Law Office Management Assistance

LOMA > Tech Sites > 2012

The following are the tech sites/tips of the month that are listed in the MSBA Tech Tips newsletter each month.
Please click on a month to view the links.

December 2012 - YEAR-END TAX PLANNING IN THE AGE OF THE FISCAL CLIFF

YEAR-END TAX PLANNING IN THE AGE OF THE FISCAL CLIFF

For those of you reading this before December 31, 2012, there are some financial tips in case we go off the fiscal cliff from Forbes.

DONATE MONEY WISELY

At this time of year, many people/companies/firms look to make charitable contributions. It is important to make certain that your contributions are being used wisely and properly. Here are a few sites that will rate various charities to help you make decisions:
American Institute of Philanthropy Rating Guide
Charity Ratings from Charity Navigator

FOCUS ON MENTAL HEALTH

The holidays can be difficult for people with mental health issues and in the wake of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut, here are some sites that offer resources and information for dealing with mental health issues.

Center for School Mental Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network have excellent tips for parents on how to help children and adults with traumatic events at schools and in the news.

Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene Hotline information and list of all Crisis centers in Maryland.

National Alliance of Mentally Ill – Maryland Chapter - The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI Maryland is the NAMI state organization in Maryland and provides educational resources and events, statewide outreach, advocacy and affiliate organizational support.

Mental Health First Aid – Maryland - Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the initial help given to someone developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis before appropriate professional or other assistance, including peer and family support, can be engaged.

Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated nationally by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare in partnership with the Mental Health Association of Maryland.

Maryland Association of Core Service Agencies (MACSA) is the non-profit organization comprised of Maryland’s 19 Core Service Agencies. The Core Service Agencies are the local Mental Health Authorities responsible for planning, managing, and monitoring public mental health services at the county level.

MSBA Lawyer Assistance Program – If you are having emotional or addiction problems of any type, you can contact the MSBA Lawyer Assistance Program, a free, confidential, non-profit counseling program. LAP assists judges, lawyers, law students, legal staff and their families who experience personal problems that interfere with their personal lives or their ability to serve as counsel or officers of the court.

RESOLUTION HELP

Whether you read this before the ball falls on Time Square, I am sure there is a resolution in your not to distant future. Technology, especially smartphones and tablets, make it easy to stick with some of your resolutions. Here are some apps/websites for self-improvement (not that any of MSBA members need improvement but just in case..)

Business/Work Related

From Open Forum9 Ways to Make Better Executive Decisions – No matter where you are on your legal career ladder, learning how to make the decision making process easier is worth considering.

Remember What Your Mother Taught You - 15 Vital Business Etiquette Rules – Although many of these are rules you should have learned many years ago, it never hurts to have a reminder.  They are especially helpful for some of our newer members.

Health and Fitness

Endomondo Sports Tracker - Designed for runners, bikers, and anyone with a workout that gets them out and about, this sophisticated app uses GPS to track your routes and make the daily jog fun again. The app records your run, giving you a Google Maps view, lap times, and browsable workout history.

Eat This, Not That - The game shows you two similar products, and you guess which one is more nutritious and less fatty. It teaches you the surprising food tricks that can make for better meals. The next time you go to Quiznos, order a grilled-chicken sub instead of tuna salad, and save yourself one thousand calories (seriously!). You'll be glad you played.

Fooducate – This cool app allows you to scan a food's UPC and Fooducate goes beyond the nutrition facts to tell you more about your munchies (if the sodium level is dangerous, for instance, or if the vitamins come from nature instead of chemicals). It even grades the food relative to alternatives and helps you pick a healthier selection. A great companion to a nutrition plan, and a fun way for the non-dieter to improve his or her menu.

Noom Weight Loss - Noom is a head-to-tail weight-loss toolkit that helps you set goals and track your progress. The app has three main functions: It helps you set a weight-loss goal and see your progress; it tracks your food intake to help keep you accountable; and it logs your exercise, even from daily out-and-about activities, to help you make healthier choices.

Quit Smoking Now with Max Kristen
If you want to truly kick the habit this year, maybe an app can help. favorites is Quit Smoking Now with Max Kristen. Created by renowned clinical hypnotherapist and self-help expert Max Kirsten, this iPhone app features audio recordings, videos, an ebook and other tools for smokers to quit for good.

COMING IN 2013

In case you did not get all the tech gadgets you wanted in 2012, they are probably already out of date so here are some tools and gadgets and innovations that may (or may not) be available in 2013.

