30 Tips: Technology that Will Help You Better Manage Your Practice & Business Development Efforts
Article Date: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Written By: Damon Duncan & Matt Covington
“Crowdsourcing” service that allows you to tell designers what kind of product (website, business cards, logos, etc.) you want and how much you are willing to pay. Designers then submit their designs for your review. You may comment on and critique their designs and they then submit other versions for you to choose from.
Would you pay $150+/- to increase your efficiency by 44 percent? A University of Utah study says an extra external monitor will do just that.
Free, open source version of Microsoft Office. Includes word processing, spreadsheets and presentations.
Easy to use search engine for finding cases, statutes and other legal information. Great alternative to Westlaw or LexisNexis and is free on smartphones and tablet devices for on the go legal research.
Similar to a bar code that can be scanned by smartphones or tablet devices. Can be used to send people to your website or placed on business card and can send them a vCard.
Free, open source encryption service that protects your files and external hard drives. Has over 21.5 million downloads.
Cloud Backup + On Site Backup
Don’t depend on any one way to back up your information. Backup your information in multiple places because losing all your virtual information will create the biggest headache and the most stress you’ve had in a long time!
Website which collects tips, tricks, and technology for living better in the digital age. Provides great low cost tips to run your life more efficiently.
Autocorrect and Messaging
Computers have a mind of their own. What is the difference between Mott's Apple Sauce and Mortgage Payment? Be sure you are sending what you mean to send to the intended user.
Android app with full texts of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Appellate Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Bankruptcy Procedure. This app allows you to search, bookmark and copy.
Lawyer’s Calendar Buddy Pro (https://market.android.com/)
Android app that allows you to store key case events, list events and target dates.
Android app that allows for reviewing and annotating documents at the same time.
Time Tracker (http://timetrackerapp.com/)
Android app that facilitates hourly billing allows you to enter and track time, edit the time reports and export the data.
Cam Scanner (https://market.android.com)
Turn your smartphone into a document scanner. Scan multipage documents, tag documents and upload them to the cloud.
Coming home late from work or worn out from the constant grind? This iPhone application is a trivia game based on voice recognition that keeps you alert and focused on the road.
Don’t waste your time going through the jungle of automated messages to get to a live person any more. This site tells you what the best number to call is as well as what numbers to press to get to a human being for customer service.
Allows document synchronization and file saving in “the cloud.” 2GB are free, 50GB for $10 per month, 100GB for $20 per month.
Ruby Receptionists (http://www.callruby.com/)
Service where a live receptionist named “Ruby” will answer your phones with a scripted message. They can then take callback number and other important information and will notify you via email and/or text message of missed calls.
Allows you to take credit card payments with a smartphone or tablet device by plugging it into the headphone jack. Takes 2.75% and $0.15 per transaction.
Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics/)
Ever wonder who is coming to your website and how they are getting there? Google Analytics tells you information about how many people come to your site each day, which pages they are most commonly visiting and how long they are spending there.
iTunes app that allows you to calculate how much time and money you are spending during meetings – simply by sitting in the meeting.
Third largest search engine on the Internet, only behind Google and Yahoo. Largest collection of videos on the Internet; can basically teach you how to do anything.
24 Hours To Get Sh*t Done Clock (http://timer.ebaumstein.com/)
“You’ve got 24 hours to get sh*t done.” If you have a deadline and need some motivation this will surely give it to you.
If This Then That (IFTTT) (http://ifttt.com/)
One of my favorite new websites. This allows you to use “if, then” statements to set different tasks. Want to receive a text message every day it is supposed to rain? Done. Want to change your Twitter profile picture every time your Facebook profile picture changes? Done. Endless possibilities.
This site uniquely combines your contacts and their social networks. In Gmail or Outlook, Smartr builds complete profiles of your contacts so you can see their picture, previous conversations and social media interactions.
WorldCard Mobile (http://worldcard.penpowerinc.com/)
You don’t need to carry around business cards anymore. Instead, use this mobile app to capture the image of business cards and store the information on them in a vCard format.
JotNot Scanner Pro (http://www.jotnot.com/)
iPhone / iPad and Android app that turns your tablet or smartphone into a scanner.
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 (http://www.fujitsu.com/us/)
Likely the most popular desktop scanner with 4 ½ out of 5 stars on Amazon and 499 reviews. Simple and reliable, it just works.
Record everything happening on your computer monitor and turn it into a video and audio recording that can be uploaded to YouTube or emailed. Fantastic way to turn PowerPoint presentations into videos for marketing purposes or for training staff how to use a new program.
How Secure Is My Password? (http://HowSecureIsMyPassword.net/)
Free website that allows you to get an idea of how long it will take for someone to hack your password. •
Damon Duncan practices with his wife and father at Duncan Law, PLLC. They practice primarily in the areas of consumer bankruptcy and workers’ compensation and have offices in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, NC. In addition to the practice of law, Damon is an adjunct professor at Elon University School of Law where he teaches the Law Firm Management class.
Matt Covington is an associate in the Charlotte office of Cranfill Sumner and Hartzog, LLP. He primarily practices in the area of workers’ compensation. Matt currently maintains and publishes Employer/Employee: A North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Blog (http://www.er-ee.com).
Views and opinions expressed in articles published herein are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to this newsletter, the section, or the NCBA unless expressly stated. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations and quotations.