We all have certain tools that make life easier and become essential to our daily routine. In this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about cool tools— the tools they can’t live without. They discuss what makes a tool “cool” and talk about some of their favorites. They also want listeners and lawyers to learn about new tools, gadgets, and websites that will help get the job done easily, and they’re not just talking about tech tools. Check out cool-tool.org.
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.
Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow and TextExpander.
Mentioned in This Episode
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
What’s Your Favorite Cool Tool?
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear 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 #234 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started we’d like to thank our sponsors.
Dennis Kennedy: First, 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 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 the litigation process. Visit serve-now.com to learn more.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we were joined by special guest, good friend and super-fan of the podcast, Debbie Foster, of Affinity Consulting and we talked about technology competence, what’s happening on the ground in legal tech at law firms and much, much more. Lots of fun and great information for everyone. In this episode we decided to do an homage to one of our favorite resources and talk about some of our favorite cool tools.
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 talking about cool tools, what makes a cool tool and some of our favorite cool tools. In the second segment we’ll continue our obsession with cool tools and cover some of the ones we couldn’t get to in our first segment, 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, cool tools. We are longtime fans of the Cool Tools website which is cool-tools.org. They have a book, also called Cool Tools. They have an email newsletter called ‘Recomendo’, which is a fantastic newsletter that we’ve talked about several times on the podcast. And then of course they have their own podcast the Cool Tools podcast hosted by Kevin Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder. I think this podcast may set a record for the number of time that we say “cool tools” just in the introduction alone, but other than the fact that we love them that we find usefulness in talking about cool tools, what got you interested in this topic, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, Tom, we were at TECHSHOW and they did the famous 60 in 60 session and you told me because I was working the concierge desk at the time during the session, that no one mentioned cool tools as a resource and that was much to my horror, and I’ve been especially enjoying some of the recent cool tools podcasts and I just thought it would be fun to pay tribute to Cool Tools and share some of our favorite ones.
Tom Mighell: Well, I have to say I don’t think that Cool Tools is well-known in the legal community. I asked people about it, they don’t know about it, so I think this podcast is a great way to introduce a lot of lawyers and other legal professionals to it, and the show format is going to be pretty simple, we are going to talk about tools or gadgets or websites or other things that are useful to us, things that we find help us and it does not require that it’d be a tech tool, it can be any kind of tool, it’s just something that helps us get a job done or do something that we need to get done.
Did I miss anything, Dennis in how to explain what we’re talking about, it seems pretty straightforward?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, it is, I mean, there’s a notion of cool tools, it’s something that you find, it just feels right, you use it for a long time and you wonder how you lived without it before you found it and it can take a variety of forms and I think the ones where we’re going to talk about kind of show the different aspects of tools.
Tom Mighell: So, why don’t you get started with your first one?
Dennis Kennedy: So, the first one I have actually I think was a cool tools recommendation itself and it’s the OXO Good Grips Jar Opener and it runs about $13 or so on Amazon. So the notion is, if you think of — we all have trouble opening jars and actually you learned recently that there’s a wide variety of grip strength that people have and there’s a huge difference between men and women. So I’ve noticed as I get older some jars and lids are really starting to become difficult to get rid of, and I’m calling you out, Diet Pepsi by name on that one.
So the good grips just takes a notion it looks like a ping-pong paddle, a small ping-pong paddle, maybe a little smaller, that has like a V with some geared teeth in there and you just put it on, slide it over the cap thing that you’re going to take off or the lid you’re going to take off and you until it snugs up, at the right width and then you use the leverage of the handle to open jars and bottles and everything else really easily and it’s amazing. So no more pounding jar lids on the floor or on concrete or all the other things that you used to do, it’s just put this on, pop off the top, it’s pretty darn amazing and my first in and maybe the best in some ways example of just a cool tool because it works and I don’t know how I lived without it and I always want to have one with me.
Tom Mighell: So I have to say that I’m used to the jar openers that I have tend to be the free circular rubber discs that I get like in mail with a calendar or something or that someone gives me for donating and I get a free jar opener. It seems like what’s really valuable about this is, is that the handle of it gives you some leverage to be able to — it gives you something that I think that those rubber discs don’t give you and makes it a lot easier to open any kind of jar.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so you get the tightness of the tool on the lid and the leverage and I would say roughly is an order of magnitude better than those rubber circular things that we all used to use, I used to use and a lot of people still use.
