Tom Mighell and I wrote a 3-part article on personal productivy tips based on a podcast episode we did last fall. It’s been published on the American Bar Association’s “Law Technology Today.”

The end of the year can seem like the “Time of the Overwhelm.”

It’s called “12 Personal Productivity Tips for Your Year-End Push” and can be found at:

  • Part 1 – Waiting, Frog Eating, Kanban Boards, and Routines
  • Part 2 – Triage, Prioritizing, Chunking, and Time Blocking
  • Part 3 – Personal Quarterly Offsites, Weekly Reviews, Out of Your Head, and Managing Meetings

As we say in the conclusion to the article:

These 12 powerful personal productivity tips can help guide you through what we sometimes call the “Time of Overwhelm” and keep you out of the pit of personal productivity despair. Using some or all of the 12 tips in this three-part series puts you on a good path and allows you to do what you do best in an easier, more manageable, and more satisfying way. Try them out and let us know what works best for you.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Mighell and I, with help from Debbie Foster, continued our annual tradition of looking backward and forward at #legaltech at the end/beginning of each year on our podcast. Of course, we do that in our own way.

Here are the two episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast:

  1. Pardon the Interruption: 2021 Edition
  2. Dennis & Tom’s 2022 Tech Resolutions

In the first episode, as the description says, “Debbie Foster joins Dennis and Tom once again for their yearly “Pardon the Interruption”-esque recap. The trio examine oodles of issues and advancements (or lack thereof) in both legal tech and the profession in general.”

We covered a bunch of developments from all sides. You’ll hear my interest in innovation at the edges (especially productization), the continuing money flow into legal tech, cybersecurity, and a general sense of stasis, if not moving backward, in legal tech in 2021.

Debbie and Tom have great insights and we deliver it all in a fast-paced, game show style. Fun and informative.

In the second episode, Tom and I share our annual technology resolutions. We’re not fans of annual predictions, so we’ve moved to the actual concrete things we plan to do to improve our own use of technology. And, unlike all the predictions you see and hear, we go back and report on how well we did on our resolutions for last year.

My three 2022 tech resolutions are:

  1. Increasing my Notion expertise and continuing to build out the next generation of my Second Brain project.
  2. Focusing my tech learning on two topics: #web3 and document automation (for productization).
  3. Developing short video (see my TikTok efforts at @FairlyCreative and @dkenntt) and other creative outlets.

I also have some small resolutions of (a) tracking down and eliminating small tech annoyances and (b) upping my game with reminders and alerts.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in these episodes and given you a lot to think about, but, more importantly, we hope we’ve challenged you to take some actions.

Would love to hear your comments and hear about your own tech resolutions after you listen to the shows.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

For many years, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of several bloggers who are trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve also wanted to find a good way for me to keep track of the books I’ve read. And it gives me a good reading target to shoot for.

Last year, I read 68 books, exceeding my goal by quite a bit. Or, more accurately, I listed 68 books that I read. I don’t list books that might reveal certain things I might (or might not) be working on.

In the previous year, the total number was 67.

I again found that I was starting and abandoning quite a few books. And I’m reading more audiobooks than ever before

You will also notice that I’ve been attempting to read the entire catalog of books of certain authors of detective stories. If you forced me to pick my top books for 2021 (in alphabetical order) that I’d recommend, I’d probably list:

1491, Charles C. Mann

A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander/strong>

Becoming a Writer Saying a Writer, J. Michael Straczynski

Brain-centric Design, Rich Carr and Kieran O’Mahoney

Four Lost Cities, Annalee Newitz

I Came as a Shadow, John Thompson

Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler

The Model Thinker, Scott Page

The Secret World of Weather, Tristan Gooley

This is How They Tell Me the World Ends, Nicole Perloth

Together We Will Go, J. Michael Straczynski

I’m doing the same thing in 2021. My approach is the same in previous years – I’ll simply update this post from time to time from time to time throughout the year as I finish books.

I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge every year and hope you find the list useful. And I encourage you to take the challenge yourself.

I welcome your recommendations of good books I might read this year.

As Bill Taylor says, “Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?” Challenging yourself to read 52 books is probably a good way to start to answer that question.

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Part of my #blogfirst project.

