I wrote a post on LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com the other day called “Eating Our Own Collaboration Tools Dog Food.” For those unfamiliar with the reference, “eating one’s own dog food” is a term, often associated with Microsoft, that refers to a company that actually uses its own products.
The reference in my post was to an example of Tom Mighell and I actually using some of the collaboration tools we wrote about in our book to actually, well, collaborate on a project we were working on. I recommend the post because it walks through some of the basic tools we used and how and why we used them.
I noted five takeaways from our experience:

1. We actually use the collaboration tools we write and talk about.
2. We like having a tool box of collaboration tools for different purposes rather than being concerned with a single all-purpose collaboration tool.
3. Different tools work well for different purposes.
4. Even in the same project you might use a number of different tools to do the same types of thins.
5. We really like the way you can open a constant communications channel to help you work by using instant messaging.

I’ve gotten some email about the post. I was struck by how people recommended another all-in-one tool that we could have used (for example, Acrobat.com) instead of the variety of common tools we actually used.
The emailers are exactly right – we could have done that. And it would have worked well for us, although we are creatures of habit and tend to use the tools we are most familiar and comfortable with..
The most interesting thing about collaboration tools is that there are many ways to get to the same place. The more versatility and flexibility you can have with these tools, the more collaboration options you’ll have and you’ll be able to find a good way to work with whomever you happen to be working with.
I appreciate all the comments, and invite others as well, once you read the post.
As I look back on the post, I also want to highlight the “takeaway” that instant messaging really can play a key role in collaboration efforts. Tom and I have written an article about this topic that should be appearing soon in the ABA’s Law Practice magazine.
This seems like a good time to mention that Tom and I will be speaking on collaboration tools at the ABA TECHSHOW in April, including a roundtable session in which we plan to use some “unconference” techniques. Hope to see you there. You can get quick updates on collaboration tools and our upcoming sessions via Twitter by following @collabtools.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (https://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
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