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Episode Notes

We’re all familiar with the idea of corporate off-sites, but how does this concept scale down to an individual professional? In this episode, Tom Mighell interviews Dennis Kennedy about his practice of personal quarterly off-sites. Dennis explains the benefits of implementing a habit of this kind, both personally and professionally, and gives specific examples of how to plan a well-structured off-site session with measurable goals. In their second segment, Dennis & Tom offer their lists of cool travel tools for vacationing lawyers.

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.

Transcript

The Kennedy-Mighell Report

The Rewarding Practice of Personal Quarterly Off-sites

07/30/2019

 

[Music]

 

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.

 

[Music]

 

Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode #241 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 would like to thank our sponsors.

 

Thanks first 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.

 

Dennis Kennedy: 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.

 

In our last episode, we discussed our highlights from Mary Meeker’s 2019 State of the Internet report. In this episode, we do one of our periodic shows where one of us really kind of wants to learn from the other about what the other person is doing, and we do it as an interview show.

 

For example, I once interviewed Tom about change management so I could learn a little bit more about that topic. So I’ve been talking with Tom for a while about the idea of personal quarterly off-sites and Tom wanted to learn more about what I do when I do those.

 

I’ve actually heard from quite a few people who are interested in this approach and want to learn more themselves, and how they might hold their own personal quarters off-site.

 

Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?

 

Tom Mighell: Well Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be discussing the concept of the personal quarterly off-site and I’ll be asking all the questions.

 

In our second segment, it’s vacation time and we’ll talk about some of our newest tips and tools for travel 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, personal quarterly off-sites, I think we are probably all familiar with the idea of a company or a firm off-site meeting usually once a year heading to an on work location to sit down, revisit what happened the past year, look at the year to come, do some team-building, make plans, those types of things.

 

My company usually has ours in January when our clients are all away for the holidays. But Dennis, you’ve been conducting your own type of off-site, the personal quarterly off-site for a while now, which is I think a little bit different from what most companies and law firms do.

 

By the calendar on my iPad Pro, I see that we’re recording at the beginning of a calendar quarter. So Dennis, does that mean that you just held a personal quarterly off-site?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Yes, it does. I just finished one a couple of days ago with some unexpected results for me, but I think it’s a good example of the approach that I take and so it’ll be interesting to discuss with you.

 

Tom Mighell: So let’s I guess start with the basics. What do you mean and what are you — what do you call a personal quarterly off-site?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think you’re right Tom in what you’re saying. If you look at what companies do and this is sort of the concept that companies do this thing and it could be annual, could be quarterly and there’s a couple importance — a couple of things that are important to it.

 

So one it is off-site, so you’re free from work interruptions and excuses to kind of drift away from the off-site. There’s usually a pretty serious agenda, so it could be reviewing plans, it could be making plans for the future, could be focus on education, maybe bring in some guest speakers, you might do some design thinking, you might do other things.

 

But there’s a structure to it and I guess the difference probably between the company off-site or firm off-site, and a personal off-site is that, you’re typically not doing team-building exercises because it’s just you.

 

Tom Mighell: Where did you get the idea for this? How did this come onto your radar? Did you come up with it by yourself or would you get inspiration from it? How did it happen?

 

Dennis Kennedy: I learned about it through a book by a guy named Greg McKeown and it’s called ‘Essentialism’, and there’s a little mention of it in the book and he’s talked about it in other places and I saw some people ahead picked it up, and I just loved the idea, because it gives you that chance to kind of step away and do these things that you would like to do and you always mean to get around to doing.

 

(00:05:00)

 

But you find that you’re too busy or you’re too tired or whatever to actually pay attention to what’s going on with yourself. And so, that’s what inspired me to try it and I was so pleased with the initial results, I’ve just made it probably for the last few years maybe three, four, at least years, I’ve been doing it on a quarterly basis.

 

Tom Mighell: So tell me, I think in general what is the benefit of the personal quarterly outfit, how have they helped you in making decisions about what you’re going to be doing?

 

Dennis Kennedy: When I look back at a lot of the major moves in my life in the last few years and Tom you’re aware there have been several major ones that I have used the off-site to kind of help me plan for those and to look at those. So I try to put a little structure into it.