School of fish. Photo by Thiago Casst from PexelsWe have moved from a world where the big fish eat the little fish, says Tom Peters, the famous management consulting guru, to a world where the “fast fish eat the slow fish.”

I’ve noticed lately that many of the most innovative developments in legal technology have come from smaller firms and solo practitioners. Small firms and solos have developed some of the most successful legal website, pioneered the use of legal applications, and taken the lead in productizing legal services with technology. They have become the fast fish.

While small firms and solos can have difficulty finding good technological assistance, the flip side of the story is that small firms and solos have some advantages over big firms that help them leverage new technology and the growing availability of cloud-based Internet tools to level the playing field against larger firms.

Here are ten advantages that small firms and solos have over large firms when it comes to innovation and technology.

1. The People Most Affected by the Technology Decisions Actually Make the Decisions. Large firms generally have an IS department that manages and controls technology matters. Technology decisions are generally announced to lawyers rather than discussed or voted on. As a result, decisions tend to be based on what is best for the organization as a whole (or the IT department, not the firm) rather than what is best for individual lawyers.

In a small firm, the people most affected by the decision actually make the decision. There is an opportunity to tailor technology to individual needs. More importantly, the decision-makers will directly experience the impact of their decisions. A critical factor in the success of the adoption of any technology is the amount of “buy-in” from the people who will be using the technology. Better participation leads to better attitudes about changes, greater success with training, and more effective use of new technology.

2. Decisions Can Be Made Quickly. Some large firms have spent countless hours debating what shade of blue to use on a website, let alone try a technology tool requested by actual clients. Some small firms have gone from decision to implementation over a weekend.

Any process that involves a long series of committee meetings will foster an atmosphere of cynicism and frustration. In a small firm, decisions often can be made over lunch or a short series of focused conversations. For solos, important decisions can be made in the shower or on the drive to work.

3. The Need to Find Cost Savings Drives Innovation. In a small firm, every little bit of cost savings can have a direct impact on an attorney’s earnings. In larger firms, cost savings have more indirect results. Cost savings can be an important motivation for adopting new technologies.

If you are starting up or maintaining a small practice, the cost of a library can be prohibitive. Purchasing library material strategically in electronic form or as a cloud-based service can result in both space and cost savings. Wise choices made while attempting to cut costs, especially in current times,  can result in an innovative use of technology that leads to a more productive practice.

4. The Size of the Project is Less Daunting. It is easier and cheaper to make changes on a network of three or thirty computers than it is on a network of three hundred or three thousand computers in different geographies. Small firms can try pilot projects with one or two people who will also be primary decision-makers.

5. Technology Improvement Can Be an Important Use of Downtime. Smaller firms and solos sometimes have alternating cycles of busy periods followed by slow periods. In a large firm, the constant push to bill hours does not allow for that type of cycle and puts pressure on attorneys to focus exclusively on generating billable hours and not on developing systems or improving technology.

In a small firm, a slow period in the practice may be a perfect time to implement new software, to use document assembly to automate forms, to try a new calendaring or case management program, or simply to plan for future technology requirements. Taking more time to think about technology and explore options will result in more successful applications of technology.

6. Small Firms Are More Willing to Adapt Their Practices to Cloud Solutions. In a large firm, different departments often do things in very different ways. In addition, there may be a “Firm” way of doing things that has not been modified for many years. These firms will often spend enormous amounts of money to customize legacy installed programs to match existing practices.

Small firms, on the other hand, are likely to use cloud-based services, such as one of the case management tools, or even services for home users, and adapt their practice to these platforms. What matters is that job gets done, not that you are using “legal-specific” or customized software to do it.

7. The Payoff From Technology Investment is More Easily Seen. A larger monitor may give you an immediate impact by reducing the need to squint to see details. A premium LinkedIn account might start producing clients that can be readily traceable to your efforts. A small firm’s return on investment can be easily seen and measured. In a larger firm, return on investment can be harder to identify and may take place over a longer time frame because of the scope of projects and the time it takes to implement them and measure results.

8. Small Firms Are Willing to Experiment. Small firm lawyers are usually the lawyers speaking at seminars about innovative technologies. As a general rule, lawyers are not known as “early adopters” and many large firms are extremely conservative and unwilling to take risks when it comes to technology.

