Legal Writing Tip: There’s an App for That Too?

Leslie A. Gordon

There’s an app for everything these days and writing is no exception. Here are a few that might appeal to legal writers.

app-indexIndex Card

www.denvog.com/app/index-card

This digital corkboard is designed for the visually minded. Use it on your iPad/iPhone to efficiently compile, organize and outline multiple documents. View in corkboard, outline or column mode, assign color labels to flag arguments, and reorder text with a touch and drag.
$4.99
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app-spiceSpice Mobile

www.writersmuse.com

This comprehensive phrase Thesaurus is available on the web or mobile devices for a subscription of $.99 a month or $6.99 a year. Discover pithy phrases and creative syntax – for example, type “attractive face” and learn other ways to express that. This inspiration tool also features graphs to track the popularity of phrases over time.
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app-writeWrite or Die

writeordie.com

This $20 app aims to eliminate writer’s block by providing consequences for procrastination and rewards for accomplishment. Write quickly to avoid digital spiders or, in kamikaze mode, to avoid your already-composed text from being “disemvoweled.”

Similarly, block social media and other distracting websites for a set time with Anti-Social, SelfControl, or StayFocusd. In the same vein, Zen Writer is a $9.95 minimalist word processor for Windows to keep you fixated only on writing.

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app-hemingwayHemingway App

www.hemingwayapp.com

This free web-based app uses an algorithm to identify prose problems such as distracting adverbs and those alluring but ineffective SAT words. Using an Automated Readability Index, this app ensures your document will be clean and straightforward, just like “Papa’s.”

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app-grammarlyGrammarly

www.grammarly.com

This web-based, automated proof-reader scans your document for 250 common and advanced grammar violations, everything from faulty parallel construction to unbalanced punctuation. Customizable, it even features a plagiarism detector. After a free trial, select a monthly, quarterly or annual plan ranging from $12 to $30 per month.

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app-coffityCoffitivity

coffitivity.com

This, I confess, is my favorite. Do you dream of spending your day writing at a charming café instead of holed up in a high rise listening to the drone of chest-beating, blowhard partners? This free app provides pleasing coffee shop sounds, scientifically proven to be just enough noise to work.
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About the author:

gordonA former lawyer, Leslie A. Gordon is a freelance journalist living in San Francisco. She is the author of Cheer: A Novel, which is available on Amazon. She can be reached via email at leslie.gordon@stanfordalumni.org. Follow Leslie on Twitter: @LAGordonWriter.