Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss how technology has changed since the first edition of their book was published and what collaboration tools are most commonly used today.
Ten years ago, Dennis and Tom released their co-authored book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, about the techniques and technologies lawyers can use to collaborate with both clients and colleagues. A lot has changed in ten years and, in response, Dennis and Tom are releasing a second edition of their book. In this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss how technology has changed since the first edition of their book was published and what collaboration tools are most commonly used today. They also talk about what has not changed including the strategies lawyers should use in order to collaborate successfully. As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for the answers to your most burning tech questions.
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, here how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode #206 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell from Dallas. Before we get started, we would like to thank our sponsors.
Dennis Kennedy: Thanks to TextExpander for sponsoring our show. Communicate Smarter with TextExpander. Gather, Perfect, and Share Your Knowledge. Recall your best words instantly and repeatedly. Learn more at HYPERLINK “http://www.textexpander.com/podcast” textexpander.com/podcast.
Tom Mighell: And we would also like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology, and understand litigation process. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.serve-now.com/”www.serve-now.com to learn more.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we did our popular annual technology resolution show. If you’re still looking for New Year’s resolutions or strategies for keeping the resolutions you have made, give that podcast a listen. In this episode, we decided to focus on one of the biggest technology trends, in our humble opinion, for 2018, collaboration.
Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be discussing collaboration tools and technologies, and maybe not so coincidentally, the upcoming release of the second edition of our book on that very topic.
In our second segment, we’re going to try out a new theme that we’re going to be calling a good idea, bad idea or new idea, see where that goes. We encourage you also to keep sending us your questions for a future second segment; we’ll give you that number later in the show.
And as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots, that one tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over. But first up, collaboration tools and technologies over, I think the past year, longer than we probably wanted it to be, Dennis and I have been working on the second edition of our book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies, which first came out, the first edition came out way back 10 years ago, 2008, and we’re pretty close to getting it published.
Dennis, is there any better feeling than knowing that all we’ve got left to do is basically review the page proofs?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I kind of like getting the royalty checks, that’s a favorite point of book authoring for me and actually getting the package with the book and holding it — open it up and holding your hand the first time is a pretty darn good feeling too. But hitting the page proof stage does give you the feeling of, let me call it, almost done.
I thought it was a great time, Tom, to not just because the book is coming out, but it was really nice to see several technology pundits supporting to collaboration as perhaps the key trend for 2018. And it makes the book as it felt timely when we wrote it, the first time, but I think that your idea to write the second edition now is right on. And so, it’s good to have that affirmation.
I guess one of the things I thought we should talk about is how much has changed since we did the first edition of the book and compared to how things are as we write the second edition now.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think that in terms of the tools that we use to collaborate, a lot has changed. I would argue, I would guess that when we went through the book, probably 80% of the tools that we mentioned in the first edition no longer exist. I mean at all, they just — they’re just not there anymore at all.
And they’ve been either replaced by other tools or it’s just not an area that’s really a collaboration tool or collaboration area in the first place. So, kind of the very nature of the kinds of tools that people use to collaborate has really, really I think changed a lot.
What really hasn’t changed though is the strategies for collaborating, the things you need to do to think about how you’re going to work with your co-workers, how you’re going to work with clients, how you’re going to work across the aisle with opponents, with the courts, with things like that. The types of things you need to think about before you adopt and use collaboration tools I think has pretty much stayed the same and I found that when we were updating that part of the book, there’s not a lot of changes that I had in that area. Would you agree?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I mean, I guess what surprised me and despite what you had originally told me of how easy it would be to do the second edition because we wouldn’t have to do that much in a way to change. I think there’s a ton of new material we put into there.
I think you’re right, what impressed me if I can be allowed to be impressed with what we did the first time is sort of the strategies, the checklists, the overall approaches, the checklists, those seem so solid right now. So I think that part is really great and I think there’s a consistency there that you still see.
So, I think you look at things in some of the same ways, I might throw in sort of what are you hiring at a collaboration tool to do or jobs to be done theory, but that’s sort of just a little bit of reframing of the approach that we took. But, I think you’re right, it was surprising to me just do updating URLs, even to articles that we cited to, but definitely to the smaller tools is surprising. How many things aren’t out there, and I don’t think it’s because collaboration is less important.
I think it’s because collaborations become more ubiquitous and so collaboration is everywhere. So you see collaboration somewhat — what used to be the standalone tools are now baked in to Microsoft Office and some of the other standard legal applications, and is it your sense as well, Tom?