Tom Mighell: And so I’m looking at you mentioned the OXO Good Grips with a Base Pad what’s the difference between the Base Pad versus just the regular OXO Good Grips Jar Opener, it looks like there’s two of them and they both — they look different, do you know the difference between the two or not?
Dennis Kennedy: I can’t believe you stumped me on the first one.
Tom Mighell: I don’t know what the base pad is. The other one looks like it clearly doesn’t have a “base pad” but I don’t know what the difference is, but you’re clearly recommending the one with the base pad. So everybody out there ignore the Good Grips Jar Opener, go get the one with the base pad, the difference in price is literally two dollars, so it’s not a big deal.
Dennis Kennedy: Right. So what have you got, Tom?
Tom Mighell: All right, so my first one is something that I’ve actually talked about on the podcast before, but I love it and it was actually brought up during 60 tips in 60 minutes, although they didn’t give the whole story and that is the Everlast Rocketbook.
I don’t write a lot, I don’t write with a pen anyway and so I don’t have need for paper in my life, but I have occasion where I do have to take notes or I do have to keep track of stuff in a written form, but I don’t want to do it and waste a lot of paper and that’s where Everlast Rocketbook comes into play.
They have three different versions depending on the size that you want. There’s an executive size. There’s a legal size with legal-sized paper. It’s the biggest one they have, the executive one is more, it fits in the hand and then there is a mini one that looks a little bit like a reporter’s notepad, traditional notepad.
And the paper that’s inside them is erasable, it’s erasable but you have to use a certain type of pen to be able to use it, but when you’re done with it, when you’re done with the page, when you’re finished writing on it you can literally — each notebook comes with a little shanny rag, you can moisten that and wipe the page and it wipes clean instantly and you let it dry a little bit and you can reuse that paper over again. So these notebooks don’t have a lot of pieces of paper in them and they don’t have a lot of pages in them, but on the theory that you don’t need a lot of pages to use this.
And so I use these, I have one of every size because I’m kind of trying them all out figuring what makes the most sense. I have the executive one on my desk at home, it never travels and I take the smaller ones with me. What’s interesting is the one that they mentioned at ABA TECHSHOW was the Rocketbook Wave which actually you can use, you can erase the entire contents of the notebook by just putting it into your microwave and then you can reuse it five times.
The difference between the Wave and these other Everlasts is that the Everlast will actually last much longer than five times, you can only put the Wave in the microwave five times and it’ll erase completely, but I could see spies using that get rid of incriminating information just put it in a microwave, but I’ll tell you I am totally sold on this. It is my writing, my writing pad that I have everywhere and like I said I bought them all because I have a use for them wherever I happen to be.
Dennis Kennedy: So I have two comments on this because you did talk me into trying this and I just started using it. So there are two things that are worth mentioning I think, one is what sold me is the app that comes with it, so you can just like scan them — scan it in.
So it’s that whole system that works together that I think is really interesting, and that’s why you don’t need many pages because you need to do a page, you scan it in and then it has some icons on there too — onto pages to help you in all sorts of different things. So that’s what I’m exploring.
And then the other thing, it’s these friction pens, which are erasable, it could be — they are very close to being a cool tool for me. So you can erase them, as Tom says, you can microwave them. If you just have regular paper not even this book, but using those friction pens you can microwave them and erase what you have on there. And then, the amazing thing if you want to impress your friends is you can then stick the paper that you’ve erased in the microwave into the freezer, and the writing all comes back. So that’s pretty amazing.
But I think it’s what I like about the Rocketbook and why I want to try this because it does fit the needs, sometimes you do want to take notes, you just want to grab them, and it’s good to write, you are in a situation where it makes sense to write and you can just scan them in and you got it, and I like that.
Tom Mighell: I think that’s — the really cool thing is if you need to scan in the paper and you need to keep a copy of it, you can do it to OneNote or your Evernote workbook or Dropbox or any number of places you can scan it in.
I just don’t keep that paper. I use paper in a different way. If I want to keep something I’m usually typing in my notes, but I think that makes it even doubly valuable.
So, all right, Dennis, what’s up next?
Dennis Kennedy: So, one of the things about the Cool Tools’ podcast is it seems like there’s probably been about 25 or 50 different tools that people use for making coffee.
