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Dennis Kennedy

Dennis Kennedy is an award-winning leader in applying the Internet and technology to law practice. A published author and...

Tom Mighell

Tom Mighell has been at the front lines of technology development since joining Cowles & Thompson, P.C. in 1990....

Episode Notes

Lawyers and law firms have had to adapt very quickly to a very different work environment in 2020. So, how are we all doing? What’s working and what isn’t? Dennis and Tom take a look back at the year to date to talk through what they’ve learned and the tech and tools that have carried them through the pandemic.

In their second segment, they feature a call from listener David in Pennsylvania, who shares his thoughts on their “second brain” project. If, like David, you’d like to ask a technology question or share a thought with Dennis and Tom, call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820

As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.

Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow and Colonial Surety Company.

Mentioned in This Episode

A Segment: Where the Heck are We?

B Segment: Listener Comments

Parting Shots:

Transcript

The Kennedy-Mighell Report

Where the Heck Are We? — 2020 Mid-Year Reflections

07/03/2020

[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 #264 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. First of all, we would like to thank Colonial Surety Company Bonds and Insurance for bringing you this podcast. Whatever court bond you need get a quote and purchase online at colonialsurety.com/podcast.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. 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 experienced with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit servenow.com to learn more.

Tom Mighell: And we want to mention that the second edition of our book “The Lawyers Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies” is available on Amazon. Everyone agrees that collaboration is essential in today’s world, but now more than ever before knowing the right tools will make all the difference.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, as I like to say at the start of all of our recent podcasts, what a difference another week or two makes and things Tom just keep changing and changing.

In our last episode we shared some preliminary thoughts on a new project Tom and I are starting in a category some people are calling the Second Brain and that’s something we will be returning to in the very near future.

In this episode we wanted to take a step back, a deep breath and reflect on what we have learned so far in 2020 and whether, if anything that we have learned so far will really help us get ready for the rest of 2020. Fasten your seatbelts.

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 taking a mid-year look at 2020, what we have learned about lawyers working with technology during this time and pulling I think a few lessons from it.

In our second segment we will again answer another question from our voice mailbox. Yay. So remember leave your questions. Our number there is 720-441-6820. We would love to feature you during our B segment.

And as usual we will 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, we have been trying to make sense of our experiences and challenges in 2020 and see if we can draw any lessons from it at this point. It’s hard to believe that it’s been only roughly three months since we all started working outside our usual office environment, it seems like so much longer than that and yet so much has changed as lawyers and law firms are having to adapt very quickly to a very, very different work environment. So we thought we would take a look back at this very long three months that we just went through and try to draw some conclusions from it.

Dennis, is this a crazy thing for us to do or no?

Dennis Kennedy: Yes, it is crazy, but someone has to do it and what I found is that most of the lawyers I talk to are pretty much in denial and are expecting to get back to normal really quickly and see this as just a little blip and are already congratulating themselves on their victory over everything that’s happened. I am a little dubious there, but I think it’s useful to look at what we have learned, what we are hearing and maybe share some thoughts about that.

So I don’t think it’s crazy and probably lessons that we draw right now are not going to help us ultimately or they are not going to be as right as we would hope they do, but let’s do that.

So my question based on what I have seen so far Tom is, do all roads lead to Zoom?

Tom Mighell: Well, I mean, that’s probably a good headline to say it. I mean it’s probably a good title to describe what the last three months are like. I think probably the better description is that all roads are leading to video meetings, that video meetings have been the star of the last three months. Zoom clearly seems to be the leader from a volume perspective, but Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, they are all right up there.

I think the fact is, is that when you are forced to work from home having a way to look at people and see people, no matter whether you get Zoom fatigue, whether watching people on a screen all day long is exhausting and psychologically damaging, I think that there is a benefit to seeing people.

(00:05:05)

And there are times during the week where I have tuned in to webinars just so I can see other people’s faces while they are talking rather than just sit on a phone call or we have lots of calls on Teams where people don’t even turn their camera on and I just have to say, I enjoy that, I have enjoyed that aspect of this, is that we have been able to keep a semblance of seeing people face to face by video; it’s not the same, it is different, but I think everyone is kind of adjusting to it.