Tom Mighell: Well, you know, I was going to say and I’ve written in my notes for this that I think in some ways it’s really hard to talk about collaboration as a thing unto itself because it is baked into tools and to a certain extent, I’ve been seeing this in other areas. I think that there’s an argument to be made that many of the tools that come out these days are incorporating collaboration by design.
It’s part of the tools that we use that they’re thinking about, how are other people going to use these tools with everybody. I think that has a lot to do with the nature of the sharing environment. The fact that social media — we’ll talk about that a little bit more but the fact that everything these days is about sharing and when you have that concept of sharing, then you’re automatically talking about collaboration and trying to incorporate in collaboration of elements into whatever tool you’re developing.
Dennis Kennedy: I think the — two things I thought were significant changes when we did this edition is, then in the first edition, we probably talked about Web 2.0 notion which I don’t think is a meaningful term anymore but —
Tom Mighell: I took it out of the book because I just don’t think it’s useful.
Dennis Kennedy: But what is different is the cloud, so that cloud notion, hosted services, Internet services, that has evolved in a way so it’s much more ubiquitous as is collaboration itself, but it’s something that lawyers seem to use and that’s where all the tools are based, and then I would say, to me the biggest change over 10 years, is mobile app.
And how much we rely on mobile phones, I mean, looking at the first edition, Tom, we talked a lot about BlackBerrys and things like that, but the smart phone notion mobile apps and then, as you said, how collaboration elements or collaboration tools are baked into a lot of mobile apps, that seem to be one of the most significant changes, and probably apps maybe, the most common way that lawyers are accessing the cloud, whether they know it or not.
Tom Mighell: No, I agree. Although, I really think it’s kind of neck-and-neck. I agree to the extent that literally at the time that our book was coming out, the iPhone was being released and so apps really hadn’t even made the scene at that point in time. So, I think that that’s the thing that didn’t really even exist at the time of the last book, but I still really think the cloud has made such a big impact.
I went back and looked at the first edition of the book and the amount of time that we spent talking about Dropbox and Box, I think could be reduced to maybe a paragraph. I mean, we didn’t talk about cloud tools that often. Most of the collaboration tools that we mentioned, didn’t really use the cloud, I mean, they were a lot, they were Internet-based, but they didn’t really use the cloud in the way that we think about at this day in terms of in a way that we would see it as an essential part of collaboration these days that you’re having a central location to store the work you’ve got to have cloud technology, cloud principles to be able to have everybody access that in one place, and I went back and most of the tools that we talked about back then just really didn’t incorporate that. It was just so new at that point.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, and I guess the other thing that was from the perspective we had back then. We talked a lot about Extranets in that book. And so the Extranet concept I think is still really important, but it’s so hidden underneath what’s going on, and I don’t think people basically refer to Extranets that much anymore. So that was a bit of a difference too.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think what we did there was I agree with you. I don’t think that the term Extranet is being used, but the term that we see being used almost to death these days is the idea of the client portal and creating portals for your clients and whether that’s through practice management software whether that’s through share point or through other tools that you have, that’s definitely a hot thing, I mean, being able to have a private site for your clients to come in and look at their documents or see a dashboard that shows the amount of money that they spent or what their budget is, all the details of their relationship with you as their lawyer, I think is a big thing these days, even though it might not be called Extranet.
Dennis Kennedy: Right, and I think that’s a great point. I guess if I were to have made a prediction 10 years ago about the coming of the cloud, I would’ve probably said that in legal we would evolve more in the direction of private clouds because of concern about confidentiality and security. And I think what’s surprising, probably to everyone, across the board is how common the public clouds are? So the Dropboxes, the other things like that, you don’t have law firms hosting their own servers for their Internet services. You see a lot more public commercial cloud applications that are commonly used by lawyers and less in what would be considered private cloud which would be a lot more expensive and a lot more involved for law firms, and from the perspective of 10 years ago I think I would have guessed, it would have gone the other way.
So, it’s a tribute to what’s going on with the public cloud infrastructure and the elements of security that are baked into public cloud applications these days. But that was – that what I say is – was probably one thing I would’ve guessed wrong on.
Tom Mighell: Well, I will say though that where you haven’t seen the adoption of the public cloud like I would normally expect it. I mean, I’ve seen a great deal of concern over the past 5-6 years among Dropbox users for things like HIPAA security with the idea that Dropbox is not certified or is not acceptable for storing HIPAA-related information, where Box on the other hand is.
