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Entries in advice (1)


Questions from the Mailbag

Last week I received a couple of emailed questions, and I thought I'd post the answers to them, so everyone could get the benefit of the information.

R.B. asked: Recently attended your ABA webinar on 60 iPad apps for lawyers. I have also been looking over your book. But I did not see an app that would act as a to-do list that interacts and syncs with my desk top outlook calendar. I would love to use my iPad as my notebook in meetings to set up tasks. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

Answer: One of my favorite To Do apps is Remember the Milk.  It has a plugin that will sync with Outlook, so your tasks automatically appear there.  The app is free, but to get the service on your iPad I think the cost is $25/year.  It is a fantastic task management tool - very powerful and customizable.  I keep several To Do lists there - one for each of my projects, personal tasks, and others.  Every day I go through each list and select those tasks that I must get done that day - I can then create a Smart Task List that will only show the prioritized tasks for the day.

There are a ton of other To Do apps in the Apple Store - a lot of them are mentioned in this App Guide for Task Managers. I have not tried all of them, so I do not know whether they all sync with Outlook.  I do know that the number one choice, Omnifocus, does not.

A.J. asked:   I use a sheet of paper to summarize an entire real estate deal, basically summing up the contract and notes as to what the taxes are and when i ordered the survey and stuff like that. do you know of an app that will let me create a 40 or so category template that i can use to keep track of each of my deals on the ipad?

Answer:  I have two suggestions for you - one is basic (that you may have already tried), and one is an app I really like.

You say you use a piece of paper to summarize the deal - have you ever tried using a spreadsheet?  You can do the same thing in a spreadsheet, and enter data into separate rows, columns or sheets to keep track of them.  The advantage to using a spreadsheet is that you can synchronize it with your desktop or laptop computer - so you can access that list on multiple computers.  If you want to do this, I recommend two apps for managing spreadsheets on your iPad - Documents to Go or QuickOffice Pro HD.  They both allow you to create/edit any type of Microsoft Office document.

If you just want to handle this from the iPad, check out Bento.  It's a personal database program - you can create your list and add as many fields as you want.  There are a lot of different template types that you can choose from.  There's also a standalone program if you own a Mac - unfortunately, no PC version is available yet.