Dennis Kennedy: You know what’s interesting about the Zoom phenomenon and I think you are right, it’s just the online web meeting phenomenon really, there is a number of tools is that some people look back to the TV show The Jetsons and say where is my flying car, but the other thing that Jetsons had that people talk about is like where is the videophone, like when are we going to have this videophone. It’s like somewhat in the last three months we have it big time.

So I think that is a big one and people are kind of surprised both how well they have taken to it and then how sometimes — there were a lot of the Zoom fatigue complaints, which I think go to two things. One is I think there is a physiological effect that people have written about, but I also think that the online meetings tend to amplify like really poor meetings, where there is not agendas, there is not focus, there are other things like that and that gets amplified a bit. So I think that’s number one.

And then not to kind of pat ourselves on the back Tom, but really I do want to pat ourselves on the back because this does seem to be the golden age of collaboration tools and technologies and gosh, our choice of a topic for a book predicted the future exactly, right?

Tom Mighell: But does it really? I mean are we really seeing a golden age of collaboration tools and technologies? I mean we are publicly seeing a rise in the use of video conferencing tools. We are seeing a rise in the use of communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams, but really what else are we hearing about outside of our group, outside of what we are doing that people are using to collaborate. I would argue that we are looking at the baby steps of collaboration, that people are understanding kind of the notion of what collaboration means and that video and communication tools are the first obvious step in this.

And frankly what I think that this should be is this should be the golden age of trying out collaboration tools while you are home and while it makes sense. I am not confident that all the things we talk about in our book, all the ways that you can collaborate with somebody on the Internet, I think most lawyers really haven’t had to deal with them or tried to explore them in here and that their venture out into the collaboration waters is very shallow and is mostly limited to tools like Zoom or Slack or Microsoft Teams or something like that.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. We were talking today Tom about hearing people talk about how it’s going to be great to start using the browser as for all the things that you did and how that was really something that we had talked about a long time ago. So I think that the use of collaboration tools is happening outside the legal industry and what’s happening inside and I think there is just a huge gap there.

And you see some places lawyers — I actually sort of — it’s interesting to me. I sort of see this to someone in a small firm level, where lawyers are doing some really interesting things in the collaboration area, sometimes just because of the economics dictated or the client needs to do it or you can’t get out and so you see more of that than you do in the larger environment. So it is interesting.

But I like what you said Tom about how it should be the golden age of trying new tools, because there are a lot of them out there and a lot of them just really help you in so many ways.

I mean we sometimes joke about Doodle, but the fact that you can go onto a website and have everybody pick the times that works for them and then schedule meeting without exchanging 500 emails is a great free tool, that it just shocks me when somebody hasn’t heard of it.

(00:09:49)

Tom Mighell: I am now getting requests from people who didn’t use to use Doodle to say hey Tom, can you set up a meeting, please send everybody a Doodle so that we can get this done and I would never have expected they would have said that before, but I think that’s become part of the normal course of things. I think that we are going to get there with a lot more collaboration tools, I just think it’s going to be slower and limited to need and what we have to do at the moment that kind of force us to use these tools.

Dennis Kennedy: The one thing that I really am starting to hear about that I am fascinated by is that, especially in the large firm space, people are looking to have people come back to the office and they are working on what they need to do that and bring people back and what they are finding is that people don’t want to come back, and that a lot of people have really liked working from home and not commuting and some of the other aspects of going to an office, especially in big cities.

And so I have heard people who are on the management side of firms really wondering about what it is they are going to do once it’s time for people to come back to the office and people won’t do that and what that may mean for commercial real estate and office space for firms and what’s going on. So that is actually a trend I am really paying attention to.

Tom Mighell: Well, I think we risk moving us away from technology because this is not necessarily a technology issue, but I think firms have to be prepared for that, and I don’t work a lot with law firms but I work a lot with companies and what I am finding is, is that those companies are in no rush to go back and frankly that’s affecting our business, because some of what we do with these companies require that they be in an office or at least some of them be in an office to do that and I really think that there needs to be some level of preparation for workers who are not comfortable coming back to the office.

