With so much information and so many of your ideas coming to you when you're outside the office, a good note taking app can be essential tool for your law practice. If you've got an iPhone or iPad, many note apps are available for download. Some of the more popular note taking apps include the following:
Evernote allows you to create text, photo and audio notes, mark notes as "favorite" for quick access, and to auto-synchronize your notes to your Mac, PC, and the Web. It makes text within snapshots searchable, and all notes include geo-location information for mapping and search. The app is free, but if you upgrade to the premium version ($5/month), you get a host of additional features, including the ability to search PDF files.
2. Awesome Note (+To-do/Diary)
Awesome Note, which costs $3.99, is particularly good for to-do checklists. It allows you to create four types of notes: normal notes, to-do notes, anniversary notes, and diary notes. You can e-mail your notes with images and maps attached, or send them by SMS text. Awesome Note provides a Sync feature that allows you to export/import your notes to Google Docs or Evernote to keep your notes safe. There is also a free "Lite" version of this app.
3. Microsoft OneNote Mobile
If you use Microsoft OneNote on your computer, you know that it allows you to gather and organize text, pictures, digital handwriting, audio and video recordings and more all in one digital notebook. The mobile version doesn't support every feature found in the PC version, but it's a must-have app if you're already using it on your PC. With the free version you can create up to 500 notes. Unlimited use is available through an in-app purchase. A free Windows Live ID is required to use OneNote Mobile.
Simplenote delivers on the promise of its name: it's a free, simple and effective way to create and store notes. Notes automatically synchronize with your computer and web browser. You can apply tags to your notes so you can browse them as folders, or pin important notes to the top of your list. A premium version for $19.99 a year allows you to hide the ads and sync with Dropbox.
5. Note Taker HD
Some lawyers prefer to take notes by handwriting them with a stylus, or even with a finger. Note Taker HD is a powerful app for doing that on an iPad. You can either write directly on the page for large drawings, or have the "ink" you write shrunk down. To quickly correct mistakes, it has undo and redo buttons as well as an eraser. You can email one or more pages as a single PDF file, open notes in other apps, or, if your iPad supports it, print. Note Taker HD costs $4.99.
Other Note Apps
On the web, you can find note taking apps in Apple's app store in the "productivity" category. Demo some different note apps to see which one meets your needs. With your iPhone or iPad close at hand, you won't be losing any chance to record important thoughts or information.