Not everyone is thrilled about going back to the office, but it seems that more and more businesses are setting dates for their employees’ required return. This begs the question – should employers be able to demand their workers’ physical presence? Dennis and Tom talk through the many issues at play here, and whether we ever can (or should) get things “back to normal.”
This time on “Hot or Not?”, Dennis and Tom give an update on their Second Brain projects, sharing their individual progress and the notable ways they’ve been implementing their chosen tech.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation 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 answers to your most burning tech questions.
Special thanks to our sponsors, Colonial Surety Company, ServeNow, and Nota.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Don’t Make Me Go Back to the Office
B Segment: Hot or Not – Making Progress on our Second Brains
Legaltech Hub – Legaltech Hub (legaltechnologyhub.com)
Intro: 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 290 of the Kennedy – Mighell report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors. First of all, we’d like to thank Nota powered by M&T Bank. Nota is banking built for lawyers and provides smart, no-cost IOLTA account management. Visit trustnota.com/legal to learn more. That’s N-O-T-A, Nota. Terms and conditions may apply.
Dennis Kennedy: Next, we’d 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.
Tom Mighell: And we’d like to thank ServeNow. A nationwide network of trusted pre-screened process servers, work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high volume serves, embrace technology and understand the litigation process. Visit servenow.com to learn more. All right and we just want to say that with so many new podcasts continuing to announce their very first show these days, we do like to mention that at 15 years and counting although it should be 16 years now almost, this is the longest continuously running legal tech podcast out there.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we dug into our tips vaults for a 20 tips and 20 minutes episode, seems to have been a very popular one. In this episode, we take a look at the growing phenomenon of forcing people to come back to the office or maybe I’m kind of loading the question when I say it that way. Will it cause a revolt or will it really just be back to the old normal? 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 talking about going back to the office whether we want to or not. I mean, going back to the office that is. In our second segment, we’ll give a short progress report on our second brain efforts 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, the impending return to the office and whether companies can or should require everyone’s physical presence. I am already seeing some of my clients slowly going back to the office although most seem to be looking at Labor Day as some kind of magic date when it’s okay for everybody to be in person together to the surprise of no one, not everyone is thrilled about going back to the office but some companies are being very firm about requiring everybody back. Suddenly when we decided to do this topic, all I hear about now are stories about people coming back to the office and it’s really been going on for a couple of months now. To be fair, not every company is forcing people to talk to the office and we’ll talk more about the hybrid workplace and what that needs to look like but I know that at least one co-host of this podcast is not a fan of being required to return to the workplace. Dennis, some people might use the term first world problem to describe what we’re talking about here, what’s your response to that?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think that’s kind of a yes or no and we need to be realistic that our audience is primarily in the legal profession and do have opportunities to do work and at home and have typically will have places to work at home but that’s not always the case, people are sharing the dining room table and other things like that to get work done. So, let’s acknowledge that and I think that — you say, “I’m not a fan of being required to return to the workplace.” Well, I’m going to go back to teaching in person in the fall. So, it’s not so much that but I think with everybody these days talk about their freedom this, freedom that, freedom to do this, freedom not to do that, it does seem weird that you have employers saying that they’re going to force people to come back into office, it seems like one of the learnings from the pandemic would be that we were actually really responsible when we’re working from home. So, I’m not sure that we need to be forced back in the office and be monitored. What do you think?
Tom Mighell: Well, again, I think the word force is a loaded term. I think that what I usually see is require which I think that there’s some who would say what’s the difference between the two and I agree that there is the sense of what was the last year and a half all about if we didn’t learn some new things about how we work together and I think we’re going to talk more about that during this whole thing and I have more thoughts to say on that but I think I will start out by saying the theme of this entire segment is going to be that lawyers at every chance they get will show how they are laid adopters in everything and that lessons learned are not always coming to lawyers first.