From allcoolandnew.com comes all kind of cool gadgets, Apple products, Smartphones

From CIO.COM The 16 Most Anticipated Tech Products for 2013  (16?)

November 2012 - HOLIDAY TECH GIFTS

HOLIDAY TECH GIFTS

Even if you missed Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber-Monday, it is not too late to get your holiday tech gifts.  Here are some lists from a number of lawyer bloggers. (Thanks to Jim Calloway and Reid Trautz)

Podcast with Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson (who did two great presentations at the Solo Conference) on 2012 Tech Toys

8th Annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers from ReidMyBlog

From Techlicious – Tech Gifts for Your Significant Other

WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

Here are some sites that help you create “wish lists” so everyone can know what you want. (Sounds a little crass to me but …)

Wants This - The items you add to your wish list can be collected from any website. No more having to create, maintain, and manage multiple wish lists at each site you shop.  You can then share with friends, families, benefactors (just kidding)

Boxed Up – In addition to adding to the list and sharing it, it will help find the lowest price. 

TallWish – This site has a calendar where you can store important dates like birthdays and anniversaries, and a bulletin board to post information about an upcoming family event. Family members can see what items have been purchased for other family members, but the person who owns the wish list won’t know if it’s been purchased until they open the gift.

HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW AND CAN I GET IT CHEAPER ?

Regardless of what (if any) holiday you celebrate in December, you cannot avoid the retail sales.  With mobile devices, you are only click or app away from finding where you can get it for less.  The most scary of some store specific apps, actually keep track of how long you have been in their stores, and they'll send you coupons for every few minutes you're there.  Walmart has an app that uses the GPS on your phone to know what store you are in and whether it has the merchandise it thinks (?) you want and if that store does not have what you want will direct you to its online store.

Some of the top comparison shopping apps (from the PC Magazine site) are:

Milo – Scans the real-time local availability and pricing for over 3 million products so you’ll know exactly what’s in stock faster than you can say, “Attention Target shoppers.” – Forbes

Decide - The app lets you know the likelihood of price fluctuation, predicts whether a new version may be on its way, and prices out buying options within three categories: appliances, electronics, and home and garden. It also has a barcode scanner for price checks on the spot when you're in a store.

Shop Saavy – Similar to others but this app is Euro-friendly, with options for stores and currency.

Shop Advisor – This watches price changes and you can set up an alert for when an item reaches the price you're willing to pay for it.

There are more but you get the idea.

‘TIS BETTER TO (ALWAYS) GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

If you have not heard today (Tuesday) is giving Tuesday – a national day of giving. Of course if you miss today, you are always welcome to give on Wednesday. 

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving on November 27, 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, called #GivingTuesday and will be the first of its kind. Coinciding with the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become days that are synonymous with holiday shopping.

BE CAREFUL WHEN DONATING TO CHARITY

Safe Giving Guide for Donors – Some good reminders about giving to charity

What You Need to Know to Donate Safely Online – From the American Institute of Philanthropy

STAYING HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

According to Weight Watchers, people will put on 7-10 pounds from Thanksgiving until New Years.  Here are some sites that can help you avoid the holiday pounds and still enjoy yourself.

12 Ways to Avoid the Holiday Eating Frenzy

October 2012 - Election 2012

ELECTION 2012

Unless you have been working WAY too hard, there is an election on Tuesday, November 6. In addition to the presidential election, there are many other state-wide issues and local issues which will be on the ballot. Here are some sites which will help you make informed decisions about some of those local ballot issues. These are not political or partisan.

Vote Early (But Only Once)
Early voting begins soon in Maryland. Instead of having only one day to vote, now you can choose to vote on any one of six days. Early voting centers will be open 10am to 8pm on October 27, and October 29 - November 1, 2012. On Sunday, October 28, 2012, early voting centers will be open 12pm to 6pm. Voting is convenient, accessible and on your schedule. Early Voting Centers and Early Voting Information both from the Maryland Board of Elections.

All Politics Are Local
In addition to the Presidential election, there will be three Constitutional Amendments and three Statewide Referendums and one other question that will appear statewide on the general election ballots. The ballot language was certified by the Secretary of State on the 3rd Monday in August. Additionally, local ballot questions may appear on the ballot in certain counties. Montgomery County's 12th Election District will have a local referendum passed by the General Assembly on the ballot.
A link to all of these ballot items is available on the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Trying To Separate The Wheat From The Chaff
Not wanting to take any sides in the election, there are some websites that will try to separate fact from fiction during the election season. Here's a small sampling of fact checking websites.

