I asked the CLNC® pros to recommend their favorite productivity apps for mobile devices. Together they shared 22 apps a busy CLNC consultant on the move can use:
- Dictation: One of the most powerful tools on both iOS® and Android® phones and tablets is the ability to accept dictation. You can use a form of dictation in just about any app and it’s a simple way to dictate an email, short document, text, notes or lists. Simply touch the little microphone button on the keyboard and start talking slowly and clearly. You still need to proof and edit your work for misspelled words (they’ll be marked, but double-tap each and type or speak the correct word to replace them). Also, note that dictation will not insert punctuation unless you give it a verbal command. Here’s a list of commands for iOS and here’s a list of limited commands for Android (If you want more from your Android device, download the Google Keep app).
- Documents to Go®: This app allows you to read, edit and create Microsoft® Word documents, PowerPoint® presentations, Excel® files and even PDF files on your phone or tablet. You get anytime, anywhere access to your documents as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Available for both iOS and Android, the Docs To Go Standard Office Suite is free. There’s also a paid app, Docs To Go Premium, which allows you access to a greater number of document cloud storage options and syncs to your desktop.
- Dragon Anywhere: If you’re a slow typist and like to dictate, Dragon Anywhere is a wonderful app for capturing thoughts or creating reports, emails and other legal nurse consulting documents. Once complete you can adjust formatting and edit your document, then upload it to the cloud or email it to an attorney-client. The pricing model is monthly or annually.
- Dropbox®: You can install this easy-to-use, cloud-based storage and file-sharing mobile app on your phone or tablet. There’s also a desktop app that allows you to drag and drop files into Dropbox. Dropbox is ideal for uploading large volumes of medical records. Once you set up an account you can securely share files with different parties such as attorney-clients and CLNC subcontractors. You set the permissions, so only the party you want can upload and download files to specific folders/directories. You can use Dropbox to store your documents when traveling and access them from any phone, tablet or computer. It offers a free and paid service, so start off with the free service and then move up to the paid version when your storage capacity calls for it.
- Expensify: This app allows you to take a photo of a receipt, which it then transcribes and files. It can also log mileage using your phone’s GPS tracking and connect to apps such as Uber® and Lyft® to automatically file any trip receipts. Expenses can be categorized and receipts matched to a credit card transaction. Expensify will also create expense reports. There is a small monthly fee and a bit of a learning curve, but it will make your life much easier and eliminate all those paper receipts. If you’re using QuickBooks® (See #15) and TSHEETS® (See #20) Expensify will also integrate with those apps and software. It’s available for both iOS and Android.
- Genius Scan+: This iOS-only app allows you to scan receipts and other documents and organize and catalog them in a couple of easy steps using your phone’s camera. It’s a great way for a busy Certified Legal Nurse Consultant to manage receipts while traveling. When waiting for a plane, train or automobile, all you have to do is snap a quick scan. The free version requires you email your scans to yourself while the inexpensive, one-time-fee, paid version allows you to upload your scans to cloud providers such as Dropbox.
- GoodReader® PDF Editor & Viewer: This iOS-only app gives you the ability to read, annotate, edit and transfer documents using an iPad®. It’s inexpensive and its value far exceeds the cost. The best part is that you can bookmark pages, access them and immediately email them to your attorney-clients or upload them to your favorite cloud storage from anywhere you have wireless access for your iPad.
- Google® Apps for Small Business: As your CLNC business grows, so will the number of CLNC subcontractors. Google Apps for Small Business makes it easy to manage the flow of cases to subcontractors. You can create forms and spreadsheets, store them in the cloud and share them with other parties such as CLNC subcontractors. Each subcontractor can then complete their portions of the document (billable hours, progress reports, etc.). No cutting and pasting from multiple reports or emails required! Plus, you and your subs can simultaneously review records, collaborate on reports and stay current on all your cases. All of the information is in the cloud, so you don’t have to transfer files back and forth. Best of all is the shared calendar that allows you to keep track of all subcontractor deadlines and progress. Fees are based on a per-user basis.
- Google Duo: This handy video conferencing app allows you to video conference with any of your contacts who have a smartphone, can receive SMS messages and of course, have the Duo app. Duo is available for computers, iOS and Android. It’s free and best of all it’s simple to use. Check into Google Duo today.
- Google Maps: This terrific app for both iOS and Android not only helps you find where you’re going, but also gives you an estimate of the travel time and mileage involved. It can route you around detours and traffic jams to keep you on the fastest route to your destination. It can also help you find the attorney’s office when you’re walking to an appointment. Just be sure you buy a Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Car Air Vent Mount Holder to keep it hands-free.