So, again, I’m not surprised that there are firms who are saying, “It wasn’t the last year and a half fun, now let’s all go back completely 100% to normal before that it was.” I’m not surprised to hear that. Now, is that right? Probably not, there’s probably a lot of things that we need to consider and new ways to think about it and I’ll talk more about that in a little bit but it’s not surprising to me at all.
Dennis Kennedy: I agree with you. it’s really not surprising. But the pushback has been just so strong. That is a little bit of a surprise to me. So, anyway, I want to mention something I was involved in with Vanderbilt and northwestern and Michigan State that we call TRB retrospective thorn rosebud and the idea was that we were going to look at what happened with online legal education, some hybrid legal education over the last year and a half and say, “What is the best of what we learned from that response to the pandemic and how do we keep that?” So, what pains were reviewed — or did we find that we would like to alleviate, what potential did we see and what are the things we’d like to move forward? So, I think that’s one of the things when I hear people say, “As of this day, no matter what, everybody needs to come back in to the office.” And it just makes me worry that we’re going to say, “Hey, everything was so amazing before this, everything was just the most amazing thing and the most amazing profession, most amazing workspaces, everything that we just have to jump right back to it.”
I don’t want to lose this conversation time and I think this is where we’re going with it that there were some things that we learned would be really helpful to people going forward and it would be a shame to kind of turn our back on those.
Tom Mighell: I don’t disagree with that and I think that’s the main problem. I think that the main issue that we have is but let’s be fair not every firm is doing this, not every firm is saying that everybody has to come back. There are a lot of firms out there that are developing hybrid programs that are staggering the way that things are going to work. I will agree that the lawyers are probably not doing as well as some of the other industries that are out there that are really using the lessons of the pandemic to be better about this but I do see stories here and there about law firms that are trying to make a difference so I don’t know that we can paint a totally broad brush over this and say that everybody is doing the same thing but I think you’re right, I think that coming back without more, without learning something, without doing something is one, sad and two, again very lawyer-like and very something that I’m not surprised to see that that’s happening.
I mean, the number of people who said, “I can’t wait to get back in a courtroom and have a real trial and I can’t wait to do all of this stuff.” I think that there’s – again, this is not a psychology podcast and I am not a psychologist but I feel like that part of the mental attitude is I just want to forget about what happened over the past year and a half. Can’t we go back to the way it was before? There’s a lot of that going on and really the question is going to be is what wins out is the — we just wanted to go back to the way things were before or well let’s try new ways and I’m really intrigued to see how far the let’s try new ways people actually get with the lawyers.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, lawyers are really, really excellent at denial in all forms at least based on my own experience. One thing I do want to highlight, Tom and I think we can — you and I can pat ourselves on the back for this but please, please do not — anyone feel free to hug me over or how prescient we were about how important collaboration tools would be in sort of the new world of collaboration and I think we’ve learned so much from that and seen so many benefits that I do expect that and I think that’s one of the things where you start to question, why am I going physically back into an office where I’ve — for a year and a half done a great job using all these tools some of which have really significant benefits over in-person meetings.
And then we’re going back to a feeling where you get in some forms that managers are valuing the actual time in the office where they can see you which we used to call face time over the use of online video tools and collaboration tools like FaceTime if you get what I’m saying, Tom?
Tom Mighell: I do and this is kind of where our views on this begin to diverge somewhat. So, let me take issue first with what you said was a new world of collaboration tools. Not a new world of collaboration tools, this is people seeing the old world of collaboration tools for the first time and not having an option but to adopt them and wow they found out they’re useful. So, we’ve been writing about collaboration tools for 13 years and they’re just finding out. So, this is not a new world, this is just them catching up to the old world. I think we need to acknowledge that there are new tools out there but we can’t pretend that these tools just popped up out of nowhere because we were forced to be at home and we had to meet with each other.