TECHNOLOGY TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

One of the four tracks at this year’s Solo and Small Firm Conference on Saturday, November 17 will focus on technology to help you improve your practice. Topics include Legal Ethics in the Digital Age, Information Security for Lawyers and Law Firms, Building Your Practice with Social Media, How Lawyers Can Really Use the iPad and 60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes.

These sessions alone, make attendance valuable but there are an additional 15 sessions on legal topics, updates and courtroom technology. Register now before it is sold out. You can also win one of three tablets offered by Paralegal Consultants, Law Pay and Benchmark, LLC.

MAKING A LIST AND CHECKING IT TWICE HELPS YOU STAY OUT OF TROUBLE

An outstanding book, The Checklist Manifesto, points out how using checklists can help you avoid problems and mistakes. Written by a doctor to prevent problems in hospitals, it is being touted for many other areas. In the October 8th blog post for Attorney at Work, there was a good comparison of two practice management software products that use this checklist manifesto theory. Definitely worth a read. Also, one of the topics at the 13th Solo and Small Firm Conference addresses the issue of using checklists to avoid problems.

WE GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR CHEAT SHEETS

Not that anyone reading this ever used cheat sheets in a nefarious way, but we probably all have some type of sticky note with shortcuts or tips for our software products. Now you can download cheat sheets with shortcuts and other tips from a variety of places.

One good site is from MakeUseOf which has dozen of cheat sheets for commonly used software as well as some extensive guides. For the UberGeeks in your office, there is actually a site called CheatSheets; which has downloadable sheets and guides for software that you may (but may not) recognize. One more set is from WhatIs.com on Our Favorite Cheat Sheets. These sites are worth saving.

NEED AN OLD MANUAL FOR SOME PRODUCT?

There was actually a time when products came with manuals. The site Manuals Library maintains a database consisting of more than 884,816 manuals as PDF files; and the database becomes bigger every day. Just enter a few keywords in the search field and find what you are looking for! Search results include manual name, description, size and number of pages. You can either read manual online or download it to your computer.
This can even be useful in litigation if you are looking for information about how a product was supposed to work.

FINALLY, TAKE SOME TIME FOR LEAF PEEPING

Nothing can calm us down more than being with nature. This is a beautiful time of year for watching the leaves change. The Maryland Fall Foliage Hotline (bet you did not know there was a hotline – just another good reason to read this e-newsletter) is 1-800-LEAVES1 (1-800-532-8371). And if you are just too busy to get out, here are some webcams:
Leaf peeping webcam at Shenandoah National Park
Deep Creek Lake Webcam

August 2012 - Focus on Social Media

GUIDES TO SOCIAL MEDIA

There are some good sites and publications to help you at least understand Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  You should have at least a basic understanding of them regardless of whether or not you want to use them either professionally or personally.

LinkedIn
From the website Mashable LinkedIn for Beginners – Actually quite good for beginners.

LinkedIn in One Hour For Lawyers – Book from the Law Practice Management Section of the ABA.  MSBA can receive discount by using the code MSBA4YOU when ordering your publication. This discount will be in addition to any discount you receive for being an ABA Section member.

LinkedIn for Lawyers: Basics, Power Tips and Caveats – 12 page pdf document by marketing consultant Amy Campbell

Facebook
Facebook in One Hour For Lawyers – New book from the Law Practice Management Section of the ABA.  MSBA can receive discount by using the code MSBA4YOU when ordering your publication. This discount will be in addition to any discount you receive for being an ABA Section member.

From Mashable Facebook Guide Book

Twitter
A Guide to Get Started: Twitter for Small Business – This pdf from Twitter is not designed for law firms but it does give some really good information on how to use Twitter and some of the terminology.

Again from Mashable, a complete Twitter Guide

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES FOR LAW FIRMS

Some tips on what policies to consider for your firm and staff.

From ABA Law Practice Management Section “How to Create a Law Firm Social Media Policy.”

A downloadable policy from Jaffe PR, a public relation firm for law firms

CAN USING TWITTER MAKE YOU SMARTER??

If you are interested in a particular topic or subject, following some twitter accounts can provide a wealth of information.  Below are some interesting twitter accounts worth following.  They are actually quite informative and can save time.

You do not need to actually create any tweets to follow some of these twitter accounts.

There are countless niche legal twitter feeds.  If you are in a niche area, there are people out there “tweeting” about the topic.  These feeds either create or link to other sources on a particular topic.  You can either Google your particular niche or go to Twitter and search on a particular topic.  Unlike email lists, you need to log into twitter to get these tweets so they are not cluttering up your mailbox.

