Colligo Briefcase Pro for Sharepoint On The Go

Our department was one the first in the company to switch from a traditional static intranet site to a far more full-featured Microsoft Sharepoint site. Needless to say, I was involved in the push. Sharepoint is a web-based tool designed for enterprise use that incorporates many features to promote collaboration between coworkers, including intranet portals, document & file management, collaboration, social networks, extranets, websites, enterprise search, and business intelligence.

Once I get my hands on a great tool, my first thought always is: how can I get this on my device so that I can carry it around with me? If you want a very capable mobile option for Sharepoint, I suggest you look no further than Colligo Briefcase Pro. There is a lite version as well, with more limited functionality, but Colligo kindly provided me with a code to access the $14.99 Pro version for my review. Colligo Briefcase Pro enterprise offers even more features around security and remote management.

Briefcase Pro works with SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, or Office 365 sites. It allows you to store, sync, view, edit, and find SharePoint content on your iPad or iPhone. Access and share files, lists, images, documents and emails. Synchronize SharePoint content to your iPad or iPhone automatically, for instant access, even when offline. The user interface is beautifully simple – it’s no harder to use than any of the other cloud-based storage applications, once you get past setting up your app and connecting with your enterprise Sharepoint site. Set alerts to monitor file changes. Share files using links. Leverage search within the app.

First and foremost, though, as with any interface with the enterprise, security is the key. AES-256 bit hardware based encryption type security, remote wiping and password protection within the app. With the Colligo Administrator software, there are even more security features available to the enterprise. There are also plenty of settings to allow you to control what gets downloaded and stored, size and type limits and when such downloads should occur, which is great when storage space or connectivity are issues. This is a far safer, far more secure way for business users and employees to access enterprise content than some of the other mobile options they may be tempted to use (looking at you, Dropbox).

There are some new features in Briefcase Pro 2.0. Whereas previously you could only download files, now the process is two-way so you can upload as well. There is offline editing available, which will then sync once you are online again. The familiar “open in” dialog on your iDevice is now usable from Briefcase, so you can use your application of choice, like Documents to Go or Goodreader, to work with the content. Check in/check out indicators, as well as conflict detection and resolution features. And you can edit your custom and standard lists. There is day/week/month view support in the Calendar and you can create “Playlists” of your favorite files for quick access. There are column filters to hone in on what you are looking for. Plus rich-text viewing.

Not everyone is using Sharepoint, so Briefcase’s appeal is somewhat limited in that regard. However, if you are a Sharepoint user, I have yet to come across a more full-featured mobile application for the suite. Stay connected with your business, your colleagues and your important files via Briefcase Pro. Check out more about the options on the Colligo website here.

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CloudOn 2.5 Getting Closer to the Full Office on the iPad

Back in January, Microsoft Office users rejoiced with the introduction of CloudOn, an iPad app that ran a virtualized Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel & PowerPoint) on the iconic tablet. Not content to sit on their laurels, CloudOn’s developers have added new features to the app that makes it more appealing and useful. CloudOn 2.5 adds the ability to annotate and track to its iOS app. But don’t worry,  Android support is coming. In addition to the previously available tools for managing, creating and editing files, you will be able to add shapes and lines in Word with your fingers, type a note and preserve those markups in the files themselves. You can save to Dropbox, Box, or  Google Drive accounts. The new CloudOn FileSpace feature reveals a real-time stream of data on changes to your documents so that you can effectively track changes across platforms. The ribbon toolbar is optimized for touch gestures for editing and spell checking. While it is running a version that is akin to 2010, rather than 2013, it is more than sufficient to give that virtualized Office experience. While it’s a bummer that it isn’t yet retina supported, it is a great tool for those longing for Office on their iPad or Android-powered device. It also bears noting that, through partnerships with both Microsoft and Adobe, CloudOn lets you open and view a variety of file types with the built-in Adobe Reader and File Viewer, including PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, etc. And its all for free.


New Collaboration & Presentation Tools = New Way of Thinking

The web is about a lot of things, not the least of which is collecting information and getting your message out and how best to go about doing that. I talk a lot about collecting and presenting in the Studio mostly because there are always great new tools cropping up to leverage technology to make the process cooler, more efficient and more fun. Lawyers are all about researching, collaborating and presenting. Why not use some slick tricks to give you an edge in that game?

I have two tools to talk about. The first is Prezi, a web app that combines the best of white boards and slide decks. Prezi is cloud-based, with a zoomable canvas. This allows you to take a large image, and move from concept to concept across the image, offering a “moving” experience that gives a different feel to your message. It uses a single canvas rather than the slides you normally find in a slide deck. You can add text, images, PowerPoint slides, videos, PDFs, etc.  on that canvas. As you create your presentation, you use the “zoomable user interface” to pan to part of the canvas, stop and then zoom in. This offers a far more “cinematic” look than a traditional deck. The resulting process is called the presentation “path” as it more closely simulates a journey through the media than a static stack of slides. There is a desktop editor available for offline construction as well. The Meeting feature allows for social, on-line collaboration on the canvas and path. And, of course, there is Prezi for iPad which is essentially a viewing rather than editing tool. How mainstream is this tool? Check out some of the recent TED presentations to see Prezi at work, making smart people look smarter.

And check out a sample Prezi here:

Cool Tech Alert: Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskin

This hits all the right points: it’s techy and geeky and it involves a Moleskin. If you love to journal the old fashioned way, but want to keep track of your life digitally, this is your toy. The Evernote Smart Notebook is a paper notebook made by Moleskin, purveyors of some of the finest paper notebooks out there. After filling your page with scribbles, take a photo of it with Evernote’s new Page Camera feature, and the page is digitized and searchable. Use the included Page Stickers to give Evernote further clues about how you want the information treated within the app. These smart Stickers are essentially tagging tools – when  you capture a page with Evernote, the  Sticker icons become searchable, digital tags to help keep ideas organized and  digital and analog workspaces synced. Page Camera has automatic edge detection and image optimization to give you the best result.  The book contains specially formatted paper, designed specifically for use with Evernote. The paper lines are made up of dots for better image recovery within the app.

Using the Evernote app for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you can customize what tags and notebooks you want to have automatically associated with your Smart Stickers when they are captured using the Page Camera feature.

 

Each Smart Sticker may have one notebook and up to six tags associated with it. You can see the image, make changes if necessary and then “accept” if you want to save into your Evernote account.

You can get a larger or small version, sized at 5 by 8.25″ or 3.5  by 5.5″ , 240 or 192 pages respectively, in traditional lined or graph paper styles. $24.95 and $29.95. The Page Camera feature currently works in iOS apps, but it is promised to be coming to Android.

If you don’t know what Evernote is, it is one of the best note taking and archiving applications out there, with web-based and local applications, as well as native mobile applications for most devices. There are applications that work with Evernote to make it cooler, like dictation services, and great OCR and audio tools so that you can really save and search most anything.

Check out the video below for an introduction. This is really so cool and a great bridge for people looking to get more digitally organized but not quite willing to give up pen and paper. As a bonus, each book comes with a free 3 month subscription to Evernote Premium. Nice!