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Dorothy Secol, CLA

By: Dorothy Secol, CLA (Guest Blogger)

Technology – it’s out there! Over the past few years, we’ve seen the market flooded with cool new gadgets, products, software, and apps. Even morning routines have changed with many people now whipping out their Smartphones to pay for that morning cup of coffee at the local Starbucks. Phone barcode scanned, coffee purchased…slick indeed. Today, Dorothy is here to share a few of her favorite apps! Check out her top picks, and be sure to let us know if there are any others you feel should make the list. We figured who better to ask than a bunch of fun, dynamic, busy, hard-working paralegals?! Yep – you definitely meet the demographic.

So read on…and share away! 

Internet experts are predicting that it won’t be long before we use our mobile devices more often than regular computers to access the Internet. Because a Smartphone is readily accessible, you can access it more quickly and always have it on hand.

Many web developers are creating mobile versions of app’s for websites due to the growing use of the Smartphone, the iPad and the like.

So what can your phone or your iPad do for you when you are away from the office? Here are some app’s that might interest you:

LEGALLY-ORIENTED APPLICATIONS

Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th edition – this app is now available on the iPhone. The dictionary includes more than 45000 terms, alternate spellings, and expressions. If you can’t think of the right word – just look it up!

Mobile Office – Lawyers who spend much time out of the office can review and store documents on the go with the cloud storage functions like Dropbox for Blackberry, Android, iPhone and iPad. This is a free app allowing you to connect multiple computers and mobile devices in order to access files securely anywhere you have a wireless connection.

MiniBooks for Freshbooks – Freshbooks is quickly becoming the invoicing and time tracking tool on the Internet. It can track time to the minute, send invoices based on tracked time and send both electronic and paper versions of invoices. You can track time from wherever you are, send an invoice from your iPhone and view important client data all from the palm of your hand.

Mobile PACER Case Locator – The Federal Judiciary has launched a new mobile Web version of the PACER Case Locator that allows searching for court records in all districts, bankruptcy and appellate courts. This app’ is for Apple devices, such as iPads, as well as Android devices version 2.2 or higher. When using a supported mobile device, you will be redirected to the Mobile PACER Case Locator when visiting pcl.uscourts.gov to search for court records on the go. The Mobile PACER Case Locator can be accessed directly by going to pcl.uscourts.gov/searchmobile. There is nothing to install.

Tasker – This app’ allows you to program your Android to do multiple tasks based on your location. If you are in the Courthouse, for example, (and your GPS is on), Tasker will automatically turn off your ringer. Or, when you put your phone in a vertical position, Tasker will keep things silent.

JotNot’s Scanner Pro – Scanner Pro turns your iPhone into a document and image scanner. Simply use the camera to take a photo of the document you want to send by email or fax and Scanner Pro will convert it into an electronic copy. You do need a steady hand if you want the quality of your document to be worth the investment.

NON-LEGAL APPLICATIONS

Barcode Scanner – This is a free app’ that allows you to find product reviews or price comparisons while shopping. All you have to do is scan the bar code with your camera and open up the results of the bar code search.

Brightest Flashlight – if you want a bright flashlight, this LED flashlight is the coolest free flashlight with the maximum light output and best flashlight sounds. Handy for reading a menu in a dark restaurant and finding the front door lock to insert your key at night.

Places Directory – Free app’ for which you will constantly be thankful. With this tool you can locate (thanks to your GPS) any nearby place, such as a hotel, restaurant, retail location or movie theatre. Everything is broken into categories and you can bookmark favorites. From the listing you can instantly dial a location’s phone number or visit its Website.

One last suggestion – if you have Wi-Fi, set it to off when you aren’t using wireless. It will keep your Smartphone from constantly searching for a signal and will preserve your battery. Also, if you don’t need to be online at all, try turning off the 3G or 4G connection.

Are there any others we should add to the list, TPSers? If so, please suggest them via a comment! We’d love to hear about your best loved apps.

Have a great day in paralegal land! We know you will…and even if you don’t, we know you’ll continue to work to save the planet one carefully wrangled crisis at a time! We’ll see you next time.