 

So part of the off-sites for me are kind of in the design thinking, brainstorming thing. I sometimes use the off-sites to just pull ideas out of my head and get them on paper to kind of clear up some space. I do some things where I’m planning goals for the next year, sometimes reviewing what’s happened recently, looking at the focus of what I’m doing.

 

I’ve also tried doing some things where I spend a day maybe looking at say webcasts or other things on a certain topic, in the same way you did in an off-site where somebody might — your company might bring in a guest speaker.

 

Tom Mighell: So it sounds like that occasionally you might have a theme or a set topic for that. I mean what drives that? What makes you decide that you do you have it every time as it just — as the mood strikes you, how does that work?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well I try to be thematic. There are a couple things that I do each time and so there are some questions, I take a look at. There’s also something I think you’re familiar with this Tom it’s the start, continue, stop exercise or sometimes it’s start, continue and do more of continue and do less of and stop, which is kind of taking a look at all the projects you’re involved in and seeing which ones still make sense.

 

So there’s some things that kind of carry through but then I usually try to say, okay if at this time of year, I might do one thing or another so to me obviously at the end of the year, I do a combination of taking a look at the past year and then looking forward to the next year.

 

Then usually halfway through the year, you take a look to see how things are going. Sometimes, and sometimes in September, you might look at how revenues are going are a specific focus and then in the spring, you might take a look to say okay, here’s some projects or new things I want to start.

 

So I will shift around themes like that and varying with time. It’s sort of I try to do something different each quarter.

 

Tom Mighell: So when you — no matter what quarter it is, what’s the end result, do you have deliverables, do you have results that you can point to things that you can say here’s what I accomplished as part of that — I don’t know if that’s you’re looking at deliverables as part of your last quarter or what you plan on this quarter or how that works. How do you measure what you’re doing?

 

Dennis Kennedy: So what I like to do is to by the end of it say, okay, I’ve got all these ideas out of my head and I’ve kind of prioritized some things and I’ve decided that some things are more important than others and some can be either eliminated or move to a later point.

 

So I have a little bit more clarity of focus and then I’m going to take some of those things and actually turn them into projects and to-do’s with timeframes on it and that to me, is really significant because sometimes I just am spread too thin and doing too much and so that, that ability to focus is a big thing.

 

But I think it’s more to say okay, out of this, one, two or three things will happen and I’ll give you one example Tom is that at the first – well it was actually last fall, I said here are all these things I want to do and there’s a big long list I said, I need to get this list down to at least three.

 

And I actually kind of came up with this notion which now I call the think tank notion or the Kennedy idea propulsion laboratory as I’ve called it that actually kind of slimmed the things I was thinking about into one very understandable to be approach going forward with most of the projects and what I would call the business that I’ll be doing going forward.

 

(00:09:58)

 

And so that was tremendously helpful and I don’t know and I had just spent months and I’m probably bored you with my thinking aloud about this time, but I just spent months trying to figure that out. I kind of slim things down and then they actually as a result of the off-site, I came up with sort of like one umbrella approach that really works, really started to work well for me.

 

Tom Mighell: Okay, so we kind of have an idea of what a deliverable might look like for you, what it has been. We’ve kind of talked about this in conceptual terms, maybe let’s get real, and say you just finished one last week, tell us what it looked like? What did you do? How did it take place?

 

Dennis Kennedy: So what I like to do is I really focus on this notion of off-site, but I also try to make it simple. So what I found is that it’s a about a 15-minute walk from my apartment to the library, and the library is really well-suited for what I’m trying to do as long as you realize there are going to be other people there.

 

So it’s sort of the walking is an important part of me and then having an agenda and then also what I would say priming the pump.

 

So I know ahead of the time, the things I’m going to be thinking about. I might have done like a little bit of pre-read, but I’m kind of getting prime, the walking over to the library, and then I had sort of like one mind mapping, big mind mapping session on looking at revenues.

 

The second was to take, and it was really a design-thinking approach. So I just put — I got out all the ideas I could, then I prioritized them and group them or grouped and prioritized, I guess is a better way to do it, to go forward and then, then I had three smaller issues that I would kind of want to take some time to think at, and think about and that’s what I did.

