast is free but the marquee features such as Smart Speed, Voice Boost and the ability to download episodes using cellular data sell as a $4.99 in-app purchase bundle. Learn more about Overcast.

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.

Topics: CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL NewsWire

An Invaluable Local Area Network Plus Lawyer Entrepreneurs

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw Many small law firms have an IT Department of one. And sometimes it's not even that person's full-time job. Fellow TechnoLawyer members can help. Trade shows can help. LinkedIn Groups can help (maybe). But sometimes there's no substitute for a local area network — not the kind with wires, but rather fellow Legal IT Managers. In this issue of SmallLaw, law firm CIO Matt Berg explains the inner workings of the Boston DIT List — including its Fight Club-like rules — so that you can create your own group in your neck of the woods. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn about nonverbal persuasion on your website.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

Top 10 Ways to Use an iPad in Law Practice; Reviews of PhraseExpress, Dragon 12.5, Avvo, LegalWebPro

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, April 24, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Wesley Y. S. Chang, The Top 10 Ways I Use My IPad In Law Practice

John Drisdale, Review: PhraseExpress

Christian Onsager, Review: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5 Plus Headset Advice

Ben Ballard, Review: Avvo And LegalWebPro For Law Firm Website Creation

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Computer Accessories | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Legal Research | TL Answers | Utilities

Thomson Reuters Solutions: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, April 11, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers four suites of popular legal software and services accessible from a single login (see article below), a word processor with an iPad counterpart, a cloud legal billing application, and a utility for the iPhone's Mail app. Don't miss the next issue.

INTEGRATED LEGAL TOOLS FOR INTEGRATED LAW FIRMS

Integration gave rise to today's multinational law firms. Lawyers with complementary legal and other skills teamed up beginning about a century ago and continue to team up practically every day. Each of these firms consists of a multidisciplinary group of lawyers under one global roof. If you're going to integrate lawyers on this scale, you should also integrate the tools of their trade.

Thomson Reuters Solutions … in One Sentence

Launched last month, Thomson Reuters Solutions consists of four integrated suites of software and services designed to expedite legal workflows in midsize and large law firms.

The Killer Feature

Thomson Reuters Solutions' four product suites consist of Current Awareness Solutions (services for staying on top of your practice areas, Corporate Practice Solutions (information and software for creating deal documents), Investigative Solutions (public records research), and Litigation Solutions (information and software for the entire litigation cycle). You can access one or more suites with a single login.

"The market has been demanding more product integration," Thomson Reuters Vice President of Large Law Firms Brian D. Knudsen J.D. told us. With Thomson Reuters Solutions we're providing a more holistic approach to streamlining legal workflows."

Other Notable Features

Current Awareness Solutions' Practitioner Insights "turns your inbox into a sophisticated, up-to-the minute news resource" according to Knudsen. Once you fine-tune your selections, your entire practice group and even your clients can receive these customized email newsletters with your firm's branding. Other services in this suite include several tracking tools on WestlawNext to remain apprised of active litigation and newly filed lawsuits.

Corporate Practice Solutions includes Practical Law's checklists, forms, and model documents. You'll also find "one of the largest collections of private placement offering memoranda" in addition to public deal documents and other SEC filings. The proofreading software included in Corporate Practice Solutions helps you find and correct inconsistent use of abbreviations and other common errors in your documents.

PeopleMap on WestlawNext resides at the heart of Investigative Solutions. As reported in TL NewsWire earlier this year, this public records service now includes advanced search templates you can save, Google Maps integration, relevancy ranking, filtering tools, and a graphical display of records to help identify non-obvious connections. Investigative Solutions also provides access to Company Investigator for researching organizations.

Finally, Litigation Solutions puts WestlawNext's collection of briefs, motions, pleadings, and supporting memoranda at your fingertips. It also includes Case Notebook for creating case chronologies, and software that works within your word processor for creating tables of authorities, formatting citations, and more.

What Else Should You Know?

