I "Heart" OneNote

Sometimes I come across a new tool that is just so cool that it manages to find a need I didn’t know I had and OneNote meet it, all without my input.  All right, I admit that in the course of my recent expanded exploration of new lawyer-friendly technologies, this phenomenon has been happening more often than not. 

While not such a new discovery for me, I feel it is high time I profess my love for OneNote. OneNote is a Microsoft product that serves as an interactive, Swiss Army Knife sort of a digital notebook and organizational tool. Unlike competing products, OneNote is not web-based. OneNote affords you the ability to capture different types of information, organize that information and retrieve it with a simple search function. You can insert files and web content in various formats (searchable or iconic). And, you can collaborate with others on information in a particular file or “notebook” within OneNote. The information that can be stored includes text, drawings, pictures, multimedia audio and video, ink, websites and links. You can even syncronize OneNote audio recording with notetaking.

I find OneNote awesome for organizing my research results, particularly when combining traditional Westlaw and Lexis database searching with public records or other web-based research. I also love it for brainstorming and researching blog concepts and articles. I have OneNote on my desktop and on my mobile phone, which is a Palm Treo 750 running Windows Mobile. This enables me to brainstorm away from my desk and marry my notes and the main file with a simple sync, for on-the-go note taking and organizing power.

But don’t just take it from me: there are plenty of other OneNote lovers out there, like Jason Fitzpatrick, Chris Pratley and Terry Gold.  Here is a site with “powertoys” or add-ons for OneNote. For more targeted information about OneNote, check out this FAQ by Ben Schorr.

If you have a need for substantial note taking, research collection and organization of different types of information all in one place, I highly recommend you check out this great product! Sorry Justin Long, point goes to John Hodgman!

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Worth A Mention: Social Networking for Lawyers

Many of those who read blogs, including this blog, likely have a decent sense of the ins and outs of the social networking sites and may even have a sense of their utility for lawyers as a professional networking and marketing tool. But for the uninitiated, I feel compelled to point to this article from the Law Practice Today column of the ABA LawPractice Management Section authored by Edward Poll for a grasp of these nouveau marketing means and how to best leverage them. The article notes two of the best professional options, Facebook and LinkedIn, and also highlights listservs such as the ABA’s Solosez. Avvo, the rating and locating clearinghouse for attorneys, is also mentioned. Poll provides his personal opinion on what is relevant and irrelevant for inclusion in one’s profile when professional networking is the goal. It’s a nice introductory overview for those interested in jumping into the social networking phenomenon from a professional perspective!