So I’m a tea person, and I use this thing called the Teavana Perfectea Maker. This is essentially a gravity-fed strainer, so it looks like a little — like a very small Brita pitcher. It has a screen that at the bottom you put your loose tea in, you put the hot water in there, set your timer. I put cream in my tea and so I have a cup. I put the cream in it at the bottom. So here’s a little trick for people who didn’t know this. If you put the cream at the bottom you don’t have to stir because of the way that physics and chemistry work. And then when you’re ready to put the tea in the cup, you put this — this pitcher on top of the cup and it drains by gravity, strains all the tea leaves out and boom, you have a perfect cup of tea without messing with bags or anything else, and it’s amazing.
So I like that. You confine it with my favorite Harney Teas in the Contigo Travel Mug, and you got a great hot tea experience every morning.
Tom Mighell: Okay, when you put this on the list, I didn’t realize that this was — that it was called the Perfectea Tea Maker. I use this religiously for a while when I was drinking tea. I’m kind of go in and out of drinking tea, and I think this thing is awesome, and it’s — so it uses gravity but it uses it in an interesting way, because there’s a spring. I mean in the bottom of the tea maker there’s a little spring that when you put it on top of a cup it depresses the spring so that it’s releasing whatever it is that opens up the bottom of the tea maker that drains straight into the cup, which I just think is genius, because it’s not going to happen until you press it on top of something. Otherwise it just sits there. I’ve loved this tool, and whenever I drink tea that’s what I would use. I think it’s a great thing.
The unfortunate part is, isn’t Teavana out of business? I think they — I think Starbucks closed them all down. They’re not doing anything anymore. So get your hands on this through Amazon or something because I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be available.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, there are other makers but this one is the one I use and I like it and it’s — I just saw it on Amazon, I think it’s like about $16. So if you’re not a tea drinker you should be and if you are, this is a really great way to use, like you said loose tea which is cheaper to use that way, and not to fuss and mess. It’s just better for the environment, right, not to open all those tea bags.
Tom, what’s up for you?
Tom Mighell: All right. So I hesitated to put this on the list, because I talk about it on the podcast all the time, but this is literally a tool that has become something I can’t do without at work, and it’s Microsoft Teams. We are not a Slack shop, we are an Office 365 shop and Teams comes with it. And we spend a lot of time storing records on SharePoint and it has turned out that all the consultants that I work with really enjoy using Teams to collaborate with each other, talk to each other, they had stopped going to SharePoint because they can access all the documents in SharePoint through Teams. We can just click a button and we can share our screen with somebody instantly and say here’s what we found. I’m using Microsoft Planner Tool to assign tasks to people and they can access their tasks in Teams. It’s kind of a Kanban Board type of thing that they can use to do that. It is I think just the perfect way to integrate Office 365 and to talk and collaborate on things.
A number of our clients have started using it and you can invite guests to do it, so I’ve been invited to other companies’ Teams to be able to talk to them. We’ve cut down on the use of email as a result. We’re not emailing each other everything. We’re certainly keeping documents out of email and I think that for anybody who is using Slack you’ve probably heard all this. You’ve seen all the benefits, you know all the benefits. To me the difference is Slack doesn’t integrate with Microsoft the same way that Teams does, and to me that’s really the benefit of using Teams over Slack.
Dennis Kennedy: I agree with you, Tom, and there are some places it just won’t, the IT Department would just won’t allow Slack, so —
Tom Mighell: That’s right.
Dennis Kennedy: — I think the Microsoft gives you this great collaboration — Teams gives you a great collaboration tool, that will be approved in your IT environment, and that’s a big plus, and you’ve gone through the many benefits which I agree with, with all of that and I would say the same thing about Slack as well, but there’s that extra benefit.
Do you know if they have anything planned where it will like identify the people who aren’t doing the tasks they are supposed to and like force them to do that, because that would be like a great, great feature to add to that?
Tom Mighell: No, you are responsible for going in and saying your progress on a task or whether you’ve completed or not. It does send reminders out if people aren’t doing it. The way that you look at it is you say, you can see if it’s still there, then you must assume that it’s not done yet. But no, it doesn’t have — I want it to get smarter and I suppose most of these tools are getting smarter but so far we’re not there yet.
All right, what’s up next?