 

So it was sort of me with a — you love this Tom, I actually use the — my rocket book for this, but it’s sort of like me with mind maps and a pen and paper to do this going forward.

 

If I was in a different setting I probably — it’s the type of thing you might have done with post-it notes, but in the setting I was at the mind mapping was the right approach for this off-site.

 

Tom Mighell: So no technology, it’s all got to be handwritten?

 

Dennis Kennedy: I like doing the handwritten thing for this one, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you do want to work with spreadsheets or other things. The main technology — I try to stay away from technology, so no interruptions. I would say I used the technology basically to be on Spotify.

 

Tom Mighell: Okay. So one of the things you just said was that the walk is important, and it sounds to me like part of the reason for the walk is to prime the pump, to get you thinking. I notice when I’m having trouble thinking about something that just walking my dogs can help me work through things, and it’s just kind of a magical experience, just being out there and letting my mind go, is that the same sort of thing, is that why walkability or walking to this is an important thing for you?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Yes that, and the other thing is that I think if you drive to something you get sort of tensed up about driving and getting to the place and that whole experience kind of throws you off a little bit. So I’ve actually — I tried an off-site personal, quarterly off-site with a very long walk, like a couple of hour walk, and it’s and that actually was really good. Although, it is frankly really hard to kind of capture what it is that you’re thinking about, so you have to remember that.

 

I’ve sometimes just gone for a long bike ride before I do the off-site, but I think there is that — I think the walking thing is really good, because you just say Tom,  there is something about us that when we walk and we’re thinking without interruption and we find a prime to pump, it gets you more in the mood to say okay, I’m ready to get some things out.

 

Tom Mighell: You’d mentioned earlier, you said that the only technology that you generally use is Spotify and I’m a little curious by that, is it mostly that you’re listening to music when this happens, is music play a role in how you conduct this?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, though I tend to think of it in this sense of soundscapes and I’ve talked about it on this, this one on podcast a couple of times, but so there’s a number of things that didn’t go right for me this weekend when I was going to do the off-site. I overslept a little bit, I was a little harried getting out the door, that sort of thing.

 

And I struggled at the beginning when I wasn’t playing any music, with just getting things out of my head onto a mind map, but once I picked a playlist that was — I think I just picked one that was ambient creativity.

 

(00:15:00)

 

It was really interesting how in a few minutes and for the rest of morning it was just super easy from for me to get the ideas out, and I attributed that a bit to the soundscape. And I was doing some writing today and I used the same playlist and it didn’t work — did not work as well for me, I had to switch to something else.

 

So I like — for me what I’m finding is, if I’m doing something that’s sort of designed for creativity, that doesn’t have percussion, so it so it really is a soundscape and a little bit more ambient, that is really successful for me.

 

So that’s something I think about and then also because I’m doing it in a place where there are other people that kind of gives me a sense, a little more sense of being isolated and by myself.

 

Tom Mighell: So I think after you have mentioned soundscapes on this before, I’ve tried to use them, kind of as work backgrounds and things like that, and didn’t work for me. I wasn’t and maybe it’s because I just have a different history of listening to sound or having sound in the background and it didn’t, didn’t quite work.

 

I’m guessing that the soundscape thing won’t necessarily be for everyone in terms of it. I think that you’re just finding that it helps, it can help in certain situations to stimulate creativity or help people focus?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think if you look for things that are designed with that in mind and then kind of figure out what your personal taste is, so there are a lot of things that are meant to be music to read by, music for productivity, music for creativity, start to look in there.

 

What I found is that there are a bunch of playlists for classical music for creativity, productivity, things that are meant to be background. What I actually find is that classical music is way too interesting for me to put in the background. So I like things that are designed to be sort of more — this isn’t exactly right, but more of a drone and like spacey and ambient are the things that work for me. And like I said, percussion is a tricky thing for me, a lot of times that won’t work.

 

So I know there are going to people who are going to be very, very much the opposite, but I think you just need to experiment with it a little bit and look into some things that are more specifically designed for those purposes.

