1DayLater: How Organized Are You?

Some people like to fly by the seat of their pants. Others like to map every detail of their day and keep track of all matters through a macro-lens. For this latter group, there is 1DayLater.

1DayLater (link here) is more than a simple task manager. The app combines task tracking with value monitoring. Do you need to keep track of how much time you invest, how much money you spend or how much distance you travel while completing your tasks? Then 1DayLater may be your app.

This three-way marriage of task, time and money is a winner in itself, but 1DayLater improves the mix with a fantastically simple graphic interface and the ability to morph your data into beautiful visual representations and charts. The data entry page is to-the-point, with a log-in and actvitity list. You enter the project / client, and assign a value to the task. Value can be time, money or distance (the latter for traveling tasks, obviously). You can also notate the activity entry for greater detail. Clicking “go” adds the activity to your list.

Think of 1DayLater as a diary on steroids – if you religiously log your tasks and assign values, you can then obtain a powerful analytical tool for measuring your efforts. Once there are sufficient entries, you can “analyze” your data via 1DayLater’s nice charting features. You can even export your information to an Excel spreadsheet. There are tools for invoicing and supporting mileage claims as well.

The basic package is free and includes:

  • Unlimited projects and clients
  • Powerful search of your history
  • Basic visualisations
  • 3rd party apps
  • OAuth password security
  • The next level is a paid package that works out to $7.50 per month or $60 per year and includes:

  • …all the free features plus
  • Export your data to spreadsheet
  • Generate invoices for projects & clients
  • Generate mileage claims
  • Guaranteed customer support
  • There is a corporate level for the application as well, and the 1DayLater team promises it will work with your IT people to modify the product to meet your needs and integrate with your systems.

    Mobile apps are being developed right now, and the site advises that apps should be available for iPhone, Blackberry and Android this month. Not sure if they hit that target – only have a couple days left. You can still reach it on your mobile browser and desktop while you are waiting for your dedicated mobile version.

    1DayLater: your life in chart form!

    Hat tip to Free and Useful Online Resources for Designers and Developers.


    Black's Law Dictionary Goes iPad

    It was bound to happen. That venerable tome that is frequently offered as a gift to 1L’s everywhere is now making its iPad debut! West’s Legal Current blog announced the introduction of Black’s Law Dictionary for iPad yesterday (link here).

    Other than a bigger screen view and book-like imaging, it does not appear to offer much beyond the iPhone / iPod Touch version introduced about a year ago and discussed in the Studio (link here). But, if you are a lawyer on an iPad and are looking to expand your uses of the device, you may be interested in this $49.95 application.

    Interestingly, the print version is already up to the Ninth Edition, while the iPad version lags behind at the Eighth Edition. The sacrifices we make for technology.

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    Grasping For Meaning In 140 Characters

    Seems anything can be the subject of scientific study. “Augmented social cognition” researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center are groping for automated ways to cull the “meaning” behind tweets, per MIT’s Technology Review (link here).

    The problem: users want to be able to scan a timeline to get the gist of what is going on without having to read every single tweet. This is a real problem when you have more than a 100 follows.

    A portion of the study has been devoted to developing a recommendation system, not dissimilar to my6sense, which determines which tweets are most relevant to a user based on that user’s interaction with various tweets and with other users.

    Borrowing imagery from a real-world stream and it’s eddies, the Eddie project is also working a “topic browser”, a machine aided inquiry into a Twitter stream that should enable the viewer to get more than simply the keywords; to reach the actual “gist” of the stream.

    The topic search aspect is more problematic to implement in that natural language searches apparently rely generally on more text than the 140 character space limit allows. Additionally, there is simply such a vast amount information that it becomes logistically difficult to parse.

    The method the research team has developed for dealing with these challenges is to treat a tweet like a search query. Tweets are filtered by removing unnecessary terms (like “RT”). Then the significant terms are pulled using the algorithm, and then run through a search engine, in this case Yahoo’s Build your Own Search Service interface.

    In essence, tweets are matched with search results, allowing for a “best guess” as to what the tweet means. Given, however, that the major search engines are now indexing tweets, there is a real possibility that the tweet topic browser could return search results that mirror the original tweet.

    The researchers anticipate that the topic browser may be online for live testing this summer. I look forward to playing around with this interesting combination of tweets and search in the pursuit of Twitter-meaning.

    Hat tip to Resource Shelf

    Free Federal Regulations Trackers

    Logo of the usa.gov website, the web portal fo...
    Image via Wikipedia

    Check out these  free regulations trackers at RegInfo.gov and Regulations.gov. RegInfo.gov provides reliable, transparent information about regulations under development to enable the public to participate effectively in the regulatory process. It is produced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and the General Services Administration (GSA), Regulatory Information Service Center (RISC). What is cool is that it tracks administrative steps and processes that might be outside the Federal Register publication process. See what is coming down the pipeline in the Federal administrative process, complete with easy-to-read charts, scrolling news feed, regulatory review highlights, and the Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan data.