I have been reading stories about how the logistics of navigating an elevator is going to be totally different now. I went to my dentist’s office a couple of weeks ago and I walked into the elevator; I mean it’s usually a deserted building so I don’t really have a lot of people there and there were exactly two spaces in the elevator that you could stand, they had them designated that you could either stand in one corner or in the other corner and you couldn’t — so that literally only two people could be in an elevator according to the rule anyway, and so I don’t know how that’s going to work out.

But what I do see these days right now is the willingness to be flexible. There is a willingness right now of most companies and most law firms to be flexible and what I think is going to be interesting and the big question is, will that flexibility remain when it is, I guess I will say safer to go back to the office, when it makes sense?

I think there is one thing to say come back to the office when around us we see a new wave of stuff hitting, so it may not make sense right now, but when it gets to the point where it’s safer, will there still be people who say you know what, I am good, this makes sense for me, I am productive here, I am productive at home, let me work at home. I am very intrigued to see how law firms are going to react to that in the long-term.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I have got to say Tom that I don’t know if there is enough Xanax in the world to get me into an elevator in Texas right now.

Tom Mighell: An empty elevator isn’t so bad. I mean it’s okay.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, they are all seeing it, it’s all fine.

Tom Mighell: That’s right.

Dennis Kennedy: I think I would struggle with that.

And then I would also say that part of what you are seeing too in some of these conversations is that, some of the more creative people, some of the people you would want to keep in your firm, the innovators, the up-and-coming stars in your firms are some of the people who don’t want to come back in the office, and what leverage are they going to have, are they going to be leaving a place that would say you have to come into office like X number of days.

I have seen people who have a thing where they need to come — like one shift comes in one week and another group of people comes in the following week and then if anybody tests positive, then everybody goes into quarantine and you just really wonder like what the heck is going to go on. And if you are saying I can do all the work I want, I can do everything for my clients, I can do all my projects, I don’t have to get dressed, I don’t have to commute, I don’t have to go into the office and then wait in line for the elevator and be scanned and all this sort of stuff, I can be super efficient and do other things, I think it’s going to be a talent retention issue on the working from home.

(00:14:56)

So speaking working from home Tom, like what have we seen for us personally has happened over the last few months? I know that if there is any chance for you to buy new hardware and software you jump on it, so I suspect that that’s probably what you are going to talk about.

Tom Mighell: Well no, actually I am not. I will talk about it more in a little bit, but I will say that when you are at home with nothing else to do buying hardware seems to be my go-to to fill the time, so that does make sense, but I mean part of the — this is an unfair question for me. I have been working from home for the last 12 years, so not a lot has changed for me. I mean not getting out much and wearing masks when I do get out, that has changed; wear masks people.

As I mentioned before, I had my adjustment phase a while back, so adjusting to working from home is pretty simple for me and now I just have one additional person working here in the house with me, which is actually kind of nice.

I think that from a work standpoint, collaboration with my work people is much the same, although what’s interesting is it did push us to move all in on Microsoft Teams. Before everybody else moved into the home we were using regular Phone Bridges to talk to people, but once we saw that all of our clients wanted to use video; they were all joining Zoom meetings and we could see their faces, now that they are all using video conferencing we moved to Teams and we haven’t moved back. we canceled our Phone Bridge, we are not using that anymore. We use phone lines on Teams and we got rid of most of our GoToMeeting accounts, that’s been kind of the biggest change is we have noticed that we are using Teams more to collaborate in a way of having meetings with people, which I think is mixed results.

People are not as comfortable using a tool like Teams as they might be with Zoom. Zoom is a lot easier to use I think from the interface standpoint, but it’s been a good experience overall.

What about you Dennis?

Dennis Kennedy: Well, for me, it’s just a few things. So I was working from home so the big one was going from teaching at classes at Michigan and Michigan State to — from in-person to online, so that was a big thing.

And then when we go back to jobs to be done and what are we hiring technology to do, I realized that I am not really traveling anymore, so my thought process on technology is working from home, and even though I wrote two books by walking a half mile down the street to work at the public library that option isn’t there.

So you have talked me into the larger monitor; I am now up in your ranch, I bought the 32 inch one and I am starting to be a convert on that, so that’s changed.

And then I have just tried to really lean in to learning some of the collaboration tools that people work and being super flexible myself and making it easy for people to connect with me.