Here’s where my real point is is that I believe that there is a time and a place and there is an effectiveness for virtual and online meetings but I believe that there are also benefits to being in person and one of the things that I really resonate with is there was a survey put out by combination by Major, Lindsey & Africa and Law360. And among the things they talked about one of the things they asked was what are the four major areas that have suffered by not being in person. And these four I see are – well, one of them I question but the other three I really get. One is mentorship. Mentorship is I think a lot harder when it is by a video when it is an in-person relationship or discussion. Training. You know, I do a lot of online training so I’m not sure about that one. Work-life separation I think is a big deal. I’ve seen lots of people having trouble with being able to separate work from life because they both now take place in the same physical location.
So, there is a mental aspect to being able to go to a place to work and go to a place for home. That’s why over the past year, all these tips were like make sure that you have a separate place to do your work and at the end of the day, shut everything down because we have to keep this psychological barrier between work and home and it’s a challenge, I get that. That leads to that last thing that people have suffered with is mental well-being and burnout. So, there are more and more lawyers in fact, Dennis, you’re going to quote a survey here, I see in the notes that talk about burnout and I’m going to make the argument that the burnout is because they’re at home and they’re doing the same thing all the time and it’s not because they’re burned out and that’s a serious concern. There are some ways that I would say that almost argues for going back to the office, I’m not going to make that argument. I’m going to say that being out of the office has its benefits and there are times and purposes for which being virtual makes total sense and should continue as a process but I believe that there are things by which people benefit more by doing them face to face and in person and there are ways that people benefit by leaving the home, it’s not so much about being face to face or in person and having spontaneous conversations but it’s more about getting out of the home and getting around different people that I think is healthier that I think there’s a balance there that can be struck and should be struck and I will step briefly down from my soapbox to let you talk for a minute.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think we’re finding evidence of all kinds as time goes along. In some cases, people are saying, oh, in person is better like on mentorship. There’s another group to saying no for diverse lawyers actually being able to schedule and do things for women lawyers being able to do things where it’s not in – going to the golf course, being in the office those sorts of things. Actually that’s been a positive development in some ways but I think to go back to the retrospective we did, there are two themes that really stood out for me and so one is that people felt they could trust each other more in this online setting because everybody’s kind of responding to the same sort of developments going on with the pandemic and you were realizing that people were doing the best that they could in most cases. I think there’s this notion of trust, I think as professionals it was nice for a lot of lawyers to feel like, “Hey, I’m working from home. I didn’t have to have somebody putting surveillance on me or watching me checking when I was in the office or not. They could just trust the work I was doing and I kind of felt like more of a professional of than I ever had before.”
The other key point was flexibility and you alluded to this. Now we’re saying like, “Hey, you know what? In some cases, it makes sense to send an email. In some cases, it makes sense to have a phone call, sometimes it makes sense to have a video conference.” Things can be done in different ways and when you start saying like, “Do I need to be with people in person and try to coordinate all of that and get people together travel those sorts of things, is that the best use of professionals time and I think all those things are starting to come into play.
Tom Mighell: Yes. So, I will say — I mean, for talking about women and diversity, I think that to a certain extent, I would prefer them to fix the problem of going to the golf course than saying we can only meet virtually to have any type of valuable conversation because that to me that suggests a breakdown that was far beyond whether we’re having people meet in person that say, “Okay, well, all of this type of stuff needs to happen only virtually from now on to be successful.” I feel that we’re acknowledging lots more failures there that should be fixed than just the fact of coming back into the office.
I will say — to your plea of not to hug you, I would say I’m pretty sure that there’s some HR rules around hugging in the office even before the pandemic. So, I don’t think you have to worry too much about that. I think my position is is that — I’m going to start sounding like a broken record. There are good and valuable reasons that we should not have to be in the office all the time that we can be just as productive, we can get just as much work done, we can have very similar professions, we are in a profession that is uniquely suited to remote work but that said, I believe that there are benefits to being together that need to be considered as part of this and there are psychological benefits that need to be part of this. There are a lot of people who need to be around other people. I don’t consider myself a particular extrovert but I’ve been around the same person now for a year and a half and I’m getting tired of it a little bit. I’m ready to go and be around other people.
