Tried-and-True Software and Apps

By Melanie C. Hagan posted 01-22-2015 14:57

  

At the 2014 Solo & Small Firm Institute, our presenters mentioned several apps/websites/programs that they not only use themselves, but recommend to other lawyers as well. These products may not be new, but they continue to be relied on by solo and small firm lawyers. I’ve compiled a few of those here.

  • Flipboard is a free magazine-like news app. Flipboard is a great way to streamline and curate the news and articles you want to read and to stay on top of the latest trends affecting your practice and your life. Flipboard bills itself as the “single place to discover, collect and share all the news you care about.” You can pick the topics you want to follow, and there are more than 30,000 to choose from. In addition to simply reading articles, you can create, edit, and share “magazines” to add more content from the Web to your Flipboard.

  • HootSuite Pro lets small businesses manage their social media presence across multiple social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. HootSuite Pro’s features include 50 social profiles, one analytics report, and message scheduling. HootSuite Pro starts at $9.99 per month for one team member. Pricing increases if you have more than one team member. HootSuite Pro has a 30-day free trial.

  • Buffer is another social media management platform, similar to HootSuite Pro. $50 per month gets you 25 connected social accounts, five team members, unlimited scheduled posts, and analytics reports. Buffer offers a seven-day free trial.

  • LastPass Premium is a password management program that lets you save your various usernames and passwords as well as create highly unique passwords for your accounts. Many features are available with the free version of LastPass, including password generation, password storage, and login autofill. The premium version, however, adds mobile capability and security features and is just $12/year.

These are just a few of the apps and programs mentioned by presenters at this year’s Solo & Small Firm Institute. Using one (or more) of them just might help your practice run just a little bit more smoothly.

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01-30-2015 06:57

Some of my favorite iPad apps are:
1. iAnnotate PDF for reading and annotating PDF documents (in my appellate practice, that is mostly trial transcripts and other trial court documents).
2. Microsoft Word for reading, creating, and editing Word documents. It integrates with our cloud-stored documents on OneDrive and Dropbox. The app's basic features are free. For premium features such as Track Changes, you need an Office 365 subscription (which is well worth the minimal cost because it gives you MS Office on multiple computers and portable devices).
3. Feedly is an excellent news (RSS) reader and a worthy successor to the discontinued Google Reader.
4. Microsoft Outlook was just released for the iPad. I installed it and set up two Gmail accounts and one Exchange account in the app. Guess what? Outlook is a great email client for Gmail. Who would have guessed? And it brings in your Google Calender and Contacts. Best of all, its free!