I think that what’s been very interesting is that the lawyers who are willing to embrace the public cloud-based tools are at least security conscious enough to know that they need to pay attention to that, and so, I think that knowing when to use a public tool and when not to use it, has been a big part of the education of people in using collaboration of these types of tools over the past 10 years.
Dennis Kennedy: So I think that the two things that really interests me and if long interests me about collaboration tools and technologies as they’ve always seen the most client-focused of all the technologies that lawyers use. So I think that you were talking about the client portal example, but if these are the technologies that allow you to work better with your clients and also make it easier for you to work with your clients. So, I think there is a client focus aspect to collaboration that’s always been important, and is probably even more important now.
The second thing that has always struck me is that collaboration tools and the selection of those tools don’t really exist in isolation. So there’s a cool evolution element of or cooperative or collaborative approach to choosing collaboration tools, and that I think has been really interesting because that you run into lawyers to say we’re going to use, I don’t know, whatever, it’s a work share for redlining, and the fact is, when you get documents from your client and they have tracked changes on you are making it harder to work with you if you convert that stuff to something in work share and send them back a PDF when they’re just expecting you to get track changes that they can continue working on. So I think that notion that collaboration tools is definitely an area where you can benefit your clients and have that client focus. It’s so important these days, and then also by working with your collaborators, those on your side and then on the other side you can just make your life so much easier.
Tom Mighell: I totally agree but as we will talk about later in this segment working with your collaborators to make sure that you are both using the same collaboration tools is incredibly important, otherwise it’s sort of doomed for failure or at least not as good a result as you would hope.
Dennis Kennedy: So let’s talk about some of the biggest changes that we’ve seen as we were putting the second edition together, and I guess the one where we just pulled something out that was really significant in the first edition and basically did away with it is, is Wikis and we replaced it with Slack which in the last year or so has become a really standard and really popular collaboration platform.
So, I think we made really good choices in a lot of the things we did in the first edition, but I think the Wiki notion, which was really important and some of the Wiki concepts which you can find in different collaboration tools now are still important, but I think Wikis themselves are not important, and I think our educated guess that Slack will remain important over the next few years, I think is a choice I am comfortable with.
Tom Mighell: So two things about Wikis that are interesting to me; the first is, I’m really amazed that Wikis died the death that they died among the legal community and that they just aren’t being used as much, or at least if they are, I am not hearing about it, because having a webpage that a team can go in and edit and keep as a resource, I’m guessing that there are some law firms and some lawyers who are doing that.
I was really intrigued to see that Microsoft Teams, which is the Microsoft Slack competitor, when you create a channel in Microsoft Teams, there’s actually a tab there for a Wiki. It creates a Wiki within Microsoft Teams. So, clearly the concepts not dead, but it’s just being used in different ways.
When it comes to Slack, what I think is interesting about Slack is we spend a — rather a long chapter in the first edition and we kept it in the second edition talking about e-mail not being an ideal collaboration platform, and the fact that most lawyers have it as their default collaboration platform, but here are the problems with it.
And what’s interesting to me is that Slack, I think is a direct response to that. I think Slack is a response to the fact that e-mail is not the ideal collaboration platform. So you have Slack, you have Microsoft Teams, you have Facebook Workplace. You have lots of these messaging tools that are designed to replace e-mail, and to me that’s really the most interesting change in the last 10 years is that and what seems to be the most purely collaborative technology to evolve just sort of out of whole cloth since we did the first edition.
Dennis Kennedy: See, the other thing – and I remember this, Tom, that when we were finishing up the first edition of the book, we just had several discussions about what to do about social media because we thought it was going to become really important. We were trying to figure out whether we become a collaboration platform in the sort of classic sense that we thought, which — we were thinking of, would you share documents, would you have conversations on it?
And so, we decided to deemphasize social media because we thought it was a little bit too early for lawyers, and I think that we are right about that, and I think that I see social medias as being important in many ways in collaboration, but it is interesting that the groups and maybe document sharing and some of the other things that we thought you might see people doing on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other places didn’t really evolve that way.
So really I see the social medias being more of a social networking tools where they have the most benefit in collaboration, plus as we found in almost all applications these days and all services these days, that’s sort of instant messaging component of the social media tools can be important if it becomes the way that people actually communicate with each other.
Tom Mighell: No, I agree. I think social media tools are definitely collaboration tools, but just not in the way that is very useful to lawyers and either the clients that they want to serve or other lawyers that they might want to talk to or collaborate with.
