Sunday, April 29, 2007

New Laptop: What I'm Installing for Law School

I am writing this post on my new laptop. It arrived on Monday and I have spent all week un-installing and installing and moving files and generally making it my own. Since this laptop is primarily for school I have been looking for software that will help me be more efficient and productive once school starts. I am going to do several posts on software that I think will work well for law school. First up -- note taking software. I know there are a lot of different options out there, but these are two that I think will work well for me:

  • Microsoft OneNote -- Actually I got Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. I mentioned before the good deals on software from the Academic Superstore, but Amazon had the better price on this. Anyway, I have heard lots of good things about OneNote from other law student blogs, so I am going to try it out. I like the tabbed notebooks and the fact that you can type anywhere and include clippings from the web or wherever.

  • ZuluPad -- This is a free text editor that works kind of like a wiki. You can create lots of pages that link to each other. What I like best is that this software creates links automatically when you type the name of a page. I was imagining using this for taking notes in class: say I have briefed a case and have a page with the case name as the title, then when I type that case name in my notes a link to my brief is automatically created, I could then click on the link to look at my brief in case I get called on, or just have it linked for reference when I am reviewing my notes. The main drawback to ZuluPad is that it is pretty much just a plain text editor. The $15 pro version has bold, italic and underline and lets you change the font (but it has to be the same font for the whole document), but I think that I am going to need more features than that.

In my next post I'll tell you what I've installed for time and task management.


Dan said...

I loooove or for awesome deals on software for students.

saramel said...

Thanks for the tip Dan!