Around a year ago, I switched my entire law practice from Windows to Mac. At this point, I'd had my iPhone for a little while, and I really valued the interface and operating system therein. I know I wanted my entire office to be on one operating system, and I decided that Apple was the best choice for my firm. With all the compatibility programs, I figured that it would not be a problem with any clients or associates who used Microsoft products and software.
Changing my system was one of the best decisions I have made for my practice. I have an iMac on my desk, an iPad for travel, and a Macbook Air for home use, as well as my iPhone.
On my devices I use the following apps:
Dropbox, free, on all devices: I use Dropbox frequently for file transfers to and from experts, clients, opposing counsel- anyone. A great thing about Dropbox is that you can see when someone opens the document, therefore ensuring that it has been received. This eliminates overloading (and sometimes crashing) someone's email inbox with endless documents.
Adobe Acrobat, pricing depends on subscription package, iMac: I have made many efforts to make my practice as paperless as possible, which in the legal industry is no small feat. However, with the use of a scanner and programs such as Acrobat to make my documents into PDFs, this process is much easier. Additionally, Acrobat affords me the ability to organize and number my documents for production. Moreover, it allows me to delete or blackout sensitive information before sending the documents. This program grants me the greatest productivity of any that I use in office.
Reminders, free (part of iOS), all devices: I love this app. Instead of writing my to-do lists on sticky notes that end up floating all around my desk, I can write the list on the computer, and it syncs to my other apps. I can set alarms to remind me, and I can check things off the list upon completion- still allowing for the sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing things off a physical list. Also, I can easily add things to the list by telling Siri, "Remind me to call John Smith tomorrow afternoon." Reminders, in conjunction with Siri, acts as my personal digital secretary.
1Password, $49.99, iMac (but available on all devices): This app has changed the way I do the internet. No longer am I coming up with varying ways to type "password" to make perhaps the least secure password ever. I can sleep well at night knowing that my logins are virtually impenetrable with the passwords that this app generates. I just have to enter my password to the app upon opening a browser, and this app fills in the rest.
Calendar, free (part of iOS), all devices: This app, along with Reminders, keeps me organized. I have many dates that I need to keep in line: filing deadlines, depositions, court dates, business lunches, anything at all. With Calendar, I can color code these by case, set alarms, block off times as unavailable, share appointments with my contacts, and access my schedule from any of my devices.
TimeNet Law, $449.99, iMac: I use TimeNet Law to keep track of my hours and billing for each case. Though currently, I am dissatisfied with this and am looking for another billing program, as my subscription to this one will expire shortly. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
PowerPoint, pricing depends on which Office subscription purchased, iMac: While I stand loyal with Apple, there are some programs which, in my opinion, Microsoft did a little better. PowerPoint is one of those, as I prefer it to Apple's equivalent, Keynote. PowerPoint allows me to make professional presentations with great ease. I enjoy the results from this program. Also, these files are seamlessly transferred between PCs and Macs.
Skype, free, iMac: I practice law in both New York and Texas, and much to my dismay, I cannot be in two places at once. This app, through video chat, allows me to meet with people to take depositions or simply have a conference long-distance.
Flipboard, free, iPad and iPhone: As an attorney, I must remain informed of current events and happenings, in general and in how they affect legislation. Flipbook helps me see what news stories are breaking and determine what sources I want to use to read them. By having and reading multiple news sources in one app, I can get a less biased point of view of each story. The interface on this app is excellent and so user-friendly.
Official SEC Mobile, free, iPhone: Not at all related to my practice, but maybe just as important as any of the apps, SEC Mobile gives me information on NCAA sports in the SEC, specifically news on my Ole Miss Rebel Football. Each fall, this app is consistently open on my cell.
KPRC Local 2 Hurricane Tracker, free, iPhone: As a insurance litigator for property damage, I have to stay informed of natural disasters in the area, specifically hurricanes. This app gives me information on upcoming storms, as well as safety tips.
If you have any questions about these apps or any other apps you think I should try out, let me know in the comments or contact me.