Lawyers Using iPads: David Sparks

One of the things I always find interesting is how different people put the iPad to work, especially in a legal practice. Today I’m very excited to share with you the iPad home screen of Mr. David Sparks, author of MacSparky and co-host of MacPowerUsers podcast. I understand that David has also been shaking off the dust over at MacSparky Screencasts with a soon to be released epic tour of the GTD program, OmniFocus. I asked David to give us a tour of his iPad home screen and talk a little bit about how he uses the iPad in his practice. David, take it away…

So about this iPad, I love it. It feels like technology from the future and I immediately incorporated it into my law practice.

Here is my home screen. On my iPad I keep the home screen with my “go to” apps. The second and third pages are a series of alphabetized folders with names like Reading, Calculators, Reference, and (of course) Games.

So here is a rundown of some of my favorite apps:


I was resistant to GoodReader at first. The UI felt clunky and (silly as it sounds) the icon looks terrible. However, they just keep making it faster, easier, and adding more features. I have folders for all of my active litigation and corporate matters. I annotate and bookmark documents on my computers or the iPad and move documents back and forth using Goodreader’s new syncing feature. Seamless.


I have an ongoing fixation with text editors on my iPad. I am currently using this one because it is gorgeous, has great search features, and it syncs with my Simplenote folder on my Dropbox. I’ve got hundreds of text snippets I use in the practice and Simplenote/Dropbox/Notesy lets me share these between all my platforms: Mac OS X, Windows 7, and iOS.


iThoughts is a great touch based mind mapping application. I use it all the time to organize thoughts before writing briefs and long letters. Best of all, it saves to OPML so you can use it with all sorts of other applications.


Dropbox is a cloud based file system that lets you painlessly sync files between computing platforms. They have hooks to let iPad developers save and open files directly from your cloud storage and this is awesome. I think a Dropbox account should be mandatory for all iPad owners. I know some lawyers that run their whole file system off Dropbox.

There are a few applications that aren’t on my home screen but still useful to my legal practice.

PowerOne Financial Calculator

This is (in my opinion) the definitive financial calculator on the iPad. Also of interest to lawyers, it includes a date calculator so you can figure out exactly what 30 days from last Tuesday is.

Court Days Pro

Court Days Pro lets you set up rules for calculating calendar dates. Very useful.


LawBox is a digital statute book that lets you purchase statutes from selected states.


While iPad Keynote is not a replacement for the Mac Keynote (yet), it is still very useful in small groups. For big presentations, I still use the Mac. I like to use a remote to advance slides and looking down and swiping just doesn’t work for me.

Thanks for inviting me to TabletLegal Josh. I’m a big fan.

Thank you, David. I am looking forward to trading app stories with you at ABA Tech Show!

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