If you find a twitter account that you like, click on their “Following” link and see who they follow.  This will help you find others feeds that might be helpful.

General News Twitter Accounts
Washington Post – https://twitter.com/washingtonpost

New York Times – https://twitter.com/nytimes
New York Times Journalists twitter accounts – http://www.nytimes.com/twitter/accounts

Baltimore Sun – https://twitter.com/baltimoresun

Maryland Daily Record – https://twitter.com/mddailyrecord  Unfortunately they also tweet subscriber only information but also some open to public

Wall Street Journal Twitter Accounts http://online.wsj.com/public/page/twitter.html – A list of all the twitter accounts for the Wall Street Journal

General Legal Twitter Accounts
US Supreme Court – https://twitter.com/ussupremecourt

ABA Journal – Even if you are not an ABA Member, this feed is on top of legal news https://twitter.com/abajournal

JD Supra Legal Alerts – https://twitter.com/Legal_Alerts  news, commentary, and updates covering business, finance, media, tech, personal, more.

National Law Review  https://twitter.com/natlawreview – free on-line resource of legal articles written by leading law firms & agencies. Content added hourly.

Law Dot Com – https://twitter.com/lawdotcom – Web’s leading legal news and information network for attorneys and other legal professionals.

Sports
Baltimore Ravens Official Twitter Account – https://twitter.com/Ravens
Washington Redskins Official Twitter Account – https://twitter.com/Redskins
Baltimore Orioles Official Twitter Account – https://twitter.com/Orioles
Washington Nationals Official Twitter Account – https://twitter.com/Nationals

General Knowledge – For Knowledge Junkies
TedTalks - https://twitter.com/tedtalks – TED is a non-profit devoted to "ideas worth spreading." and this is a feed of the company’s regular talks, given by experts in various fields.  Absolutely worth following.  Could change your life

Mental Floss – https://twitter.com/mental_floss – This is just an extension of the wonderful magazine, Mental Floss

Neil deGrasse Tyson - https://twitter.com/neiltyson – Noted American astrophysicist who tweets facts and links about science.

Random Facts – https://twitter.com/factsandtrivia – A collection of interesting facts and historical trivia about a variety of fun topics.

(These feeds are from Mashable’s25 Twitter Accounts That Will Make You Smarter)

MSBA TWITTER ACCOUNTS
Maryland Bar - https://twitter.com/marylandbar – For information about the MSBA from Patrick Tandy, Director of Communications

MSBA LOMA - https://twitter.com/msbaloma – help with law office management and technology for lawyers by Patricia Yevics, Director, Law Office Management Assistance.

MSBA Legislation – https://twitter.com/MdBarLegislate – By MSBA Director of Legislation, Richard Montgomery especially during the General Assembly session but any time there is legislation of interest to Maryland lawyers.

July 2012 - Yes, Virginia, there are now Awards for Apps.

YES, VIRGINIA, THERE ARE NOW AWARDS FOR APPS

The first Appy Awards were created in 2011 in both Europe and the United States. In Eurpoe, they were first presented in April 2011 and were sponsored by The Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s largest independent mobile phone retailer. Awards were presented in ten categories. A similar event, also known as AppyAwards, was held in the United States in March 2011 and was produced by MediaPost Communications, an American independent media, marketing and advertising publishing and events company, awards were presented in twenty six categories.

THE ENVELOPES PLEASE

Here are just some of the more useful winners of the US Appy Awards for 2012.

Best in Show

Flipboard – This is a really good app that allows you to create your own “magazine” for your interests on your iPhone, iPad or Android. It creates a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you. Flip through your Facebook newsfeed and Google+ Circles, tweets from your Twitter timeline, photos from Instagram friends, videos from YouTube, and much more.

Best in Business

Slideshark was developed to help iPad users view and show their PowerPoint presentations while preserving animations, fonts, graphics, and colors. The app works in three simple steps: users upload a PowerPoint file to their account, covert it via SlideShark into an iPad–optimized file, and then view it via the SlideShark app locally (with no Internet connection required).

Communication

Any App whose primary function is to facilitate communication between consumers using any and all platforms and devices.

Mr. Number – for Android only. The app brings all calls and texts into a smartbox for review, turns unknown numbers into names with crowd–sourced Caller ID, and automatically blocks calls and texts from unwanted numbers (including thousands of spammers and telemarketers that Mr. Number users have reported).

Finance

Any App whose primary function is to disseminate financial news, information or services.

