If you’re in law school, you probably have a smart phone. If you ask us which smart phones are the very smartest, though, we will probably say the ones that are turned off and stored in your locker during class and study time!
Phones can be a huge source of distraction for law students. And the worst part is, they’re completely addictive. You can spend hours on an app or game getting absolutely nothing accomplished. Plus, they take away focus from lecture, and can be a source of constant interruption while reading or studying. And, as we all know, drudging through 50 pages of Evidence is hard enough even without being pinged every 5 seconds. That ping is always going to be more interesting than what you’re reading, so the best strategy is to turn it off.
Phones and tablets can be useful, though. In fact, there are several apps we can’t seem to live without. These apps help us stay focused, productive, and in touch with the legal community. If you’re looking for some useful apps for law students, try out some of these:
Pocket Points – Stay Engaged in Class
Ever wish that you could get some sort of incentive to keep your phone off during class? Well, now you can. With Pocket Points, if you’re on campus with your phone turned off, you can start accumulating points. You can then spend those points on all kinds of things. How about changing the way you shop online in class? Put the phone away!
Trello – Organize Your To Do List
We love Trello! Imagine a bulletin board with your to do list and index cards for each item you need to get done. Now, imagine that instead of an actual board with cards, you can just drag and drop everything from one place to the next and keep it prioritized and in order with deadlines, color coding, URLs and notes to yourself.
That’s what Trello does. It’s a great way to keep track of one project with many moving parts or your overall task list for life in general. You can have as many boards and lists as you want. The best part is, it’s free! If you’re looking for ways to stay organized and on task, you might also want to check out Evernote, Wunderlist, and Anydo.
Dropbox – Avoid a Computer Disaster
As we’ve said many times, there’s just no excuse for losing files nowadays. The old “my computer crashed” scenario just won’t hold water now that everyone is using free services like Dropbox. If you’re not already, you need to be storing the documents you can’t afford to lose outside your actual laptop. Same goes for legal writing assignments, your outlines, and pretty much everything else you create in law school. Set a good password and rest assured your files are safe even if your computer melts down, breaks or gets stolen.
Genius Scan – Easily Scan PDFs
Gone are the days of mailing important documents back and forth. With Genius Scan, you can turn a photo of a document into a decent quality PDF and send it right from your phone. This can be useful for signing your lease, sending in insurance claims, and keeping track of receipts or medical records, and other important documents.
Flipboard – Quickly Catch Up on Social Media
If you like the idea of paging through a magazine that is full of content geared toward your interests, then you’ll probably like Flipboard. Best of all, you don’t have to actually buy or carry around any actual magazines. Flipboard consolidates content from social media and other websites and lets you “flip” through the pages and feeds. This app actually comes stock on lots of phones now. Want some great law school content? Add us on your Flipboard by clicking here!
Twitter – Stay Up-to-Date in the Legal Community
I’m sure everyone in law school has already heard about Twitter. It can be a great way to stay abreast of legal news, keep in touch with the legal community, and follow along with interesting content that can actually help you improve your law school experience. Become one of our followers on Twitter here!
Linkedin – Build Your Professional Network
As with Twitter, I’m sure you’ve all become familiar with Linkedin. While social networking in the legal community might not be as fun as Facebook or Instagram, you can start keeping track of valuable connections online even as a student. If you haven’t already, throw your profile out there and start adding the people you meet at networking events. They could come in handy when job-searching later.
Headspace – Learn to Meditate from a Pro
We’ve discussed meditation as a way to improve focus, mindset, attitude and mental health in law school. Well, Headspace is a free app for the meditation novice that isn’t at all scary or off-putting. In just 10 minutes per day, you can learn to quiet the noises around you and put those ruminating thoughts at bay.
Sleep Pillow Sounds or Relax Melodies – Sleep Like a Baby
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, especially if it’s because you find it hard to wind down and tune out all your thoughts, you might find some ambient noise to be useful. There are lots of free sleep apps out there. Some even let you combine sounds like rain, crickets, the ocean or bells to create your own white noise. Just beware, if you add the rocking chair sound plus lullaby plus thunderstorm, it will probably sound more like a horror movie!
Way of Life or Habit List – Accomplish Your Goals
Sometimes the only way to accomplish what we want is to bribe and reward ourselves, and sometimes, a simple bar graph or gold star can be enough. Whether you’re looking to get all your reading done, debrief your notes after class, work out every day, drink 64 ounces of water, or just stop forgetting to take your vitamins, this app can be a great help. You can set your own goals and start building up your positive streak.
What about you? Any apps you as a law student can’t live without? Feel free to put them in the comments below!
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- How to Think Like a Successful Law Student
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