Dennis Kennedy: So let me hear a couple of other things I thought were interesting. I think texting and instant messaging has become way more important to lawyers internally and externally, but often the best use of it is internal.
We added a chapter because I think this is another example where small tools can give you big results, and so one of the examples is trying to schedule meetings, and so, we have a new chapter that’s just on the sort of small, simple tools and how you can use that, and I think the other development is in the ethics area, because I think that ethics has not turned out to be a big barrier to the adoption of collaboration tools. I mean, you still have to be reasonable, you have to make good choices, you have to be thoughtful, you have to consider security confidentiality, but you don’t see the ethics rules and the regulators putting up big objections to standard collaboration tools.
Tom Mighell: No, I agree, and I think that’s a good thing. I think that we want to encourage the use of collaboration tools. I think that it goes without saying and when we talk about it at length in the book making sure that the tools that you use have the right security to them, that you are thinking about them in terms of protecting your client confidences and any other kind of work product that you might have which just leads into if lawyers are doing a bad job of protecting that and the tools I have, that’s when the regulators want to come in and that’s when there become ethics issues and the fact that they really haven’t been any, I think is sort of a Testament to the fact that lawyers at least to the extent that they are using these tools are — if not using them correctly they are just not using them in such a bad way that they are raising any attention anyway.
Dennis Kennedy: And I think that shows the utility of the tools, and again, there’s if it’s something that allows you to make it easy for your clients to work with you, then I think you are going to use those tools in better ways, and if you are using the tools that your clients like using, then you are going to learn to use them better as well.
So Tom, I think as I mentioned, in the first edition, we debated about how much to include social media, and in this edition, I guess there’s — you don’t know what’s going to happen on the horizon. So, if I look forward a couple of years and say, I kind of knew that this was an area that could develop but it seems too early for, I would say, it’s sort of the big four these days that everybody is talking about, which is Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Bots.
We cover a little bit of that, I would say more on the Bots’ side in the book, but I guess that would be the one area where I could see developments in collaboration happening over in the next two to five years that could be significant that we might have wished that we would have devoted a chapter to, especially the Machine Learning and AI.
Tom Mighell: I will reserve judgment on that. Based on what I have seen so far, I don’t think that the collaborative opportunities there are immediately apparent, but I could be surprised, I do think to the extent we covered Bots, they are already being used in collaboration, I mean, there are Bots that are contained within Slack and those Bots can be used to talk to the users and work with them.
So, yep, I think that it’s probably a little too soon to talk about them in broad terms and maybe these will make good topics for upcoming podcasts.
Dennis Kennedy: I thought we would wrap up because whenever we write this book or edition of this book, we do experiment with collaboration tools, and as they say, eating our own dog food, so Slack I thought, it worked really well for us, Google Docs maybe, but Tom, I guess I want to turn the floor over to you to talk about just how difficult it can be to collaborate with Dennis from time-to-time.
Tom Mighell: Well, so what it really comes down to and I guess are you giving me permission to share secrets and to peek behind the curtain?
Dennis Kennedy: Sure.
Tom Mighell: Okay. So, I think, I mean — I think, yes, I think Slack worked well, but just two people using Slack is not a terribly a difficult thing to do. I will say that I have been using it with the with the TECHSHOW Board and I think that it works really well with a group of – we’ve got a group of 10 or 12 people using it to 15 people, and I think it actually works very well as a collaboration tool.
The challenge with using collaboration tools like I said before is, is that you need to make sure that everyone uses it in the way that it’s supposed to be used. What I had hoped to do is, is that we did it in Google Docs so we would both have the same copy of the chapter to work from and we would be able to work on that chapter, we both divided up the chapters. So, Dennis had several chapters to work on, I had several chapters to work on, and then we were going to switch and review those, review what we had done and then combine all of those into a manuscript that we would then send on to the publisher.
And, I will only say that Dennis found that it was more convenient for him to take the text out of the Google Docs and put them into Word documents and upload those Word documents back up to Google Drive which while they were there and it was useful that they were there. I still had to go through them one at a time and it was less convenient than the collaboration functionality that Google Docs offers. We got it done, it worked just fine, we made it work.
Dennis, I don’t know if there’s anything you want to say in response to that, but again, I think that eating our own dog food shows that sometimes teams have to work together on making collaboration work well.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think it’s that co-evolution notion. So, in connection with the book and with some other collaboration projects I have been doing lately, what I think is you say, oh, we should all be able to do it, it’d be like a Google Doc that people could go in and make changes to and will use Slack, and then somebody will say, well, I can’t access either tool through my firewall at work, so I can’t work on, I am at work or you will run into some odd things, so we had this odd thing.