Mint – Although not new, this app by Intuit allows users to track, budget, and manage their money all in one place. Native to the iPad, Mint.com also provides user-friendly graphs showing where money is being spent.

Health Care and Fitness

Couch to 5K – This app, geared towards fitness–shy, non–exercise fans, knows exactly how to get people active and motivated.

Lifestyle

Unstuck – The Unstuck app is a life–management tool that is designed for users to break from their routine in order to advance themselves in ways that they’ve been unable to do so far. May not change your life but it is cheaper than a life or business coach who created this app.

Location or Place Base App

ParkMe is a free mobile application that helps drivers discover available parking meters, locations, and lots. The database points to on–street meter and sign restrictions in the top 26 U.S. markets, but also offers support for cities in Canada and Europe by providing rates, hours, entrance points, and occupancy information.

Privacy Online Security

Lookout Mobile Security is an app that can help users find lost phones, backup their data, and prevent them from downloading spyware, viruses, or other malware.

Productivity

DocuSign Ink is a free app that allows individuals to safely and securely drag and drop their signature and initials into documents, place text and check boxes to complete forms, and then return via e-mail.

Weather

iMapWeatherRadio is an app that pushes out alerts for specific weather events (tornados, etc.), drilling down on a county–by–county basis. Additionally, via its “Follow Me” feature, it warns users when they enter an area under a specific type of weather threat.

There are many more worth viewing

List of all US 2012 and Nominees and winners
List of all UK 2012 Winners – Interesting to compare
List of all US 2011 Winners

June 2012 - Travel Tips

This month’s tips are apps for travel because we all need some vacation time so here are some cool apps to help. 

TRIPIT will help you stay organized.  This is a GREAT travel planning and itinerary app and getting better and better.  It is free and for i-Pad, i-Phone, Blackberry and Android

GOOD LAST MINUTE DEALS FOR HOTELS - HotelTonight  Hotels offer last-minute deals on their unsold rooms, with discounts up to 70%. You book the deals easily and securely on your smartphone for i-Phone, i-Pad and Android.  Free.  For 40 cities US cities and near 11 airports. 

GATEGURU is a free for tool to transform the chaotic and unfamiliar airport environment into a more satisfying experience before and after flights, and during layovers. GateGuru serves as the leading light to locate the best food, shopping and service options within any airport at the touch of a button. For iPhone and Android.

HOW MUCH IS THAT IN RUBLES?  XE Currency is a free currency calculator app for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android.

BUT OFFICER, I CAN PROVE I WASN’T SPEEDING - TicketDefender is a newly released iPhone App that enables drivers to protect themselves from inaccurate speeding tickets by tracking and reporting the drivers’ vehicle speeds. The speed, time of day, and GPS location is automatically recorded with TicketDefender. If the driver is pulled over for speeding they can simply click the ‘Press When Ticketed’ button within the App, and the encrypted, watermarked Speed Report plus a password will be sent to the driver's email address. The driver can then go to www.TicketDefender.net and click on the "Get Report" button, to download the corresponding Map Report.   Not sure it will work in court but it is a really interesting new app and it only costs $1.99. 

HOW DO YOU SAY THAT IN CANTONESE?  One of the newest translator apps and highly rated (so far)  SayHiTranslate allows you to talk to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and hear your words back in different languages. Currently $0.99.

WHERE IS THE FREE WI-FI If you do not have 4G and use wi-fi for your iPhone or iPad, you may find yourself needing a wifi connection and can’t find a Starbucks. WiFi Finder is free and for both iPhone and Android.  What is interesting is that you can download a list of wifi spots you can use offline.  It is a large file and so far you have to download the entire list. 

GET THE ROOM YOU WANT Room 77 uses official hotel data, visitor reports, and geographic coordinates to find the best accommodations for you. You’ll also find virtual room views via Google Earth and floor plans for thousands of hotels.  Nice views and proximity to (or distance from) the elevator are just two of the criteria you can select on Room 77. 

STAYING SAFE WHILE ON THE ROAD AND ABROAD

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
We all should have ICE (in case of emergency) on our phones but what if you are in a foreign country and have an emergency.  ICE 4 TRAVEL lets you store information on your immunizations, allergies, medications, emergency contacts, and other life-saving information on your phone—and translates it all into seven different languages.  At $2.99 peace of mind has never been so cheap.

911 FOR FOREIGN COUNTRIES
When you have an emergency in the US, you can call 911.  What number do you call in Spain or France?  HelpCall is $2.99 app that helps you make emergency phone calls in 126 countries. 