 

Tom Mighell: Well, I have to say that I think that — I’ll bring us back briefly to the fact that we are a technology podcast and say that if there’s any tool that could introduce a playlist that would have the right kind of music for doing one of these personal quarterly off-sites, it would be Spotify, because there are so many different types and varieties of playlists out there that you could kind of had do one, a new one every quarter and you would never finish them for a very, very, very long time. So —

 

Dennis Kennedy: For me, like the things are in the Brian Eno category of music really work well and I know that that really doesn’t — has not worked well for you, so that’s one example.

 

But, but I think if you look at some of those things that so ambient not in the sense of nature sound, but the genre of ambient music and Brian Eno and his Music for Airports album being sort of the classic of that genre, to me it’s a very interesting place to start.

 

The other place I — that can work for me is there is this notion of sort of space music or space ambient music. And again, no percussion kind of gives you a sense of expansion and emptiness. Those can be useful for me for certain settings.

 

If you’re doing something else, maybe not. It’s just people have different tastes and exercise music as well.

 

Tom Mighell: Well, so let’s talk about the results of the latest or I guess maybe I should say do you want to talk about the results of your latest off-site and are there any results that we haven’t talked about that you want to share.

 

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So there were a couple of things and I think there are some things in the start, continue, stop world. I think there are — I’m looking at some approaches where I would say there’s — when you think of revenue, which was the focus of mine, that that’s another place where I think jobs to be done comes in.

 

So I realized that for me with revenue there’s sort of two different jobs and so one is  coming up with some things that provides sort of a base income and the other thing is that income that comes from truly interesting projects and out of the things where you take a much higher risk.

 

And that was a great insight for me and then it also helped me say, oh here’s some things going forward that might make sense just in terms of being cool projects that produce revenue. And Tom, I will be sharing a few of those with you that might involve you after your vacation.

 

(00:20:04)

 

Tom Mighell: So then I guess that sort of leads to that though now that you’ve got the results, what’s the follow-up? How do you — what is it just, you just kind of go on with the plan until the next quarterly off-site or there’s other follow-up to be had?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Now so the first round of follow-up is to allow it to kind of lie fallow, think about it, and then I really do try to organize it. So for me that it’s going to involve three things. So one is that I do have these big post-it notes and with some of the results I’m going to try to refine these things even more.

 

Then I will turn some of that into projects that will go into my OmniFocus with specific to-do’s, and then for me sort of like the new feature of my off-sites which is becoming the best part is that I will run these by my daughter and she will look at them and help me prioritize them and say, dad, here’s what you need to do first, second and third.

 

So that’s really the follow-up and then I’ll track to see how that goes and look at that at the next off-site, which will probably have its own theme as well. So it will be partly look back, and partly something new that I’m looking at when I do that at the end of September.

 

Tom Mighell: Now we’ll need to check back in with you and find out how that has gone. I guess last question. So let’s say that we’ve got some listeners out there, this is intriguing to them, it’s something they want to try. What are your best couple of tips for how to get started?

 

Dennis Kennedy: Well I think you want to look at all things. You want to start fairly small, so I think something — like if you’re saying, I love to do an off-site frankly that would be like three days out and up in the mountains or something like that, that realistically is not going to happen. So I would say look at something that you can do, the super convenient and maybe is like a morning, like a Saturday morning type of thing.

 

I will say, can I do three hours, is there a space like a local library, somebody else’s office space not your own, because you want to kind of really get that sense of off-site. And then some, something that I would like to work on that I can actually put together a three-hour agenda that has a beginning, a middle, and an end was something I want to achieve out of it.

 

And I think if you can do that, that’s great. There are a number of people who have done blog posts about what they do. So there are some things to try. One of the things you can do if you’ve done like personality tests and other things like that, this is a great chance to like pull those together and take a look at those, because typically you don’t think about them after you’ve taken them.

 

So there will be a number of things like that and if you work at a big organization then you might take a look at how off-sites are done there and just grab some ideas that would be good analogies for what you can do personally, so that those would be my main tips.

 

But like I have tried doing a personal off-site at home even when I’m by myself, it just doesn’t work, you really have to get somewhere else.

