Interesting article at Quartz by writer who has decided it’s folly to try to get by with only a couple of productivity apps. He gives his top 11 apps and concludes:
I’ve realized that the more I give each app a clear role, and I stick to that role, my work flows stay smooth and unambiguous. With discipline, the sheer number of apps stops becoming a factor. Information appears manageable, and I use my limited mental capacity to tick off tasks one after the other.
Some pointers when choosing apps:
- Store one thing in one place. Besides backups of course.Multi-platform is nice to have.
- Apps that remind you of stuff can be more useful than apps that store things nicely.
- The more frequently you use an app, the lighter, more user-friendly, and clutter-free it should be.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with new apps.
- Apps that can be activated via email are nice.
- It must be easy to tell apart things with deadlines and things without.
- What is the most important activity in your work flow? Invest the most in apps that help in that activity.
- Remember only what you have to. Dump the rest in an app. Of course.
via These 11 apps are the key to productivity – Quartz.
Tom Mighell suggests some great apps for lawyers on the go in the most recent edition of Law Practice. This looks one looks particularly useful:
eFlightBoard. iOS, Android Here’s a secret: Airlines are being less than honest with you when they post departure and arrival times on boards throughout the airport. That’s why I use FlightBoard, which provides accurate departure and arrival times for most flights. I usually switch the app to show arriving flights, so I can tell when my plane is going to get to the gate.
There are multiple smartphone contenders in the market, including:
- BlackBerry 10 from Blackberry (fka Research in Motion)
- Windows Phone8 from Microsoft
- iOS 7 from Apple
- Android 4.x from Google
Who better than Nerino Petro to guide us through the pros and cons? One key insight:
Ultimately, the decision may come down to who your current cell phone provider is and which phones fit your budget. Apple has introduced a lower-cost model of its iPhone 5, the iPhone 5C, to reach a broader audience. Google introduced its own smart phones that are designed to its specifications and run stock Android with the guarantee of getting the latest Android updates, such as the Nexus 5, as soon as they’re available.
At iPhone J.D. the ever-helpful Jeff Richardson explains an app to allow access to PACER on the iPad and iPhone.
Vote in Lawyerist’s Best Law Firm Websites Competition, 2014 Edition. The only criterion suggested is notable:
Responsive web design turned out to play a big factor in getting to the top ten. A responsive website should look good on any screen, from a big desktop display to a smartwatch. Law websites still have a way to go on this, though. Many great-looking nominations — including some websites built in the last year — wound up in the discard pile because they are not responsive.
The Lawyerist has a good look at the ins and outs of computer displays in The Best Computer Monitor Setup for Lawyers. The idea of using multiple monitors to improve productivity is not news, but this article takes it to another level. Ideas particularly worthy of note:
- Pixel size (as opposed to screen resolution) makes a giant difference in screen legibility. The smaller the pixels (i.e., the more that can be jammed into a square inch), the better. The author contents that at very small pixel sizes, it’s as easy to ready material on a computer monitor as in a well-printed book.
- A good really large monitor (27 inches may be better than two 22 inch screens. One good 27 inch monitor is more expensive than two smaller ones, but it may be worth it.
Ellen Freedman, author of PA Law Practice Management, is bullish on the idea of law firms developing custom apps for marketing. Others, like Kevin O’Keefe and Erik Mazzone, so much. Still others, like Dennis Kennedy, are in between.
It’ll be interesting to see how this all sorts out. My take?
We’ll see some white elephants in the beginning, like the first few law firm websites, a history chronicled in Law Law Law on the Internet, by Rick Klau and Erik Heels.
Law firms will probably be able to get a little traction from apps that make it easier for existing clients to interact with the law firm, possibly providing instructional items like many provide on their websites.
If law firms are able to break the code and come up with ways to provide real value to customers and potential customers, we will probably see very successful law firm apps.
Jeff Richardson’s blog, iPhone J.D., is consistently one of the liveliest and best sources of useful information for lawyers. Mr. Richardson’s enthuiasm is the key to his success. He provides comprehensive reporting on every detail of new information of interest to lawyers using iPhones.