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Gadgets and Gizmos Galore – Technolawyer NewsWire's Top Products of 2013 Awards

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The American Bar Association says it’s about time for lawyers to have some competence in technology, specifically that “a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”  You better get ready because states, including Massachusetts, could soon see changes to their own rules based on the new Model Rules.  Here’s one way to boost your competence:  Subscribe to TechnoLawyer (TL).  Published by Neil Squillante, TechnoLawyer is a premier publication for lawyers interested in learning about and incorporating technology in their practices.  TL offers a variety of free newsletters, a blog, and paid subscription options, including a massive article repository.
One of its newsletters, TL NewsWire, provides information on the latest and greatest products for your law office.  Recently, TL NewsWire published its Top Products of 2013 Awards.  Now, if you get excited by new gadgetry like I do, you’ll love this post.  Some of the awarded products include secure cloud storage solutions, mobile apps, scanning equipment, and document management programs.  Here are a few of my favorites:
Transporter (Ranked #1 by TL NewsWire).  As the paperless office continues to gain traction, attorneys need secure and affordable cloud storage solutions.  While free solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive are widely popular among attorneys, security questions often arise with their use.  Of course, there are products that boast about having secure web servers, but those often come with a price tag.  Rather than outsourcing your cloud storage at a monthly price, Transporter creates your own private cloud storage for a one-time fee.  Transporter is a physical device that connects to your network and allows for access over your local network or remote access over the Internet.  The device works with both Macs and PCs.  And, according to TL NewsWire, although iOS apps are not currently available, the company is working on development.  For more information on Transporter, read TL NewsWire’s full review, here.
TIMBS for iPhone (Ranked #2 by TL NewsWire).  Time after time, we at MassLOMAP reiterate that regardless of your billing structure you should be tracking and recording your time.  With this automatic time capture app for your iPhone, you’ll save yourself time and money.  Made for professionals such as attorneys, this app will capture the time you spend on emails and telephone calls on your iPhone while you are away from your office.  In addition, with one step, you can create a docket entry from your iPhone.  While this app comes with a cost, the company will customize the app to integrate with your current time and billing, CRM, and document management systems.  Time will tell how this product compares to other automatic time keeping apps out there such as Chrometa and Harvest.  For more information on the TIMBS for iPhone, read TL NewsWire’s full review, here.
LiveScribe 3 Smartpen (Ranked #6 by TL NewsWire).  I first heard about this tool at MILOfest 2013 (a conference for Mac attorneys) in a presentation on Evernote by Katie Floyd, attorney and co-host of Mac Power Users.  Rather than using a stylus directly on your tablet to take notes (which never is quite accurate enough for me), this smartpen works directly on LiveScribe Dot Paper and then, through the magic of Bluetooth technology, appears on your tablet or smartphone.  LiveScribe will also transcribe your handwritten notes to text and convert audio recordings to text.  If you are recreational user, it may be a bit pricey at $149.95, but if you are serious about saving, sharing, searching, and organizing your data electronically (which, frankly, you should be), then this gadget is for you.  As an added benefit, LiveScribe integrates with Evernote, and according to TL NewsWire, if you purchase LiveScribe’s premium package for $199.95, you’ll also receive a one-year Evernote Premium subscription.  For more information on the LiveScribe 3 Smartpen, read TL NewsWire’s full review, here.
ScanSnap iX500 (Ranked #7 by TL NewsWire).  Attorneys I work with swear by the ScanSnap S1500; indeed, I have one sitting on my desk now.  Typically, it’s one of the first pieces of equipment purchased when starting up a law practice.  So, if you liked the ScanSnap S1500, you’ll love the iX500.  New features include wireless connectivity, scan to mobile devices, scan to the cloud, increased speed and accuracy, and compatibility with both Mac and PC.  Although the ScanSnap iX500 can scan to Evernote, for heavy Evernote users there is an Evernote Edition to further improve your workflow (Do you sense a theme here?  I love Evernote so much that my next Legal Toolkit podcast is devoted to the product!).  For more information on the Scan Snap iX500, read TL NewsWire’s full review, here.
Clio for iPhone (Ranked #22 by TL NewsWire).  An excellent way to organize your practice and help you to avoid malpractice claims is by using a law practice management solution such as Clio.  If you are a Massachusetts attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, you can purchase Clio for a discount.  With a cloud-based product like Clio, you can access your data remotely, an essential feature for mobile attorneys.  Now with the Clio for iPhone app, you have convenient access to your entire practice on the go, including matters, contacts, calendars, tasks, time entries, and documents.  The app also includes a built-in timer for keeping track of time and provides the user with the ability to assign the time to specific matters while you are out of the office.  Longstanding iPhone users will appreciate the app design, which was developed specifically for Apple’s new iOS 7.  Best of all, this app is free for Clio subscribers.  For more information on Clio for iPhone, read TL NewsWire’s full review, here.

These represent only five of the twenty-five top products as reported by TL NewsWire.  Don’t miss out on other top products, including Penultimate 4.1, Worldox GX3 Cloud, Attorney Timekeeper, Cubby, DocMoto 3, and more!  This new year, 2014, is certain to bring us new gizmos and gadgets, and thanks to Technolawyer’s NewsWire and its other e-newsletters, you can remain up-to-date on those new developments as they happen.  I know I’ll meet the technology competency requirements (and, if not, we are all in trouble), but will you too?

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