MEDICAL/PHARMACY SERVICES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
If you have ever needed to contact a doctor in a foreign county, you know how stressful that can be.  mPassport is an app that has lists of doctors and pharmacies and medical terms for many large European cities.  You need to buy the apps individually but they are only $.99 so if you are going to Paris and have health concerns, this is an app for you.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:  THE RIGHT STUFF FOR SUMMER TRAVELERS
In the June issue of the MSBA Bar Bulletin, there was an article on cool stuff for travel this summer.  If you missed it, you can read it online.

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER TRAVEL!

May 2012 - Come on down da Ocean to the MSBA Annual Meeting!

COME ON DOWN DA OCEAN TO THE MSBA ANNUAL MEETING

Since the MSBA Annual Meeting is only a few weeks away, this month’s list is going to focus on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Hopefully most of you will be attending the Annual Meeting in a few weeks.  Here are some sites that can make the trip more pleasant and some Eastern Shore sites which you may have missed on your ride.  Even if you are not attending, these are some great sites for Maryland.

TRAVELLING TO THE EASTERN SHORE

Checking traffic on the Bay Bridge
Coming to the Annual Meeting and worried about traffic. The MTA gives regular updates online about bridge traffic. Or you can call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) if you are already sitting and traffic and wondering how long your gas is going to last.

Where to find the cheapest gas
Since most of us will be driving to the Annual Meeting, it might help to know where to find the cheapest gas.  Gas Buddy has listings for all 50 states(Maryland), broken down by county, and an app for the I-phone and Android.

Keeping Children Entertained and Educated Driving Downy Ocean
If you are bringing your children to the Annual Meeting and need some great educational apps, a good site to visit is Fun Education Apps with reviews and links to many sites for children of all ages.

EASTERN SHORE SITES AND ACTIVITIES

Take a little extra time and visit some of the other wonderful sites on the Eastern Shore.  Here are some links to some of those that may not be as well known as some other places.

Chesapeake Bay By Air – This was a wonderful program from Maryland Public Television that you can now watch on video.  Highly recommend it.

Official Site Maryland Tourism Site with links to all Eastern Shore Counties

Official Ocean City Site with listing of restaurants and activities.

Chestertown, MD – Although a little off of Rt 50, this is a lovely community with a wonderful Tea Party Event each Memorial Day Weekend.  They also have a great 10 mile foot race. 

Rock Hall, MD – Another lovely historic water community which is home to Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge.  

Tuckahoe State Park - This a hidden gem of a state park in Caroline County with 20 miles of trails and opportunities for canoeing. 

Most people think of St. Michael’s as a quaint and upscale town but its Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is one of the best of its kind in the country.

The Blackwater Wildlife Refuge is one of the most important on the East Coast.  If you love birds, this is the place to visit.  Although the eagles are mostly there in the winter, this is still a great destination any time of year.

April 2012 - Productivity Tools

This month’s tips are sites that will help you be more productive in a variety of ways.

GET THE MOST FROM EVENTS

We all attend networking events but wonder about the value of them.  Here is good blog post, Event Networking Tips for Attorneys from The Sociable Lawyerwhich has some really good suggestions.  If you are going to go, you might as well make it worthwhile.

JUREEKA

Jureeka turns legal citations in web pages into hyperlinks that point to online legal source material in Chrome or Firefox.  It is powered by Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute (LII).

WE ALL NEED A LITTLE REMINDER

Here are some popular sites that will help with reminding you about various tasks.  They will schedule followups to emails, tasks, calendar items you don’t need to deal with now, by simply forwarding them to this site.
Follow Up Then
FollowUpCC
NudgeMail

SOUNDS LIKE

ALTERNATIVETO: If you’ve decided to replace a software application, this site will recommend alternatives based on user feedback.  Although not just for lawyers or law firms, it saves time looking for other alternatives.

SIMILAR SITE SEARCH – This site will also help your find other websites similar to ones you are viewing.  It can also help when looking for alternatives for various products.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN?

There is an interesting site, DifferenceBetween that will literally describe the difference between different products, ideas, medical conditions and topics such technology, business, or other topics.  Could actually be helpful for information related to litigation.

WAYS TO STOP ANNOYING YOUR CLIENTS

The blog Attorney@Work has a great post on Five Steps to How to Stop Annoying Your Clients.  While nothing groundbreaking, it is a good reminder and worth a read. 

SCAMTRENDS

Keep track of all the constant attempts to scam you by email, social media, phone, etc

SIGN HERE,THERE OR ANYWHERE

Sign documents on your i-phone, i-pad and Adroid with Easy Sign.  Can have multiple signers and insert custom text.

