How The Remarkable 2 Can Enhance Your Paperless Virtual Law Firm

As the legal landscape undergoes a digital transformation, attorneys are moving more towards a virtual model, and in the process trying to be as paperless as possible. To do this, they are seeking tools that blend the familiarity of traditional practices with the efficiency of modern technology.

If you’ve been practicing as long as I have, the ubiquitous yellow pad has always been the go-to for taking notes. You take them, then tear them off the pad and prong them into your file. But how does that work in a paperless firm? How do those notes sit alongside all your scanned documents, PDFs, e-mails, and case data efficiently organized in your case management software?

Enter the Remarkable 2 Tablet

The Remarkable 2 tablet is a device that can help with that integration, offering a paper-like writing experience and seamless integration into a paperless, cloud-based practice. You can keep your ability to handwrite notes, while not generating paper.

Certainly this tablet is not the only choice here. Before I purchased a Remarkable, I used my iPad and an Apple Pencil to take notes. However, the feeling of writing on glass did not appeal to me, and often when I would rest the side of my hand on the surface, it would change the display.

Advantages of the Remarkable

Although this product isn’t perfect, there are several advantages to using one.

The Feel of Writing on Paper

One of the areas in which the Remarkable excels is in replicating the feel of writing on paper, providing attorneys with a natural and intuitive writing experience. However, some users may find that the feel of the tablet’s surface differs slightly from traditional paper, and adjusting to this subtlety may take a brief period of acclimatization. I found it a pleasant change, and the act of writing with the stylus even has the satisfying sound of writing on paper.

Templates for Note Taking

Customizable templates enhance efficiency in note-taking, especially for legal professionals who rely on standardized forms. For example, I have an interview form for my bankruptcy practice that I imported as a PDF and made into a template on the Remarkable. You might also have more specific forms that prompt you to gather particular information, and this product will deliver on that.

The tablet also comes with a whole slew of templates, including a college ruled sheet with a left margin, just like a yellow pad.

Seamless Cloud Integration

While the Remarkable 2 offers seamless cloud integration, it’s essential to note that the extent of compatibility with different cloud services may vary. Some users have reported occasional challenges in syncing with certain cloud drives, leading to disruptions in the seamless flow of data. Attorneys considering the Remarkable 2 should ensure that their preferred cloud service, if they have one, is fully supported.

Exporting Files to Folders

The ability to export files to folders on a computer enhances organization and accessibility. However, some users have reported limitations in file management capabilities, such as the absence of advanced folder structures. Attorneys with complex filing systems may find the tablet’s file management features somewhat basic compared to dedicated document management software. But then again, you can just export the document to your computer and put it wherever you want.

Learning Curve: Navigating the Transition

Introducing any new technology comes with a learning curve, and the Remarkable 2 is no exception. While designed with user-friendly features, some attorneys may find the transition to a digital note-taking environment challenging, particularly those who have long relied on traditional methods. The adjustment period could impact initial productivity until users become fully acclimated.

Disadvantages of the Remarkable

But along with a lot of advantages, there are some disadvantages that should be considered.

No Backlighting. One advantage of other tablets over the Remarkableis backlighting, which allows you to read and write in low light environments. I was recently taking notes in low light and found later that my writing had slanted down across the lines of the lined page template I was using because I could not see the lines clearly.

No Color. The Remarkable has a monochrome screen, so if you want to use it to review documents, it won’t give the same experience as reviewing the paper original. I still use my iPad to review and annotate PDF documents, as it does provide a better viewing experience, I can highlight in color, and the writing is reduced to margin notes, so that “glass sensation” is minimal.

Limited Formats. The Remarkable only recognizes a limited number of formats (Mainly PDFs and EPUB files), so you wouldn’t be able to use it to read books in Amazon’s proprietary format. I really wouldn’t recommend it for reading books, as e-readers and other tablets provide a better solution.

Conclusion: Balancing Strengths and Drawbacks

In conclusion, the Remarkable 2 tablet presents a compelling option for attorneys seeking a balance between the tactile experience of writing on paper and the benefits of a digital workflow. Acknowledging its strengths in natural writing feel, customizable templates, and cloud integration, it’s crucial to consider potential drawbacks such as the adjustment to the tablet’s surface, template limitations, occasional cloud sync challenges, and the learning curve associated with adopting new technology.

Attorneys evaluating the Remarkable 2 should weigh these aspects against their specific needs and preferences to make an informed decision on whether this device aligns with their practice requirements. Despite its drawbacks, the Remarkable 2 remains a valuable tool for legal professionals navigating the challenges and opportunities of the modern legal landscape. I know I’m getting a lot out of mine!

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Steve Richardson

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