A Seasoned Reporter’s Professional Bag of Tricks


DanaBy:  Dana Anderson-Linnell

While there are likely many common items found in every court reporter’s “luggage,” there are a few gems I’ve begun to carry over the years that are maybe not-so-common for other reporters, but they have been real life-savers for me.  Here’s the short list:

A NAIL CLIPPER – Seems like fingernails sometimes grow overnight!  For many reporters, the length of their fingernails can have a huge impact on accuracy and speed.   A clip in time saves…editing time!

GLASS WIPES – Nowadays we’re sending realtime feeds to touchscreen devices such as iPads and tablets.  They often look as if they have been touched.   A lot.   Present clients with a clean, fingerprint-free viewing device every time by wiping down the tablet just prior to presenting it.

GAFFER’S TAPE – When an assignment is not Noticed as a videotaped deposition (therefore, there will be no videographer present with tape), I’ve started to carry my own gaffer’s tape to secure extension cords and other wires.   It comes in super handy in tight quarters when table space is limited/nonexistent.   I’ve used it not only to tape my microphones to something (like the back of my laptop), but also to create a safer work environment by taping down extension and power cords so people won’t trip on them when they walk by.

ALMONDS, COUGH DROPS AND CANDY – Almonds are the perfect protein-packed quick snack!  They stay fresh for weeks and are weatherproof (won’t melt in a hot car, and if they freeze, that’s okay).  What’s worse than feeling a coughing jag coming on in the middle of a depo?  Be prepared to thwart it quickly by having cough drops at the ready.   I always throw hard candy like Bit-O-Honey or Jolly Ranchers on the table in the afternoon of a deposition.   Clients always appreciate a low-cal, sweet treat provided by their reporter!

BROOKSTONE BOOGIE BOARD AND STAND – This is my newest and most favorite item!  I use it to display the current witness’ name for the questioning attorney.   Especially powerful and appreciated for those days when there are multiple witnesses.

Last, but certainly not the least, when it comes to my favorite gadgets that I’d like to share with you is something that sits not in my bag but on my nightstand.  It’s called a Sleep Machine, and I seriously cannot live without it anymore.  After an all-day deposition or arbitration, it can be difficult to turn off the brain.  This little white-noise generator works wonders to help relax and soothe the mind to help you can fall asleep quickly.


2 Responses to "A Seasoned Reporter’s Professional Bag of Tricks"
  1. Great tips! I am very interested in the Sleep Machine; however, the link doesn’t appear to work. I’ll try to check back later. ;0)