When it comes to working smarter, efficiency is the name of the game. Going paperless cuts down on clutter and makes important documents easily accessible and shareable. (The environmental benefits aren’t too bad either.)
For attorneys, going paperless means finding secure, reliable ways of entrusting sensitive documents to the Cloud. Here are the top 5 apps for turning your paper trail digital.
Dropbox is the go-to app for file-sharing. It allows you to sync your documents, photos, videos, and slides between all your mobile and desktop devices and share them easily with other authorized Dropbox users. This is perfect for sharing a mass of client files within your office/organization, without the hassle of long email threads. If anyone edits and saves a document, the changes are made across all devices. Best part: it’s free.
Need to get a document notarized, but it’s midnight on a national holiday? Or maybe your client is traveling abroad? NotaryCam is an innovative, online notary service that utilizes your webcam to connect with a live, certified notary, anytime, anywhere within the United States. The notary will verify your identity and notarize your uploaded, e-signed document. Your documents are stored with bank-grade level security and fully accessible anytime. The cost is $25 per signature within the US, and $79 for international signatures.
In a Lawyerist blog post on how Goodreader changed her life, Lisa Needham likened the app to the Swiss Army knife of PDF readers. That’s pretty accurate. Goodreader can pull PDFs of just about any size from just about anywhere. Need an 800-page document from your Dropbox? Done. Once downloaded, you can annotate, organize, search and hyperlink text. You can even “flatten” a marked-up PDF to share with someone without giving them the power to edit. At $5, it’s a steal.
Sometimes you need a stronger paper trail than Dropbox or GoodReader can provide. You need to track recipients and get delivery confirmation. Hightail is a collaboration app that offers a large suite of productivity features. What we found to be most useful for lawyers is the ability share large files and obtain proof of access or digital signatures. While marketed more towards designers and “creative” industries, this app’s focus on communications across teams works great in the legal industry as well.
There are some documents sensitive enough you don’t feel comfortable having them on the cloud at all, no matter the security. Or you may want to access software on your desktop that’s too robust or unavailable on your mobile devices. TeamViewer lets you remotely access your desktop from your smartphone, laptop, or any other iOS, Android, or Blackberry device. It’s basically the equivalent of bringing your desktop computer along with you, and it’s free.
Gone are the days of office desks buried under a landslide of papers or fruitlessly hunting for a misfiled document. In this digital age, “paperless” is lightyears beyond just scanning and uploading docs. Tools are available to help you work leaner, smarter, and from anywhere with a WiFi signal.
Got a doc-managing app you couldn’t live without? Share it in the comments!