The holidays are upon us! These awesome gadgets may be just what you’re looking for this year for your favorite court reporter or legal professional. These gifts are just a click away for that favorite person on your list! Whether you’re on the naughty list or the nice list, remember to pick up a little something for yourself while you’re at it.
Some of the following made my list last year, but they’re just so darn awesome that they landed on the list again in 2017. Enjoy!
- Automatic Pro Connected Car Adapter: This handy gadget has realtime location data about who’s driving your car. I’ve been using this device since late fall and am absolutely loving it! I am using an app called IFTTT to automatically generate a Google spreadsheet to keep track of my work miles. No more mileage logs for me where I have to handwrite all the data. This adapter plugs into almost any car to provide unlimited monitoring with zero fees. You may even connect your car to your Echo, your smart thermostat, or any other part of your digital life. This product works only in the United States.
- DYMO LabelWriter: This labeler is my all-time favorite gadget. Just upload your company logo, add your contact information, and print a professional-looking label for every transcript that heads out the door. My labeler is connected to a dedicated computer. But I have no worries about keeping my contacts up to date, because I utilize Apple’s iCloud. When I effect a change or update in my address book on one computer, it then syncs on all computers, so my contacts are always up to date and available no matter which computer or device I happen to be using. I also have created a customized exhibit sticker with my logo. No more worrying about ordering exhibit stickers because I create them on-the go. The product features of the DYMO labeler are many:◦Create and print address, shipping, file, folder and barcode labels◦Print USPS approved DYMO Stamps postage directly from your desktop – no monthly fee, contracts, or commitments required◦Uses thermal printing technology — no expensive ink or toner needed
- The Rocketbook Wave provides the freedom of a traditional pen and paper notebook, while instantly blasting your notes into the cloud using your smartphone. Image processing: In an instant, the Rocketbook app crops and enhances each page so your digital notes are more crisp and vibrant than the real thing. Send your notes to specific locations in the cloud services you already use. My favorites are Evernote, box, and Dropbox. When you use Pilot FriXion pens with the notebook, you can erase your notes using your microwave oven and reuse your notebook.
- Anker PowerCore Slim 5000 Portable Charger: This slim battery charging tech is designed for smartphones and offers up to two charges. The design ensures that it will be stowed easily into your pocket or handbag. The silicon shield helps keep your phone scratch-free. This portable charger is a must-have for anyone with long days in court and/or depositions.
- Beats Pill Portable Speaker: This handy external speaker is one of my essentials for telephone depositions where a speakerphone is unavailable and I need to utilize my smartphone for the call. I can rest assured the witness will experience the best audio and never miss a word from the questioning attorney. This portable wireless speaker runs on a rechargeable battery and is capable of charging your phone or external device, if needed. It weighs less than a pound and slides into a carrying case complete with a carabiner for easy transport.
- PopSockets: This little “gadget” is great for enhancing the grip of your smartphone. You will always be assured you will have a good grip on your device for texting, calling, photos, and selfies. This is compatible with all smartphones and tablets. PopSockets work in landscape and portrait modes for watching videos, web surfing, gaming, FaceTime, and Skype. Another benefit is that it allows your hand to relax while securely holding your phone. The advanced reusable adhesive is repositionable. The adhesive sticks to most devices and cases.
- Wemo Mini Smart Plug: Plug in a Wemo Mini Smart Plug, download the free app, and control your lights and appliances from your phone and your voice through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Only needs WiFi. No hub or subscription required. Schedule automatically. Never come home to a dark house. Schedule the fan to turn on before you arrive. Sync lamps and devices to sunrise, sunset, or pre-set times automatically. Randomize Lights. The Mini Smart Plug protects your home better than a mechanical timer. “Away Mode” will turn your lights on and off randomly to make it look like you’re home even when you’re not. Voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Pair with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant built-in devices like Google Home and control your lights and appliances with your voice. Works with Nest. Nest can sync with Wemo for automatic home/away control.
- Amazon Echo Dot and carrying case: I received the Echo Dot last year. It truly has a wide variety of uses and can be used throughout your office or home. Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, control Amazon Video on Fire TV, and more. When editing my transcripts, I ask Alexa to verify spellings for me so that I don’t have to take my hands off the keyboard; thus, making me much more productive. If a court reporter can keep their hands on the keyboard, it saves time and effort for sure. Other uses for the Echo Dot are as follows: Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Play music simultaneously across Echo devices and speakers connected via cable with multi-room music. Call or message almost anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice. Controls lights, fans, TVs, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from Wemo, Philips Hue, Sony, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and others. Hears you from across the room with seven microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music. Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-cancelling headphones: These headphones have been on my wish list for a long time! I finally gifted them to myself. They are life-changing for sure. Love not being tethered to the laptop when I want to get up for a stretch or a snack. Features of these headphones: Connectivity Technology: Wireless. World-class noise cancellation makes quiet sound quieter and music sound better. Plush ear cushions are manufactured from a synthetic protein leather. Volume-optimized EQ for balanced audio performance at any volume. Wireless convenience, with easy Bluetooth and NFC pairing aided by voice prompts. 20-hour battery life per charge; up to 40 hours in wired mode. Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear calls even in windy environments.
- Logitech G413 PC Gaming Keyboard: This is my brand-new keyboard. I was in the market for a new keyboard and went shopping with my millennial son. He told me, “Mom, you need this keyboard. It’s really cool.” Now, you can imagine I was a little hesitant to make this purchase, as it’s a gaming keyboard. My first thought was that he wanted to take it over from me. I kept an open mind about its features and touch. Wow! So glad I did. It is a lighted keyboard, which means it’s great for those low-light conditions. The touch is absolutely amazing. Gone are the days of sticky keys and having to redo key strokes. Other features of this keyboard are as follows: The Romer-G™mechanical switch is purpose-built for pro-grade performance, responsiveness, and durability. Romer-G is also purpose-designed for precise and clean lighting through the keycap. Keys are always visible and never distracting, especially during late night gaming sessions. Additional USB cable connects the USB pass-through port to its own input for 100% power throughout and data speed. Plug in a device to charge or plug in a mouse to charge your adversaries
There you have it — my Top Ten Gadgets for the Holidays 2017. Happy gifting! Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a little something for yourself while you’re shopping.