Tools We Love


Cool Tools: Canva

This post was written by Dorota Turlejski from the CCLA Technology Committee.

Would you like some Graphic Design made easy? Canva provides ready-to-use templates for any form of communication that requires a visual component. As long as you are online, it is very easy to use the Canva search engine to find a template most closely connected to what you’re trying to do. You get to provide content in a way a visual artist or a graphic designer would without actually hiring one.

Canva gives you access to over a million photographs, graphics and fonts and 50,000 templates for various types of visual outputs.  For example, say, you wanted an appealing first page of a presentation you will be showing at the first CCLA Technology Lunch and Learn entitled, “Lawyering while Travelling.” You go to www.canva.com, click on the “Find templates” tab, pick “Presentations”, and you are provided with some subcategories.  I picked the “Simple” subcategory and chose from the available options. I thought this template might work nicely:

All I had to do is replace the information provided in the template.  The result is:

       

Simple! You can then save it on your desktop, and you have the option of saving in “pdf” or “jpg” format, and the file is ready to be uploaded into your presentation.  

The great parts about Canva are that it is cost effective, you can get a visual that looks good very quickly, and you can easily transfer the created file onto whatever file you are working on.  

Some drawbacks are that the tool is dependent on the speed of wireless connection, and that you have to get comfortable with the copy and paste functions and how they are used to replace content in the templates. Also, there is paid content on the templates that you need to watch out for. You can add paid elements or take them out of the templates. The paid content is worth paying for as it blends in well with the whole template and each element or image is usually no more than $1 or $2 (USD).   

Category: Graphic Design Software


Cool Tools: Evernote

This post was written by Christiane Saad from the CCLA Technology Committee.

Lawyers can use Evernote to collect, organize, access, and manage data, as well as collaborate in day-to-day law practice.

In addition to supporting digital and handwritten notes, Evernote’s Web Clipper allows saving articles and web pages, taking screenshots and bookmarks sites directly from the web browser to store and organize. Evernote’s strength lies in its organizational features, like its notebooks, stacks, tags, and powerful searching tools, making content easily accessible everywhere. Further, features such as reminders and checklists aid in daily work projects, keeping users informed and on top of deadlines while providing teams with workspaces with in-app discussions, knowledge discovery, and presentation mode.

Evernote is also a great place to scan, store, manage and search business cards. With the Premium option, it’s possible to digitize and connect your card to your LinkedIn profile. In the legal practice, Evernote may also be used to organize firm’s policies, procedures, and checklists as well as legal research or precedents.

In terms of security, Evernote allows two-step verification and a pass code lock for mobile devices. However, just like any other cloud based system, it’s a question of risk and how much the user is willing to accept. In terms of data ownership, data protection and data usage, you can read Evernote’s policies to verify compliance with your needs.

Evernote is available for Microsoft Windows, on Android, iOS, web and has a Chrome extension. It’s also available for the Apple Watch and Android Wear. While these apps don’t have full functionality, it’s possible to receive notifications, create notes, check off to-dos, and search using voice command.

Currently, the free account provides only up to 60 MB data and is limited to two devices. However, the premium or business version offers more features with an affordable upgrade. To learn more: https://evernote.com/compare-plans.

Categories: Note-taking, Collaboration, Productivity

 


Tools We Love: Doodle 2

Often it’s the seemingly-easy tasks that take up disproportionate amounts of time; for an example of this, you can look no further than trying to schedule a meeting with a multitude of people. Thankfully, there’s Doodle to change all the hassle of that; an easy-to-use and time-saving tool that makes us wonder how we ever got by without it. Best of all, it’s free (and you don’t even need to make an account)!

doodle1

To get started, simply click on the blue button “Schedule an event” on the homepage, as seen above.

From there, it’s a short step-by-step process as you enter information about your meeting and location. You select possible dates and times, and then can either enter in the attendees’ emails directly, or just copy and paste and send them the link to your poll. Your attendees can then go to the poll and select the times they are available.

Once everyone has responded, the result will look something like this:

doodle

As you can see, the results make it easy to tell when everyone is available, and Doodle will go as far as to identify the best time(s) for everyone to be in attendance.

Simple – easy – and no more back-and-forth! Give it a try if you haven’t already.