In my role as a tribunal barrister I travel a lot and so am committed to paperless working as I find it enables me to work with increased flexibility and means I can respond to client enquiries no matter where I am working, and can respond quickly and effectively (e.g. you will not get a "sorry your papers are in London and I am in Manchester, so I can't help too much until I get back to Chambers" type conversation with me).

Get my FREE guide to paperless working here

Hardware

Of course paperless working requires hardware to run off. For my papers I use a 12.9" iPad Pro as its the nearest in size to a sheet of A4 paper; and a 16" MacBook Pro as my laptop as its larger size is useful when I am regularly using it for long periods of time.

To assist with working remotely I have the excellent Fujitsu Scansnap IX1500 scanner at home. Which I will review soon.

PDF Software

I use the PDF Expert software package from Readdle to compile and manage papers in a case.

I have used this software to run cases from one-hour telephone directions hearings up to 10-day 7 lever arch file Final Hearings without any problems. It enables you to book mark pages, put posit notes on the page as well as highlight the key text and, unlike other software, has an invaluable "go to page" function where by typing in a page number you are taken immediately to that page. Finally, a fully OCR'd PDF can be searched for any word you want no matter how many thousands of pages the document is.

Click here to see my video review and guides to this amazing software.

Data Management

Being paperless means you will have all your resources are available at any time. All your books, emails, newsletters, journals, law reports will be at your fingertips. However, such a huge pool of resources would be unwieldy without a program to manage the disparate sources of information. For this I use Devontechnologies amazing DevonThink.

In addition to "merely" being a database, it includes a full Optical Character Recognition program that enables the entire database to be searchable for any word you wish. So having got your PDF file, simply running it through Devonthink means it is now searchable for any word thats on any typed page within that file. Here is a video i took of this process

It also incudes the facility to convert PDFs into various other file formats (including .rtf and word files). Quite frankly it was the best $199 I ever spent on software!

Again over the next few weeks I will be posting video tutorials on how to use this app to assist those who wish to go paperless.

 

Data Security

Of course, access to all this information would be a risk to data protection if that information was not secure. Elsewhere on this site I have explained the lengths I go to to ensure data is securely held. When working paperlessly and accessing the internet I do so using ExpressVPN to ensure the data I am accessing is secure from prying eyes.