Dennis Kennedy: So my next one is an example of a tool where you’re taking a standard tool and using it in a different way to kind of customize to something that you need. So I don’t know what, Tom, it’s like a year or so ago, after me whining for a long time about trying to manage music and iTunes, you convinced me to go to the streaming service and I picked Spotify. So people use the streaming for a lot of different things, but what I’ve really started to use it for is for ambient music and for what I call work soundscapes.
So I look for I will say, there are playlists, there are albums, there are all sorts of things that you could do to say, oh, I want music for relaxation. I want music for creativity. I want music for productivity. I want to have the room I’m in sound like I’m in a spa or have some kind of a Zen feel. And so I think those soundscapes can be really helpful, so like if I’m doing mind-mapping or things trying to get ideas out, I play creativity music in the background and it just seems like I produce a lot more ideas.
So Spotify, lots of different uses. We all know them, but this use in the sort of work environment, especially if you are in open office where you are wearing headphones, that’s great, but I work from home and it’s just like I create this little workspace that’s kind of tuned to the mood I’m in or what I want to accomplish.
Tom Mighell: And the nice thing about Spotify is how dirt cheap it is lately. I mean, we have a family account that is $16 a month for up to — I think it’s up to four or five people on that, they are testing an account now where it’ll have two people can be on an account for even less probably $9 or $10 that they’re having. I think I saw a deal lately that if you get an account with Spotify, you get Hulu, the TV service for free, and that’s crazy.
So I think it’s a good time to have streaming services whatever you’re using and Spotify really is taking advantage of that.
Dennis Kennedy: There is another great use of either your headphones or an Amazon Echo or the Google speakers or other speakers and it turns your workspace into a little oasis.
Tom, what have you got?
Tom Mighell: All right, so one of the tools that I found that I’ve used a lot more lately as when years ago when the power goes out or if we just wanted to light a candle or use or do something that required a flame, I used to keep a matchbook collection. I don’t know about any of you all, but I kept matchbooks from different places that I visited, and I don’t even know where they are anymore. I don’t know if I got rid of them, I’m not sure what happened to them. We certainly don’t smoke, so it’s not that I am keeping them for any reason, but I needed something to be able to provide a flame, and I found the Tacklife Electric Arc Lighter, and there’s actually a couple different versions of this. But it is a battery-powered lighter, I mean, you can go to the grocery store and get one that’s got butane in it, and it’s only got a few charges. You get only, it lasts for a while, a good long while, but it’s a real flame and it goes out after a while.
The Tacklife Electric Arc Lighter is rechargeable and the one that I’ve been using for a real long time is actually the size of a USB Drive and it kind of — the end of it kind of looks like a Taser and it sends out an electric arc and you can just put that right over a candle wick or whatever you’re trying to light and it brings up a flame in just seconds. The Arc Lighter itself the larger one is much larger, it has a kind of a retractable — not retractable, movable, bendable nozzle on it so you can get into hard to find places if you need to do it or different types of lights, candles or other lights that need lighting.
It’s a 26, what is it, milliamp per hour, whatever it is, battery; it’s a huge battery that’s in it. It’s good for 1,000 different lights and you can recharge it up to 500 times. So that thing is going to last for a long time and it’s just a regular micro USB charger that you plug it into the wall and charge it whenever you need it. I use it all the time, I think it’s a great, very simple basic tool that has solved the need that those matchbooks no longer can help out with.
Dennis Kennedy: Could you say like if you are campaigning or something as well?
Tom Mighell: Yeah, I think that any place that you would use a match, anytime that you would need a flame for something, this is ideal for that. If you’ve got to light a gas burner or something like that, you can use that for the same thing.
Dennis Kennedy: I got to admit when I saw this on your list, Tom, I thought you were getting prepared for marijuana legalization in Texas which is probably what —
Tom Mighell: Sadly I am not.
Dennis Kennedy: — like a 150 years off or so but —
Tom Mighell: No. And let’s move to the next topic.
