So, we’ve already talked about why Evernote is the superior choice over OneNote. Because while I think OneNote is an excellent piece of software, Evernote just offers all of the functionality you’ll ever need to have a genuinely paperless law office.
But what if Evernote isn’t your cup of tea?
Today, we’re going to be looking at three new alternatives to OneNote for Lawyers, if Evernote isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.
Let’s get right into the first:
OneNote Alternative for Attorneys #1: Google Keep
Google Keep is an application from the “Big G,” which takes the idea of a post-it and puts it into digital form. It’s available through the web browser, on Android devices, and on iOS devices.
Keep is a natural, secure, and super-easy way to take quick notes that you might otherwise jot down on your trusty sticky notepad. (Though that doesn’t mean long-form notes aren’t possible in Keep by any means.)
The application allows users to “tag” records, which allows for easier organizing. For instance, you could tag every note with the name of its respective client, and then pull it up quickly anytime you need it.
The search function that Keep brings to the table is excellent. If your organization isn’t the best, all you have to do is use the search bar to search keywords for specific notes.
Using Keep gives you a place to store quick notes, write memos, or even your extended letters.
You can also share records with others. This sharing functionality allows you to permanently replace the “notes and memo” file with something digital, and your entire office will be able to access it.
One of the most significant benefits of Keep? It will prevent you from looking like this:
But as you may have guessed, that doesn’t mean Keep is perfect by any stretch. There are a few significant drawbacks when it comes to Google Keep.
First (and more importantly), you can’t attach files to notes. So while it’s a perfect addition to a paperless law firm’s arsenal, you can’t use it as the foundation for a paperless law firm option.
Second, there’s no guarantee that this application will be around long-term (although it appears to be in Google’s plans for the time being).
I say that this is the problem because Google has a precedent of taking their note apps off the market. Once upon a time, there was an app called “Google Notebook.” That application was more similar to OneNote or Evernote than Keep. But Google ended up discontinuing it in 2011. Given that Keep isn’t a “core product” of Google, there’s no guarantee that it will be around long-term. And the last thing you’d want is for your paperless firm’s foundation to get wiped from existence.
OneNote Alternative for Attorneys #2: Apple Notes
Apple’s equivalent of Keep is called Apple Notes. It’s another great app for quick note-taking, but it comes with a few big drawbacks.
First, while you can sync Apple Notes to a PC via iCloud, there’s no sync functionality for Android. This means that this application doesn’t work if your goal is to create digital notebooks that anyone in your office can access. (Unless you mandate iOS devices, which doesn’t sound all too practical.)
Second, it lacks the “tagging” feature, which is present in Keep. If you want to go for a “lightweight” quick note option, which can replace your paper “notes and memo” file, then Google Keep is a much better option than Apple Notes.
Again, however, you could simply keep such records in Evernote – our suggested product.
OneNote Alternative for Attorneys #3: Simplenote
Simplenote is a very lightweight note-taking application with much of the functionality described above in Google Keep.
It has apps available on every major platform, including Linux and Kindle. As with Keep, you can’t attach files to note, but their sharing features are fantastic. This makes the application another good option for creating a paperless “notes” folder.
One big drawback to this application, however, is that it doesn’t support two-factor authentication. I discussed the importance of two-factor authentication this post, but to put it simply — two-factor authentication is a must for me.
If you’re willing to take the risks of a less-secure platform for notes, though, be my guest.
My suggestion for making your firm more efficient is to utilize Evernote or OneNote, with Evernote being my first choice. If you’re looking for something more lightweight and meant to take quick notes, then any of the above may fit the bill.
Keep in mind that you can’t scan and store handwritten notes into these applications like you can with either Evernote or OneNote.
What note-taking applications are you using in your practice? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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