Useful Business Apps Worth a Try

Managing a hectic work/life balance isn’t easy.  Fortunately, we live in an era where technology can help with all of the chaos. For business professionals there are an astonishing number of apps to help us. We have weeded through the myriad of apps again to bring you some that are actually useful.

1. EVERNOTE, a free app, is an excellent productivity tool that helps you stay organized, save documents, record voice notes, and even share notes with colleagues via Twitter and Facebook.  Evernote has even been recognized as one of the best apps by the New York Times.

2. FLOW is an app for businesses who rely on plenty of team work and communication. Flow helps you communicate through your network of colleagues to hold discussions, share files, brainstorm ideas and generally manage day-to-day business activity.  The cost of this app is approximately $20, but a small price to pay for seamless syncronicity.

3. 30/30 is the perfect app to help you procrastinators out there. Basically it is a “to do” list which highlights all of your tasks in different colors. 30/30 is based around a timer, so once the user sets the clock ticking…you have to get the tasks done. Don’t put off downloading this one!

4. WAZE was initially created to compete with Google Maps, however Waze became superior due to its functionality. Users can report traffic issues in their area for up-to-date travel news. This app will get you from A to B for free!

5. CAMCARD is an app that reads business cards and saves them instantly to your phone’s contact list. While this app has been around for a couple years, it’s still touted as a must-have app for business and sales people. “It brings order to the chaos of a business card collection,” says the New York Times.

6. GLASS BOTTOM JET is an app that allows the user to book flights and conduct airport check-ins all directly from the app.  A fun feature of Glass Bottom Jet is that it allows users flying on Delta to get a virtual view of the ground below them… although not in real time. However, the app does pull Facebook data to show which of your friends you’re flying over.

7. BUFFER …here’s a free app for those of you that don’t have time to constantly log in and out of Twitter to promote your posts. You can trust the Buffer app to distribute tweets for you at regular intervals throughout the day. As a member of Buffer you can provide content that you’d like to share with your friends and followers. Once you add them to your Buffer, they will post over the next few days.

We’ve just scratched the surface as to the full capabilities of these apps. Take some time and look into them.  One of them may be just what you’ve been looking for!

 



Be a Card Shark

HOW TO BE A CARD SHARK

 

Have you heard that business cards are becoming a thing of the past or that they are becoming outdated?   If so, don’t believe it.  They are definitely here to stay.

Professionals that rely on networking for attracting new business should never leave home without a stack of impressive business cards, but they should also know how to use them.  We have all met that person at an event that whips out their card immediately upon introduction.  Are you guilty of this or are you maybe guilty of trying to collect as many cards as possible?  If so, must remedy ASAP!  It’s quality over quantity when it comes to business card etiquette.  You should walk away from an event with genuine new relationships rather than just a pocketful of cards.

For organizing your collected cards, try using the app Camcard to upload the business cards’ information right into your contacts.   Another app that neatly organizes them is CardMunch.  In this app, there is even a one-touch feature to automatically connect with each contact on LinkedIn.

For your own benefit, try to take notes about the people that you have met on the back of their cards… description of their appearance, what you talked about, who introduced you, et cetera.  Along this line, there are even business card templates that encourage you to fill in this type of information in the blank fields provided.

The design of your business card is very important.  One very useful element is using a photo so people can remember you.  And for those in a more relaxed profession, there are some new trending business cards.  For example, business cards which are cleverly disguised to look like a stick of gum.  On one side is the chewing gum and on the other is the magnetic business card… they are called Gaga Sticks and they are pretty cool!  This is a great way to become a lasting memory.  Gaga Sticks can be found at www.tribegaga.com.

Business cards are far from a thing of the past.  To the contrary, they continue to be a vital part of making new contacts and starting new relationships.  Regardless of the style that you ultimately choose, make certain that it is a card that represents you well.



FLAG DAY ETIQUETTE

FLAG DAY ETIQUETTE

Happy Flag Day! This poor holiday gets no recognition! Here’s some etiquette tips for flying our flag properly:

  • Never allow the flag to touch the ground or floor.
  • The flag can only be flown at night if properly lit. Otherwise, it should only be flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • When a group of flags is being displayed, the U.S. flag should be at the center and at the highest point. The only exception is when the flag of another nation is being flown, and then that flag would be equally placed.
  • When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union (blue area) should be uppermost and to the flag’s right, that is, the observer’s left.
  • The flag should not ever be used to cover a ceiling.
  • Care should be taken not to let the flag get torn or damaged.
  • The flag should never have placed upon it, nor attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing…. In other words, do not tamper with Old Glory!

image



RULES FOR TELEPHONE DEPOSITIONS

RULES FOR TELEPHONE DEPOSITIONS

Useful Insight for Attorneys and Court Reporters

In this new world of technology and inflated travel costs, why not do telephone or videoconference deps?  In fact, when timing or location are an issue for counsel or even the witness, this is the answer to endless cancellations and passing deadlines.

