Two Phone Lines, One Smart Phone with the Ruby App

Post sponsored by Ruby Receptionists and written by Diana Stepleton, VP, Partner Engagement

Today’s lawyers are more mobile than ever. They are being pulled in a dozen directions: taking client calls, appearing in court, and working on the go. Are you prepared with everything you need to get work done, anytime and anywhere? Before you’re ready to take on the (mobile) world, you’ll need to make a few decisions.

One Phone or Two?

Are you carrying two phones or taking client calls on your personal mobile number? Carrying a single phone that handles all of your calls, personal and professional, can blur the lines between work life and home life. It’s much easier to convince yourself to handle client calls outside of business hours when your phone is already in your hand. There’s the challenge of having your personal cell number listed, resulting in business solicitation calls to your private number. Add the question of professionalism and it’s clear that running your business with a single number isn’t for everyone.

On the other side of the coin, having two phones also comes with its own set of problems. The most obvious of which is the simple—and probably familiar—struggle of keeping track of both devices. Silencing, answering, forwarding calls, taking messages – plus keeping them both charged! It can be a lot to handle.

So, what’s the solution?

Two lines, one phone! A two-in-one deal gives you everything you need to run your personal life and your business. It empowers you to better route and manage your calls. Many small business owners turn to a call-forwarding service , forwarding their published business number to a personal cell phone.

One other simple solution for a two-line plan for your cell phone is Ruby Receptionists’ Choose Your Caller ID feature.

Choose Your Caller ID with Ruby Receptionists

If you don’t know Ruby Receptionists, Ruby is a virtual receptionist service—a team of customer service experts devoted to building trust with every caller—making current and potential clients feel special while making you look good.   The friendly, professional live receptionists can answer with your custom greeting, transfer callers to you wherever you are, take messages, collect intake, make follow up calls, and more.

The Ruby mobile app is part of every Ruby plan. The app acts as your telephone command center, allowing you to change when/where you are taking calls, see your calls and messages at a glance, and select which number you want to dial out from.

With Choose Your Caller ID, you can dial out from your personal cell phone as if you were calling from your business phone. The number appearing on the caller ID matches the number you’ve published for your business—callers never know the difference! And what if you are making a personal call and want your cell number to appear? Not a problem! You’re given a choice of numbers every time you call out from the Ruby mobile app.

The benefits of Choose Your Caller ID include:

  • Having two lines on a single phone—allowing you to keep your personal number to yourself, while still managing your business from the same device.
  • More freedom, flexibility, and savings—Choose Your Caller ID eliminates the need for an office phone. Ruby can provide you with a local number or host your current number, empowering you to leave your landline (and its bills) in the past.
  • Superior call quality—The Ruby app routes calls through the cellular network rather than over WiFi, giving you a more reliable calling experience, with fewer dropped calls and better sound quality.

 
Further, Ruby can host your business number for you free, eliminating the need for a carrier. Don’t have a business number yet? Even simpler—Ruby can provide you with one. The price? Also free! You’ll have the flexibility and freedom of two phones without the hassle or worry of juggling devices.

With the Choose Your Caller ID feature, you’ll bring all of your business-related phone bills down to one service and one device: Ruby and a cell phone!  Members of the Chicago Bar Association receive exclusive pricing –to learn more visit www.callruby.com/chicagobar, or contact the Ruby team at hello@callruby.com or 866-611-7829.

Ruby Receptionists

Ruby Receptionists

All I Want for Christmas is a Smart-Phone-Watch

i'M watch colorsI consider myself to be an early adopter, willing to take a chance on new technology, patient or self-loathing enough to sift through videos when it doesn’t work just right, or do what the commercials promised in 2 seconds flat. But this year, I’m looking for efficiency, function, and style. Specifically and in that order.

Short of having a chip installed in my earlobe (willing trial participant here!) I consider my phone to be an extension of my daily life. It keeps me organized, empowers me to work from anywhere, connects me with loved ones, alerts me of danger and makes me laugh. But… it’s also my biggest nemesis, something in my hand or within reach when I am working, driving, shopping, walking, working out. A buzzing, chirping, blinking distraction, keeping me from being present and engaged. A former colleague of mine once said to our IT team ‘Go ahead, take the BlackBerry out of her hand. Another one will grow back like the Terminator.’ I’m sorry to say, this was not far from the truth, and only got worse when I adopted my first iPhone.