 

Tom Mighell: And that’s why they call it off-site. Well Dennis, thank you very much, very interesting look into the personal quarterly off-site. Folks if you have questions and want to learn more about it, you know how to reach out to Dennis on LinkedIn or we’ll make sure we leave our number or voicemail line at the end, so maybe you can ask questions for an upcoming episode. Before we move on to our next segment though, let’s take a break for a message from our sponsors.

 

[Music]

 

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[Music]

 

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[Music]

 

(24:58:00)

 

Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, I’m Tom Mighell.

 

Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. Summer means vacation for many people, and vacation means for many listeners a great excuse to buy a new travel gear, especially technology. So we always like to take a look through our travel bags each summer and share some of the things that we found that really work for us, cool travel tools, if you like.

 

Tom, other than 15 new pairs of headphones, what cool travel tools do you want to highlight?

 

Tom Mighell: Well, first of all that’s hilarious. But next, as we’re recording this, I’m getting ready to go on vacation myself and you know what I don’t think I have any new travel tools that I’m taking with me. Instead what I want to do is mention, the tried, and true, the trusted tools, that I’m bringing as well as a couple of tips.

 

So I won’t be bringing 15 headphones, but I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, if you’re traveling long haul on your vacation invest in a pair of good noise cancelling headphones.

 

I’m partial to Bose, but there’s a lot of good ones out there that cost less than Bose do, but I will tell you Bose just introduced the new Noise Cancelling Headphone 700 that are getting great reviews and I’m really interested in trying out, just not 15 other headphones along the way.

 

Another tip is I use my phone as my guidebook when we’re traveling. So I often need to recharge a lot when we’re out sightseeing, because the phone can drain pretty quickly. I am using the Anker PowerCore Speed 20000, which can recharge your iPhone or Android phone about five times on a single charge and it charges it quickly, that’s why they call it speed 20000 is it can do it really fast.

 

So having a good charger for your phone or your mobile devices I think it’s critical, especially if you’re going to do a lot of sightseeing. I usually use flight and train time to catch up on TV shows that I’ve missed, and sometimes when there’s downtime in the hotel room or wherever we’re staying want to catch up on shows that we missed, so having subscriptions to Netflix or Amazon Prime is useful. I’ve already downloaded some complete seasons of four to five different shows that will more than fill up the time that it takes to get from one place to the other.

 

And when we’re in the room with nothing to do and we’re watching shows, I’ve also bringing, I’ve tried to find a very small Bluetooth speaker that sounds a lot better than the tinny speakers on my iPad. So I’m going with something called, I think it’s called a Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth speaker. It’s fairly portable, it’s fairly light, and it has a great sound and it’s a lot better than the iPad.

 

I’m going to repeat this travel tip, that you should use OneNote or Evernote to store all of your travel information. I’ve said it many times before, but it is one of the best things that I can do. I’m using OneNote both as our travel guide, as well as the place where all of our hotel, restaurant, transportation and other confirmations are stored and it’s nice having that peace of mind that it’s always there waiting for me somewhere in the cloud.

 

And finally, if you’re taking a vacation in a city where you will need to get around by public transportation, one of my perennial tips is, to do a search in your phone’s app store for a subway app or a public transportation app. Having an app that will instantly tell you how to get from one part of town to the other using public transportation is priceless, because the guidebooks won’t tell you, nobody will tell you, the app will be great and it saved us from getting lost countless times.

 

All right, I went pretty fast, but those are my best tips for travel. Dennis, now you.

 

Dennis Kennedy: So a couple things. I want to agree with you that especially when you’re using the maps features on phones your battery will drain pretty really quickly. And so I take that extra charger is important to carry.

 

So a couple things, and so one is something that you recommended to me Tom in the past, which I mentioned a few minutes ago and I just think is a great travel tool, and that’s this Rocketbook, which is, it’s a notebook, it just has a few pages in it, there look a little bit glossy, use the friction pen on it. And there’s an app with it and you, when you write on it, you scan on it, and it can save it to Dropbox, you can save it to Evernote, which is what I do with it, you can email it to yourself. And it’s really simplified what I take, when I travel, and reduce the weight of what I carry. So that to me is really, really attractive.

