In Part I of Special Counsel’s review of apps, we made recommendations on applications for resume preparation, interview preparation and accessing legal job boards. This second installment looks at apps that are productive additions to the tech toolkits of anyone involved in the legal industry.
A successful search process depends on your ability to establish (and maintain) effective business relationships. With the right apps, you can manage both the “high tech” and “high touch” elements necessary to close the deal.
Contacts Journal: “Relationship management” is the mission of this app — CRM software that lets you track interactions with key professional contacts. Create meeting logs; schedule follow-up communications; manage to-do lists; attach documents and create customizable database fields. (For iPhone and iPad)
CardMunch: Wondering how best to manage all the business cards you collect? Using this free iPhone app from LinkedIn, you photograph a card — and the information is populated into a contact record. (The app can show each new contact’s LinkedIn profile, along with the connections you share in common.)
File-sharing & Backup
Dropbox: Dropbox has earned a reputation as a reliable, cloud-based service for backing up data, syncing and sharing files and providing “always on” access to key documents. (Basic accounts are free, with enhancements available for paid subscriptions.) Dropbox works for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Kindle Fire mobile devices.
Anyone who has juggled multiple interview sessions is familiar with this problem: Impressions about specific positions, candidates and/or firms easily can get muddled together. At the end of a long day, then, you may not be entirely clear about the conversations that began at breakfast time. As a result, your follow-up letters may lack the relevant details that set you (or your firm) apart from all the rest.
The solution is simple: Adopt a trustworthy note-taking app, and use it religiously. Even if you only have a few moments between interviews, take time to capture your immediate impressions — along with key phrases to jog your memory about essential points. (True, you could get by scribbling on a napkin or business card. But paper scraps are so easily misplaced. Instead, why not make a digital note that’s always available — and immediately backed up to the cloud?)
With note-taking apps, the big question is this: Text vs Voice Recording. In this regard, personal preference is what matters most. Just be sure to choose an application that’s well suited to the way you work; if the app doesn’t feel right, you probably won’t use it to its fullest advantage. Among our favorite note-taking apps:
Evernote: If you are not already using this versatile note-taking app, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Evernote is a “digital attic” that can store text, photos and voice memos. A basic account is free — and provides sufficient space for most individual’s needs. (It’s worth noting that Evernote has an ever-expanding list of partner applications — each of which brings even more functionality. See them all at the Evernote Trunk.)
Google Keep: Google describes its recently released “Keep” as an application to “quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you.” (In comparison to Evernote — mentioned above — Keep is simpler and less structured in its management of data.) Google’s new app is available for Android here and for the web here.
Dragon Dictation: For the MAC IOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod platforms) this capable app allows one to dictate notes, emails and reminders both quickly and accurately.
Swype: For Android users, Dragon offers this innovative (and fast) app for taking notes via keyboard, voice, or writing (via stylus or finger).
Notability: iPad users have embraced this multi-talented app — making it Apple’s best-selling note taker in this category. Notability allows you to capture ideas via typing, handwriting, recording and PDF annotation. With nearly 8,000 positive App Store ratings, Notability is a field-tested solution.
Legal Industry News Apps
Keeping abreast of legal industry trends and breaking news stories provides a competitive advantage. With these apps you can make good use of those “between interview” moments —not to mention all the time spent in waiting rooms, airports and taxicabs.
ABA Journal Mobile: The American Bar Association Journal is available viaiPhone/iPad/iPod Touch and Android apps.
American Lawyer: Recent issues of this publication can be accessed viaiPhone, iPad and Android apps.
Lexis-Nexis Legal News: If you are associated with an organization that has a Lexis-Nexis subscription, here’s an app that will help you access that information via your mobile device. For iPhone and iPad.
Reuters News Pro: If you’re interested in a general-interest news application, you’ll want to check out the popular “News Pro” from the Reuters news service. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android and Blackberry.Details available here.
NOTE: Be sure to check out “There’s An App (Or Two) For That – PART 1” for more recommendations.
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