Pricing depends on factors such as firm size, number of users, etc. Learn more about Thomson Reuters Solutions.

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.

Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

If I Show You My iPad Home Screen (And Apps) Will You Show Me Yours? Plus Recruiting Tip

By Neil J. Squillante | Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Originally published on August 20, 2013 in our free SmallLaw newsletter. Instead of reading SmallLaw here after the fact, sign up now to receive future issues in realtime.

What's on your iPad home screen? How about your iPhone? In this issue of SmallLaw, TechnoLawyer publisher Neil Squillante discusses the 28 apps on his iPad mini's home screen (plus a few on his second screen). Neil uses his iPad mini primarily for work plus he's an information architecture expert. Therefore, you'll not only learn about useful apps (including one that launched last week), but also benefit from Neil's insight into how to organize your apps for maximum efficiency. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week (newsletter only) for advice on how to recruit a winner.

IF I SHOW YOU MY IPAD HOME SCREEN (AND APPS) WILL YOU SHOW ME YOURS?

Lawyer and productivity guru David Sparks regularly publishes a column in his MacSparky publication called Home Screens in which he interviews people about the apps on that screen.

MacSparky is not a legal publication so David rarely interviews lawyers. He also focuses on the iPhone rather than the iPad. I thought I'd use this issue of SmallLaw to pay homage to David's clever column by discussing my iPad's home screen — both the apps I use and my organizational methodology (I have two 32 GB Verizon iPad minis, both of which I've set up identically). After reading this article, I encourage you to reply and discuss the apps on your home screen and how you organize them. Your article will have just as large an audience as this one.

The Dock

Many iPad users place the apps they use most often in the dock. That's certainly the case for me. From left to right, my dock contains:

1. Safari: No surprise here. I also use Safari on my iPhone and Macs with all my bookmarks synced via iCloud. I'm a huge fan of Safari's Reader function, which removes all the cruft from web pages and also makes virtually any web page mobile-friendly. If you've never used Reader, you'll find it a revelation.

2. Mail: My favorite email client, Mail makes managing my email accounts a breeze. I don't use Mail's VIP feature because the number of accounts I have and the filters I've set up at the server level ensure that only relevant email arrives in my inboxes. For example, we have a dedicated, shared email account for press releases from legal vendors.

3. Editorial: Here we enter the realm of third-party apps. Launched last week, Editorial just displaced WriteRoom as my text editor (I'm writing this article in Editorial). I've used Editorial for just a short time, but it's so powerful that WriteRoom may not earn back this prime real estate. I don't use a text editor only for editing and writing articles, but also for composing important and/or long email messages. This eliminates the risk of prematurely sending a sensitive email message by mistake. Like most iPad text editors, Editorial can send what you've written to the Mail app.

4. Adobe Reader: I use this app to access documents needed to create sales proposals. I used to store other PDF documents in this app too but I've since moved them elsewhere as I'll explain below.

5. Soulver: I wrote extensively about this cross between a calculator and a spreadsheet in our TL Research Guide to the iPad Mini as a Productivity Tool. I use it to add up and keep records of the checks we deposit, crunch numbers for sales proposals, and more. The developers will soon release a new version with iCloud support, which will enable me to access all of my Soulver documents on both of my iPad minis and my iPhone.

6. NewsBlur: I switched to NewsBlur for my RSS reader after the demise of Google Reader. What's an RSS reader? It's an application that enables journalists and information junkies to monitor dozens or even hundreds of web sites.

The Top Row (Portrait Orientation)

To avoid confusing you, I'll discuss the rest of my apps row by row, but I organize apps by both column and row. Apps in the left-most and right-most columns are easier to tap than apps in the interior columns so I place more important apps in the outer positions.

1. Calendar: I've tried some third-party calendar apps, but I like Apple's the best. I just wish it offered the same alert sounds that exist on the Mac for consistency.