Dennis Kennedy: So my fourth one is an example of something we all have but we just don’t use or sometimes you’re not aware of it, but when you use it, it makes such a difference and that to me is the — it’s a PowerPoint Presenter View, but I also would want to add the design, ideas feature in PowerPoint as well which helps you make slides, but it’s a Presenter View that to me is amazing. Because when I’m teaching everything is done in the Presenter View, it shows me the current slide, it has a timer, it shows all the slides in order so I can move around to it, it highlights the next slide, if I have notes I could see that as well and none of it can be seen by the audience on the screen. It’s just like my own little console and it just helps me in my presentation and having a timer there Tom is just like one of the greatest things has happened for presenters in a long time. It’s like people go, wow, I didn’t — you finished exactly on time like how did you do that? I just go I got this big timer in front of me, but a great tool and it comes up in the apps as well, but I can’t live without it, it’s just a delight to use every time I use it.
Tom Mighell: Well, and the other nice thing about it is if you have a touch-screen you can also annotate on the slide too. You can draw, you can draw arrows, you can mark it up if you need to and then make it all go away when it moves to the next slide, yeah, I love Presenter View, it’s really a nice feature of PowerPoint.
Dennis Kennedy: So, last one for you, Tom.
Tom Mighell: All right, my last one, I think I’ve probably mentioned this on the podcast too but they have a new version that is really great I think and it’s called Caavo. It is an all-in-one universal remote, but it’s not just a universal remote, it is a control center as well, and what I like about it is, is that let’s say that you have an Apple TV and maybe you’re using a Roku box or you have an Amazon tool that you’re using and you use a bunch of different services, maybe the kids are hooked up to a gaming system that is there and you also have either U-verse or one of the other cable or satellite services.
What’s nice about Caavo is you can plug all of these services into the main control center box and Caavo will smartly organize them and know where to go and find the things wherever they happen to be that you need them. And so, all I really have to do is I push a button on the remote, it opens up a microphone and I say, “watch House of Cards” and it knows to go to Netflix, it knows — you can tell that I’ve watched the first three episodes and to go to Episode 4 and it’s just an awesome tool for managing the entertainment that you get. It makes it very simple especially if you use a bunch of different tools for combining them all together and putting them into one really simple to use remote.
Dennis Kennedy: So what’s the cost on that one?
Tom Mighell: So it’s $99.95 is the control center, the only — I won’t say it’s a downside but there is — and I can’t find it here there is a subscription fee to use the control service and I can’t remember what that price is, but it’s something like $2.99 a month, $3.99 a month, it’s not terrible but that’s how — here it is, I’m sorry, it’s $1.99 a month, it’s $19.99 a year, it looks like you can get it for $60 lifetime. So if you want to pay one lifetime thing then you’re getting true universal search, you can launch contents on local apps, I didn’t mention, it’s also usable with both Alexa and with Google Assistant.
You can create personal lists. There’s editorial content, there’s all sorts of stuff available for a little bit extra, but it’s, I think, reasonably priced for a universal remote.
Dennis Kennedy: So only one question and you know what this is going to be. Tom, can it find itself when you misplace it?
Tom Mighell: Actually the remote can find itself. Well, you have to push a button on the Control Center and you push the button and it rings up wherever the remote is. So it can’t find itself but the Box can find it for you.
Dennis Kennedy: That’s probably worth 60 bucks right there.
Tom Mighell: There you go.
Dennis Kennedy: So I know we got more, Tom, but it’s time to wrap up this segment, right?
Tom Mighell: All right, well so let’s wrap it up here but take a break, before we move on to our next segment let’s take a break for a message from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now, let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy. We had, between us, too many cool tools for one segment. So we decided to do a lightning round in which we get to briefly as for more cool tools that almost made the cut for our first segment. Tom, what’s on your honorable mention list?
Tom Mighell: All right, so the four that I’m going to mention very quickly mostly because Dennis mentioned an OXO Good Grips in his first session, I’ll mention mine. The OXO Good Grips Meat Chopper, I find is so much better at breaking down ground beef, ground any kind of meat when you’re trying to cook it, rather than a regular spoon, sitting there and trying to cut through the meat until it’s crumbled. This chopper takes care of it in seconds and it’s so easy. I bring that out, within a few seconds I’ve got all the meat crumbled up in the pan and it’s ready to go. It’s an awesome tool and again with those OXO tools, they are very cheap, they are easy to get, and I would recommend that for everybody.
