Thursday, April 30, 2009

Treesheets for Law Students

The most interesting thing I've found and been able to try this month is from This is an initially weird spreadsheet/outlining/note-taking tool. I used it last night to take notes. You start out with a cell, or a grid of cells like a spread sheet. As you type the active cell expands. You can nest cells within that cell, or branch out into other cells. It is extremely useful.

It's marketed as "The ultimate replacement for spreadsheets, mind mappers, outliners, PIMs, text editors and small databases". 

I'm not sure if its that functional, but after how easy it was to take notes in Contracts, a struggle in a Socratic lecture, I'm hooked. Forget the legal numbering and outlines in Word, this is much easier to learn and control. 

While my use is not yet this sophisticated, here is their screenshot of the program in action:

The possibilities are there to create an outline that emphasizes important points and allows you to arrange information in a way that makes the most sense for you.  

Very useful, and very intuitive.  I had mastered on the fly notetaking after using it in one class.  The keyboard shortcuts are great and easily referenced.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Crimes Quiz No. 2

The second quiz and second gradable moment for me in law school.  After the first one I realized I was no longer the master of multiple choice, or multi-state if you prefer, questions.  More systematic studying was needed. This has always been a weak area for me. In college, I read the material, reviewed class notes, usually and that was enough.  Now, whether its the novelty of thought and material, or just the sheer volume of material, I'm concerned. One thing I have been sharing with everyone is There is an outline, or multiple outlines for various law classes. If you need examples, or additional materials to study from, they are already prepared.

Any other good tech ideas since the last post? 

Get a good flash drive. Actually get two.  A 2GB or less to backup/recover your computer.  While many computers can boot from a USB drive, most cannot boot from a USB greater than 2GB. You can get a larger one for other files that are not critical, but I would argure that all the things you create in lawschool are going to be critical to you at some point. At some point you are also going to run out of room on the 2GB drive pretty quickly, so get two.

Keep them safe, add a return to sender label. Think about for them.  Add OperaTor to it.  I never thought I'd need to surf anonymously, or get around a locked down computer. Then I needed something from my gmail account only to find that gmail is blocked on the computer lab workstations. The flashdrive and OperaTor got me to my assignment, and printed it out. I would have just used the flash drive to transfer it from the laptop to one of the lab computers, but the laptop chose that moment to have a serious BSOD on boot, twice. I'm thinking about a Mac.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Useful site

A little short post on how to outline...see above.