links i like. July 11, 2014 edition.

Louis CK and the downside of hype in how we promote ourselves.

Can you relate to this at all? Why we get angry. I see glimpses of most (all?) of these triggers in the anxiety-ridden, stressed-out professionals around me. Or the clients they deal with. Or both.

“Unless you are extremely well capitalized, you should not attempt to offer the lowest prices in your market. Bragging that you are competitive on price does not gain more customers.” Pretty much everyone I know should read this: 3 strategies for raising your pricing. 

Need to know something about any Microsoft product/platform? Check out this huge list of free e-books spanning the Microsoft universe.

Mammoth: Evernote meets Tumblr? 

Going paperless on a Mac with Eaglefiler.

Google, take down requests, and “searching for the right balance.”

So true. To solve big [and small] problems, change your process. 

For a quick shot of happiness, spend just a few moments doing one (or more!) of these easy things.

Think beyond the next five minutes. Consider the foundations for flourishing.

 

tech tip thursday: a nifty (free) PDF app for mac.

I spend a lot of time dealing with PDFs. And solving PDF-related problems.

For instance, I’ve written before about how to unlock a PDF when you don’t have the password.

Yesterday’s challenge: insert a signature (JPG file) into a locked PDF.

Preview doesn’t like to add JPG files to PDFs. (Preview, the Mac PDF app, is my default viewer/editor, by the way.)

I have Acrobat Pro and while it does a lot of neat things, it’s too much trouble to use for simple things … like quickly adding a JPG signature to a locked PDF file.

A few seconds (literally) on Google and I found the perfect solution.

FormulatePro. An open-source project hosted on Google Project Hosting (source on GitHub).

FormulatePro is a simple PDF editor that lets you easily add JPG files to any PDF. Even locked ones. Simply open the PDF in FormulatePro, go to File —> Place Image, and drop the image into the PDF. You can resize the dropped image and move it around the PDF, to achieve perfect placement.

(You also can easily add text to a PDF with FormulatePro, which makes it a super-quick way to fill out forms.)

Simply export the edited file as a new PDF or print to PDF.

FormulatePro is a handy, lightweight PDF tool that you should have in your Mac Toolbox.

links i like. june 20, 2014 edition.

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I highly recommend adding TED talks to your self-development routine. (You do have one, don’t you? A routine for developing yourself?) TED playlists make it easy to find the ones you’ll most enjoy.

Looking for a way to organize all of your favorite online rabbit holes? Try start.me to organize social and other sites, as well as RSS feeds. Organize with different pages (e.g., one for work, one for play). The neat freak in me is enjoying.

The Internet is deep and wide. Everything you need to know? It’s out there. You just have to know how to find it. Become a master information excavator with these courses: Power Searching with Google and Advanced Power Searching with Google.

On the other handle, Google is not the only game online: some other “search engines” you shouldn’t ignore.

Do two or three of the things on this list and you will find yourself with more time for things other than work.

In the spirit of life-long learning, I’ve started using lingua.ly to brush up on my Spanish. I like the word monsters.

Are you a replication creator or a skilled creator? Which one do you want to be? How to let your brain do the work. And create, instead of replicating.

Some practical tips on using codes and naming conventions for digital files.

A little inspiration for today: how to be lucky.

*YOU* should be your biggest cheerleader: read this and find out how to be your own PR person.

Does empathy play a role in how you practice? In how you market your practice? It should.

get your google on. and be productive.

The following post originally appeared on the MyCase blog, thanks to a kind invitation from Niki Black. It’s the first in a series that I’ll be publishing here about the how to get your google on.

I admit that I’m an unabashed Google fan. Some of the simplest Google tools are the most powerful in my tech toolbox, enabling me to practice both productively and efficiently. One of my more geeky hobbies is learning about all of the useful but lesser-known Google tips and tricks. Here are a few of my current favorites:

Use Google as a timer. I’m most productive when I block out my time,  devoting a chunk to really focused work and then taking a break. I use Google’s built in timer to do this. How? Type “set timer 45 minutes” into a Google search bar and up pops a timer, set for 45 minutes. (Or whatever length you choose.) I then hit the full screen button and all online distractions are blocked out, making it easier for me to focus on my work.  

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Use OK Google.  Install the Google Voice Search Hotword extension. Open a new tab in Chrome, say “Ok Google” followed by your search term. Like magic, results appear. While not perfect (it’s still in beta), I’ve found Google understands my southern drawl and results are quite accurate.

Ctrl/Command +F. Okay, perhaps not lesser-known but it bears repeating. You’re using Google Scholar to research a key issue in a case.  Hit CTRL (or Command) + F to view all instances of a word or phrase in the document or webpage. An invaluable time saver.

Gmail Shortcuts. I have too many favorites to mention them all individually. Go here to peruse and figure out which shortcuts are most relevant to your email workflow. One favorite: Ctrl+Shift+c  [Command+Shift+c for Macs) to add cc: recipients. I use it multiple times daily.

Canned Responses. The single biggest email timesaver for me is this Gmail Labs add-on. You can save canned copy and insert it into any email, at any time, simply by choosing from your saved Canned Responses. My favorite use: email disclaimers. You don’t need the 250-word disclaimer in the email to a friend scheduling lunch. Save it as a Canned Response and add it only when it’s relevant and necessary (which is much less often than you think). I also have Canned Responses for general instructions that I give to clients about processes and documents I use regularly. The time I save is extraordinary. This helpful tutorial walks you through how to enable Canned Responses, and how to create and use them, as well. 

What Google tools are in your tech toolbox?

links i like.

What’s not here?

Want to surf the ‘net in stealth mode? Check out this fast and secure way to search privately.

It’s finally here. And here are five things you need to know about Microsoft Office for iPad.

Use Gmail? Worried about the NSA snooping through your emails? Here’s what Google is doing to thwart the snooping.

For anyone who stares at a computer screen much of the day (like many lawyers I know, myself included), consider using this app (for both Mac and Windows) designed to ease the eye strain.

No matter where you buy e-books, it’s possible to read them in one place. Here’s how. Very helpful for e-book addicts like me.

I’ve ditched Box for Google Drive, perhaps for good. I’m currently exploring the many things I can do with Drive, that I couldn’t with Box.

Try this one-minute hack to grow your Twitter following organically.

Your website copy probably needs reworking. (Mine does.) Schedule some time to rewrite. (I am.) Read this first. It will help you turn bland text into sparkling content.

Google launches stores for Docs and Sheets add-ons.

Google launches stores for Docs and Sheets add-ons.

Stay tuned. I’m in the process of reviewing some add-ons, including one (Letter Feed) that looks quite intriguing for lawyers, and will be sharing thoughts shortly.

To access the Add-ons Store, open a new doc or sheet. Click on Add-ons (a new tab in upper right side of screen) and the Add-on store will pop up.