Tom, as you remember, I had a browser issue with Google Docs that you were on the phone with me saying, there should just be this thing that says move to this folder, and I go, there’s nothing under —
Tom Mighell: Yeah, you weren’t getting the same menu options; yeah, for some reason that didn’t.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so that’s why I think that you kind of have to say, oh, I love — if you want to say, oh, I love Slack, let’s use Slack, you got to make sure that works for everybody, especially as you get more-and-more people and you are in more-and-more organizations, and I think what you find is the firewall issues, permission issues, sometimes version issues, and then you have some people with great familiarity with the tools and other people are using it for the first time and it can be really confusing and then it just — stuff starts slipping back to email.
So, I don’t know, Tom, I guess we’ve talked a bit about the book longer than we expected, but any thoughts you want to wrap up with other than just plugging the book and estimating when it will be out?
Tom Mighell: Two quick tips, for those of you who probably either aren’t using collaboration tools the way you want to or thinking about starting using collaboration tools in a better way. One, think about what you are already using, don’t immediately think you’ve got to go out and find new tools and start using those. Think about what you are already using and try to use them better. And two, think about what your clients are using, it’s almost always better to use tools that already exist that people are using than to try and introduce new tools into an environment for the reasons that we just talked about that acceptance and adoption is very difficult.
I will say that we expect to the book to be out by TECHSHOW 2018, so the beginning of March, we are very much looking forward to that. We still have a little bit of work to get done on the book, but hopefully by TECHSHOW we will have a second edition of the book out.
And before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.
TextExpander helps you communicate smarter. You get home from an event where you have met some potential clients, you create a TextExpander snippet with a follow up message. Use fill-in-fields for the contact name and custom topic, quickly produce personalized emails to everyone by expanding and filling in your snippet, share your snippet with colleagues and everyone gets done faster. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.textexpander.com/podcast” textexpander.com/podcast for 20% off in your first year.
Looking for a process server you can trust, ServeNow.com is a nationwide network of local prescreened process servers. ServeNow works with the most professional process servers in the industry, connecting your firm with process servers who embrace technology, have experience with high volume serves, and understand the litigation process and rules of properly effectuating service. Find a prescreened process server today. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.serve-now.com/”www.serve-now.com.
Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. In this segment I wanted to try to do a new segment that reflects conversations that Tom and I often have. One or the other of us, usually me, has a new idea that he thinks might be really great, he runs it by the other person, usually Tom, to get some feedback and the idea either moves forward or goes down in flames. We are going to call this segment, Good Idea, Bad Idea, or No Idea.
And because I am usually the one who has a new idea and end up with the burnt ashes of the idea after Tom gets done with it, we thought it would be best for me to launch the first idea, and here it is.
So I have noticed the people are using the #legaltech. In other areas such as financial tech you see the standardization of the naming of the category to a single combined word. So, it is the example, financial tech is known as fintech, there’s regtech for regulatory tech, and insuretech for insurance, and of course there’s biotech.
Some have pointed out that legal technology by implication suggests there’s something that would be illegal technology. So, my idea is that we move to the one word legaltech, instead of talking about legal tech or as two words or legal technology. Tom, good idea, bad idea or no idea?
Tom Mighell: So I hate to start out this new segment in such a bad way, but I am not going to say good, bad or no idea, I am going to say, okay sure, Dennis. I think mostly because it’s not completely a new idea.
I mean, how long has ALM’s technology conference has been called LegalTech? How long has it been around? It’s been around I think a long time, now granted. It’s a proprietary name, it’s a proper name that they’ve used and it really probably hasn’t been part of common lingo other than being associated with that conference, but it’s not like it’s a totally new term either. It just feels sort of, if I can — it feels sort of trendy, the trendy thing to do now. We will just let – let’s just let tech on the end of an industry, FinTech, BioTech, HealthTech, RegTech, why not do it for legal? So I may sound like the crotchety old man here, but if you want to do it, let’s go ahead, why not. I say, have at it.
Dennis Kennedy: So the Legaltech New York conference I think has changed their name bizarrely enough.
Tom Mighell: Well, no, Legaltech is still the name of the technology portion of the conference, but they’ve expanded to do all sorts of other things so they call it Legalweek, but Legaltech is still a branded part of the conference.
