We live in a Technology driven world today, isn’t it?
All services are at your doorstep nowadays, through a few clicks on your Touch Screen. You just need to know how to use it.
You can book a cab within minutes, order your favourite food, book train tickets, do your bank transactions sitting at home and not standing in a queue, buy clothes, electronics, and much more.
What’s the platform used for these activities?? It’s an APP…!!! isn’t it? Many people also use website versions of these services, but most of the people prefer an APP.
Statistics say that Global app downloads topped 205 BILLION in 2018.
But still, in the legal field especially in India, we haven’t filled the gap between technology and law.
Though there are many upcoming startups working in the Legal Tech sector. Most of the Lawyers are still working the traditional way. We still see them carrying huge books & referring their diaries for dates.
Why do you use Apps? To make your work easier and save you time. Don’t you think we must use it in our professional lives to the fullest extent?
We spend 80% of our daily time working & commuting. Use of such Apps can help you be more efficient and also save you time for your personal life.
This blog post will help you know which types of Apps will be most helpful for your needs. There are many apps in each category, I am just suggesting which I have used.
DOCUMENT VIEWING & EDITING APPS
As a Lawyer, you are frequently involved in reading, understanding & drafting documents. Previously most of it was done manually but as Computer was introduced, things have changed to a great extent. You don’t write a document by hand now. You either type it yourself or get it typed from any other person on a computer.
Do you know that you can do the same things on a mobile which you do it on a computer? I agree that computer is better for drafting purpose. But, what if you have to get a draft done urgently and there is no computer available near you?
So, getting it done on mobile will be a saviour. There are many apps which help you view a document and some also allow you to edit it. Ex: WPS Office, Microsoft Office Suite, etc.
The above apps work well if someone has sent you a file and you want to view & edit any such file(word, presentation, excel sheet).
You also can create a document from the same apps but if you want to create a document from scratch then I would suggest you do it with Google (Docs, Slides, Sheets) App.
Because If you create it with Google then your file will be saved in the cloud and you will be able to access it from anywhere and from any other device.
Whereas if you make it with other apps then you will be able to access that file only from the mobile through which you created it.
Cloud services can be used through other apps too like Microsoft. But then you have to create an account for it, whereas most of us already have a Gmail account so Google docs is a better option.
If the creator of the document doesn’t want any other person to do any changes to the document, he makes the document into a PDF format. So that others can read the document but cannot edit it. To open such documents you need a PDF Viewer.
ADOBE pdf viewer is a good option for this, it also allows you to highlight the text of the document.
But, you can the same thing using ‘WPS Office’ too. Instead of using multiple apps for different purposes if you have one app with all the features then go for that.
When you read the above line which image comes to your mind? A Scanner machine or a Printer+Scanner, right. You can get the same results from your mobile which fits in your pocket and no need to depend on a big box-shaped device.
CamScanner is the best App you have in this category. It scans any document exactly as a scanner does, you just have to take a photo of the document you want to scan.
Once my colleague was doing some work in the office, when I went near to him I came to know that he was typing exactly whatever is written in a document. I asked him why is he typing the same thing? Don’t we have a soft copy of it? He replied no we don’t and so I have to copy and type these 30 pages as it is.
I said that no you don’t have to, I scanned all documents through an App and also converted those scanned images into text files. So we saved hours of time by doing the same thing in minutes.
This is also one of the features of CamScanner. It recognises the Text of the document scanned, which you can copy-paste wherever you want saving you a ton of time.
TAKING NOTES: HANDWRITING/TYPING
Note-taking apps are a must for readers, and lawyers are no exception because we have to read a lot.
OneNote and EverNote are best for making notes, you can use any of them. They allow you type as well as handwrite text in your notes. You can also add images, audio, hyperlinks, etc in your Notes.
SURFING THE WEB
The Internet has become a crucial part of lives. We have a query and we just try to find its answers through the Internet. That’s the reason we must use a good web browser for internet surfing.
There are many browsers available with various features. See to it that you use a browser which has at least the basic features, like:
- You must be able to add a Bookmark or Save the Web page, so that you can refer that particular page whenever you want in future.
- You are able to open multiple tabs at the same time.
- Can view in ‘Incognito Mode’.
- Can easily check ‘History’ of your browser. So that if you have not saved a Web page still you are able to search it in History and visit that page.
These are some basic features, there are browsers which have more advanced features. Some of the famous ones are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc.
The Email & Gmail apps nowadays are coming inbuilt with any mobile you buy. But the thing is that still there are some people who aren’t using it. And there are many people who aren’t using most of its features. The blog post below will help you for the same.
Attending matters in court, doing research, meeting clients, updating your boss about everything, taking your father to visit the doctor, picking up your younger sister from school/class, buying groceries, paying monthly Bills and the list goes on.
You have to do many things simultaneously and if you don’t prioritize and manage things properly then you are screwd. Apps like Calendar, Alarm, Reminder help here which usually are already inbuilt in your mobile.
Apart from them, there are some apps with more advanced features like ToDoist, Wunderlist, Google Keep,etc. you can have a look at them too.
Usually, you don’t start filling matters under your vakalatnama as soon as you graduate. You start working under a senior who has a lot of matters and you can’t remember details of all matters, many times you may also get confused between two similar cases.
You need an app which contains a database of all your cases, which will contain all case details, next hearing dates, client details, etc.
There are very few categories in this category but they have good reviews, just search for Advocate Diary in your App Store.
Ecourts App provides you with the Causelists, Orders, etc of all District courts throughout India. It also has a feature to save a case.
You need to be updated with current affairs and especially with ongoing legal developments. It will also help you for your research. Some startups are doing a really good job in this area, like LiveLaw, BarAndBench, etc. Have a look at their websites.
However good vocabulary you may have, you still come across such words you don’t know the meaning of. So, always keep a good dictionary app. Some apps also provide the pronunciation along with the meaning of the word, while some also come with an audio feature for pronunciation.
Search for apps having such features, the one which I use is WordWeb.
Likewise, you also need a Legal dictionary, because normal dictionaries will not provide the exact meanings of legal terms. Ex: Black’s Law Dictionary.
You don’t have all matters in a single Court, so travelling is part of our job.
Use Apps which show you the best routes you can take to minimize your travel time, details about places, other transport alternatives available, etc. Following Apps will help you here.
Ex: Google Maps, M-Indicator, Delhi Metro guide, etc.
But there are so many apps, should you start using all of them? Absolutely not. You will more confused instead of simplifying things.
Open your App store, just go through all the features of the Apps in each category as stated above. Then figure out what type of apps do you really need, find such apps which will serve your needs to the best and start using only those.