Tech Tips For the Traveling Lawyer
I travel — a lot. So I figured I’d pass along some of my favorite technology tools and apps for those of you who also spend a lot of time on the road.
First and foremost, invest in a powerful, lightweight laptop. That way you can take your office with you without needing to visit your chiropractor upon your return. I have a mid-2013 MacBook Air and I love it. It’s a thin, 13-inch laptop — only .68 inches at its thickest point when closed — and weighs in at a little less than 3 lbs. It slides right into my carry-on, takes up very little room, and doesn’t weigh down my carry-on.
Next, invest in a portable laptop stand so that your mobile office will be ergonomic no matter where you set it up. I use the Aidata LHA-3 LAPstand Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand, which retails for $38.99. It’s a cinch to fold up flat and slip into your carry on and and it’s very lightweight at only 1.8 pounds.
Another tool to help keep your workspace ergonomic even when on the road is the Wacom Pen Tablet. This tablet replaces your laptop’s trackpad and is much more comfortable to use than a mouse. It’s compatible with both Macs and PCs, and best of all, it’s flat and lightweight and is easily stored in your carry-on.
Of course you’ll need to bring your smartphone and tablet with you when you’re on the road. After all, there are lots of great apps that make your travel experience more seamless and enjoyable.
First, download the free TripIt app and use it to keep track of your travel itinerary, including your flights, your hotel and rental car information. No more searching your email for your travel plans. Instead, everything is conveniently located in one easily accessible place.
Another nice feature is the ability to share your itineraries via email with family and friends. The app also has a social component which links you to your connections who also use TripIt and then advises you if one or more of your connections will be in the place at the same time as you.
Another app to download is GateGuru. This free app is a life saver when you’re stuck in an airport. It provides maps of all major airport terminals, including restaurants and stores, along with user reviews of various businesses located in the terminal. So, instead of being stuck eating inedible meals or wondering where the closest latte is, you can simply consult the app and be on your way.
Another app that’s great for travel is Next Issue. It’s an app for your iPad or Android device that gives you unlimited access to up to 75 different magazines on your tablet — for just one low price each month. Basic access costs $9.99/month and premium access is $14.99/month.
The basic plan includes access to the most recent and back issues of over 65 different magazines, including Money Inc., ESPN the Magazine, Fast Company, Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Wired and Travel & Leisure. The premium plan allows access to seven additional magazines: Entertainment Weekly, Golf World, New York Magazine, People, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker and Time.
One of my favorite features is the ability to download specific issues to your tablet and view them even if you don’t have Internet access. This feature is ideal for traveling.
Take my advice: Invest in a few of these tools and apps. The next time you travel, you’ll have a much more enjoyable, productive, ergonomic and relaxing trip.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business Development and Community Relations at MyCase, intuitive web-based law practice management software for the modern law firm. She is also a GigaOM Pro Analyst and is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can firstname.lastname@example.org.