Tunefind is actually a — give credit where credit is due it was from — I saw it from the Recomendo Newsletter that the Cool Tools people put out. I will always be watching TV and I’ll hear a song that I want to save or go back and listen to and by the time that I have pulled out Shazam to figure out what the song is or ask Google what it is, it’s too late. Sometimes you miss that song; well, Tunefind actually is a website that keeps track of all the different TV shows and what songs are played on each TV show and so go to Tunefind the next day and you will find those songs and what they are and where you can download them on Apple Music or Spotify or whatever your music services of choice.
LiquiSnug is my next one. LiquiSnug solves the need to where if I need to bring liquids with me when I’m traveling; for example, I don’t want to use the shampoo and conditioner in the hotel room, I want to bring my own. I might want to bring my own mouthwash, but I can’t bring those bottles because they are too big, I can’t get them through security.
LiquiSnug comes in tubes that are all under three ounces so you can put them in there, they’re made out of this kind of silicone rubber that is very sturdy and very easy to pack, but what I like about it and why it’s snug is, is that they have these vacuum seal at the top so that there’s no leakage. I’ve used some tubes in the past where when I’ve gotten on the plane and I get off and they’ve kind of broken open in the bag and there’s shampoo all over the place. These LiquiSnugs have a great seal on them, they’re easy to use and I highly recommend if you want to put liquids on a plane, LiquiSnug is the way to do it.
My last one, so we are doing four and my last one is another utility, it’s a Chrome extension called OneTab and I’ve used it so much in the past two weeks I can’t even tell you, I’ve had about 30 different tabs open while I was doing research and it was really slowing my computer down.
I use OneTab to press a button and it puts all of those tabs into one tab and it just links a list of links in that tab, so that I can go back to it, I’ve saved it all, I don’t have to worry about saving them as bookmarks, but I can go back to that OneTab and click on whatever I need to go to. It frees out the memory. It makes it a whole lot easier. It’s not so messy to deal with all those tabs, and it’s a really convenient app to use, especially if your Chrome Browser tends to crash it will save those apps that you’re using just before you crash.
So those are mine, Dennis, what about yours?
Dennis Kennedy: So in the — first of all, in the grand tradition of the Cool Tools Podcast, I have already added LiquiSnug for $10 to my Amazon wishlist.
Tom Mighell: There you go.
Dennis Kennedy: And then I had a question about Tunefind. So Tunefind solves the other problem what you were saying like, are there some interesting songs in this show and you’re trying to read the credits which are like incredibly small and roll by really quickly, does it solve that problem as well?
Tom Mighell: It doesn’t solve that problem necessarily. No, it’s — that’s not the problem it’s trying to solve.
Dennis Kennedy: Okay. So I have four as well. So one is, one that I mentioned a lot called OmniFocus, which is my to-do list, which is super-great. They’re coming out with a new version here soon, but everything that I do is put on this. It has a number of features that I like. The big one for me is Triage so that I can — I can look at the things that have rolled up for my day, and I could say, yeah, that stays on the list, that gets bumped up a day. That gets — I move that out three days, that can move out a month and I just kind of roll things forward, and I can see things as they come up and it’s all organized by projects in a number of different views. And so, a super-useful tool, $99 and to me totally worth it.
The second one I have is something I’ve been using a lot in my classes at Michigan State. It’s called the Value Proposition Canvas, and you can find that on the Strategyzer website, but there’s a number of versions you can find on the web, but that’s the main one.
And so this is a simple tool that allows you to focus your thought about a new product or service or an existing product or service, and look at in terms of what we always talk about, what is the job the customer wants to do, what are the gains that they would hope to achieve, what are the pains that they would hope to eliminate and then you look at on the other side of it, the left-hand side of it, you would fill in what your product or service does, and then the pains that it gets rid of and the gains that it achieves and then you kind of look simply across and see if there is a match there and how you might tweak your product to what the customer wants to do. Incredibly useful tool when you’re thinking about a service or a product that you’re going to deliver and how you can make it better or you create it.
The third one is what I use for working out all the time is Kettlebells, simple tool. It looks like a shot put, if you’re like super-good it might look like a small cannonball, but basically it looks like a shot put with a handle on it, all made of iron. If you’re male you’re probably looking at something that’s either a 12 kilogram or 16 kilogram, so that’s 25 or 35 pounds. If you’re a woman you’re probably looking, it’s a like 8 kilograms, maybe up to 12 typically starting out, but you can go higher. There’s a number of straightforward exercises that you do. It really helps you build up your core and your strength and strength is probably the underrated part of working out as you get older. So Kettlebells just as great basic tool that you can do a lot with.
