Productivity Apps for Law Profs

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The January 2, 2011 edition of the Chronicle reviewed “6 Top Smartphone Apps to Improve Teaching, Research, and Your Life.”  Here are the ones that looked most useful to law profs:

Attendance by David M. Reed (Computer Science, Capital University). Can take attendance and create “flashcards” with student names and photos (your school supplies the photos).  I’m using the hand-held student response systems for pedagogical reasons (in addition to attendance), but for folks who only use them to take attendance, this seems worthwhile.  $4.99.

Dropbox. For saving scholarly articles to read later. You can also store PDFs of course material, etc.  My Mac-loving colleagues swear by it.  Free.

GoodReader. PDF reader that allows you to also highlight and take notes.  I like this app, but haven’t yet gotten into the groove of taking notes on a PDF.  I think it’s just a question of habit for me. $2.99.

Evernote. Pretty similar to GoodReader.  Free.

JotNot Scanner Pro. Turns pictures taken from your iPhone into PDFs.   Cool for taking pictures of individual pages from book you’re reading or the whiteboard, before you erase.  This sounds like one that I could put to good use.  $0.99.

“Mind Mapping” programs, including Thinking Space (for Android), MindJet (for iPhone, $7.99), MindBlowing (iPhone, free), Popplet (iPad, lite version free, $8.99).  Like with taking notes on a PDF, I haven’t become habituated to the iPhone or iPad for mind mapping.  But if I practice more, the digital version would sure look nicer than a scribbled-on yellow pad.

Any others that readers use or prefer?

-Bridget Crawford

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