The iPad has become an indispensable part of my work life. In many cases, it’s simply the best tool for the job and, loaded with useful apps, it fits my workflow. Follow along for 24 hours to see how the iPad fits into my typical day—and whether it might be a good fit for you.
Apple has done it again. Using a model much like its App Store for the iPhone and the iPad, it has taken a fragmented software market and created a one-stop repository that lets users buy and install a wide range of applications, all through one easy and convenient forum. In this case, though, the applications are not for mobile devices—they are for Macintosh desktop and laptop computers. We’re referring, of course, to Apple’s Mac App Store, which opened in January.
Whenever lawyers talk about their smartphones, the conversation inevitably turns to this question: What are some of your favorite apps? I’m an iPhone user, and with over 350,000 apps available and more coming out every day, my answer changes almost weekly. For example, with a new app called Word Lens, you can hold up your iPhone to a sign in Spanish and get the same sign displayed on your iPhone with the words translated to English! The app is far from perfect, but as a proof of concept, it shows how smartphones are forever changing international travel.
In the drive to tighten technology budgets, it’s no wonder there has been an increasing interest in low-cost and free software alternatives in the past few years. There have been some exciting developments in this area that can benefit many lawyers, especially in the category known as “open source” software.
Beyond its well-known search engine, Google offers an array of applications that can help lawyers in practices of all sizes work more effectively—and simultaneously help keep down their technology costs. Some of those tools are already familiar to many lawyers, but there are also some lesser-known apps available via Google that you’ll definitely want to investigate.
Windows 7 has been on the market since October 2009, and a lot of those who were running Microsoft Vista likely upgraded as soon as they heard that the new OS offered significant improvements and didn’t require a clean install. However, those who purchased new computers with Windows XP preinstalled, which was an option until October 2010, may still be wondering “Why bother with an upgrade?” Well, there are a number of reasons, but in a nutshell, you will rejoice in a better operating system. There are, though, some decisions, and possibly costs, involved in switching from XP that you’ll want to know about first.
If you’re not familiar with Microsoft OneNote, you’re hardly alone. Although it debuted in 2003, OneNote has been one of the best-kept secrets coming out of Redmond, Washington, in part because most users had to purchase it separately from the Microsoft Office suite. All that changes, however, now that OneNote is included in the box with all versions of Microsoft Office 2010.
Of the dozen pieces of software that I use on a routine basis, my mind mapping program would be the “last thing to go” in a hypothetical forced devolution of my practice. I use MindManager from Mindjet, and I feel about it the way Elvis felt about his blue suede shoes. It’s an inexpensive, easy-to-master and comprehensive tool that can help any lawyer increase practice efficiency.
Of the dozen pieces of software that I use on a routine basis, my mind mapping program would be the “last thing to go” in a hypMany lawyers have realized the advantages that cloud computing offers in terms of on-demand file access, enhanced support and reduced IT costs. But owing to the skeptical soul of the legal profession, others have been hesitant to embrace the cloud owing to ethical responsibilities concerning client confidentiality. Technology, however, tromps forward without heed for the meticulous analysis of ethics committees, and it appears cloud computing solutions have become inevitable. The fundamental question, then, is how a lawyer’s time-honored duty of confidentiality can be applied to the cloud.othetical forced devolution of my practice. I use MindManager from Mindjet, and I feel about it the way Elvis felt about his blue suede shoes. It’s an inexpensive, easy-to-master and comprehensive tool that can help any lawyer increase practice efficiency.