Since phone deps have become more popular, the question amongst reporters and attorneys has been, is it okay for me to swear in the witness over the phone?  The answer is two-fold; in other words, yes and no, depending on your state. 

There are states listed below that do have rules on phone deps that each notary/reporter should look into.  However, according to the NCRA, the states listed on the right of the below chart have no guidelines regarding phone depositions… For my local friends, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have NO RULES.

For those states on the left, the Director of the NCRA offers these three suggestions if you find yourself in a predicament that would violate your Notary oath:

1. Get a reporter to take the deposition with the witness.

2. Get an authorized oathgiver to swear in the witness.

3. When the witness is not in the reporter’s presence and there is no notary in the witness’s presence, if local rules allow, suggest that all parties, including the witness, stipulate on the record that the testimony is being given as if under oath.

Does your state have any laws, court rules or guidelines regarding telephone depositions?

Yes

Alaska
Colorado
Florida
Idaho
Indiana
Illinois
Maryland
Minnesota
Mississippi
Nebraska
New Mexico
New York
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming

No

 Alabama
Arkansas
Arizona
California
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Delaware
Georgia
Hawaii
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Missouri
Montana
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia

 



Some Grown-up Apps That Are Worth A Try

Apps aren’t just for kids anymore!  When is the last time you really shopped in the App Store?  There are some amazing productivity apps as well as storage and networking apps that are not to be overlooked by businessmen and women. Some have been out for a while and I wish I knew about them sooner. I hate when I’m late to the game… But better late than never!

 Check out the below apps and see if they can make your life easier:

LinkedIn

Networking!  Networking!  Networking!  We’ve all been told how important it is!  Here is a free opportunity to network. It is amazing how you can connect with target audiences and join networks. This has become a major source of staying connected with clients and even potential clients. Because it’s geared for business, it is comfortable and professional. Facebook is great, but sometimes a little too personal when it comes to what your clients are posting!  LinkedIn keeps it strictly business for the most part.

SignNow

For court reporters, unfortunately a signature is all we have in the hopes of getting paid. Most businesses deliver the service at the time of payment or even after. We, on the other hand, deliver the service and product and then pray we get paid. With SignNow, our reporters have no excuses not to get the signature of the ordering party. Once you load in your document, which is the order form in our case, anyone can sign on the dotted line with just their finger!  In addition, this app works with any PDF that you receive that needs to be signed!  No more running to a printer to finalize deals! 

PDF Max

The perfect PDF annotating app!  Fill out forms, take notes, and annotate any PDF document.  Not only can you make the changes from wherever you are, you can send the changes to all of your devices via iCloud.  The synchronization is amazing!  You can type changes or corrections or use finger commands including highlighting.  How about using the voice note feature if you aren’t in the position to type or write changes?  I say, genius!!  Lawyers, court reporters and proofreaders are loving this app. 

Expensify

Who doesn’t HATE preparing expense reports??  I feel pretty confident that no one actually LIKES it.  This app can help.  You can scan receipts, load time, record mileage from your GPS app, and sync it all with your credit cards and bank accounts.  You can email a PDF copy of your expense report wherever it needs to go virtually hassle-free!  Expensify can simplify!  Get on it! 

Dropbox

Love Dropbox!  Even those of us with the supercharged big-dog iPhone are conscious of our memory space… delete this video just in case it slows me down, delete these photos because my camera is taking too long to open.  Well, here is your answer!  You can automatically have your photos uploaded to Dropbox!  It just backs them up for you!  You can delete to free up space and not worry about losing pictures and videos that you would rather keep.  Not just that, but you can arrange files, say, by case name or project name or even each of your children can have a file within your box to save pics of those precious school projects that involve food or glitter and are screaming to be thrown out.  You can share the link to each file or document with whomever you would like… boss, assistant, or even granny.  Dropbox rocks! 

Hootsuite

This app is genius!  You can manage all of your social media accounts from one dashboard!  My company has Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, which can be impossible at times to check in with them all. For swift replies and updates, put all of your accounts into Hootsuite and manage them from the app icon on your iPhone or iPad.  All social media in one app…  a fist pump and a Hoot Hoot to that!

Vertical Response

This is a new one for me.  So you have your newsletter, you have your contacts…most of this is on your desktop, right?  Well, for me it is anyway.  This app allows me to easily update my contacts while on the road, even access the reports for the emails you may have sent out Friday, but would like to check on Sunday.  Making life easier one app at a time… love it! 

Westlaw Case Notebook

This one is pretty much for attorneys only, although some support staff may find it helpful, too.  Westlaw Case Notebook is your portable e-Transcript app.  Most court  reporters by now should be sending you e-Tran files of your transcripts by email.  (And if they aren’t I can recommend a good agency for you to try ASAP!)  So this is how you view all of your transcripts without schlepping all of that paper around… convenient and a back-saver!  Just a few of the cool features… word indexing, highlighting, annotating, search feature, and even share it with or without your notes.  This is huge!  We are definitely saving some trees with this one!