So, I’ve got to imagine that there are a lot of people who are feeling the stress because of that situation and that’s why I keep saying it shouldn’t be a forced position but it ought to be a negotiated position, it ought to be something that we’re learning from new. I mean, there’s one of the links that I’m going to put in the show notes is from — I guess, it’s a law review article, I’m not sure exactly what it’s coming out from but it’s a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law is doing an article that doesn’t really sound like it’s on — it’s only moderately on topic but it actually turns out to be on topic it’s called ‘The Puzzle and Persistence of Big Law Clustering’ is what it is and it argues again surprise that lawyers are late adopters of everything and that management in law firm prefers the exploitation of proven office strategies than the exploration of novel and uncertain strategies which is why they prefer you to be in the office than to work remotely but I think the author I think has got a great point here. I think saying that lawyers are in an ideal situation right now because the mandatory nature of moving everybody home reduce the transaction costs of coordinating that sort of effort so you didn’t have to think about the cost you just did it and it avoided the costs that allowing only certain people to work remotely and saying well we can only let certain number of people work remotely and you get to do it and you don’t get to do it and you get to do it.
I think that what they are saying is this is the perfect time to explore new ideas because you don’t have that choice between the exploitation of the proven office strategy and the exploration. They’re both equal choices that you can make and it’s the perfect time to make those choices.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So many things, Tom. I know that we can touch on a bunch of them and I’m just going to take through a few things that I had in my mind is like people realize that they hate commuting. Nobody wants to go back to that. There might be a few people who say, “Well, there’s less traffic.” For a lot of people, that’s a lot of downtime. People have now figured out better approaches child care, taking care of their parents, other issues. People tons of hours, people found ways to be productive over the last year and a half.
And now they’re being told that they need to come back into the office and is that going to be some kind of measure. So, what does productivity even mean anymore? So, then for me, is like what if I find it harder to work in the office than I do at home? What if I’m like really run smoothly at home but in the office, I say, “It’s a terrible setup, I’m interrupted all the time, I dread going back to work because the first couple weeks, everybody’s just going to be hanging out at my desk or at my office just talking.” I would say that the first several weeks of people going back to the office the productivity is going to be near zero just because people are catching up with each other and I think there are legitimate anxiety, health and safety concerns still about the office setups that we’ve seen the return of the — as we like to call in the U.S., the active shooter issue, we’re still not sure where we are on COVID and do you make people who are legitimately anxious of and have concern about being in the office make them come into the office, how fair is that?
Tom Mighell: So, I think those are all issues that need to be considered. This is time where I talk about the second survey or two sets of surveys that I found when I was looking at this issue, they were both conducted by Law360 and what’s interesting is is that they kind of have – well, I’m not sure that they have a conflict or not. The first survey was conducted with Major, Lindsey & Africa the one I mentioned before and what was interesting about that was 21% of those surveys were itching for return to the office as soon as possible and those people tended to be partners and older lawyers. Sixty-nine percent would feel comfortable when returning to the office after getting vaccinated or when herd immunity is reached and only 4% said that they do not intend to go back at all to the office. What I would consider to be a relatively small percent. Not surprisingly, that 69 and 4% tended to be the younger lawyers in the group.
