Drop.io and Mindmeister are web tools at their finest. Of all of the tools I’ve spent time exploring, these are two I use consistently.

Drop.io

Drop.io was brought to my attention at ABA Techshow, when Tom Mighell and Dennis Kennedy demonstrated it in their Collaboration Tools seminar. (The seminar was a glimpse into their new book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together).

The idea is this: you can create any number of secure drop spaces, into which you can upload documents. You can specify how long the drop should live (a day, a week, a year). The site will actually preview uploaded documents before you download them. A file drop is a perfect solution for replacing the sending of large email attachments. Since drops are temporary AND secure, they are a great way to communicate with clients.

Drop.io takes their functionality a bit further by allowing you to send faxes into your drop, as well as offering a conference call number which will record the call as well. The design for all this is simple and clean. My reaction was similar to when I used Google for the first time, as the elements on the page are very sparse. And it’s free. Go figure.

Mindmeister

Mindmeister is an online collaborative mind mapping utility. Mind maps are very effective ways of brainstorming and organizing information. GTD Lawyers will be very familiar with this technique as it is something David Allen writes about. If you haven’t played around with them, you will be amazed at their simplicity and power in helping you sort out ideas.

Mindmeister, in addition to creating beautiful mind maps that rival those from market leader Mind Jet, allows multiple people in remote locations to collaborate in real time. This is huge for Rocket Matter, as we often work in different locations, but can brainstorm ideas as if we were standing in from of the same whiteboard. For those of you considering VLO’s (virtual law offices), this may be especially useful.

So we’re interested in finding out – of all the trends and gadgets of the weeks, what for you has had staying power?