A benefit of being a paperless solo is the ability to run your office from your iPhone. In order to do so, you need the proper apps. Here are the apps I use:
Lawyers live by deadlines, so it is important for a solo to have a solid calendar app. Use Google Calendar. I chose the Google Calendar app over the native Apple calendar for several reasons. First, aesthetics. It is better-looking than the native Apple calendar. The Schedule view gives you photos of the places you are scheduled to go. It also maps the places for you. It has a cleaner presentation over the native calendar. Second, you can easily add calendar events from your Gmail. You can accept or decline invitations. Third, being Google, it has a great search option. You can incorporate the native Apple calendar app, but why would you? This one works fine.
Every other lawyer under 40 will rave about Evernote. I’m not one of those lawyers, but I do use Evernote. It’s a reliable, user-friendly note-taking app that syncs across all your devices. You can find blog after blog praising Evernote for its wide-reaching uses, like using it as a rolodex for business cards, a place for recipes and receipts, for photo storage or collaborative workflow, or just a junk drawer. Honestly, I likely underuse it. But for a reliable note-taking app, Evernote is spot-on. You need the ability to take notes and save them until you delete them. Evernote gives you that ability.
Don’t use the native browser Safari for search. Download the Google app for search. I use this app heavily and treat it as my browser. It saves your searches and its audio search is fairly accurate. The app keeps open pages of your earlier searches, so you can return to a search you did a few days ago.
Come on, who doesn’t have this app?
I love this simple app. Pocket allows you to save articles and web pages from other apps so you can read them later at your leisure. Simple and direct.
Dropbox/Word (by Microsoft)
As my other blog post pointed out, I use Dropbox. I run a paperless office, and Dropbox is my file cabinet. With Dropbox, I can access all my firm files from my iPhone. With Word, I can modify any accessed file that was created in Word. I can access a letter I wrote to Client Smith, make changes to it, and then save the letter to Dropbox.
This is my password manager. I don’t use the same password for any site, which is a good security practice. Consequently, I have 60 different passwords. I can’t remember that. Instead, I store all of the passwords in Dashlane. I access Dashlane by using a master password I memorized and then access the relevant password. The master password is not stored online and only I know it. And it’s not ‘password123.’
I use QuickBooks as my accounting software. QuickBooks offers an app that syncs with their cloud service. Using the app allows me to quickly access my firm’s financial information. I can also add or delete information. If you are a true hipster and use Xero instead, well, there’s an app for that too.
Toggl Timer is a free app that allow me to track billing, and has a clean, simple interface.
Dictionary (by Dictionary.com)
Lawyers should be wordsmiths. That doesn’t mean we are. But what I like about this app is that it shows me how a word is pronounced. Otherwise, I would butcher such fine English words as tautology, attenuate, concomitant, polyandrous, and mephitic.
By the way, data is pronounced as either dey-tuh or dah-tuh.