March 2012 - Financial Tools

WHO KNEW?? IRS and Social Media

Yes, the IRS has an iPhone and Android (IRS2Go) app as well as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.  More details on these items.

How Well are Your Protected From Financial Fraud?

With the use of online apps and other sites with financial and other information, do you know all the necessary ways to protect yourself from identity fraud?  Here from, ID Safety is a short quiz which you ABSOLUTELY should take to see how much you know and how well you are protecting yourself. Survey

From Michelle Singletary, Washington Post Financial Columnist: Your online profile may help identity thieves

Not Just for Young Lawyers

A good blog called Money Under 30 describes itself as “blog about using simple financial tactics to build your dream life” has good information regardless of where you are in your career but is a must for younger lawyers.

Take Credit Cards for Payment

Law Pay, MSBA endorsed credit card processing, now gives you the opportunity to not just take credit cards for both operating and trust accounts but allows you accept payment from your smartphone. 

Financial Apps

Here are some helpful apps for keeping your finances in order

Mint is still the premier financial app for both iPhone and Android phones. It securely connects to your bank accounts to track and categorize expenditures, optimizes the budgeting program. The mobile software allows you to manually enter pending and cash transactions on-the-go, meaning that your accounts are always up-to-date. Also an app for the iPad.

Bill Tracker – just what it says.  Keeps track of due dates so you are never late in paying a bill which can wreak havoc on your credit rating.

Expensify –For all smartphones to capture your expenses, mileage, business cards, and receipts from anywhere.

Do easy tax returns on your iPhone or Android – While this may not be for most members, TurboTax has an app (SnapTax) that allows you to complete and submit it via your smartphone.

DebtMinder will help you get on track to get a handle on your debt. 

GasBuddy helps you find the best price on gas anywhere in the country. 

Get the best price on any product while you are shopping.  Amazon’s Price Check for iPhone and Android allows you scan a bar code, take a photo or speak to your phone to find the best price and even order it directly from Amazon.  Shop Savvy also has an app for iPhone and Android that will also allow you to scan QR Codes   (Want to learn about QR Codes – See it on the MSBA YouTube Site)

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MARYLAND IN APRIL
(Because we all need some fun!)

Visit Maryland has a great calendar for what is happening each month in Maryland but some of the more interesting looking are:
April 2011 – Home Tweet Home – Artistic Bird Houses, Annmarie Sculpture Garden, Solomon
April 1 – Cherrybration Days in Ellicott City
April 27 – 30th Annual Salisbury Festival
April 28 – Frostburg Arts Walk
April 5-15 – 15th Annual Peep Show in Westminster
April 6 – Annual Paper Airplane Derby in College Park
April 7 – 5th Annual Native American Artifact Exhibit in Cambridge
April 14 – Great Scale Model Train Show in Timonium
April 1 – April 15 – Flower Power Spring Show at Rawlings Conservatory, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore
April 15 – Guided Tours of Tudor Hall home of the Booth family in Bel Air

February 2012 - Leap Year Tips

Most of the sites/tips in the Leap Year Issue of the Tech Tips involves being using your various technologies.  In addition to the sites/tips listed in this issue, we have combined sites and tips from past issues related to security on the LOMA MSBA Website.

TIPS FOR SECURING YOUR SMARTPHONE

Here are some basic tips for securing your smartphones. 

1.  Make certain that all your mobile devices have passcodes.
2.  Disable interfaces that are not currently in use, such as Bluetooth, infrared, or Wi-Fi.
3.  Set Bluetooth-enabled devices to non-discoverable.
4.  Delete all information stored in a device prior to discarding it.
5.  Do not “root” or “jailbreak” the device.

These tips and more were taken from Cyber Threats to Mobile Phones published by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

IRS RELEASES DIRTY DOZEN TAX SCAMS FOR 2012

The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual “Dirty Dozen” ranking of tax scams, reminding taxpayers to use caution during tax season to protect themselves against a wide range of schemes ranging from identity theft to return preparer fraud.
The Dirty Dozen listing, compiled by the IRS each year, lists a variety of common scams taxpayers can encounter at any point during the year. But many of these schemes peak during filing season as people prepare their tax returns.
These Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012 can be helpful for both you and your clients.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BROWSER FROM TRACKING COOKIE

Google has come under fire for bypassing the privacy settings on Apple's Safari Web browser and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Both browsers are designed to block companies from placing third-party tracking cookies on your computer without permission.
There is an excellent description on the Kim Komando site on how to protect your browser from tracking cookies. Although this is an excellent article, be forewarned there are many ads that you will need to wade through while reading it. 