So I don’t really bog down on like what’s the better tool; is it Teams, is it Zoom, is it WebEx whatever, it’s like hey, whatever somebody needs to use, I am fine, I am going to work with it. And I am fairly — although I pretty much live on the Mac, my wife has a Windows computer and if I need to use it for that reason, which I do on some things then I switch to that.

So that’s one of the things I have been recommending to people when I talk about technology and collaboration for lawyers is, is one of the things you really need to think of is how do I make it easy for my client to work with me, so I have tried to take that to heart.

Tom Mighell: So is there been anything during the past three months that has really stood out to you as noteworthy and I am going to say frankly and I would encourage you to disagree with me the biggest thing that stands out to me is that I would expect a time like this, which the word unprecedented is overused in this, but it is unprecedented, in a time like this I would expect to see some amazing innovations in the law that I don’t really see happening. I don’t really see things that are happening that are just going wow, this is very cool.

I have seen some tools be rolled out to help people who are suffering right now, either protest, getting evicted or deal with landlords and certain issues, but to a certain extent some of those already existed before this. I have seen a couple of those things happen, but there are lots of people at home with time on their hands, there are lots of — I mean not just in the legal space, but everywhere, I would expect to see more new uses of technology and I have got to be honest, I don’t really see that that’s happening. Am I totally missing something, Dennis?

(00:20:05)

Dennis Kennedy: There are some things I would say you’re missing, but I think in the overall scope of things, I think you’re right.

So one it is, although it seems like it’s 300 months, it really has been three months, but I was just watching this thing on the PBS NewsHour tonight about this — I wouldn’t call it a hackathon necessarily, but basically a contest for people to come up with new ways to create very low cost ventilators, and there are a bunch of teams around the world and they are down to like seven finalists and people are doing some really cool stuff. And when you look at the legal space, you don’t see that so much.

In fact, I tend to see in law people going for very — what I would call incremental innovation and kind of patting themselves on the backs for what are kind of small achievements like, oh, we’re using Zoom, oh we — everybody can log into the office from home. We figured out this new way to schedule meetings, we’re using Outlook better, that sort of thing.

And then I’m also concerned and actually we will have a post coming, it is probably out by the time people are listening to this about how I just don’t feel that the conversations are happening between lawyers and clients on technologies and that’s key for innovation.

So I see some in access to justice area as you see early on, but I think where I’m seeing cool stuff is judges and courts really working with the constraints and trying new things with the online hearings and really trying to look at things. So I think they’ve coped really well and they’re starting to gather the learnings from that to say as we go forward and we’re clearly going to have big backlogs in the court system, can we take some of what we learn now? So I think actually the court area and judge led innovation is starting to be super-interesting to me.

Tom Mighell: So I do not want to downplay how important it is that that’s going on. Totally agree, love what we’re seeing, it should have been happening years ago. This stuff was available to a certain extent years ago and what I am always amazed at, I’m going to be the grouch, get off my lawn guy for this podcast episode, but it always takes something like this to force people to do something they should have been doing all along, and now everybody is like, oh my gosh, why haven’t we been doing this, why this is the most amazing thing? It’s like, well, you had the ability and people have been recommending it forever and you’ve all like, oh no, that’s not possible. We must all be in court in-person to give justice. There has to be full transparency. And we’re learning that that’s not the truth.

I think that the other thing that I find interesting and you and I’ve had conversations about this privately is that again, I don’t see yet any way that there’s innovation going on with this. They’re making use of the tools that they have and that’s good, some of them are, not every lawyer — not every judge is doing this, but some judges are, a lot of judges are, and they are just using the technology that they are given and they are adapting how the courts run to how the technology lets them do it.

And what I really think is an interesting use in this space is finding a technology provider who is willing to work with the courts to provide something that works the way the courts work, and how they need to work. And I think that if tech companies come forward or if judges are willing to work with tech companies and say, you know what, we can make this whole online court thing much more efficient, much more feature-rich, to me that’s innovation and that’s something that I think a lot of judges would get behind.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so two thoughts. So one is that you and I’ve had this really tentative preliminary conversation about how Microsoft Teams could become a platform as courts go more online, and I really see potential there and some things like that to get courts on the right platforms that can work.

