As will be discussed in my next blog post, my goal is to move toward an always accessible electronic litigation file and a virtually paperless office. However, the reality is that I still find the need to take old fashioned handwritten notes in depositions, meetings, interviews and fact finding situations. While in theory I could take notes on my laptop, I find that taking handwritten notes is less distracting than typing and creates less of a barrier between myself and the person(s) with whom I am interacting. Unfortunately, use of the traditional yellow legal pad tends to result in banker’s boxes full of half used pads that are relatively inaccessible, unorganized, unsearchable, and therefore relatively useless.
For iPad users, an alternative to the yellow lgal pad is the use one of the many note taking applications on the market that allow the creation and storage of electronic notes. I have spent much time hands on time with the top selling programs to determine which of the hand note-taking applications fit best in my practice. I have used the following note-taking applications: Note Taker HD, Notes Plus, UPAD, PaperDesk, PhatPad and of course, Penultimate, the previous Hytech Lawyer recommended application.
Penultimate is now our clear # 2 choice. Our new top choice is UPAD (App Store $4.99). Having used the application regularly for the past two months, I have found UPAD to be the most user friendly and intuitive of the tablet handwriting note taking programs. It has many paper choices, allows creation of multiple folders, the addition of typewritten text (to allow searching) and permits sharing of files via printing or email as a PDF. There is currently no direct Dropbox integration (I am sure this must be in the works), but you can use Dropbox indirectly by opening PDF notes with Goodreader and then accessing Dropbox.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I refer you to the attached application review by Julia Altermann that does a great job discussing UPAD’s many features and why it is the best of the field: