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TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2012

By Neil J. Squillante | Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Originally published in the December 14, 2012 issue of TL NewsWire. Instead of reading TL NewsWire here, sign up now to receive future issues via email.

In 2012, we reported on 205 new products in TL NewsWire. In what has become an annual tradition, today in this year's last issue of TL NewsWire we present to you the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2012. You'll find commentary on the Top 10 products, a list of the next 15 products, and links for all 25 products.

How do we determine the winners? We don't. You do. Each TL NewsWire article about a new product contains a link to that product's web page. We anonymously track everyone's clicks on these links to help us figure out which types of products most interest TL NewsWire subscribers, and also to create the annual TL NewsWire Top 25 Products.


Congratulations to the 10 hottest products in the TL NewsWire Top 25!

1. Total Attorneys App Store

After raising a significant round of capital, Total Attorneys came out swinging this year with two cleverly framed blockbuster announcements.

Several companies announced "application programming interfaces" or APIs this year, which enable other products to more easily integrate with theirs. To its credit, Total Attorneys chose not to use this term given that most lawyers are not programmers and therefore don't know what it means.

Instead, Total Attorneys announced an app store. Thanks to Apple, everyone knows what that means! Using this colloquial term vaulted Total Attorneys App Store to the top of the TL NewsWire Top 25. So congratulations to Total Attorneys not only for the add-ons it announced, but also for how the company framed this announcement.

2. Total Attorneys

Before launching its app store, Total Attorneys relaunched its cloud practice management system. This alone would have likely earned it a spot on the TL NewsWire Top 25. But Total Attorneys also announced an incredibly low price of just $1 per user per month, which explains its second place ranking.

Total Attorneys isn't crazy. Instead, like Amazon's strategy of selling its Kindle tablets at or below cost and later earning a profit on ebooks and other content, Total Attorneys essentially gives away its practice management system with the hope that you'll purchase apps such as credit card processing.

3. CitePin

When we reported on CitePin, we called it the "Evernote of the Legal Industry" as it's a cloud application designed to keep track of legal information such as legal research in a freeform manner but with legal-specific features.

CitePin clearly excited many of you. Just one caveat. This company reminds me of the Pink Floyd song, Is There Anybody Out There? We could not find an email address. We filled out the contact form requesting a screenshot to no avail (our thanks to LawSites for letting us use one of its screenshots).

4. TheFormTool PRO

According to the CEO of TheFormTool, the TechnoLawyer Network, including TL NewsWire, enabled the company to grow much faster than it originally anticipated.

TheFormTool PRO adds document assembly functionality to Microsoft Word without the need for programming skills. Because of the intense interest in TheFormTool PRO, we reviewed it twice from two perspectives in our BigLaw and SmallLaw newsletters.

5. MobileScan Pro 100

It would shock me if a scanner didn't make the TL NewsWire Top 25. In many law firms, scanners have become as essential a peripheral as printers. In fact, many law firms find that they need several types of scanners — high-volume, network, desktop, and mobile.

Ambir's new scanner garnered so much attention from TL NewsWire subscribers because it's the Batman of scanners — highly mobile with a dual personality. It functions as both a sheet-fed scanner and as a wand scanner. Also, it can scan without any cables to a Micro USB card.

6. Workshare PDF Professional Plus 2.0

Workshare PDF Professional 1.0 ranked second in last year's TL NewsWire Top 20. And here is version 2.0 ranked sixth in this year's TL NewsWire Top 25. Acrobat XI Pro also made the list this year but it's further down. That's because while PDF software is a hot topic, PDF software designed specifically for lawyers is an even hotter topic.

You probably found Workshare PDF Professional's support for PDF/A and its file size shrinking technology of interest given that many courts require this format and have file size limits. Version 2.0 also offers integrations with Autonomy Worksite and Microsoft SharePoint, two popular document management systems used by midsize and large law firms.

7. eBillity

eBillity has interesting origins. One of its co-founders used to work at Bill4Time, a cloud legal billing software pioneer. As a result, the two products share a number of features, chief among them an iPhone app as well as desktop widgets for Mac and Windows. Also, the pricing for Bill4Time and eBillity is identical.

Perhaps because of its late entry into the marketplace, eBillity has teamed up with larger companies. For example, it powers Thomson Reuters' new Time and Billing product. And when Intuit abandoned its cloud billing product, it recommended that its customers switch to eBillity.

8. Harvest

Harvest serves the billing needs of several industries, including legal. It offers both iPhone and Android apps, thus covering the majority of TechnoLawyer members (49% use an iPhone; 28% use an Android smartphone). For law firms with three or more timekeepers, Harvest costs less than rival products.

9. CaseFox

Clearly, TL NewsWire subscribers like cloud billing software as CaseFox also falls into this category. We cited CaseFox's ability to accommodate temporary contract lawyers as its Killer Feature. CaseFox also falls on the less expensive end of the pricing spectrum.

10. PDF Converter 8

We covered three new Nuance products this year. Not surprisingly, its PDF software received the most attention.

PDF Converter 8 is practically a word processor given its editing capabilities. That's why you'll find some of Nuance's Dragon speech recognition technology built into the software. Like Workshare PDF Professional, PDF Converter 8 integrates with a number of products popular among lawyers, including CaseMap and Worldox.


Congratulations to the 15 remaining products in the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2012!

11. OmniOutliner for iPad

12. Leap

13. Amicus Attorney Premium Edition 2012

14. Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover

15. HoverBar

16. Acrobat XI Pro

17. Apollo

18. Standzfree

19. TranscriptPad

20. Disconnect

21. DocMoto

22. Amicus Cloud

23. Samsung ML-2165W Mono Laser Printer

24. iPad 3

25. SwingHolder

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Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Computer Accessories | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL NewsWire
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