BE WARNED: GOOGLE’S NEW PRIVACY POLICY GOES INTO EFFECT MARCH 1

March 1(this Thursday) is the day Google's new unified privacy policy goes into effect, which means your Google Web History will be shared among all of the Google products you use.    You really should delete this history before Thursday.
Link from CNET on how to delete your Google web history
Link from Gizmodo on how to remove your YouTube Viewing/Search History Before Google’s New Privacy Policy Goes into Effect.

WHAT NEW PRIVACY POLICIES???

Google has changed its privacy policies and there are some who are concerned about the changes.  Here are some links to help explain the changes.
From Google:  One Policy, One Google Experience
From Aaron Kelly, Arizona Internet Lawyer : Google’s New Online Privacy Policy: Internet Lawyer Explains In Plain English
From Network WorldSix Things You Need to Know About Google’s New Privacy Policy

BUILDING YOUR PRACTICE WITH AND WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY

Although law is still a relationship business and it is critical to be able to connect on a personal, one to one basis, many of the new technologies add new tools to your practice development techniques.  Below are links to some helpful sites to give practical and useful information on how to use these new technologies

Ten Ways Your Blog Can Generate New Business – from legal marketing guru Larry Bodine
Law Firm Marketing Blog by Tom Kane – Excellent and practical tips and reprints about building a practice. 
Building a Referral Network from the Ground Up – This is especially helpful for newer practitioners on Attorney @ Work  -

FINALLY – MARCH HOLIDAYS

We all know that St Patrick’s Day is in March and that it is Women’s History Month, but did you know that March 1 is also National Frozen Food Month and National Poetry Month.  Also, March 1 is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, March 3 is If Pet’s Had Thumb’s Day and March 22 is National Goof Off Day.  Don’t believe it?  Here is the list.

January 2012 - Courtroom and Trial Technology

January’s Tech Tips Focuses on courtroom and trial technology but many of these sites are valuable for ALL lawyers.

Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg – It features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. Although focuses on courtroom and litigation, this is an excellent blawg for all attorneys to keep up with what is happening with the courts which can affect all firms.  It is written by Ted Brooks, a trial presentation consultant.

12 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Trial Graphics Consultant – While this is the blog for The Litigation Consulting Report, whether your firm is considering trial graphics or already working with one, these are important questions to ask.

ABA Legal Tech Resource Center – This site provides independent reviews of all types of technology and has a fairly updated reviews and comparison chart for litigation support software.
NOTE: The ABA LTRC is valuable for reviews and information for all types of legal technology.

What Will be Happening in 2012 in E-Discovery Technology – Law.com’s Legal Technology News interviewed the editorial board to hear what they see coming in 2012. 
NOTE: Legal Technology News is an excellent site for all things legal tech.

iPad APPS for Litigation and Trial

The i-Pad can be a great tool for lawyers.  Here are some apps that are geared to use by litigators or in the courtroom.  Reviews for many of these apps can be found at some of the sites listed above.  Other excellent sites for reviews of i-Pad apps for attorneys are:

For assistance with depositions:
The Deponent App - $9.99 – is a deposition and exhibit app
The iPleading App - $4.99 - allows attorneys, paralegals, and law students to easily create litigation documents on their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.
Mobile Transcript App – Free - Review deposition and court transcripts optimized for the iPhone and iPad

For assistance with selecting juries:
Jury Tracker - $4.99
Jury Duty - $29.99
iJuror - $9.99

For trial presentation, the premier app is Trial Pad at $89.99.  While you may consider this to be expensive, it was named top new product on 2011 by TechnoLawyer.
TrialPad and the new TranscriptPad from LitSoftware has a YouTube site with video tutorials.
You can also follow them on Twitter

Helpful Sites For Lawyers by Lawyers about Using iPads
TabletLegal by Josh Barrett
iPad for Lawyers by Tom Mighell
iPadEsq by Finis Price
iPhoneJD by Jeff Richardson (now includes iPad)

WANT MORE TECH HELP?

The ABA Tech Show is one of the best places to learn about legal technology.  The 2012 Tech Show will be held from March 29-31, 2012 at the Hilton in Chicago.  Deadline for early registration is February 17, 2012.

MSBA Members can receive a discount by using the code EP1216 when registering
ABA TechShow Website
ABA TechShow Twitter Account
ABA Tech Show Facebook page

2010 Tech Sites | 2011 Tech Sites | 2012 Tech Sites