Apple bought the Workflow app last week–and they apparently do not plan to kill it. As an iPhone user who was always going to get around to trying Workflow, I now think big things are ahead for this app and a lot of lawyers may want to try this now-free app.
See Apple bought the best utility app for the iPhone, Workflow. From a 2014 review: “With only a half-hour of familiarity I was able to set up a workflow that can find the locations of meetings I might have on any given day, pull images of the buildings they’re in from Google Street View, and email them all to me.”
If you are new to workflows or process automation, probably the best way to understand this is to look through these examples: 25 Coolest Things Apple’s Workflow App Can Do. Number 4 is how to easily create those text-on-picture graphics we see circulating as social media memes using your own pictures and the text you want.
The above included several things I didn’t know how to do, although I assumed that they were “doable” with some research. The list above has many fun and useful things to do on your iPhone, like automatically texting your spouse the time you will be home. But it is also good experience for lawyers as developing law office workflow automation is something lawyers will be doing more, so some experience is good.
There are also many good reviews of Workflow in the iTunes store.
It is the week of ABA TECHSHOW and a good way to get warmed up is to check out the TECHSHOW edition of Law Practice Magazine.
The cover story is A Golden Age of Legal Tech Start-Ups by Bob Ambrogi. Other features cover topics from legal incubators to e-signatures. Columns include my observations on Managing the Robots, Tom Mighell on the Battle of the Workplace Messaging Apps, Pete Roberts on A ‘Periodic Table’ of Law Firm Profitability for Small Firms and Sharon Nelson and John W. Simek on Securing Your Law Firm’s Website: A Critical Cybersecurity Task.
If you think managing all of the lawyers and staff in a law firm is a challenge, just wait for that day (coming sooner than you think) when you also have to manage the robots working for your law firm. Despite the cool graphic the magazine production team found to illustrate Managing the Robots, I don’t think we are likely to see humanoid robots in law firms anytime soon. But I do think we are about to see more and more automated processes powered by smart technology systems. This brings up many challenges for firms that are used to supervising people as opposed to perfecting and managing automated processes.
Which partner or partners try to lay claim to the machine-generated profits will just be the first (and loudest) of these issues.
I hope to see you at ABA TECHSHOW this week.
Our monthly Reading Room features reading suggestions for you from January and February, 2017 which cover a wide range of topics for the forward-thinking lawyer. Topics include “white dwarf law firms,” the Smart Person’s Guide to Apple’s iCloud Keychain, the ABC’s of Marketing and Business Development for Lawyers, dictation methods on the iPhone, blockchain for lawyers, a new JP Morgan AI software program that saves 360,000 hours of staff and lawyer time, Six Fundamentals For Handling Client Confidences, the Top Twenty-Two Most Interesting e-Discovery Opinions of 2016 and How An Introvert Can Build A Thriving Practice.
Visit our January 2017 Reading Room and our February 2017 Reading Room.