Apps for Busy Legal Professionals: Is There an App for That?
As we all know, legal professionals are busy people. Every day can bring with it different challenges, both from a technological standpoint as well as the need to be prepared for last-minute occurrences. Combine that with a busy personal life — family, friends, kids, and the hope of a vacation from time to time — and it is imperative to stay organized. For most of us that means using our smart phones to do just that. In my quest to continue to keep myself organized, I polled my techie friends for their favorite apps. I have some great ones here and I wanted to share.
Seriously, how many passwords could one person need? Well, with me there are more than I can keep track of or even count. I use Keeper to keep my passwords organized and readily available. This way I only have to remember one password. And if you have an iPhone, it’s a quick login with your thumbprint. You can also organize them by file types. So I keep my personal passwords separate from my Wood & Randall passwords. This has saved me so much time. And for added convenience, I download this app on all my devices – my iPads, too – and all my passwords are literally at my fingertips. Keeper is also available on Android devices.
When I asked around about favorite apps, the one app that is always mentioned is Evernote. Evernote is a great organizational tool. It is easy to use and it syncs to your iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and desktop computer. You can have access to all your notes on all devices 24/7. You also can have an Evernote-specific e-mail so that you can e-mail information directly into Evernote. I like to use Evernote when I attend conferences. I can keep all my notes organized into one folder for each group.
You may also want to check out the Microsoft Word app as well. After a friend told me she only travels with her iPad and uses this exclusively on the road, I thought I would try it and I love it. It is a Microsoft product so it is a very familiar format. You can read Word documents at no cost, but to create and edit, you need a qualifying Office 365 subscription. It is available for Apple and Android devices. It also has accessibility through OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, and SharePoint. This may be my new go-to.
Another favorite is LogMeIn. With LogMeIn you can have access to your work computer from an iPad, iPhone, or Android device. If you want to handle something from home or vacation, you can quickly jump on your work computer and find the answer or the right document. I might note that you do have to leave your computer on in the office to have the access. Just something to consider with this app.
So I wonder sometimes why I even have a navigation system in my car. I truly just use my Maps app on my iPhone. But when I head to Los Angeles and the Bay Area, it’s time to use Waze. I really rely on this app for dealing with traffic. This is a community-based traffic and navigation app where drivers in the area share real-time traffic and road information. It directs you when and where to leave a route based on up-to-date traffic conditions. We meandered through a tricky situation heading to LAX once, and I doubt we would have made the flight without it. For Android users, Google Maps is a good option.
For those who drive often and need to keep track of mileage, I heard MileIQ works well, but you may want to pay for the upgrade. It eliminates the need to keep a written record. It sends a weekly update so you can log your travels as personal or business. You can also be very case specific, and it gives monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports. I am sure my accountant would encourage me to use this one! MileIQ is available for Apple and Android devices.
For court reporters, scanning apps are all the rage. Sometimes you need a quick copy and there is not a scanner available. Also, camera apps aren’t designed for close-up text scanning. Two popular apps are CamScanner and Genius Scan. With these apps you can use your iPhone/iPad or Android device with the app camera to scan one or several pages in a document. The app then crops and sharpens the document to enhance the readability. You can then email a .jpg or PDF.
I was using Genius Scan to scan and email my business receipts. However, I recently discovered American Express Spend Manager Mobile App. Since I use my Amex for most of my business expenses, this was a better fit for me. This app is an easy way to manage your card expenses by allowing you to add receipt images and notes to your transactions. If you are a QuickBooks user, you can send to your QuickBooks account.
Are you out of the office and need access to your previous depositions or a specific exhibit? Well, your court reporting firm may have a repository and app so your case documents, transcripts, and exhibits are available 24/7 through your smart phone or laptop. You can even view outstanding invoices, see your upcoming deposition calendar, and get directions as well.
A fun app that a friend shared that my husband and I have been using when we find a good bottle of wine is VIVINO (available for Apple and Android devices). Just take a picture of the wine label and it gives you all the information about it, including which vintages are best, the pricing you should expect to pay, the ratings, and a description of the wine’s flavor.
In closing, I am in love with the Stylebook app that allows me to organize my closet. As a working girl, it eliminates the dreaded “what should I wear today” and helps me get out the door quicker in the morning. It’s also great for when I travel and need to plan a packing list. Stylebook is currently available on the Apple App Store for iPhones, iPads, and iPods.
I am a firm believer in working smart through organization and convenience. If you have an app to share that helps keep you organized, or if you would like to learn more about the Wood & Randall Mobile App (available for Apple and Android devices), please give us a call at (800) 322-4595 or email me at [email protected].