What Have I Learned Lately?

I would like to think that no matter how old I am — just turned 50, by the way — that I continue to learn on a daily basis. Unfortunately, sometimes I learn just by making mistakes. I personally hate to learn that way, don’t you?

Well, I digress. Let’s talk about what I learned recently at the STAR conference for court reporters in Lake Tahoe. Well, first and foremost, I learned that when you volunteer for groups such as STAR, you meet and associate with the best of the best in the reporting industry. I want to thank and acknowledge President Mark Renzi, my fellow STAR board members, Executive Director Tina Kautter and her firm, and Rosalie Kramm, my co-chair on the conference. You all did a great job and the event was not only big fun but very informative.

Before I go any further, I don’t want to forget to remind you all that if you are a STAR member and if you order supplies from Pengad, you are not only entitled to a great discount, but when you buy more than $3,000 worth of merchandise, you will have your STAR dues paid by Pengad. For firm owners, that’s an easy mark to hit. I was thrilled to have my membership for this year paid by Pengad. Thank you, Pengad!!!

One of the first things I learned at the conference was that Stenograph is now keyless. If you have updated to CATalyst Version 12, you can now be keyless on three different computers. Of course, you can only use one computer at a time, but this makes life easier. To set this up, contact Stenograph at http://bit.ly/dT7TKZ. As a realtime reporter, this is one less thing you have to carry around with you. Great news, Stenograph!!!

In the meetings with Stenograph, I learned something new about their market share. And although I have always been a huge fan of Stenograph products and technologies, I am even now more convinced that students and new reporters should absolutely, positively purchase Stenograph software. With over 55 percent of the reporters on Stenograph, and with the other 45 percent split with other vendors, why would you do anything else? As a court reporter/firm owner, I know how much easier it is for our production department to have our reporters using this software. For students, you want to purchase equipment that you can easily learn about, have others familiar with, etc. And it’s a big investment, and why not invest in the best. And as for a steno machine, there is just no question that their machines are the best out there.

On the technology front, I must say that I love, love, love my new iPad.  I must say my favorite new app is GoodReader. GoodReader supports large PDF and TXT files. As a side note, it also can easily open the Wood & Randall portfolio. I can’t wait to pass that on to our techie clients. With the GoodReader app, once you open the file, you can read, annotate, and even email your comments right from your iPad.

Another app I like is Evernote. I’ve been using that for my many meetings. It’s great for writing notes. When you synch with your computer, you can even create files easily, and it’s a nice organizational tool.  I really need to thank Shelly Hunter for these two tips re the apps. I might note that she’s a fellow iPad junky as well.

As I’m finishing up this blog, I’m realizing how much more I have to say about what I learned. I guess that means next week’s blog may be a continuation. Until then, let’s all try to learn something new, and let’s try to learn it the easy way.

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