In small firms, there tends to be more of an attitude of experimentation and a willingness to try new things. There is also a willingness to admit that an experiment has not worked and to try something new. This attitude allows smaller firms the opportunity to match technology to their needs and to keep them in some cases closer to the leading edge of technology than many larger firms. Smaller firms seem more willing to try new options like document automation, case management, and collaboration tools, especially client-facing ones.

9. The Need to Level the Playing Field Drives Technological Change. Some of the more innovative uses of technology by small firms came in response to the practice of larger firms of trying to bury smaller firms in paperwork during discovery. Today’s cloud-based ediscovery and litigation management tools can give a small firm control over mountains of evidence in a way that can be superior to what can be achieved by a team of big firm lawyers not using the same technologies.

Because it is all but impossible for a small firm to compete with a large firm in a war of attrition using human resources, small firms have tremendous motivation to leverage technology to level the playing field against big firms. Competitive factors often drive excellent decisions about technology.

10. Small Firms Focus on the Practical. Often big firms seem to be preoccupied with theories, definitions, and philosophies of technological improvement and with thinking about how technology might work rather than actually getting started on using the technology. In the meantime, small firms are adopting new technologies that streamline their practices, putting up productized services and apps that draw in clients, and producing charts and visuals that help them to win cases.

An important example that is still relevant is law firm websites. Large firms seemto have websites that look like the websites of other large firms because it is seen as a requirement for a firm of stature, with no real expectation of getting clients, often a self-fulfilling prophecy. Small firms put up websites that work and get clients and client portals that keep clients.

Here are five final points to remember about technology and the small firm:

1. Be flexible and willing to experiment.

2. Build on your successes. Constantly try to extend the efficiencies you have already gained through other technology and systems you’ve developed.

3. Try to identify areas where cost savings will also result in innovation and increased productivity in your practice.

4. Focus on practical and measurable results that positively impact your clients.

5. Look at what’s happening in other professions (e.g., patient portals in health care) and with new collaboration and community-building technologies.

Be a fast fish. By being flexible, practical, and innovative, small firms and solos can use technology to increase their effectiveness and productivity and level the playing field against slower-reacting large firms.

Photo by Thiago Casst from Pexels


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I have watched and listened to so many pledge drives on PBS and NPR over the years. I occasionally get a question about how to support this blog. I’ve ruled out pledge drives, thankfully for you and for me.

Recently, I noticed that Sabrina Pacifici of the fabulously-useful and highly-recommended blog, BeSpacific, had a post called “Requesting Your Support for BeSpacific.” It’s a simple straightforward request to support her efforts on the blog with instructions on how to do so.

I thought this might be a good time to collect in one place the ways you can support this blog. As I sometimes anthropomorphize my blog (it does have its own Twitter account – @dkennedyblog), the list includes a few suggestions from the blog.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Mighell and I launched our podcast in 2006. We joined the Legal Talk Network and have just published episode #300. We could probably claim many things about the podcast, but we’re OK with calling it “the longest continuously-running podcast on legal technology.”

Because surprisingly few podcasts even make it to 15 episodes, let alone roll on for 15 years, we’re understandably proud of the accomplishment. It’s a tribute to what two people on a Skype call can come up with and keep going, especially when it’s easy to collaborate with each other.

For the 300th episode, we decided to turn the tables on ourselves a bit. We brought in our friend, the original guest host on our earliest podcasts, and longtime president of the podcast’s fan club, Adriana Linares. Adriana is a great interviewer and hosts her own successful podcast, New Solo.

Adriana thought it would be fun to get Tom and me to talk about what happens behind the scenes at the podcast, our friendship, and what tech we use. Since both Tom and I are experts at deflecting the subject away from our personal lives, we spent a lot of time talking about the tech we use and some of our approaches.

You are going to get a ton of tech tips as well as other insider info about the podcast. And it was a ton-o-fun.

We could probably claim many things about the podcast, but we’re OK with calling it “the longest continuously-running podcast on legal technology.”

We’re getting ready to record episode #301 tomorrow, so we plan to keep things rolling.

So many people to thank over the years, but I want to single out LuAnn Reeb and Adam Camras for offering a place and keeping us on the Legal Talk Network platform.