And the other thing I would say is that we’re looking in innovation in a crisis and in a lot of ways the courts are a bit of a front line, I mean not in the same way as hospitals obviously, but they are doing a lot of triage and so it’s hard to innovate at the same time you’re in the middle of a crisis. I mean, it’s clearly happening but you don’t get like the big or you go like, oh my god, this is like — this mammoth new innovation.

(00:25:04)

Tom Mighell: I agree.

Dennis Kennedy: So it has to be more incremental. So I think there are those things, and there is a point, Tom, you didn’t say this because you’re too polite to do it, but I will say that, it’s kind of like we’ve been talking about this and other people have, but especially us on the collaboration side for a long time, it’s like, hey, it’s not rocket science. So, I mean, like pick up our book, you’re going to go a long way ahead of what other people are doing at this point. So I think it’s a good time for that.

So that’s — I expect the innovation to come more as we get closer to the end of the year and then the early part of next year, is I think we’ll start to see some things that will really start to turn our head, and I still think it’s going to be the access to justice area that will be the leaders.

Tom Mighell: Well, let me say my last piece on the courts, because I think what’s going to be the key to me — for me anyway is, at some point the courts are going to open up again. At some point people are going to have — I read an article that said we just did our first trial on Zoom and it was great, but we have this other kind of case and it really doesn’t make sense to have it by Zoom, we’re going to have it in-person when we can have it in-person.

So my question is going to be, how far back to normal courts will go when they open up again? I know some judges have said that online courts are here to stay, we’ve now made — we show that it works, it’s going to work, but I’ve got to believe there’s a whole lot of judges and lawyers frankly out there who are ready to go back to the way things have always been and so the question is going to be what kind of momentum can be sustained from what’s being seen right now or how much are people — I think it’s going to depend a lot on how physical courts change in terms of where you can be and how you can be in a courtroom and socially distance and all of that, but I’m very interested to see how much of this sticks once things go back to quasi normal anyway?

Dennis Kennedy: Right, we could do a whole podcast on this, because I have a strong opinion that there’s going to be a massive move back to the way it was before and try to recreate it, and then to find out that, that can’t happen and then the innovation will be to move forward from that.

So we’re making a lot of assumptions that I don’t know are true, like how confident are we that we’re going to fill courtrooms with juries of 12 people who are willing to take chances with their health. I don’t know that’s going to be the case.

And so, we’re just going to question a lot of things, but I think that all these law firms were planning to just go back to the office and call people to come back in and then people are saying, no, I’m not coming back in the office. You cannot make me feel it’s safe enough to come back there.

So I think we’ll see that kind of a retrenchment than a move forward. And we live in a time, right, Tom, where everybody makes predictions about everything and we’re all experts about stuff, so it’s my prediction, so might be right, might be wrong, who the heck knows, but probably need to wrap up.

I guess there’s a couple things that I wanted to point out and maybe you can point out a few things, and so, I think that we’ve really seen the benefit of the cloud in this time in so many ways, I think that helping out your best talent with technology, like giving people monitors, chairs, stuff like that to make it easier to work from home is going to make a big difference as you and the flexibility on how they work is going to help you retain your best employees, and probably the things that we’ve gotten a — we haven’t dealt with but they are coming big to hit us are cybersecurity, privacy, confidentiality, and the interesting question — most interesting question for me is that if we look at the tech competence ethics requirement and how we thought of it in January versus how we think of it now, I just think it’s two completely different worlds and probably two completely different standards at this point.

Tom Mighell: Well, I think in terms — I mean for me the piece that’s most interesting is cybersecurity, because we’re already hearing that hackers are targeting work from home people, because that’s kind of the weakest vector of place to be and I think that the whole cybersecurity industry in general should be working now on new ways to keep us safe at home.

What I think is interesting, you talk about providing people with equipment, what about firms providing the cost of the fastest Internet connection possible that you can get at home?

(00:30:06)

Now you’re limited somewhat by your geography, not everybody has access to good Internet service wherever they happen to live, but I’ve noticed that that is one of the biggest limiters, not just in the law, but for school kids frankly and for anybody is, if you don’t have good Internet you’re not getting on a video call, you’re not doing your online school or doing whatever you need to do, and I think that’s one interesting way of getting some parity in how technology is by getting people as similar or as good a connection as they can possibly get.

