Let’s face it – webpages are sometimes so cluttered with banners, ads, etc. that they are just difficult to read. That’s where Clearly from Evernote comes in. This browser plug-in makes blog posts, articles, and webpages clean and easy to read by clearing away everything but the content. Clearly also provides the ability for you to highlight portions of the text, print the “clean” version, or save it to Evernote with one click for easy access later (whether you’re online or off).
Do you enjoy wasting time on hold while listening to elevator music? Me neither. FastCustomer can (thankfully) make that experience a distant memory.
Simply let them know the name of the company that you would like to talk with (via call, text, or search), and they will have a customer service agent from that company call you. Voila! No time wasted and no elevator music.
FastCustomer is available via website or its iOS and Android apps. Among the thousands of companies that participate in this service are Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Bank of America, Southwest, Citibank, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, Sirius/XM, USPS, Walmart, Costco, etc.
You use Evernote, don’t you? If you don’t, you’re missing out. Evernote is an easy way to help busy lawyers keep track of all sorts of information and easily find it when needed. It can be used for all sorts of things, as evidenced by Tim Baran’s recent article discussing how lawyers utilize it.
Tim asked legal technology gurus from all over how they use Evernote, and his list included my good friends Tom Mighell, David Sparks, John Harding, and Katie Floyd (among many others). Better yet, his article includes links to many other resources discussing many best practices and uses for implementing Evernote into your practice.
So what two things do I use Evernote for on a regular basis and what makes it invaluable to me? You’ll have to read Tim’s article to find out, but trust me, it’s well worth your time. I want to offer a huge thank you to Tim for providing this excellent article and resource about Evernote for lawyers.
There are many iOS scanner apps, and I’ve previously blogged about my affinity for Scanner Pro. However, I’ve discovered a new app that’s a game changer – Scanbot Pro, and I believe that it is easily the best iOS scanner app available today.
What makes Scanbot Pro the best? It has OCR (optical character recognition) technology built in, so it can recognize and extract text from your scans. You can also annotate your scanned PDFs, including highlighting, notes, and signatures.
If you regularly work from your iPad or iPhone, this is a big deal. You are no longer dependent upon a desktop application to OCR text contained in a scanned document, and you can edit the PDFs within the same app.
I have been using it for several weeks, and I find it to be very accurate. Scanbot has a free version, but the OCR functionality is in its Pro version, which costs $4.99 (though it’s occasionally on sale). Trust me, this is money well spent, and I believe that you will find Scanbot Pro an invaluable tool for your iOS arsenal. You can learn more about this app here.
It’s no secret that Apple products continue to gain traction in the legal field, and that they are a great option for many attorneys, particularly solo and small firm lawyers. However, changing operating systems or learning a new computer may seem like a daunting task, particularly to a busy lawyer. So what is it really like switching from PCs to Macs?
My wife and law partner, Jenny Stevens (a/k/a @MrsMacLawyer), was recently interviewed by Heidi Alexander on The Legal Toolkit to discuss “Making the Transition from PCs to Macs in Your Law Office“. Jenny discusses her switch from a PC law office to one using exclusively Apple products, and she shares her thoughts as to how easy it is to switch, some of the resources available to those considering making the move, and what software that we use at The Stevens Firm, P.A. Family Law Center.
Both The Mac Lawyer and Mrs. Mac Lawyer got new iPhones within the last few weeks. If you have gotten a new one too, you should consider the following steps from Macworld.com to easily set up iPhone 6:
- Back up your old phone. Plug your old iPhone into your computer; go to iTunes; select your iPhone; under Backups, choose This Computer; and click “back up now”. Pro Tip: If you select “encrypt local backup”, your account passwords are stored so that you won’t have to enter them all again – and you also get maximum privacy protection too.
- Restore from backup. Plug your new iPhone into your computer, navigate to iTunes, and then restore form the backup you just created.
- Finish the setup. Enter your iCloud account password, enter a second security code if you’re using two-factor authentication (and you should be), agree to the iCloud terms and conditions, and designate how people can reach you over iMessage and Face Time.
- Set up your Touch ID. Simply follow the instructions on your iPhone, which will involve you repeatedly touching the home button’s fingerprint sensor with your thumb so that it can learn your fingerprint. You will probably want to add your other thumb at Settings > Passcode for added ease of use.
- Pick a size with Display Zoom. You can choose between standard view and zoomed view. The latter simply enlarges everything, which I can tell you is much easier on older eyes.
- Peruse the settings. Check out the new options and the ones that were brought over from your old iPhone.
- Update your apps. Go to the App Store app and update all of your apps. You can easily have all your apps auto-update by going to Settings > iTunes & App Stores > Automatic Downloads.
- Install some widgets. Simply pull down from the top of your screen to show your Notification Center, scroll to the bottom, tap Edit, and then choose which apps’ widgets you want to include. You can select from upcoming appointments, package-tracking, Kindle status, and many others.
- Open the Tips app. This new app provides helpful tips about using your new iPhone, delivered in handy, bite-sized chunks.
- Set up Apple Pay. Load your credit or debit card and speed up your checkouts. Remember, this does not expose your real credit card info to the stores, so you don’t have to worry about getting a new card if/when that store gets hacked.
The above steps are just an overview, and you can read Macworld’s fully comprehensive setup guide to get step-by-step assistance.
Santa told me that there’s a good chance that you may be receiving some iTunes gift cards for Christmas. Knowing that you will want to be a savvy shopper and get the most bang for your buck, we compiled a list of sites that are known to have regular sales. Check these out these sites for the best app deals, and let us know in the Comments if you have other favorites of your own:
AppShopper – Notifies you which apps (both iOS and Mac) are on sale each day and allows you to create wish lists containing the ones that you are most interested in.
iOSnoops – Features lists of price drops, apps that are free for a short time, new apps, etc.
App Store – Apple’s old reliable offers one free app per week.
At the end of each year, experts from all fields make their predictions for the upcoming year. So, what do legal professionals predict for 2015 in the areas of legal technology, law firm business development, and the state of the legal industry?
Frank Strong has published his second annual list of predictions, that includes such legal experts and thought leaders as Lee Rosen, Sam Glover, Heidi Alexander, Rick Georges, and Erik Mazzone. Frank was kind enough to ask me to contribute as well.
So, what did I predict? What do the others think? In general, everyone was much more optimistic than last year. You can read all of the predictions here, including mine:
I believe that 2015 will see attorneys and law firms continue to adopt and utilize web-based software and services at an ever-increasing rate. While the legal industry has historically been slow to adopt new technology, firms that conduct the cost-benefit analysis of these services conclude that it’s almost a “no brainer”.
Source: “25-Plus Predictions for the Legal Industry in 2015” by Frank Strong, published at the LexisNexis | Business of Law Blog.
Pocket (formerly Read It Later) enables you to save things that you find online to review later. The most common use is to save articles, videos, recipes, and other items of interest to read when it’s convenient for you, even if you don’t have internet access (like when you’re on an airplane). You can send items to Pocket through plug-ins for most web browsers, numerous apps, or even via email. Follow the lead of the over 12 million users who have saved over 1 billion items to Pocket.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) recently named Macs the best PCs for the 10th year in a row. Apple scored 84 out of a possible 100 points, and despite dropping three points from last year’s score, it sill beating Acer and Dell by six points. This survey, which includes desktop and laptop PCs as well as tablets, confirms what Mac-users have known for years – the best PC is a Mac!