I guess what’s confusing to me and maybe this is where the conflict is is that there was another survey conducted with Brand New Summer Associates. So, almost entirely younger — I would guess demographically, they will tend to be younger adults, 48% of those said that they’re willing to go work in the office now, 45% said they would go if they were vaccinated and 7% said they weren’t comfortable going back to the office. So, I’m confused about whether — it sounds like more people from these surveys it seems like lawyers are not generally unwilling to go back. There are some that aren’t but — I only say I don’t know what the real answer is. I think that because we’re seeing all of these conflicting different things, I think that’s just all the more reason why we need to have a thoughtful discussion about how to do this in such a way that allows for the exploration of new ideas.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I think that’s right. For each statistic, there’s a counter statistic and in some cases, you’re going to say, well, this doesn’t — if you’re talking about what first year — our 1L summer students or first-year associates are willing to do to have a job — believe me, they’re going to err on the side of going into the office in this current job market. But I think we go — my concern is that — like I just see this top-down thing in the announcements and a lot of what we see is big law and there’s also some — the other thing time is there are some firms where people have never worked from home and it’s through the hope pandemic they’ve been in the office but the big law analysis we’re saying of certain dates everybody has to be in that kind of thing, I think it just — you just wonder it just seems so top-down and I know how psychologically most of us work if I’m told from the top that I have to be in every day the first day the managing, there any managing partner of the firm is not in the office and is working from home that’s going to be one of the last days that I feel any need to come into the office and I think we’re also truly over nostalgic about in-person meetings and the spontaneous hallway conversations which we’ll realize once we get back into them. I don’t think we have a great sense of what hybrid could look like when we bring the best of two worlds together.
And at home, we’re used to personalizing our schedule, not dressing up, setting our own hours, do these sorts of things and back in the office, we’re just feel that we’re being told what to do and if you’re in an open office, I mean like everything about that whether or not you’re vaccinated, all that sort of stuff, you just look at the open office concept and you’re saying that’s just not a healthy space.
Tom Mighell: Okay. In terms of the open office concept, I think it depends on what you mean. I think in general, open office is a terrible concept when it comes to spreading illness but I also think that we are going to see commercial real estate evolve a lot in the coming years. We’re already seeing companies think a lot about how office space evolves and how it’s going to need to change because it doesn’t make sense likewise, it doesn’t make sense to have separate offices for everyone especially if we’re going to go to the hybrid workspace and that traditional hoteling method where people just claim any available desk is not going to work either and so I think that to a certain extent, office design is going to need to change. And we’re starting to see with some of the big companies not law firms mind you but other companies that that they are starting to change there needs to be an openness. I mean, that’s what our whole last year and a half was about social distancing. So, there’s going to have to be that notion of openness but in a different way that makes it easy to work together. We’ve been talking a lot about problems for a while, let’s talk about some solutions, you want to kind of share what you think a hybrid solution might look like if you would ever be inclined to entertain that?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think you need these elements, you need to show that you’re trusting the employees, you need to show that you value their creativity, you need to show up and give them flexibility, I think that you do that and you combine that with a serious effort at trying to learn what might work in terms of the hybrid approaches and not just say we’re ordering you back into the office because I know where that’s going. I know where that would go with myself. My survey results come from Eagle Hill Consulting, 27% of people plan to leave their jobs as the pandemics subsides for millennials. It’s even higher and that for 53% of the U.S. fork force burnout is a problem. It’s not like we went from an ideal world and we’re going to go back to that ideal world but I think that if you get these elements where you’re showing trust, flexibility, creativity, then for people especially lawyers, this is what appeals to them and if you take those learnings forward in a scientific way, I think we take some serious steps. Otherwise, I think it’s just going to be a lot of attrition and then firms will decide whether they can live with that or not and people will decide whether they’re going to live with that or not and that’s going to be tough for the profession.
Tom Mighell: Okay. So, you couldn’t resist going back to the negative again and talking about the survey and I’m only going to point out about this survey that nowhere in there do they say that people are going to leave their job because they are being forced back to the office. It says they are leaving their job because of burnout and if I were on one side of a trial versus you, I would argue that that burnout is due to lack of communication, being forced to join video meeting after video meeting, having work time and personal time blur together because we’re all at home so much which in a perverse way would be an argument for going back to the office to avoid that burnout. That said, I think that a hybrid is possible, I think it certainly starts with all the things you talk about. It needs to have creativity, it needs to have flexibility, it needs to have I think a certain level of compassion for the people who have been affected in tremendous ways over the past year and a half but I also think that it’s going to require for that creativity.
I don’t know that the legal industry has that capability. I don’t know that — we always talk about legal design thinking and we can design an app for access to justice purposes. Well, I don’t know that we can design the perfect office space solely within the legal field. So, we have to look outside the legal industry, we have to look at what other industries are doing. I mentioned this on a previous podcast so I’ll mention it again.