We especially thank our many listeners over the years, encourage you to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app (we’re also on Spotify), and hope the podcast has helped you and made you think.

We’re always happy to hear from our listeners. Please enjoy this episode and listen toa classic earlier episode too.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Second Brain screenshotTom Mighell and I got the idea to do something we call the “Second Brain project” back in 2020. We first discussed it in a podcast we called “Eureka! – The Beginnings of Dennis and Tom’s Second Brain Project.” We’ve now done a total of eight episodes on our thinking and our progress. The most recent of which was called “Dennis and Tom’s Second Brain Update..”

We started with a blank slate. We knew we wanted a tool that covered four main wants for us: capturing, organizing, “actioning,” and sharing.

Tom and I realized that we had some different priorities. What was interesting, however, is that we both independently decided on the same core tool – Notion.

I thought this was a good time to share some of my progress. I’ve completed version 2.0 of my Second Brain and am on track to complete version 3.0 by the end of this month.

I’m now tracking projects with several dashboards. I’m collecting and categorizing my notes. I’ve created a “reference notebook” with links from a variety of sources. And I’ve collected commonly-used materials in one place.

Notion’s simple, but powerful, databases with ways to show a variety of views and connect databases have been the key and opened ways for me to work that hadn’t seemed possible before.

My latest additions have been a daily habit tracker, daily reflections capture, and an OKR (Objectives and Key Results) tracker.

And it’s personally tailored to me.

I feel both that I’m just getting started and that I’ve come far farther that I expected I could back in June 2020. Not a bad COVID project and one that should have great longevity.

I suspect that I’ll be writing and speaking about this project in 2021.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, at 8:00 Eastern, I’ll be holding the second of my monthly “Ask Me Anything” webcasts. The theme for this one will be “personal productivity.”

In the session, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have on the topic, from my decades-long use of the “Getting Things Done” method to OmniFocus and other tools (including pencil and paper) to personal kanban boards to Personal Quarterly Offsites and sprints to Notion and my new Second Brain Project.

I also get new ideas and tips whenever I listen to someone else talk about personal productivity and hope you will too.

Details (including Zoom coordinates) may be found at the Linkedin Event for the session. It’s free, you don’t need to register, but you will need a password available at the LinkedIn Event.

This webcast is the second in my experiment to do three of these monthly webcasts at the end of 2021. The results from the first one? Fun and definitely positive. So far, so good. Help me get data to determine whether this is something I should continue in 2022.

Details here.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

For many years, modern portfolio theory and its adaptation to technology and innovation in law has been one of my recurring big themes. As in your financial portfolio, risk and reward must be assessed and your tech and innovation efforts must be seen as a portfolio to increase your chances of good longterm returns.

You want to do do things in connection with your portfolio:

  • Diversity it
  • Align it with your risk tolerance

As I like to say, the concepts are easy. There’s a whole chapter in my book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations, focused on this topic and the theme is found many places in the book.

I’ve been thinking lately about the risk tolerance part. Might there be a way to usefully quantify that so you can act on it?

I’ve created an Organization Innovation Risk Tolerance Quiz that does exactly that. 25 questions will guide you through four large categories of organization risk tolerance. You’ll get a score that you can use in several ways to help you with innovation risk management.

It’s available now on Gumroad.com for US$9.95.
Buy Organization Innovation Risk Tolerance Quiz here.

Let me know how it helps you.

You can find other information products in my Gumroad catalog.

Members of the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Premium Community receive the Quiz as part of their memberships.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Dennis Kennedy photoI’m trying an experiment over the next three months to hold a monthly “Ask Me Anything” Zoom webinar. The first will be on on Thursday evening, October 28, 2021, at 8:00 PM ET. Would you like to join in? Here’s the LinkedIn Event for it.

You can submit your question(s) for me in advance via a comment to this post or live in the Q&A in the Zoom Webinar.

Please click this URL to join. https://lnkd.in/eFpgf4ix
Passcode: 123872

#Innovation, #LegalTech, #NewLaw, #CreatorEconomy, #Podcasting, #ContentCreation, #LegalEd

Hope to see you there.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

Legal Innovation as a Service LogoNeed a little help with your legal innovation efforts? Check out my Legal Innovation as a Service offerings.

Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory logoJoin the Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory Community today!

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.