Using the iPad in Meetings

By | Jul.14.11 | Apps, Collaboration, Daily Dispatch, Legal Technology, Workstyles

In his recent post, iPad for Lawyers: End of the PC?, Tom Mighell suggested the iPad can actually add value to the services you provide to your clients. He’s also pointed to some useful apps and iPad accessories. Today, Tom is back with more great advice for lawyers with iPads.

One of the things every lawyer does on a regular basis is attend meetings, and the iPad is a fantastic tool for engaging your meeting attendees.

First, unless your meeting is really small, you’ll want to display your iPad through a projector. Buy the Apple VGA Adapter ($29), connect it to the projector and you’re ready to go. A word of warning, however; although you should be able to view all apps on a projector, not all of the apps I have used display correctly (or at all) when my iPad is connected. Test out your apps before your meeting to avoid any delays (or embarrassment).

If you’re just giving a presentation, you’ll want to make sure Keynote ($9.99) is installed. PowerPoint files display well in Keynote, but you might want to test these files out too—not all fonts can be displayed, and some of the special features in PowerPoint are not available in Keynote. You can run your presentation from your iPad with the flick of a finger, but if you don’t want to be tethered to the device install the Keynote Remote app ($.99) on your iPhone, and you can control the presentation via wifi or Bluetooth connection.

One thing that lawyers will always do in meetings is show documents, and of course the GoodReader ($4.99) and Aji iAnnotate PDF ($9.99) apps are great for reviewing and marking up documents. But what if you want to be a little bit more creative?  Check out Adobe Ideas ($5.99) or Layers Pro Edition ($5.99), nifty apps that allow you to doodle, draw on photos, sketch out accident scenes and more. With Ideas you can then export the file to more powerful Adobe products like Photoshop or Illustrator for further enhancement.

If your meetings include a lot of brainstorming, there are number of mind-mapping apps that can help you and your attendees organize and prioritize your ideas. One of my favorites is MindMeister ($7.99), for two reasons—it’s easy to use and it syncs up with the Internet version, so your maps are available wherever you happen to be.  iThoughtsHD ($9.99) is a great app for those of you who already own mind-mapping software. It has many more features than MindMeister, and it exports to seven or eight different mind-mapping programs.

You’re probably not the only person in the meeting room with an iPad. There are a couple of great new apps designed specifically for this eventuality. Meeting Mngr Pro ($4.99) will allow you to connect an unlimited number of iPads, instantly push documents to them for review, ask questions on the device, create surveys, take notes on presentations and much more. One caveat, everyone will have to pay for, download, and install the app on their own device to “attend” the meeting. Another app, Idea Flight will cost the meeting host (or “Pilot”) $7.99, but the attendees (or “Passengers”) can download the app for free.

These are just a few ways that meetings can be enhanced using an iPad.  Have you tried other ways that work in your meetings? Share them in the comments!

Tom Mighell is the author of  The iPad in One Hour for Lawyers and the related blog iPad4Lawyers. A Senior Consultant with Contoural, Inc., he helps companies and in-house counsel with records management and electronic discovery issues. Tom blogs at Inter Alia and is co-presenter of The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast.

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