November December CBA Report

W ho would have ever thought when cell phones first came on the market how much we would come to depend on them? I have a friend in a tech-related field who travels frequently for business. He tells me that he doesn’t bother traveling with a laptop anymore unless he knows he’ll be working with spreadsheets. Instead, he does everything from his phone — and he’s not a millennial. For those of you who are new to the world of phone apps, the phrase “there’s an app for that” (now trademarked by Apple) is really true: You can schedule appointments, regulate your home thermostat, arrange for restaurant deliveries from your phone and much more. Lawyer-centric and Office-centric Apps There are some great apps specially designed for lawyers, but keep in mind that not all of these are free. The ABA has a list of “must have” apps for lawyers: mobilelawyerapps/ . If you Google “apps for lawyers” you will retrieve a long list of app collections designed to make a lawyer’s life easier — everything from time management to document scanning to finding local service providers. In addition, the major online legal research companies (LexisNexis, Westlaw, Bloomber- gLaw) all have apps, as does Casemaker (a membership benefit for Ohio and Kentucky bar members). Of course, other apps are available that cut across professions. The YouTube app, for instance, provides access to a huge variety of training videos. Do you want to improve your Excel skills (or any other software program)? YouTube has videos to help you. There are also videos for using — and repairing —many different types of office equipment (just don’t let yourself get distracted by all those dog and cat videos). Is your work environment too quiet or too noisy? Many white-noise apps are available for both iPhone and Android plat- forms. You can also use them to help you fall asleep (at night, not during office hours). Need office supplies? Your favorite office- supply store probably has an app you can use to order and have what you need delivered. You’ll probably accrue loyalty points by using their app. Your phone may come with a calculator, but if not, several free ones are available. Do you travel frequently — either for business or pleasure? Nearly all the airlines and hotel chains now have apps. These allow you to make reservations, check in quickly, and scan your boarding pass. GateGuru , one of my favorite travel apps, covers most U.S. airports and many international ones as well. In addi- tion to providing airport maps, its Amenities section can lead you to the location of food service outlets. If you want to know where to find a Starbucks in Terminal 2 at O’Hare, for example, GateGuru will tell you that there are five — and give you specific locations, such as which gates they are adjacent to or if they’re in the prescreening area. This is particularly helpful if you have a layover and need to find a place to eat. You’ll also need to have an app to make use of Lyft or Uber for ground transportation. Quality of Life Door Dash and apps from other delivery companies can be used to deliver food for office meetings. Outside of the office, you can use chain restaurant apps to earn discounts while you pick up dinner — and don’t forget the Graeter’s app when you stop for ice cream. Use a podcast app to listen while you’re waiting for your food, or while waiting at the doctor’s office, while your children are at soccer practice and so on. If you’re in need of a respite from the rat race, the DownDog yoga app is very highly rated. Your health-insurance and health- care providers may have apps. The community where you live may have one. Your alma mater and favorite sports teams likely have their own apps. You might want to think of apps in the context of how they can improve your quality of life, not as something else that has to be managed! Bredemeyer is Law Library Director and Professor of Law Library Services at the Chase College of Law Library. By Carol Bredemeyer Making Apps Work for You November/December 2019 CBA REPORT l 17 Tech Tip