Best Way to Take Notes

iOS & iPadOS

Hello guys,

Well I bought a magic keyboard the other day to hook up to my iphone SE. I am a lawyer and wanted to be able to take notes during a trial, and then use voiceover later to have the phone read my notes. When I was messing around with the "Notes" app that comes on the phone, the problem I ran into is the voiceover would read the entire document instead of stopping after my first note. My thought was that I could have the voiceover read the first note and stop, and when I was ready to get to the next point i wanted to talk about I can just swip the screen.

I hope I made sense. Is there a way to control the reading speed with "notes" or is there a better app I can use to acheive this goal?

Thanks. my goal is to start taking advantage of this techknowledgy to make my life easier.



Submitted by Nafisah on Monday, April 25, 2016

Hello Tarik, if I understand you correctly, you are writing multiple notes for a single trial in the Notes app, and you want to move from one note to the next as if each note were on its own page? I used the Notes app for note-taking in college, and I was not able to do the successfully. It was easier to use a braille display with VoiceOver speech turned off, or a braille note-taker. Am I correct in assuming that you want to quickly review notes during examinations or cross-examinations of witnesses, or when approaching the Bench to seek advice on a particular aspect of a case, such as the admissibility of evidence obtained in a questionable manner? I am just trying to think of reasons why you would need to access notes during a trial, and if my assumptions are far-fetched, please accept my apologies. There is an app called Access Note, a note-taking app developed to work with VoiceOver, but in my limited usage, I have found nothing in the app that would accomplish what you are hoping. I think your best bet would be to use a braille display with VoiceOver speech turned off. Please let me know your thoughts.

Submitted by Nafisah on Monday, April 25, 2016

I forgot to mention that you may want to consider using an app which lets you create lists instead of notes. In this way, voiceOver would read one item at a time, and not an entire document at once. Furthermore, you would scroll to the next or previous item. And if a note was no longer important, some apps would let you double-tap on that item in the list to clear it, so the note would no longer be visible. This may be a creative answer to your question.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, April 25, 2016

HI Tarik,

One lawyer to another, I think this is tricky on a phone to be honest. While you may be able to take notes, you may not be able to find them quicly enough. Additionally, if you want to get to a certain point in the trial bundle (if you want to take the witness to para 15 of their statement located on page 1004 of the trial bundle, for example) assuming that your trial bundles are page numbered by hand, as they invariably are, you can only really do this by using the find function in a wordprocessor and search for a particular phrase that you're looking for. The other problem is that you may have several documents open at once, let's say your notes, your skeleton argument, the trial bundle and a case or statute on which you are relying. Juggling all of that is difficult with IOS. I also think it's a bad idea trying to listen to your notes with speech while trying to conduct oral advocacy. it is extremely difficult to do this and you may well miss things as a result, plus I've always thought it looks quite bad from the client point of view. Whatever you use, I would suggest you need a Braille display. Personally, I like the convenience of a notetaker, such as the BrailleNote Apex, as an all in one machine which enables me to do all the above juggling I have mentioned with a Braille display thrown in. sure, it's specialist access technology which I know is less fashionable these days, but I still think it has its uses. Do remember also that some courts will not allow you to take in your iPhone or iPad, even if you are a lawyer and yes, even if you are a blind lawyer. An example over here is the central Criminal Court, otherwise known as the Old Bailey, where such devices are not permitted.