2. Writing Folder: Yes, I use app folders and here we have our first, which contains four apps associated with writing — Notes, iA Writer, Merriam Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus, Pages, and WriteRoom. Notes syncs via iCloud and also exists on the iPhone so I use it for notes I need when I don't have my iPad with me. I use Pages for more structured documents than a text editor can handle. The two text editors in this folder serve as as backups in case a bad update temporarily makes my primary text editor unusable.

3. Productivity Folder: This folder contains apps that for me have just one function — FileMaker Pro (a homemade database with important information), GoodReader (it can access our file server), Google Drive (we're Google Apps customers so maybe this app will come in handy someday), Salesforce (our sales leads), Chrome (backup web browser), and Documents (moving documents from my computer to my iPad via WiFi).

4. Tools Folder: These lightweight apps don't need much explanation — The Weather Channel, Dark Sky, Calculator Pro, Hightail, Maps, Google Maps, Alarm Clock HD Pro, Clock, Speed Test, and Airport Utility.

The Second Row

1. Podcasts: I have a love/hate relationship with podcasts. They cover niche topics of interest to me, but the hosts remind me of Wayne and Garth. Leaving aside the interesting content delivered unprofessionally, the app itself is a gem. iCloud syncing enables you to start listening on your iPhone and pick up where you stopped on your iPad.

2. Yelp: A must for restaurants if you live in a large city. I don't trust the anonymous reviews, but I use the app on the iPad to bookmark my favorite restaurants and those I want to try. On my iPhone, I can sort my bookmarked restaurants by proximity.

3. App Store: The source of all apps so I've got to have it front and center.

4. Reminders: Although it's not perfect, Reminders helps me manage my tasks better than anything else I've tried thanks to its simplicity (no user guide required) and iCloud syncing. I use it for my three categories of tasks — long-term projects that could take weeks, months, or years, short-term projects such as a sales proposal, and alarms for ephemeral tasks that I dictate via Siri (e.g., remind me to buy a hard drive tonight at 9:00 pm).

The Third Row

1. NoteSuite: Shortly after reporting on NoteSuite in TL NewsWire, I began using it to store PDF documents I need to reference, annotate PDF documents, and take handwritten and typed notes. This app replaced Remarks for note-taking and saved me from buying an Acrobat.com subscription thanks to its iCloud syncing. I have the Mac version too. There's no iPhone version yet, but if that ever surfaces I will no longer need to use Apple's Notes for notes I need when I only have my iPhone with me. NoteSuite has some quirks, but it's an impressive 1.0 release.

2. Music: Back in 2010, I poked fun at my neighbor behind his back because he listened to music on his first-generation iPad. Well, I don't walk around Manhattan listening to music on my iPad mini (nor do I take photos with it), but I use the Music app with headphones at home often enough that I moved it to my home screen.

3. Settings: I dig into this app every day to connect to my Beats Pill, turn on/off my cellular data, make sure a new magazine subscription doesn't auto-renew, etc.

4. Remote: I use this app at home to play music from my Mac through my Apple TV.

The Fourth Row and Page 2

1. Messages: This is a killer app. Because everyone in our company and most people with whom I frequently communicate use an iPhone, their text messages go not only to my iPhone but also to both of my iPad minis. So convenient.

And that's it for my home screen. I don't currently use the rest of the fourth row or any of the fifth row. But I have a second page of apps, all of which are in folders. I won't discuss the apps, but I'll share the folders with you — Newsstand, Books, Periodicals (publications not in Newsstand), Multimedia, Photography, Services (e.g., ETrade and Verizon), Games, Shopping, Social Media, and Communications (Bria, GoToMeeting, FaceTime, Skype, and WebEx).

Now Show Us Your Home Screen

Think I'm missing out on some important apps? Got better apps for certain tasks than the apps I use? Please reply to this issue of SmallLaw to discuss the apps on the home screen of your iPad and/or iPhone.

Neil J. Squillante is the publisher of TechnoLawyer.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, this newsletter provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | SmallLaw | Utilities
 
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