But it’s not just me! The average person checks their smartphone between 110-150 times per day. To text, call, email, read, socialize on social media, escape, and… to check the time. So would it not make perfect sense to bring something you reach for so often to your wrist? Freeing up your hands & eyes for things that came long before the land of internet and iPhones. Like eye contact in meetings, dinner conversation, handshakes, hugs, shopping (like real dig through racks, try on shoes kind of shopping) driving, playing golf, going for a run, you get the idea.

So what’s a girl like me to do with a dilemma like this?

Relocate the distraction.

Watch notifications, while presenting the same information as your phone do not encourage you to reply, respond or react. It would be absurd to think you’ll sit there and type out an email response on your wrist with one finger. For those of us who fell victim to Phantom Vibrations, just seeing what’s going on may ease the anxiety of not knowing what’s happening. Smartphones, while powerful, valuable devices are keeping us from true engagement, participation and impair our spatial awareness.

In short: Sometimes your smartphone makes you act like a jerk. So let’s move our music, message notifications and more out of our hands, away from our faces, and confine them to a place within view… but oddly enough, out of reach.

 

Here are this season’s best of breed Smartwatch solutions. Check them out, and let Santa which one’s on your list. Your loved ones will thank you.

pebblesPebble @Pebble 

The friendliest device out of the bunch Pebble makes Smartphone integration look easy. It’s stylish design, seamless compatibility and near infinite list of customization options offers users all of the sexy features of the other devices for nearly a Benjamin less.

Can: Display notifications of your choice in a layout of your liking, or design your own watch face. Incoming calls, email previews, text messages, calendar appointments, weather and fitness information all presented to you in various layouts. The newly opened Pebble App Store promises to bring even more options to this increasingly popular device. Screen Size: 1.26-inch (144 x 168 pixel epaper display) Camera: Use PebbleCam to control your iPhone camera without a Wi-Fi connection. Reviews Say: Best value, easiest interface. Left to be desired; a built in camera and color display.

Price: $150.00 Works with: Android, iPhone & Windows Phone

 

Galxy Gear in 6 colorsSamsung Galaxy Gear @SamsungMobileUS

The Galaxy Gear definitely looks like the ‘next big thing’ but delivers a surprisingly lack luster list of features, some questionably market ready. Sleek style and catchy colors while attractive are still hard to justify with such a limited feature set.

Can: Make & take Calls, pictures, send texts, play media, check the weather, and dictate commands to S voice (Siri Substitute) utilizing a small but growing number of Galaxy Gear Apps.  Screen Size: 1.6-inch (320×320 pixels) Camera: 1.9-megapixel Reviews Say: S Voice control is slightly delayed & needs some work, speakerphone doesn’t compensate for background noise.

Price: $299.99 Works with: ONLY Samsung Galaxy Note 2, 3 & S4 Mobile Phones

 

metawatchesMetaWatch Strata & Frame @Meta_Watch

Sleek & functional design offers a good distraction from this phone’s limited offering and lack luster display. However the rugged Strata is the only Smartwatch designed for the outdoor enthusiast. Its big sister the MetaWatch Frame offers smoother styling better suited for executives.

Can: Display pertinent notifications through a 4 widget screen; Text, Calls, Weather, Email, GPS info and more. Screen Size: (25mm x 25mm, 96 x 96 pixels) Camera: None Reviews Say: Built to last and withstand true outdoor activity. Limited notifications and widgets aren’t quite what you’d expect from a Smartwatch.

Price: Strata $179.99 | Frame $229.99 Works with: Android & iPhone

 

sony smartwatchesSony SmartWatch 2

Sony didn’t exactly deliver with the second addition to their Smartwatch series. Failure to include a microphone, speaker or camera limits the device’s ability to compete. Redeemed by a growing list of apps and full color, sunlight friendly screen, looks were clearly not an afterthought.

Can: Screen calls, email and text alerts even if you spill a little coffee on its water resistant casing and full color sunlight readable OLCD screen. Screen Size: 1.6-inch (220 x 176 pixels) Camera: None Reviews Say: At first glance a strong alternative to the Galaxy gear, but shaky software and limited compatibility options are definite drawbacks.