I think that technology companies are really taking the lead because some companies are saying their employees never have to come back to work again. Some of them say you take your choice and you don’t have to do that. Others are allowing a lot more flexible schedules. The thing that I hear most often about a flexible schedule is three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, excuse me Monday and Friday stay at home. I hear that a lot. I hear that in some law firms actually but I hear that also outside the legal industry. Companies like Google are actually insisting that their employees return to work but I think in exchange, I can’t remember the article, I think I posted in a previous podcast they’re essentially reinventing their workplace to make it a more comfortable, healthy place to work. So, I think that they are trying to recognize or at least recognize what they believe is that in-person meetings are more effective for them but we want to make sure everybody is safe and healthy so we’re going to try to accommodate that.
Now, what I also think in the world of the new world of collaboration tools, I would say that more companies are moving towards surprise, telepresence technologies which again we’ve been talking about for a long time to make meetings more natural so that you can actually — because the people who are going to be virtual, who are going to be working from home, it makes them look like they’re actually in the room with you and so I think we’re going to be seeing the conference room evolve over time to make it look like people are there working together to move the T.V. out of the way or make it easier for people to see actual people rather than just see a slide deck being presented or other types of things being presented. I think that there are a lot of different creative options out there and I think that the law needs to look outside the legal industry to get that far. Dennis, anything to close it up?
Dennis Kennedy: No. I agree with you on that. I don’t know whether the profession can do that. I don’t know whether — a lot of people — not a lot of people, I’m hearing people say that it’s a real benefit to a job to be able to work remotely and that they will take a job if it’s remote versus one that they have to come into the office. So, things are evolving and I love this quote that says, “The best talent always has options” and I think this is one of these cases where it’s going to be a wait and see and in this job market outside of legal, legal is pretty tough right now but it’s more of a seller’s market for employees, I think you can ask more and there’s going to be a more of a wait and see and the younger generations are definitely having that approach. I don’t know how this command and control top-down older generation, telling younger generation what to do. I don’t know how long that can sustain.
Tom Mighell: All right. That’s enough on this subject. Let us move on to the next segment but before we do that, let’s take a quick 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 and it’s time for our new segment. Well, not so new anymore when we call it hot or not. We pick something people are talking about – well, in this case maybe the two of us are talking about and we argue whether we think that it’s hot or not.
We might agree but odds are that we won’t or maybe I have an ulterior motive in the topic we have for today but let’s get started. Tom, people have been curious about the progress we are making on our second brain projects. Is our progress hot or not?
Tom Mighell: Well, I would say first thank you Dennis for picking this topic because it is an ambush, you do have clearly have an ulterior motive. I would argue that it has something to do with the fact that you are off for the summer and I am working nights and days and weekends. So, I will say that that for me progress is not, it is cold as ice and the reason is is that it’s really about getting your second brain set up the way you want and I will confess, I am in a state of paralysis about notion.
There are so many different ways to design your second brain in notion. I can’t figure out what I want to do. For example, I am planning our first vacation after the last year and a half and there are a dozen articles, there’s even more YouTube videos talking about how great notion is for travel planning and every single one of those has a different way of structuring their travel planning area which is great that means you have a lot of freedom to do what you want that’s one of the great things about notion. There are infinite possibilities but you know there are times when I want a little less freedom and I want someone who just gives me the perfect thing to do and tells me what’s great and I just do it. Another example and I’ll use say for example. Here’s what I’ve been finding this week. How do you send an email to Notion, Dennis? Do you have you been trying to send emails to Notion at all?
Dennis Kennedy: It’s not my intended workflow.
