While most smartphones will allow you to open Word documents and view them on your screen, I have only found one app that will allow you to track changes and metadata. If you work in an environment that involves a lot of collaborative thinking and editing, Documents to Go is an important app for you to have.
While no app (so far) will allow you to create redline changes and notes in Word documents, this app is crucial if you ever need to forward documents to competitors or opposing counsel. Under the current ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the sender does not have an explicit duty to protect client information in metadata. But do you really want to throw a case under the bus just because opposing counsel caught a glimpse of your trial strategy in the notes?
Even if you are not concerned with the confidentiality of content in the tracked changes, this app will show you whether or not you are looking at a finished product. Depending on how the file was saved, tracked changes and notes show up as soon as the reader opens the file, making your document look like a digital version of a grade-school essay covered in red ink. If you want to impress readers, make sure you are sending the clean, final version without any markups. By using this app, you can view redline edits and notes on the go, and you can make sure you are looking at a finished document before forwarding it on to other people.
For more information on metadata scrubbing and legal ethics, check out the ABA’s state-by-state metadata guide. Check back next week for my 5th app pick, or check out the first three in this series: CardMunch, Evernote, and QR Reader.