Price: $199.00 Works with: Android

 

martian-passport-watchesMartian Passport Watch @MartianWatches

A smartphone watch in disguise the Martian Passport Watch looks more like a James Bond gadget than companion to your iPhone or Android device. Which, for the wearable tech adverse may be a perfect match. The thin OLED strip at the base of the watch face displays notifications while the two buttons on the left side of its Analog face control phone features. Advanced customization options even allow you to adjust the strength of watch vibrations, for the inner perfectionist in all of us.

Can: Make or take calls, notify you of texts, emails, weather, driving directions, social media alerts and as much more as you choose, all managed from your phone. Integration with Siri and Google Now drive most of the commands on this device. Screen Size: 1.53 x 1.46 inch face with a 96 x 16 pixel OLED display bar Camera: Remote camera control only Reviews Say: A gentleman’s smartwatch, straight out of the pages of GQ. Initial set up is a little rocky, but well worth the effort.

Price: $299.00 Works With: Android & iPhone

 

im-Watch-SmartwatchI’m Watch @imcollection

An Italian made luxury Smartwatch for today’s fashion forward techie. This elegant timepiece comes in a variety of precious metals, colors and offers a sunlight friendly color LCD screen.

Can: Customize your full color display & notifications with hundreds of I’m Watch Apps, viewing text, phone, email and other notifications when and how you choose. Screen Size: 1.54-inch (240×240 pixels) Camera: None Reviews Say: Cumbersome set up with less than stellar battery life.

Price: Color Collection $349.00 | Titanium Tech Collection $999.00 | Jewel Collection $1,500.00+ Works with: Android & iPhone

 

Smartwatches to watch for in 2014

The Smartwatch rumor mill is spilling over these days. Keep an eye out for these developing models in the New Year:

The Google Gem: Google’s stepping stone of wearable technology, predicted to prepare consumers for widespread use of Google Glass. With a richer feature set, sleeker design and broader compatibility, experts anticipate the Google Gem will give Samsung’s Galaxy Gear a run for its money, saving buyers $50-100 over the Galaxy Gear.

Apple iWatch: If you saw any of the iWatch Patent diagrams, trademark applications, or other industry fodder circulating earlier this year the iWatch will come as no surprise. Apple may be letting others beat them to market (or figure it out for them) but don’t discount their ability to dominate the consumer marketplace. Should the iWatch arrive in 2014, and look anything like the mock ups we’ve seen online, you can expect to see those long lines of iDiehards camping outside their local Apple store, credit cards in hand.

Last but not least Nokia & Microsoft are rumored to be working on a Windows Phone compatible Smartwatch, offering similar features to their current predecessors.

 

Thank you for sharing your day with us!

If you have an device or app you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to post below, or share it with me on Twitter @ChelseyLambert.

Ten Apps that Send Holiday Cards in a Flash!

Oh no, it happened again!Keep Calm and Happy Holidays

The Holidays are here and your good intentions of sending out holiday cards have been derailed by your busy schedule. The good news is, like almost everything else in our tech-centric lives… there’s an app for that!

Pick your festive favorite, and get those greeting cards out the door and off your to do list.

 

Physical Cards from Your Phone

Does the thought of going to the post office make you cringe? Skip the trip and delegate that task to these apps that print, stamp and send faster than you can say Ho, Ho, Ho!

Ink

A tried and true solution for spreading holiday cheer, Ink has mastered the art of app generated greeting cards. Choose from over 500 designs, add photos, messages and send to anyone in your contact list instantly. Send via, Facebook, Twitter, email, text message or snail mail. Available on: AndroidiPhoneiPad | Price: Free (postage & printing may vary)

Martha Stuart Craft Studio

The Queen of Crafting has an app for almost any creative project, including your last minute holiday cards. It’s easy to get carried away customizing every detail all the way down to the festive glittery ink. Once you’re finished your masterpiece share via email, Facebook, Twitter, create a PDF, print them yourself, or have Snapfish print, stamp and send them for a small fee. Available on: iPhoneiPad | Price: Free (postage & printing may vary)