Tom Mighell: As I’m travel planning, I got reservations from the hotel. I want to save that somewhere and if I’m travel planning in notion then I want to save that in Notion. Well, there’s no way to send emails to Notion even with the vaunted API, it is very difficult and challenging to forward emails to Notion. It’s not good at this where – frankly, Evernote and OneNote were a lot better. Now, if there any listeners out there who know how to do this then please contact me. I’ll be your friend forever. If I’m being honest, I keep going back in my mind whether I’d really like to use a tool like Obsidian or Roam Research because they just seem better tools for linking ideas together which is also very appealing to me but frankly the real reason I haven’t gotten anything done is I’m still working on my half of the next edition of our collaboration tools book when I am done with that, I will have no more excuses and will need to dive in head first so check back with me in a couple of months. Dennis, now is your time to gloat.
Dennis Kennedy: So, I took advantage of my personal quarterly offsite for June and one of the things I had on the agenda was the second brain project and decided that something I’m focusing on the rest of the summer but I actually made a lot of headway in a number of key areas and one was just simplification so I was thinking about the template thing because Notion gives you a ton of templates that other people have designed but you start to feel like they are somebody else’s idea and somebody else’s approach. So, I’ve got to a much simpler approach and I’ll probably create some of the things that I want to do and I’ve kind of prioritized some of the things that I want to do. When you talked about the sending emails, and I said it’s not part of my workflow, in this situation, you would describe I would just copy and paste the email into Notion. To me, it’s really simple, I don’t have to automate that and I know what I’m doing with it and I don’t have — totally elaborate thing is it’s just me one person working on that but I feel like I’ve now mapped out what the Notion second brain homepage looks like the things that I’m going to do next and some of the things that I’m going to try to pull in from other sources.
So, I actually feel my progress in a lot of ways is kind of hot. So, you’re right, Tom I did have an ulterior motive. Now, it’s time for our parting shots at one tip website or observation that you can use a second this podcast. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: I actually want to revisit one of the tips that I gave in the last podcast are 20 tips in 20 minutes and I want to talk about Microsoft Edge collections. It’s a sort of a brand-new feature in the Microsoft Edge browser. There’s a button in your toolbar, it’s for collections, you click on it and it opens up in the side and you can create new collections and you can save websites to it, you can save documents to it, you can do whatever you want and I would say that I had a lot of tabs open, I had a lot of tabs open when I’m doing my vacation research for hotels and restaurants and things like that and rather than keep them as tabs or as bookmarks in the browser, I just started a new collection, I named one Portland Hotels, I named one Oregon Restaurants and literally within three seconds, I had two collections full of items and my tabs were all gone and now they’re just sitting there waiting.
I could actually if I wanted to I could go and I can share them, I can share them to a — where did it go — I can share them — it tells me how I can share them and I can’t figure out how to do that anymore. I can send it to Excel, I can send it to OneNote, I can send it to Word, it’s very handy to be able to do this. I realize that what I’m describing to some people may sound a lot like just saving bookmarks but to me this seems so much more intuitive and so much faster and so much easily accessible than my bookmarks are that I’m really digging the collections right now.
Dennis Kennedy: For mine, I may have mentioned this before somewhere along the line but I’m really liking what Nikki Shaffer is doing with the legal tech hub. So, that’s legaltechnologyhub.com. I usually — when people say, I like to go to one place and learn a lot about legal tech and like all the different things that are out there and I always send them to the legal technology resource center of the ABA because I’m involved in it but I really like what Nikki has put together and is starting to build here and I just think it’s really a place to watch and it’s one of those things where I’ve had so many conversations with people saying, “Oh, there should be like one place that has everything about legal tech and we should figure out what to do with this and what platform and all this” and it’s just so great to see Nikki Shaffer just saying like, “Well, everyone else can talk about it, I’m just going to go do that” and she’s done that so definitely worth taking a look at legal tech hub.
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 the show. 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 shows along with transcripts. If you’d like to get in touch with us, reach out to us on LinkedIn or Twitter or leave us a voicemail. Remember, we haven’t had a voicemail segment in a long time. We’d love to have one. That phone number is (720) 441-6820. 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 like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple podcast and we’ll 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.
Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com