By: Caroline Peterson, RN, FRP
Technology is not my cup of tea, so to speak. When I started doing research on this project, I only had a few apps on my phone and tablet. To say I was shocked at the multitude and diversity of the apps is an understatement. Many of the people that I spoke with about various apps have told me that some key apps have changed the way they do business and have even changed their personal lives.
Research has shown that there is an app for almost everything and there are usually several that do the same thing with just a few differences. Therefore, you should read reviews; talk to friends, co-workers and family; and just plan to do your homework about the apps you are interested in before spending the time and money getting them on your devices. This hard work will usually pay off by virtue of less money spent and peace of mind in knowing that you get the app that works the best for your needs.
The apps that are shared in this article are either ones that I have tried and/or others have tried and told me about. These apps work with Android and/or Apple devices. You can get further information in the app stores for any type of phone or tablet that allows such downloads. But the most important thing is to research and review the apps on your own before you spend the money on the app. Many of them have free trials which is a great way to decide if they work for you prior to spending the money for them.
30/30 – free app for time management. This app helps you to focus on one task at a time. It allows you to list each of your tasks, assigning an allotted amount of time for each. You can add up to 10 days of tasks at a time. It also allows you to loop the task to repeat them as needed. Simple sounds let you know that your time is up.
Billable Hours and Time Keeper – both have a fee to download and use. They are designed to help you track how you spend your time so that you can keep accurate and timely billing records for your clients.
Dropbox – free app that allows you to share files. It’s great for files that are too large to email and you do not want to zip them. You can store music and files in the cloud with Dropbox so they can be accessed only when needed so as not to clog up the memory on your device. The devices can be synchronized easily including your PC.
Evernote – free app to help you organize and keep track of everything! You can take notes, photos and recordings. You can also save tweets and websites. If you have this on multiple devices you can instantly synchronize them all.
Fastcase – free app which allows you to search cases, statues and bar publications. You can search by jurisdiction or date. Caveat: Fastcase does not Shepardize so you do not know if you are still reading good law and it does not have secondary sources like Westlaw and Lexis; but it is a good place to start.
iAnnotate PDF and PDF Expert – both have fees to download. They allow you to do many things with PDF files while on the go such as customize, search, import, merge, manage, create, share, summarize, highlight, bookmark and sign. Each has things the other does not but they both are great sources for managing PDF’s while away from the PC.
Keynote – this app has a fee to download. It’s presentation software that can be used with Microsoft Powerpoint. This has many of the same features of Powerpoint and allows you to do a professional presentation on the go. It will coach you through it and it allows you to edit items down to the pixels. It also has advanced controls which will allow you to use your phone as a remote to control the presentation.
Rulebook – free app but you need to pay for the data that it uses. When this app works as designed it is very informative and helpful BUT it has a lot of downtime when it does not work as designed. These kinks are being worked out per the app provider so this is one that you might try at a later date.
US District Courts Guide – free app that has the 94 courts broken down at circuit, state and district levels including the judges and courthouse contact information.
So, when you want something to help you be faster and better, just by using your phone or tablet, remember the adage “There’s an App for That” and check it out. There really could be!