Get Appy – Apps to help the practitioner on the move

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Useful Apps for legal practitioners

So you have your smartphone and the tablet is on your Christmas list. However the key thing with any of these devices is that they are made useful by the apps that you download to them. So here is a quick round up of the most useful apps for you.

  1. Dropbox is an online storage system using the cloud. So you can save the documents to your “My Dropbox” and then access them on the go using your iPad, iPhone or android device. It is fair to say that Dropbox did have a hacking issue earlier this year but this does appear to have been resolved. The trick is always to encrypt your sensitive documents you are storing on cloud storage so only you can access them. This might be difficult to do on a mobile device so only use this for non-sensitive information.
  2. Readdle documents- This is a document manager for your iPad. You can read MS Office and apple iWork files and pdf files. Even better you can annotate and  hi-light them. Alternatively you can try Goodreader which can display books, movies, maps and picture. It has the ability to zoom and conduct a text search. Again you can annotate documents. Iannotate is an alternative that particularly sells itself on the ability to fill in forms. You can mark and annotate and the new version for android will be free initially when it is released.
  3. Penultimate turns your iPad into the ideal legal notepad. You can draw diagrams; take notes using either a finger or a stylus. You can email the notes too.
  4. Square now you know what a challenge it is when you visit your client and they want to pay by credit card but you don’t carry a credit card machine in your back pocket. Well here is a way to modernise your practice. You have to register on their site and they will send you a free credit card reader and you download the app. This is on iPad, iPhone and android at the moment. This can be very useful as the costs for setting up the machine from the bank are not always viable for micro businesses.
  5. Talking to yourself again! Dragon dictate have an app for iPhone which is always useful when you are out and about and you need to take a quick note. They do have Dragon go app  for android and blackberry which allow you to use the mobile web by talking to your phone. So tweeting the easy way in the cold weather.
  6. Skype– an essential business tool these days for talking to clients all over the world. There are apps for this for iPhone, android and windows. However do remember that you are using data for this so make sure your data limit is sufficient to use this. If you are overseas then make sure that you are connected to wifi so that you do not get home to a big bill. Don’t forget that Skype and Microsoft  Messenger are being merged so if you want to keep your personal and business contacts separate you may want to have a separate log in for personal and business use.

So now you can be productive on the go but finally please don’t forget your obligations of confidentiality as trust me I get to read a number of interesting items on the train and I’m sure many of them breach data protection! Just think how much information someone can get with a mobile phone camera sat next to you on the train!

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