And then the last one is something that I’m really starting to appreciate and that’s the AirPods, and there’s a number of reasons to like AirPods and I’m still playing with all the features and I like the idea of what they can become as a platform over the next couple of years, but what I like the most is the fact that you don’t have wires, because I — when I use other headphones I’d be walking around talking on the phone and catch the cord on a drawer or something like that and pull everything out if I’m walking around.
So it’s just a great tool that feels good when you’re wearing it. It does what you want and to me it just fits some of those basic notions of Cool Tools.
Tom Mighell: So Apple announced AirPods 2 in the past couple of weeks. You’re going to buy the new ones or you are the good one — the first generation still good for you?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, my first generations are pretty new, so there’s one scenario where I give them to my daughter and I buy the new ones and the other one as I just wait a little while and see kind of what new things people are starting to do on the new AirPods 2 platform.
I think the killer app for me, Tom, and it might be for you as well, is if they were able to kind of using software, be able to give you the noise cancellation that would work on a plane. And that’s sort of I had a hope for a platform that was based on earphones or earbuds, that would be the hope for me and then to kind of personalize the sounds that you hear, which I think could be cool. I have no idea where that’s coming, but that’s very appealing to me.
So, now it’s time for our parting shots. That one-tip website or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: Well, I feel like I’m going to do another Cool Tool, but this is more of a Cool Tool in progress I think. It’s not — I don’t think it’s completely there yet. I’ve probably mentioned in the past on the podcast that I use the Texture app for magazine subscriptions. So we pay I think it’s $15 a month and you get unlimited subscriptions to — unlimited use of 200 or 300 different magazines that are out there. And although I don’t read a ton of magazines, I read enough to find it useful, and I’ve loved the Texture app.
Well, Apple bought Texture a couple of months ago, and apparently has decided to roll it into a new product that they debuted in the past week called Apple News Plus. So if you’re using an iPad or an Apple device, you already have Apple News, which is their news product, which is I would say, okay, I think that I’m not a fan of how it recommends news to you based on what you read, because if you had just happened to look at the most frivolous topics suddenly you’re getting a lot of frivolous topics in your news.
But they have added News Plus to it, so that for $9.99 a month you get the same access to the 300 magazines, you get free access to ‘The Washington Post’, to ‘The New York Times’, to ‘The Wall Street Journal’. There’s a lot more newspapers coming.
If Apple is any indication it’s going to get better, it’s going to get more. I’m not a total fan because they haven’t brought over all of the great features that made Texture the great app that it was.
I hope that comes over gradually. I hope they get to all of that. They haven’t gotten to it yet so it doesn’t have everything. And then the other thing which I think is kind of crappy is they are basically going to shut down Texture, so that if you have an Android, if you have anything but an Apple device, you can’t use it anymore. You won’t be able to get it. I think that’s unfair and unreasonable. I wish they would rethink that, but for those of you who have Apple devices, iOS devices, I’m having fun getting used to it and looking forward to what the app comes up with in the future.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I really like this idea and this product as well, Tom, and if you have — I’ve just reached the point where like any inexperience on the newspaper or magazine website is just so old destroying at this point. I mean, like you’re chasing stuff around, they are tricky to click on things. There is ads all over the place, video start running, it’s just an assault to go to these — go to those sites. So to have like a one place I can go to get content would be great.
So my parting shot is a notion called Personal Quarterly Offsite. It comes from Greg McKeown, who wrote a book called ‘Essentialism’. So the idea is that if you work at a business or a law firm, you might have these offsites, and they might be once a year, sometimes more often if for your team. But the idea is why not take a day each quarter for yourself and do an offsite? And you might do different things, so you might kind of look at what you’ve done, set your goals, look at things, look at metrics. You might listen to some webinars or podcasts like you are having your own Keynote speaker, you may devote it to a theme, that sort of thing. And I’ve really enjoyed this. I’ve been doing this for the last couple years. I just did one the past weekend, where I just got a whole bunch of ideas out and then really tried to edit them into priorities. I just find these really useful and kind of fun and it kind of takes you away from the stress and strain of the daily grind.
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 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 suggest a topic, we have got a Google Doc for that. Go to bit.ly/2QNwhZu.
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So until the next podcast, I’m 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 liked what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcasts. And 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.