    Regulations.gov offers an online source for regulations from over 300 federal agencies. On the site you can:

    • Search for a regulation such as a proposed rule, final rule or Federal Register (FR) notice
    • Submit a comment on a regulation or on another comment
    • Submit an application, petition or adjudication document
    • Sign up for e-mail alerts about a specific regulation
    • Quickly access regulations that are popular, newly posted or closing soon-directly from the homepage
    • Subscribe to RSS feeds by agency of newly posted FR notices

    Regulations.gov is designed with the goal of increasing access to and participation in regulations as they develop and related documents as well as promoting more efficient and effective rulemaking via public involvement. Comment on proposed rules and review the comments of others. All hail, public discourse!

    Hat tip to Peggy Garvin at LLRX.

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    Your Personal Window On The World of "Likes"

    Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
    Image via CrunchBase

    “Liking” is everywhere. On Facebook. In the news. And now, on a website near you. I wrote about installing my own “like” button on my business site, AdvantageAdvocates, last week (link here).

    Do you want to see what people you know and love and trust are liking across the Web? Check out LikeButton.me.  This site collects the “likes” of friends across the web in a one-page dashboard of sorts. Quickly view what your friends think.

    Before you privacy nuts go crazy, remember that the information sent by Facebook across the web is the same information that shows on your default Facebook public profile, which has was already publicly available prior to the changes. If you are uncertain of whether you want to share, then hit up your privacy settings in your Facebook profile under Account, and make sure you check the privacy settings on your Applications too.And remember as well, that “internet” and “privacy” are oxymoronic terms!

    Happy surfing!

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    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About IM

    Image representing Pingdom as depicted in Crun...
    Image via CrunchBase

    Royal Pingdom (link here) is at it again, and I can’t resist reprinting it here – a graphic representation of all things instant messaging. Check out the stats on usage, the IM time line, the popularity of the various clients, and more. Did you know that there are 10,000 United States laws and regulations pertaining to electronic messaging and records retention? You do now. Want to know more? Check out this Apture Link here .

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    Cool Tools You Can Use

    Move over Craftsman! Here are some odds and ends worth checking out. Even though they share nothing in common other than the fact they all reside on the Web, I thought these applications were all good enough to pass along to Studio readers.

    The first is a search engine for those of you who employ WordPress to power your blog or website, or develop for same. It is called SeekWP (link here). SeekWP’s results are real-time and include WordPress themes, tips, tricks and plug-ins. You can specify themes, tips or all. Results show the source URL, which you can click to get to the goods. Thumbnail previews are provided by thumbshots.com. I can’t tell if SeekWP is maintained by Tropica or the site is designed by Tropica, but kudos to them for a cool tool or design or whatever role they played in this app.

    The next tool is called Web2PDF (link here). It’s got a lot going for it. First, it’s free. Second, it allows you to convert any web page to PDF. It is a fantastic alternative for sharing information off-line or, even better, archiving your web content. You can use the online converter tool by entering the URL, clicking the “convert” button and then downloading the PDF that results. Or, you can email a URL to submit@web2PDFconvert.com and the reply will have your PDF attached to it. Finally, you can get a Web2PDF button that you can install on your own website or blog, making it a simple click for your readers to download and save your web info. Web2PDF has extensions for IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. It also includes online Word to PDF, PDF to Word and PDF to Excel converter tools. Lots of fun in one package!

    Finally, how about taking your Facebook stream data and turning it into its own mini-blog? Check out Facebook.me (link here) – it offers a few themes and import options based on the Open Graph API that everyone is talking about. You just connect the app to your account, give it the usual permissions, watch your items import, give them a theme and enjoy your blog! Nice means for repurposing the content you are already generating on Facebook.

    Facebook Friend-zy

    Facebook, Inc.
    Image via Wikipedia

    Hard not to have been hit over the head the past couple of days with all of the news about Facebook . Big changes that affect your privacy, how you interact across the Facebook site and how you interact across the Web are in a state of flux.

    On some level, I must have subconsciously known that these changes were in the air, because I was struck with a major Spring cleaning “friend-zy” and, over the past several days, have been strengthening the connections between my profile and business page AdvantageAdvocates and between the business page and its web page.

    I found tons of great Facebook apps and some new plug-ins to assist me in the process. Rather than go through them all right now (you can see many of them in the new boxes and tabs on both my Facebook Profile (link here) or on my Business Page (link here), I thought I would highlight one that I just installed on my website. This one is part of the big story that Facebook is planning to add a “like” button to the entire Web.