Red Stamp

Luxe card design on demand. Perfect for the discerning professional Red Stamp offers innumerous templates, finishes and envelope options. Add photos, write custom text, add your logo, or use a ready to go greeting, getting it done fast, and with style. When ready, share, text, email or snail mail your stylish greeting anywhere in the world. Available on: iPhone, iPad, Android | Price: Free (postage & printing may vary)

Thank You Pro

Originally built to send well branded, professional thank you cards, they have added a collection of holiday themed greetings which can be sent to anyone in your address book in just a few taps. Available on: iPhone | Price: Free (postage & printing may vary)

Touchnote Cards

Use your own photos to create everything from simple ecards, social media posts, postcards or printed greeting cards mailed for a small fee. It’s clean design a short list of editing options will keep your project short and sweet. Available on: AndroidiPhoneiPadPrice: Free (postage & printing may vary)

 

Be Green and keep some with eCards

Show the environment some love and send your holiday wishes electronically. These apps make it as easy as reading one of those inappropriate eCards on Facebook.

Artogram

Searching for something beautiful, unique, maybe a little quirky? Artogram’s library of art is created by independent illustrators. Pick a design, customize your message and share via Facebook, Twitter or Text Message. Available on: iPhone & iPad | Price: $1.99

Just Wink

Made by American Greetings, this card library feels like you’re shopping in a Hallmark store. Create personalized cards with your own photos, a short message and signature tool. Once complete send your creation via email, Facebook, snail mail or Text Message for as they say it ‘Instant Greetification.’ Available on: Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook, Windows 8 | Price: Free (postage & printing may vary)

 

Think Outside the Gift Box

Try something non-traditional this season! A postcard, poster or video, showcasing your favorite family members and moments will take center stage among this year’s array of holiday cards.

Postagram

Turn thinking of you, into sharing with you. This slick and seamless app turns a photo into a meaningful postacard, complete with a message from you. Select the contact you’d like to share it with and email, text, or snail mail to your heart’s content. Available on: iPhone, Android | Price: Free (postage & printing may vary)

Phoster

Pictures too ‘larger than life’ for a simple greeting card? Now you can share them in poster size! Use a preexisting template or create your own holiday poster. Share via email, your favorite social network, or print them out for physical posting wherever you like! Available on: iPhone & iPad | Price: $1.99

Elf Dance & Storybots by Jib Jab

There’s nothing more personal than a video of you and your friends dancing through the snow in elf costumes. Cast up to 5 friends or family members in a variety of entertaining holiday situations. Be the center of attention at the kid’s table with Storybots, Jib Jab’s video maker for children, casting your favorite little monsters in a children’s book of their choice. Available on: Elf Dance for iPhone & iPad, Storybots books for iPad, Storybots shorts for iPhone | Price: Free

 

Thank you for sharing your day with us!

If you have an app you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it! Feel free to post below, or share it with us on Twitter @ChelseyLambert.

Fastcase Releases App for Android

In the news for lawyers using the Android operating system on their mobile devices, the much anticipated Fastcase app for Android is now available.  Read my quick review at AttorneyatWork:

For lawyers who do not have a Fastcase account at all, this app—like the Fastcase iPhone app—allows you to search, browse, read and save statutes and cases from a national library for free. If you already have a Fastcase account, then related activities on your Android, such as search queries and saved documents, automatically synchronize to your desktop subscription.

Interested in other legal research apps and add-ons? Check out the Apps for Legal Research list from the UCLA School of Law library  and check out the materials from “Mining the Web for Information” from the CBA archives.

Favorite Android Apps

Read about tips and apps for lawyers using Android phones in the AttorneyatWork blog post “Favorite Android Apps for Lawyers“:

If you think the “i” guys are the only ones with apps to brag about, think again. Some of the big names in legal technology proudly carry Android devices, and they’ve got plenty of apps to brag about, too. Among the notable users: Andy Adkins, the CIO for Steptoe & Johnson; Future Lawyer blogger Rick Georges; Monroe Horn, who’s Chief Technology Officer at Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers; Nerino Petro, the Practice Management Advisor for the State Bar of Wisconsin; Catherine Sanders Reach, the Chicago Bar Association’s Director of Law Practice Management & Technology; and Droid Lawyer blogger Jeff Taylor.