Denver Bar Association
June 2013
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Apps to Amp Up Your Practice


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ooking to use your smartphone or tablet for more than checking your email and playing Angry Birds? Whether you use an Android or an Apple device, there are countless apps that can make your work and your life easier and more efficient. Our experts offer up their favorite apps that they use daily for note taking, working with documents, presentations, and more.

 

Take Note

Dictamus—available for Apple devices. Full version for $16.99 and a free version; jotomi.com/dictamus.

This app turns your iPhone and iPad into a digital Dictaphone, featuring all of the same function buttons as a top-end dictation device. It allows you to save and email your dictations to be transcribed by your secretary or assistant. I have also used it to record witness interviews.

More Apps for Your Practice

Join Kennedy Childs attorneys Miles Buckingham and Dan McCune and State Court Administrator Jerry Marroney for a hands-on demonstration of the panelists’ favorite apps at noon on Wednesday, June 5, at CBA-CLE offices, at 1900 Grant St., Suite 300. Both Apple and Android apps will be covered. One general CLE has been applied for. The event is free for DBA members, $15 for CBA members, and $25 for nonmembers.Lunch will be provided. RSVP to lunches@cobar.org or call (303) 860-1115.

– Dan McCune

Penultimate—available for Apple devices. Free; evernote.com/penultimate.

This app allows you to write notes or draw with a stylus or your finger and then save and email the document. I frequently use it for taking notes. My iPad is always with me and it never runs out of paper! – Dan McCune

 

Google Keep—available for Android devices. Free; drive.google.com/keep.

Google Keep is a relatively new note service. It is lightweight note-taking program that is accessible from a browser or app and clearly organizes the quick thoughts you jot down when you wake up in the middle of the night. Android users with Google Now (for Apple and Android; free; google.com/landing/now) capability are even able to instruct the phone to "take a note: Buy milk on the way home." and have their dictation turned to a writing, for which the audio is preserved. Many prefer Evernote to Keep for this functionality, but because it has fewer bells and whistles, Keep is the program I am using. Another option: Remember the Milk (for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry. Free; rememberthemilk.com). – Miles Buckingham

 

Edit and Store Documents

Dropbox—available for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Free; dropbox.com/mobile.

This app lets you share files from one device to another. You can upload all file types, with up to two gigabytes of free space, and download or edit them from another device. You can even share files with another person who has a Dropbox account. If you forgot your file but have it uploaded on Dropbox you can get to the file with just an Internet connection — I call it the flash drive in the sky. – Jerry Marroney

 

Google Drive—available for Apple and Android devices. Free; drive.google.com.

Google Drive is another excellent program that permits the redundant saving, and syncing, of files. Formerly known as Google Docs, Google Drive takes several forms. It is primarily a web-based set of applications that allow a user to prepare documents, spreadsheets, and project presentations on any computer with a modern browser. On PCs, the Google Drive program can be downloaded to additionally save, directly on the hard drive, all of the documents, and all of the changes to the documents, made in Drive. Other options: Microsoft’s SkyDrive (for Apple and Android. Free; skydrive.live.com) and Box (for Apple and Android. Free; box.com).

– Miles Buckingham

 

iAnnotate PDF—available for Apple devices; coming soon for Android. $9.99; branchfire.com/iannotate.

This app allows you to open, annotate, and store PDF documents. You also can email the annotated documents to others. I use it to review most PDF documents and to review my monthly pre-bills. It will also convert Word documents to PDFs. – Dan McCune

 

PDF Splicer—available for Apple devices. $4.99; tipirnenisoftware.com.

With this app you can combine two or more PDF documents, split a single PDF into multiple documents, insert pages from one document into another, reorder pages in a document, rotate pages, and insert blank pages. It also allows the user to add the PDF to Dropbox, email, or print file. – Jerry Marroney

 

Countless Apps to Work with Office

Docs to Go or Docs to Go Premium (available for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices. $9.99 and $16.99; dataviz.com/DTG_home.html) are great for creating and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents (you need the premium version for PowerPoint). This app also works with Dropbox. When using Quickoffice Pro HD (available for Apple and Android devices. $19.99; quickoffice.com), formatting tools are a little more hidden than Docs to Go but the user experience seems better. It also has more choices to access documents and works with Dropbox. CloudOn (available for Apple and Android devices. Free; cloudon.com)provides a remote version of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and works with the track changes function. You also can connect CloudOn to your Dropbox account. – Reba J. Nance

 

Present Like a Pro

SlideShark—available for Apple devices. Free; slideshark.com.

This app, which syncs with Dropbox, shows PowerPoint presentations and displays your notes when you run a slideshow. The app also shows you the total elapsed time of your presentation and how long you've been on a slide.
– Reba J. Nance

 

When You’re On the Go

Casemaker—available for Apple and Android devices. Free; casemaker.us

Casemaker, the Colorado Bar Association’s free legal research tool for members, now has an app that allows you to use Casemaker on the go. You can even access your folders! – Reba J. Nance

 

Field Trip—available for Apple and Android devices. Free; fieldtripper.com.

This location-based app features pop-up anecdotes based on where you are. It also can recommend destinations, restaurants, and little known historical sites. – Miles Buckingham

 

Google Search—available for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Free; google.com/mobile/search.

Instead of having to open a browser, go to Google, and type in your search, simply open the app and type it in. Phone numbers are linked, so you can search for a business and click on the phone number to autodial! – Reba J. Nance

 

Google Voice—available for Apple and Android devices. Free; google.com/voice.

Google Voice gives you a phone number that, when people call it, can ring to any other number you control. If you are on Sprint, that number can be your existing cell number. Suddenly, calls to a single number can ring to your cell, your office, your home, or anywhere. Voice messages are (roughly) transcribed and are accessible from the Web. You can send and receive texts from a browser as well. Voice will also place calls for you, so, highlight a contact or a phone number from a chronology, and your office phone will ring. Pick it up and you are calling out. Long distance is free, meaning you no longer have to log calls to client codes. The history function (somewhat scarily) tracks who was called, and how long a conversation lasted. – Miles Buckingham

 

iDisplay—available for Apple and Android devices. $4.99; getidisplay.com.

I use dual monitors at the office, and I could never go back to just one. When I travel with my laptop, I have to leave the second monitor at home, but iDisplay lets me to turn my iPad into a second monitor. Very slick! – Reba J. Nance

Skyfire—available for Apple devices. $2.99;
skyfire.com.

Want to watch Flash video on your iPhone or iPad? Then get the Skyfire Web Browser app; it’s not perfect but works on most Flash sites. This app is also available for Android devices but does not support playing Flash videos. – Jerry Marroney

 

TuneIn Radio—available for Apple, Android, and BlackBerry devices. Free; tunein.com/mobile.

Listen to hometown stations, countless National Public Radio stations, alternative music sites, international sites, and more — all from your phone. Pair with a decent Bluetooth speaker (such as Jawbox) and have background music and news, even in a Des Moines hotel room. – Miles Buckingham D

 

Miles Buckingham is a shareholder with Kennedy Childs; he can be reached at mbuckingham@kennedychilds.com. Jerry Marroney is the state court administrator; he can be reached at gerald.marroney@judicial.state.co.us. Dan McCune is a shareholder with Kennedy Childs and president-elect of the Denver Bar Association; he can be reached at dmccune@kennedychilds.com. Reba J. Nance is the director of Law Practice and Risk Management for the Colorado Bar Association; she can be reached at reban@cobar.org.


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