    Remember back, over a year ago, when Facebook was threatening to conquer the Web with its universal check-in, Facebook Connect? Well, its’s deja vu all over again. The like button is another iteration of this concept – if you have a Facebook profie and see a “like” button on a site, you can quickly connect to the and with the site wherever you happen to be.

    To that end, I installed a brand new plug-in on the home page of AdvantageAdvocates (link here). It looks like this:

    It’s dynamic in that it shows updates from the page. The images of the fans also change with different clicks, just as they do on your Facebook Profile page. But most importantly, the button allows a web surfer far from the confines of Facebook’s walled garden to reach into Facebook and effect a “like” of my business page. More dynamic and engaging that simply “sharing” my page into another social site.

    How did I do it? Well, that was not difficult. Over at the Facebook Developers Page (link here), there are eight brand, spanking new social plug-ins that feed off of this new “like” vocabulary. I personally used the Like Box (link here). There are also a Like Button (link here), Recommendations (link here), Login with Faces (link here), Comments (link here), Activity Feed (link here), Facepile (link here), and Live Stream (link here).

    Click the link of the desired plugin. Get your Page Id. I know there must be an easier way to get it than I did – I used an old Promote Your Page Fan Box Widget Link that didn’t work, but I was able to lift my Page ID out of the html. Simply insert that Page ID into the marked box, hit enter and up pops the code. Copy the code, paste it onto the desired page and in the desired location in your web site editor and Voila – dinner is served!

    Will it result in more fans, better connection, better engagement? I certainly hope so! Come on over to my page (link here), jump in and let’s talk about it!

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    The Devil Is In The Details

    Why should lawyers take precious time to learn computer-driven or web-based tools, to make on-line connections, to participate in on-line communication? Professionals averse to the experience cite their impressions that engaging with the hardware feels like a child’s interaction with a new toy, while engaging with on-line communities feels like time wasted at the water cooler.

    I am not suggesting a direct and measurable connection between putting effort into your on-line presence and putting money in your wallet. Traditional networking and advertising can’t promise such direct results either. I do suggest that there is real value in spending time building your web presence, reaching out to your connections via social sites, and making new connections. At worst, you might learn something new. At best, you might actually profit in a measurable way; profit being a term far broader than financial compensation in my usage.

    Take, for example, my recent project – updating my Twitter background. Twitter is a regular haunt of mine and there are lots of great ways to spiff up that web outpost. I previously used a tool called Free Twitter Designer (link here). This is a great app for someone who wants to upgrade from the stock Twitter background and include some customized, personal information on their page.

    But, as someone who occasionally dabbles in computer illustration and graphic design, I felt somewhat limited by this tool and decided to create my own background in my vector program. I played around with it on Sunday and loaded it up on Monday. Along with a new Twitter profile picture that matches my new Facebook profile photo.

    I always ask for feedback from my online friends and was not disappointed. One such friend, @Legaltypist, complimented me on my new Twitter photo. I pointed out that I had also updated my background. She replied that my new background was not showing properly on her screen resolution and that she was having a hard time reading the font I had chosen. I was grateful for the feedback, and made changes in the background later that day.

    While I was doing so, I was monitoring my Twitter stream for good information. Sure enough, another Twitter friend, @uMCLE, posted a link to a blog post on how to customize your Twitter background. The post, entitled 4 Major Tips to Personalize Your Twitter Background (link here), was written by @wchingya and was quite informative. The great information I found in the article included a link to a website called Twitter Background Checker (link here). This web app allows designers to try out draft backgrounds across the most popular screen resolutions! How timely!

    While I ultimately was unable to make the background work flawlessly with the smallest screen width (sorry @Legaltypist), I ultimately was able to make design changes that optimized the background for most resolutions.

    Along the way, I learned about an excellent blogger on topics of interest to me. So I followed @wchingya on Twitter.

    This morning, I found both a Twitter follow notice and a Facebook friend request from @wchingya. I immediately accepted the friend request and we communicated. She complimented me on my Twitter background, while I complimented her on her excellent article. She told me that she got my Facebook profile from my new background (obviously an effective vehicle for communicating contact information) and we both agreed that we were looking forward to our connection and learning more about each other.

    Is this money in my pocket? Well, no, not exactly. But if you value feedback, topical information, and new connections, the simple act of updating my Twitter background was a rich experience indeed. Sometimes, the win results from paying attention to the details

    Battle of the Smartphones!

    I love, love, LOVE this chart from GigaOM, entitled Blackberry vs. iPhone. Originally at the site (link here) and reproduced below:

    Image Attributable to GigaOM