Dennis Kennedy: Oh, okay, so maybe it’s the fact that name, that conference is sort of a barrier for everyone, but I think there is — so there is sort of two and there is also two notions. So, Tom, I think that we often look at the area of technology for lawyers which might have been called Lawtech, might be another way to think of it, and then there’s this sort of new startup area, which I think is a lot more client-focused and kind of fits more with the note — the idea of FinTech and RegTech and those things because it’s not directed to tools necessarily that lawyers use, but that startup world is trying to help people out in the world to navigate legal processes.
So, I don’t know, Tom, you get me, darn it, I knew it you get me, thinking about the ALM issue which may become a thing, but I think I’m going to still start using it.
Tom Mighell: I don’t think there’s anything wrong — there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Dennis Kennedy: But I think that —
Tom Mighell: Except maybe strictly in a legal intellectual property sense of the thought.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, and who wants to get a letter, right? So — but I think the hashtag thing is something that’s interesting, and to me it’s kind of interesting how something like a hashtag could drive the way that people describe and call things.
So, now it’s time for parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So I saved a collaboration tip for my parting shot and it would have been the collaboration tip that would have saved our collaboration efforts for this book, and that is — that Office 365 now offers co-authoring in Word and they just not now offering it. They’ve offered it for a while. It’s just not something that I’ve paid a lot of attention to, but I’ve started to do it lately and it’s really easy and actually very good to do. So you’ve got to have an Office 365 account, you store your document either in your Office 365 OneDrive folder or on a SharePoint site. If you use SharePoint, you’ve got to — your collaborators have to be part of the same team and your collaborators also have to be using Office 365, but when you open that document up in Word, it will be automatically saved back to that OneDrive once you are co-authoring it.
So, you may think that you have a copy that’s saved to your computer, but it’s actually being auto-saved back to the OneDrive account, and so, you can work on it, and I haven’t tried this yet, but the notes that I read say that when other people are working on the documents that certain parts of it can be locked out. So, you can actually edit it or deal with it in case you want to work on it at the same time.
So, it’s not perfect, it’s not the same as Google Docs, but it allows you to open up in a native Word application, in a document, and work on that and collaborate with others and have a central copy stored in a single place which as far as I’m concerned for Microsoft is making significant progress in terms of collaboration. So, co-authoring in Word, I’ll post a link in the show notes on how to get that started.
Dennis Kennedy: So, I have two and one is just because I saw it today and it came from our friend Ben Shore who’s now at Microsoft, and I’ve tended to want to use the two-by-two matrices or quadrant charts. I think it’s the way that it’s something that’s used in business a lot and there’s a great way to communicate, and whenever I’ve done those I’ve always used PowerPoint or Word to kind of put together this sort of four rectangles together and place things in it.
So, Ben points out that in Word you can go into the SmartArt, there is an option for called Matrix and it’s preloaded and you can have a matrix and you can label things the way that you want and it’s super-easy, and it’s one of those things that’s really small but it can make your life a lot easier, and if you communicate with a lot of businesspeople, that is such an effective way to communicate with people.
The other one is one of Tom and I’s favorite things, which is the Recomendo Email Newsletter, which is done by Cool Tools and gives you like every Sunday morning about six tips for useful little tools or suggestions, and we’ve mentioned it before, but why I wanted to mention it now is, they’ve collected everything that’s come before, which I think is like 75 newsletters and kind of curated the content and organized it and it’s at http://2017.recomendo.com, and it’s a great place to give you a bunch of cool tips and ideas that you can put to work right-away for yourself.
Tom Mighell: And so that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com”tkmreport.com.
If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives of all of our previous podcasts.
If you would like to get in touch with us, you can find us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and don’t forget, we’ve got a hotline for voicemail questions. It’s 720-441-6820. We love to get questions that we can answer on the show. So please call us at 720-441-6820. So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy And I am Dennis Kennedy and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus.
If you like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcast, we will see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk the latest technology to improve services, client interactions, and workflow.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the hottest topics from the 2019 ACC Annual Meeting.
Dennis Kennedy shares concepts from his new book, “Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments, and Other Legal...
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss trends in the blogging world and whether blogs remain a relevant content medium for lawyers.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell caution lawyers against hanging on to old technologies that could pose risks to their firms.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the legal industry’s growing cybersecurity issues and the vital things lawyers should do to improve their security practices....
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss what lawyers need to know about the current state of 5G technology.