Windmills and Oil fieldsThe impact of our activities on the environment is becoming more apparent as the effects of climate change are beginning to be felt around the world. You may do your part as an individual and recycle at home and in the office (if there is an opportunity for this). However, there is much more you can do as a legal professional. We don’t mean organizing legal action to combat environmental law violators (but you can do this too). We mean taking responsibility for your own actions and reducing your own impact on the environment even more. You can do this by reducing the amount of paper used in the office.

It is a fact that law firms use a lot more paper than many other offices. There is a lot to be printed and filed as well as notes to be taken. Going paperless is probably the biggest way for any law firm to reduce its impact on the environment and save money on purchasing printing cartridges and paper.

If you want to make the transition to a paperless office, you may find the following apps beneficial:

Note taking apps

Taking notes is an important skill for a lawyer. It helps you remember important points that may need to be highlighted in a specific case. There are various mobile apps that are designed for note taking and storage of notes including Springpad and Notability. These apps will allow you store notes all in one place and access them from different devices where syncing is possible. Some of these apps also allow you to access the notes online or integrate the notes with other word processing software.

Word processing apps

Word processing applications are vital for any lawyer. These will allow you to view and edit documents from your mobile device. Microsoft provides a wide range of word processing apps for mobile devices. There are also other providers of word processing apps for both android and iOS. Some applications are limited to the creation and editing of word or text documents while others will allow you to view and edit excel and PowerPoint documents.

Readers

Most documents today are distributed or stored in PDF. You should therefore ensure that you have a PDF viewer on your mobile device. It is wise to get a viewer that allows you to annotate the documents and therefore take notes, make comments and create bookmarks for reference. You should also get a reader that allows you to import documents of different types, create file names and store the imported documents in folders of your choice.

Scanner Apps

Lawyers deal with a lot of legal and external documents. To avoid having a large stack of documents in your office, it is always a great idea to scan documents instead of having copies made. There are various scanner applications that allow to scan a document using the camera on your mobile device. The process is similar to taking a photo of the document using your phone. You can send the scanned document via email from your phone or have it stored in a cloud-based storage.

Brett Stafford is a guest blogger on numerous blogs and websites. Topics that are part of his expertise includes green technology and computer networking.

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