 

I echo what you say on noise cancellation. I tried a flight recently that was fairly short, just using my air pods and is unbelievable to me how noisy it is.

 

Tom Mighell: Noisy and it’s not good quality, right.

 

Dennis Kennedy: So that’s tough. I agree with you to maybe look it, I like the Bose’s, but I look at cheaper alternatives because if you listen to podcasts or audiobooks, the sound quality is not that important. So if you can get the noise cancellation and sacrifice sound quality a little bit, that might be a good trade-off for savings.

 

(00:29:58)

 

I have something I don’t know the manufacturer on this and I just — it was mentioned in ‘Cool Tools’ recently as a repeat and I use these in these little Japanese bags and there you can see through them and they’re kind of, they’re not exactly plastic and they’re not exactly mesh, but they are zippered and they’re great for carrying like your cords and all of those things.

 

So, I think those little zipper bags about the size of sandwich bags, those where you can see what’s in them I like those and then sort of my best travel tip is that most of the time I just only take the shoes that I’m wearing and I’d bought some black walking shoes or you can also buy black cross trainers in, they kind of work for everything, you can you can wear them as dress shoes, you can wear them as casual shoes, you can wear them when you speak and if you want to work out as long as you’re not you know tied to your own specific personal running shoes or something, they’re more than adequate for working out. And it just makes it a lot easier especially for me who always say, just carry a CPAP machine to not have to use extra space for another pair of shoes. So those would be my tips Tom.

 

So now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip website or observation you can just use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.

 

Tom Mighell: So I saved a final travel tip for my parting shot and that is about using mobile data. There was a time where trying to get a data plan to travel internationally was painful, because it was expensive and you didn’t get a lot of data as part of that and times really have changed, I know that both Verizon and AT&T offers something called the Travel Pass, but if you’re traveling internationally, make sure that you have that enabled on your on your phone. What it does for me is, is that it allows me to take my current plan, which is unlimited data by the way, I can take that plan with me to any of the countries that offer Travel Pass and once I turn on my phone in that country, it activates the Travel Pass for $10 a day. I can use my regular plan for just $10 a day and I’ll tell you it’s been the best deal I’ve ever had because I get great service on my phone, I get the data that I want, I don’t have to worry about running out, it doesn’t wind up costing me three or four or five or $600 in extra data costs, it is a great option.

 

So check out your provider, whether it’s AT&T, Verizon or some other provider, see what their options are and take advantage of them because they’re getting better all the time.

 

Dennis Kennedy: So Tom, my tip is the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Report, which actually comes as part of the spell checking tools in Office, and Microsoft Office I mean. And I was talking to my class in last semester when I was talking about writing simply in ways to test that and I said do you guys use the Grade Level Reporting in the spell check tool, and nobody was familiar with it. So I showed them how to turn that on and what happens is when you run the spell check you’ll get this series of reports about your document and it’ll tell you like the number of words characters all these things, but down at the bottom it has a number of things about readability and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Report is one of those. And so what you can tell is sort of what, at what grade level your document is written.

 

So, in a lot of ways, I mean there are limits of course, but that the lower the grade level the better, and so and the higher, so if you have a grade level that’s like 14, then you know you’re writing at a college level and that may not be the tone that you want. A lot of legal documents get a high score, but when I’m writing, I like to have like a really solid kind of ninth grade or lower level if I can get away with it.

 

So for example, this podcast script is at seventh to eighth grade level, so I think it’s a great way to simplify your writing and to check to see how you’re doing it. So it’s a nice building tool, you just go into spell checker, if it’s not already activated, you can kind of turn it on and just another way to say like how can I better communicate at a level that my audience will understand.

 

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 along with transcripts of the shows. If you’d like to get in touch with us, please reach out to us on LinkedIn, or leave us a voicemail. Our voicemail number is (720) 441-6820. That’s (720) 441-6820.

 

(00:35:07)

 

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 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.

 

[Music]

 

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.

 

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: July 30, 2019
Podcast: Kennedy-Mighell Report
Category: Legal Technology
Podcast
Kennedy-Mighell Report
Kennedy-Mighell Report

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk the latest technology to improve services, client interactions, and workflow.

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