- LinkedIn®: This app is a mixture of a social network and jobs board for professionals of all types. Available for iOS and Android, you can use the LinkedIn app or website to connect with other CLNC consultants, physician experts, lawyers and other support personnel for your CLNC business. It’s free advertising for your legal nurse consulting business and many CLNC consultants receive cases from attorneys who have accessed their LinkedIn profiles.
- LTC SOM Regs: This is an excellent resource for long term care (LTC) cases. Available for both iOS and Android the app helps take the confusion out of the Long Term Care State Operations Manual and helps you to easily navigate federal LTC nursing home regulations. It’s updated with new regulation updates and is organized by searchable tags. There is a fee, but it will easily pay for itself on your first LTC case.
- PDF Converter: This iOS-only app for iPhones and iPads is the perfect twin for PDF Expert (See #14). When used in conjunction with your cloud storage you can take any file and PDF Converter will then convert it from Word or other formats to a PDF file which you can then annotate, sign, etc., using PDF Expert.
- PDF Expert: This is an excellent app not just for reading/viewing PDF files, but also for annotating them using your iPad’s Stylus (or finger). PDF Expert is an iOS-only app and is one of the simplest you can use to edit PDFs, complete forms and sign documents. Add in PDF Converter (See #13) and you’ve created a perfect productivity suite.
- QuickBooks®: Keep a financial eye on your legal nurse consulting business with the mobile app from one of the most famous accounting software packages. With the QuickBooks app (available for iOS and Android) you can create invoices, record expenses and view reports. The one thing the QuickBooks app won’t do is time tracking. For that you’ll need a QuickBooks add-in named TSHEETS (See #20).
- ScanBizCards: This inexpensive iOS-only app uses your iPhone’s (or iPad’s) camera to snap a photo of a business card or scan a conference badge and it will place the contact information into your contacts. If you’re a CLNC consultant who’s exhibiting your CLNC business, this is an invaluable way to convert those business cards and badges into contacts. And it makes your marketing follow-up simple.
- Skype®: When you can’t be there in person, Skype is the next best thing. It’s fairly simple to use and allows you to conference with attorney-clients, CLNC subcontractors, expert witnesses or vendors. Meeting face-to-face is more productive than exchanging email or talking on the phone because you have the other party’s full attention (if you know what I mean 😊).
- SpeakWrite®: CLNC consultants are still nurses at heart – NOT typists. Rather than having to type out a report, you simply speak into your phone and email the result to SpeakWrite which is linked to a pay-as-you-go service that professionally transcribes your dictation and returns your work product to you within hours at a cost of just over a penny per word. During those few hours you can move onto other projects or enjoy a work-out! The SpeakWrite app is free for both iOS and Android. If you’re a busy CLNC consultant who’s often on the go or thinks faster than you can type, you’ll love using this app to capture your report.
- Toggl: This easy-to-use iOS and Android app tracks billable hours. With Toggl you can customize the app to fit your preferences and track your time by projects. Best of all you can start tracking time in your browser and stop tracking it on your phone (if you forget to close the session). You can enter data manually and turn your calendar events into time entries. Start with the free version, then move up to the more robust paid version later.
- TSHEETS: This add-in to QuickBooks (See #15) allows you to easily track time on any device and, when used with QuickBooks, create invoices and generate reports. TSHEETS is inexpensive and well worth it to the QuickBooks user.
- UpToDate: This subscription-based clinical resource tool is used in point-of-care treatment to support clinical decisions, provide patient information and search a large pool of graphics. Available as a mobile app for iOS and Android as well as a mobile website, you can use these resources in your research comparing care and treatment provided to a potential plaintiff or defendant in any medical-related case.
- Voice Memos: This built-in iOS app allows you to talk to yourself, without looking too odd. You can dictate an email, reminder or other quick recording. It’s the very best version of note to self. You can text, email or listen to the recordings at any time. If your mind is a constant stream of never ending thoughts and business ideas this app is for you.
Thank you to all the CLNC pros (Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, PHN, CLNC, Marcia Bell, RN, BSN, CAPA, CLNC, Connie S. Chappelle, RN, MN, CLNC, Dorene Goldstein, RNC, BSN, CLNC, Robert Malaer, RN, MSN, PMHN, SANE, CNLCP, CALM, CLNC and Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC) for generously sharing their favorite apps. I’m sure you can’t wait to install these apps onto your phones and tablets. Load away!
Success Is Yours,
P.S. Comment here and share your favorite apps.