13 Mobile Apps to Help You Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend

mobile appThere’s just something about the time right around Independence Day. It just feels like vacation. That might have something to do with the fact that even the people staying in town begin leaving the office at around 2 pm in the days before. Just because.

So, in that spirit, I’ve decided not to advocate for a paperless law firm, promote the benefits of LinkedIn, or talk about how stupid the EU is for dismantling Net Neutrality (SO. FREAKING. STUPID.)

Nope, instead I thought maybe I could give you a hand as the weekend approaches. We’re all going to take some part of our digital lives with us, and maybe you’re looking for a way to improve that. With that in mind, here are the mobile apps I’ll be relying on this holiday weekend:

Feedly

During a normal work week, I get most of my news from Twitter. As I’ve described before, Tweetdeck operates constantly for most of my day, updating me on the latest information from my lists. Feedly, on the other hand, is my wonderful RSS reader. Instead of displaying the articles I’m subscribed to in real time, it stores them until I have a chance to browse.

So while I spend the weekend unable to check out the real-time updates of Twitter, I know that the most important stories are being saved for me.

Evernote

I wish I could say that I’m going to spend this entire weekend not working. Just not reasonable, sorry. Whether it’s my “day job” as a civil litigator, or writing the next Cyber Advocate post, I’m likely to work on something. Ok, I admit it, I’m not going to do much at all for my real job (hence, why I’m not talking about Dropbox or iAnnotate in this post).

But for this blog and my new podcast, Evernote is one of the most important mobile apps I have. All those interesting articles I read in Feedly? If they’re something I think might be useful for the blog, they go immediately into Evernote. If I need to record a quick audio note or dictation, I use Evernote.

And let’s be honest, I’ll look through my legal research notebooks for information I’ve stored that’s relevant to the motion hearing I have next Wednesday. Eh, maybe I’ll just share that folder via email with one of the partners and let them worry about it!

Overcast: Podcast Player

I’ve been into podcasts for a while before I decided it was a good idea to make one a part of The Cyber Advocate blog. (It’s a good one too, check out the Legal Technology Review Podcast on iTunes, and while you’re there, leave a rating and review!)

All of my other podcasts go on my iPhone, right into my Overcast mobile app. It’s straight-forward and easy to use. It sends me notifications when new episodes of my top podcasts are available. And it even allows me to speed up the Lawyerist podcast whenever Sam is talking, without distorting his voice. It’s a lifesaver!

Wunderlist

My office uses Microsoft Outlook, and we don’t actually employ one law firm-wide practice management software (although I do). So instead of keeping all of my important tasks in Clio, I’m actually free to combine personal and professional to-do lists into one mobile app. My favorite is Wunderlist.

And this weekend will be a doozy. First, I have to ignore all of the tasks in my work folder. Done!

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Now the other part! Well, there’s an urgent reminder to bring Cards Against Humanity with me, because my wife’s family had a blast last time we brought it. There are several things I nee to do for my blog.

Then there are the great items I’ve put into my “Someday/Maybe” category. Hmmm… ok, as I look through these, most will require alcohol. Done and done.

FullContact

Going to need to talk to several different people while I’m out. Prior to using Full Contact, I actually used 5 different contact lists. Outlook, iCloud, my computer’s contact list, Facebook in my contacts folder, and I kid you not – Postable.com. (That’s my wife’s fault!)

FullContact’s mobile app actually combined most of those, and even updates with new information from LinkedIn and new photos (which can actually be quite helpful – particularly if you have family members who routinely change hair color).

The app leaves a few things to be desired (Facebook no longer connects), but seriously, if you’re not using an app that is able to combine and update all your contacts, you’re missing out on something amazing.

FlightTrack

Yep, we’re going to have to fly. Two years ago we did this trip (Charlotte, North Carolina to Battle Creek, Michigan) by car – with my wife’s younger brother and his then girlfriend in tow. It wasn’t terrible, but I’m definitely ok not doing that again.

FlightTrack gives me updates about my flight’s status, displays a map of current weather overlaying our projected flight path, and even provides statistical on-time arrivals for the particular flight. Hey, when I get the bad news that my flight’s been delayed, I want details dammit!

Funny or Die Weather

Summertime means beautiful weather. And tornadoes. And severe thunderstorms.

If it’s going to be nice outside, that puts me in a good mood! If it’s not, Funny or Die Weather is there with a joke.

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It might not really make me feel better, but it’s nice to know they put in some effort!

Facebook/Instagram

It’s a holiday, so who won’t posting photos of their vacation and checking out their friends’ posts on Facebook or Instagram? Seriously.

Flow/Repost

While I probably spend more time on Facebook than Instagram, there’s no doubt that Instagram certainly provides for a great deal of entertainment. But using the app on my iPhone sometimes just isn’t that much fun – particularly when I need to show a bunch of people Megan Rapinoe’s latest post.

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So I use the Flow for Instagram mobile app on my iPad, probably my favorite Instagram tool. With the possible exception of…

mobile appSometimes I really need to share an Instagram post with my followers, but it’s not a native feature on Instagram. Thankfully, there’s Repost. Now everyone gets to enjoy the witty banter of @FuckJerry.

Buffer

My Twitter and LinkedIn feeds will be active while I’m on vacation. That’s because of Buffer. With limited possible exceptions, my entire posting schedule is already uploaded. :-)

Thank you, Buffer!

ESPN FC

There’s a soccer game on Sunday, so all the info you’ll need will be right here. For additional info, check out the home of Team USA’s hooligans, the American Outlaws.

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You’d better be watching. We will be!

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USA! USA! USA!

Oh, and a safe and happy Independence Day weekend to you all!

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