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so I actually had this conversation with someone recently where I said for an extra, what would it be for most people like an extra 20 bucks a month? That you just said to your employees working from home, we’re just going to pay for the fastest Internet connection you can get, that’s part of what we do, as an employee you’re going to have a great feeling about that.

What I think happens though is and I heard it on the call I was on is that sometimes firms say, well, the employees will take advantage of that and they will be playing games and stuff like that. You’ve gone like it’s a $20 a month to make people happy and then their conferences will be better and all of these things and then you also — I don’t know like the firms I was at when I worked at firms, I was always paying for parking, like if I had to pay my own faster Internet connection and then I had a pay cut and I was also paying for parking when I couldn’t go to the office, I would be saying when is the first chance I can leave this firm?

So I think it’s like to care those small details will have a big impact on retaining the best employees, but a probably good place to stop, Tom.

Tom Mighell: I think that’s true, I think we’ve said enough here, but I bet we will revisit this topic in a few months probably.

So before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.

[Music]

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[Music]

Dennis Kennedy: 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 www.serve-now.com.

[Music]

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

Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy.

We love to get questions from you, our listeners at our voicemail line at (720)441-6820. In this episode, David in Pennsylvania liked our Second Brain project idea and he’s also a fan of Evernote, which he says he’s used for 11 years, which probably could be longer than even you and I have, Tom, and he had a few observations for us, so let’s hear his voicemail.

David Rakowski: Hey guys, Dave Rakowski. I’m an attorney and writer in Allentown, Pennsylvania and just listened to your ‘Second Brain’ episode and looking forward to hearing the steps that you’re going through. But for me personally I’ve been using Evernote for 11-plus years and Evernote has been able to do everything that you guys were discussing.

So I look forward to hearing what process you go through with everything, and specifically to Tom’s point about, well, what if there’s something better two years from now? I think the issue is, whatever tool you choose to be able to get your data out of that tool, because as we know, as you guys know things change, and so Evernote certainly has that, but looking forward to hearing about your experiment and again, thank you so much for the podcast and everything you do.

Again, Dave Rakowski, attorney and writer and college professor in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Thanks so much. Bye, bye.

Dennis Kennedy: And Tom, you want to start us off?

Tom Mighell: Yeah, I’ll just say a couple observations about that. Thank you Dave for sending us that voicemail.

I think Evernote is a great tool, and as Dennis alluded to earlier, we’re going to be breaking down kind of our whole Second Brain project into a number of follow-up episodes about some of the ways we’re approaching this and we’re going to do at least one if not more episodes on the capture process.

(00:35:08)

How do we capture information and what are the things we think about when capturing? And Evernote is certainly at the top of the list as a worthy second brain. I’ll cut to the chase, I’m not using it, but I’ve used it in the past, I like it a lot and I think it’s definitely, I think one of the things we’ll talk about what the Second Brain is, is that there’s no one right answer. It’s whatever works for you is the tool you should be using, and for a lot of people Evernote is a great tool.

What I found interesting is that he didn’t say it in the message, but it’s almost like Dave has read our book on Collaboration Tools and Technologies, because what he raises about the fact that something may change two years from now, that’s one of the criteria that we like to think about. That’s one of the requirements for a good collaboration tool. Is it easy to export or move the things out of one tool into another?

Dennis, you may want to talk about this more, you’ve been having some experience with this recently, so that may be something you want to talk about. But I think that the broader strategy is hopefully to go with something that’s built for the long haul, but Dave is right, things change, companies go under, get bought, other things happen. We certainly had tools that have kind of fallen out from under us that we can’t use and suddenly you’re with a legacy tool. Being able to move that content from the old tool to a new tool is a — I think a critical requirement whether you’re talking about a second brain, whether you’re talking about a major piece of legal technology that’s crucial for your firm.

So I think that Dave, on point with everything that you say and when you choose something you shouldn’t necessarily think, well, what’s going to come around two years later? It needs to factor into your decision-making as to is this something that I’m going to be able to get out of easily if I find something I like better two years later from now?

Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, Tom, I think that Dave and you touched on some key points as we’ve been thinking about. So I think that if you’re looking at the second brain notion that to me it’s impossible not to look at Evernote as part of the tools that you evaluate; whether you end up there or not I don’t know, because as we’re realizing this is going to be a very personal project, and so Tom and I actually have some pretty different goals in what we have in mind.

And then as you start to say, it needs to fit within the other tools that I’m doing and work with them. So I was starting to say, well, if I go to the Microsoft 365 stack as being a key part of my second brain, I don’t know whether I’ll end up there, but if I look at that, then I wouldn’t want to take everything out of Evernote and put it into OneNote, because I had so much stuff in Evernote when I did an experiment with exporting.

I actually ran into some problems with the API and I’m going to have to break — it looks like I’m going to have to break up that export into a couple of smaller bites and that may be a one-time thing and a hassle I have to deal with, but I’m also looking to say, well, maybe the second brain should just start with something new and I start from scratch and I evaluate what’s actually still in Evernote and whether I need to use it, but some really good points there — and yeah, and I would say the main thing I agree is if you’re looking at this type of project, Evernote has to be part of, on your list of what to evaluate.

And I know, Tom, you and I were both invited to Evernote Beta so I know they have some big changes planned, which could be a good thing and might turn out for your — and your personalized approach might not be what you want to see. So definitely some great points by Dave and we’re always looking forward to comments, questions from our listeners. It’s so great to have the opportunity to talk about Dave’s questions and comments.

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: So in the past couple of weeks if you paid any attention to the tech news you may have come across a story about a new email product called Hey! If you are familiar with the project management tool, Basecamp, we’ve talked about it I think on this podcast at least once or twice before. It’s made by the company that makes Basecamp, it’s a completely new email product that I’ve been testing out for the past week, I plan on writing a detailed review about it on my blog, I may talk about it again on the podcast because it is a very interesting approach to managing email.

(00:39:58)

I will say right now after a week’s worth of work in its current form I would never recommend this for using with a work email account. It doesn’t look at email the same way that we would need to look at it from a work standpoint.

I use this with my personal account and I’m finding a lot of very interesting features to it mainly the ability to go through my email very quickly and classify it and categorize it the way I want to, get the junk out of there, move newsletters into a place where I can read them, label things that I might need to keep longer very easily and quickly, and I’m finding that very intriguing.

I think when I signed up for it, it was only open to certain people with invites, but I think they’ve opened it up to anybody right now. There’s a free 14-day trial. It does cost money. It’ll be $99 per year if you want to go with it, but I’m very intrigued, if you don’t want to try right now, stay tuned, I’ll talk about more after I’ve had a little bit more time to play around with it, it’s just hey.com.

Dennis?

Dennis Kennedy: Tom, I kind of struggle with the idea of actually paying for an email tool. I’d rather have people pay me to receive their email that they send me.

Tom Mighell: Well, that would be the ideal situation, wouldn’t?

Dennis Kennedy: So, I have two quick ones, so one little follow-up on the larger monitor discussion we’ve been having. So I bought a new Dell monitor, curved monitor 32-inch. I couldn’t go to the 38 that Tom did, had it for a few days. I’m really liking it. So using it with the 12-inch MacBook dual monitor set up. So, so far so good, and definitely something to consider these days as you are working more from home.

The other one is the Law Technology Today, the blog we’ve always done a monthly roundtable article that on different legal tech topic and we just experimented with, and I think we could continue to do this a live Zoom roundtable. Live in a sense that we recorded it together live, but it’s available for download. So just check out the Law Technology Today blog and look for that Zoom thing you’ll see us actually having a conversation about the roundtable topic.

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 on the Legal Talk Network’s page for this podcast.

If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on Legal Talk Network site where you can find archives of all of our previous podcasts along with transcripts.

If you’d like to get in touch with us, you can always reach out to us on LinkedIn or if we haven’t set it enough you can leave us a voicemail at (720)441-6820. We’d love to hear from you.

So until the next podcast, I’m Tom Mighell

Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy and you’ve 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’ll 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 3, 2020
Podcast: Kennedy-Mighell Report
Category: COVID-19 , Practice Management
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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