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Tech Gadgets for School and Beyond

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I have two large monitors and love it. Would never go back, especially if you're doing research and writing. Invaluable to be able to put up sources and your work side by side to reference, copy and paste, etc.

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8 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

I have two large monitors and love it. Would never go back, especially if you're doing research and writing. Invaluable to be able to put up sources and your work side by side to reference, copy and paste, etc.

I do this too. I have this set up at the office and home. Saves a lot of time.

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Used to work at a Staples. Stop. Buying. Inkjet. Printers. They are genuinely awful for printing only schoolwork. They are great for photographs and glossy paper. Buy a cheap laser jet printer. Toner doesn't dry out, and you get several thousand pages from a new cartridge.

This printer is affordable and usually what I recommended to home office customers. If you need to print colour, I'm pretty sure there's a colour model. It doesn't support ethernet or Wi-Fi, which can be annoying, but if you've got a desktop PC it works great. The one model above this one, supports WiFi and ethernet.

 

 

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1 hour ago, BeltOfScotch said:

Used to work at a Staples. Stop. Buying. Inkjet. Printers. They are genuinely awful for printing only schoolwork. They are great for photographs and glossy paper. Buy a cheap laser jet printer. Toner doesn't dry out, and you get several thousand pages from a new cartridge.

This printer is affordable and usually what I recommended to home office customers. If you need to print colour, I'm pretty sure there's a colour model. It doesn't support ethernet or Wi-Fi, which can be annoying, but if you've got a desktop PC it works great. The one model above this one, supports WiFi and ethernet.

 

 

I second the printer thing. Best purchase I made before law school. I'm migrating to two screens this year as well after having a two screen setup at work.

 

Also, my 'invaluable tool' for law school is having NHL Gamecentre to have open during the break in night classes on my iPad.

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3 hours ago, Dosko said:

Tell your friend, if he still has his tablet, to try the app Notability. I found it great for organizing and note taking. You can use your stylus like a mouse to encircle an item, then copy & paste it elsewhere or change the colour of the text or enlarge it, etc. Other apps are bare bones and not great for detailed notes.

Also, and probably more importantly, there is a learning curve. Don't get one a few days before class and expect miracles, took me a few months to get used to it. Now my laptop stays at home attached to a monitor and my tablet goes everywhere with me.

I used Notability in the last 2 years of undergrad and in law school! I had my ipad with a case that has a physical keyboard, so I typed notes just as quickly as I would if I had been using my laptop. Then, if a prof did a diagram, I could continue using the app and just use my stylus. It was a great combination! (also I think that app is free). It was also much lighter than having a laptop in my bag, especially on long days. 

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1 hour ago, FunnyLawName said:

I second the printer thing. Best purchase I made before law school. I'm migrating to two screens this year as well after having a two screen setup at work.

 

Also, my 'invaluable tool' for law school is having NHL Gamecentre to have open during the break in night classes on my iPad.

I usually go with CNN Go, due to my love of flashing lights, loud noises, and self-hatred.

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Not really a gadget but there are probably a lot of cool apps you can download that might help in a pinch. One example is TinyScanner, which you can use to take pictures of documents and quickly convert them to PDF. The app does an excellent job of cropping out the document automatically and making a perfect looking PDF "scan". I used it a few times for last minute print jobs after summaries were already printed out and also for official documentation sent to the school for different issues. 

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Loving where this discussion is going. Many thanks to all responses so far!

Super interesting to hear how people in our field are using tech tools to their benefit (as well as how something that works for one person, doesn't so much for another) :)

 

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7 hours ago, onepost said:

Regarding tablets and law school: I notice a ton of Surface devices last year. People were generally very happy with them. I haven't tried one myself, but I could totally see it being a great do-everything device for law school.

 

Blech. Personal preference (others will vary), I'd only ever use a Surface if they were mandatory. Had one for my work device, found it worse than useless. Trying to be laptop and tablet, didn't do either of them well. Repeated hardware faults (like screen not turning off, battery draining while off overnight), just barely ran Office, didn't run IE, WiFi connection best described as 'optional', lack of ports by default.... If they work for people go for it, but loads of us wound up using our own iPads just because we couldn't get our jobs done with those things! 

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Anyone have experience with OneNote and how it compares to Notability? Which do you prefer? Pros and cons? I used the latter throughout my undergrad and loved it. It was super easy to keep notes and PDFs organized, but I'm interested in OneNote and if it's a better option.

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8 minutes ago, ElevenUnderwood said:

Anyone have experience with OneNote and how it compares to Notability? Which do you prefer? Pros and cons? I used the latter throughout my undergrad and loved it. It was super easy to keep notes and PDFs organized, but I'm interested in OneNote and if it's a better option.

In my experience it's prone to crashing. 

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23 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

In my experience it's prone to crashing. 

For me, Onenote crashed a lot on Mac. But I've switched to a PC and it works great on there. 

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23 minutes ago, realpseudonym said:

For me, Onenote crashed a lot on Mac. But I've switched to a PC and it works great on there. 

My experience has only been on mac, so that's likely true. 

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OneNote has been great for me on PC, no issues. I use it for note-taking in my classes and I haven't had weird crashes or hangups. The Mac port being bad is very likely the case (as it frequently tends to be).

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22 minutes ago, maximumbob said:

Just on the merits of handwriting notes vs using your laptop, see this study:  https://mobile.twitter.com/dynarski/status/895616409199419392

 

Not really indicative.  Keep in mind that most people have grown up with pen and paper rather than tablet or laptop.  No indication that those given laptops were proficient with them.  Pen and paper are still the basics taught in elementary school.  I wonder what would happen with the same study in 20 years.

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1 hour ago, Pawford said:

Not really indicative.  Keep in mind that most people have grown up with pen and paper rather than tablet or laptop.  No indication that those given laptops were proficient with them.  Pen and paper are still the basics taught in elementary school.  I wonder what would happen with the same study in 20 years.

If you're going to law school in 20 years, that might be a good point .  Think there are lots of 3 year olds posting here?  

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