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Bar News - July 19, 2013

Tech Talk: Apps for the Road


Rob Howard
Phone apps for iPhone and Android are no longer just Angry Birds and Yelp. Here I will discuss a couple that you might not have seen. The following are iPhone applications, but I am sure that Android and Blackberry have similar programs.

Keeping track of your mileage, parking, and so forth is a nuisance, but 55.5 cents a mile is too good to pass up. Travelreporter,, makes it easy. Download this free app to your phone, then hit the + button and “start trip,” and the application’s GPS system notes your location and starts recording your trip. When you reach a stopping place, hit “stop” and “pause trip.” When you’re back in the car, press “restart trip,” and when you’re back at your home or office, press “stop and save.” You can also add in costs for tolls and parking and such. Periodically, ask Travelreporter to prepare a report. The report can be emailed directly to your bookkeeper. A spreadsheet with the mileage multiplied by $.555, along with the other expenses and totals, makes it easy to cut an expense check for your travel.

Another handy phone application is TinyScan, which can be downloaded at a cost of $4.99 and is well worth it for the convenience it provides. When you are on the road and need to scan a copy of a document, so that you can email it to a client, your office or yourself, TinyScan turns your phone’s camera into a scanner. Set the default page size to 8.5 x 11 and point the phone at the page. TinyScan sets the border so that it only scans the page, and then it saves the page to your phone. After you have scanned all the pages of the document, you have some choices: send it via email, save it to your Dropbox, print it, save it in a separate notes application, etc. You can also use TinyScan to save expense receipts.

I’m interested in hearing about apps you have found useful in making your law practice more productive and efficient. To share your favorites, please describe them in an email to

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