Is the complete Microsoft 365 experience worth your while? A lot of lawyers really aren’t aware of all of its capabilities, and the 365 universe just keeps expanding. Dennis and Tom help listeners gain a broader understanding of the possibilities available through this software and its particularly useful applications in legal practice.
Later, the “Hot or Not?” segment is back as the guys take the temp of Windows 11 and whether you should jump on the upgrade train.
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, Posh Virtual Receptionists, Colonial Surety Company, and ServeNow.
Tom Mighell: Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors. Colonial Surety Company Bonds and Insurance, ServeNow and Posh Virtual Receptionists.
Intro: Web 2.0, innovation, trend, collaboration, software, metadata. Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to the Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode 306 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we looked into the relatively new phenomenon of Legal Tech and Innovation Labs and Programs in law schools, a topic of special interest to me and maybe to you, too after you listen to that episode. In this episode, we want to revisit Microsoft 365 and consider the home Microsoft 365 Stack, which you might find is much bigger than you thought. Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be talking about the constantly growing universe of Microsoft 365. And the second segment, we’ll stick with Microsoft and consider whether moving to Windows 11 is hot or not. And as usual, finish off with our parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can start using the second that this podcast is over. But first up, Microsoft 365, the whole stack. We talk a lot about Microsoft 365 on this podcast. We are both big fans. I know a lot of our listeners are subscribers, but we are always finding out that a lot of lawyers are still surprised to learn just how powerful the suite of tools has become and is becoming, and many lawyers just aren’t aware that some of the tools even exist. So, we thought we’d spend some time diving into what’s available. Why lawyer should care? What some of our favorites are? What you should be paying attention to? So, Dennis, why don’t you get started? What surprised you most or what surprises you most about the Microsoft, current Microsoft 365 stack?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I think there really are a lot of applications in there. I went into my Michigan State University Microsoft 365 account, and there was a one list of apps that had 25 of them. And then I scroll down and there was an all-apps list that had 32 items. Now, some of these are clearly specialized academic apps, like one called Class Notebook. But 25 different apps, it’s a lot more than I expected. In my home subscription to Microsoft 365, I saw 16 apps. So, I think just that sheer number is what will surprise most people because you may just think that Microsoft 365 is just the standard office apps. And I guess, Tom, that’s one thing that maybe we should explain, is people use the terms Office 365 and Microsoft 365 interchangeably. So, what’s the explanation for that?
Tom Mighell: Actually, I think Microsoft would prefer now that you not use the terms interchangeably. I think they would prefer that Microsoft 365 be the term of preference moving forward. And here’s why. Although, I’m not sure that I have this answer 100% myself, which is history-wise we are all familiar I think with Microsoft Office, which has been Word and PowerPoint and Outlook and Excel. I think Microsoft was hesitant to get away from the Branding of the Office. It’s a popular Office suite. Although the products were doing so much more than that. So, for a while, it was called Office 365. Then in 2020, Microsoft went all-in and officially changed the branding to Microsoft 365. So, frankly, if you look for Office 365 on the internet, you will not find references at least from a Microsoft standpoint around Microsoft — that has that branding. So that’s the Microsoft 365 and I’m going to say M365 when I’m talking about it throughout here because it’s just an easier shortcut, is really the correct branding for what you see here. But if you want, if you want the free online versions of the standard Office Tools, because you can still get Word, Excel, PowerPoint. You can get all of those for free. You can create free documents online. You can get a free account at office.com, not Office 365. It’s office.com.
Now, when I go to office.com, it actually puts me into my Microsoft 365 account. So, if you go to office.com and you don’t have an account, it will take you to a page where it allows you to sign up for that free account. But I would say that in general, Microsoft would prefer that you not use Office 365. I think Microsoft 365 is the preferred branding moving forward.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, and I think it’s part of the Microsoft tradition, especially like with Word, Excel, and things like that, to make it as difficult as possible for you to like a normal Google search on the terms and find what you want, because the naming is so generic. That editorial comment aside. I think that what’s interesting about this whole topic, Tom, is it gets us back to one of our main podcast teams over the years, is that you might already own apps and functionality that you want and not realize that you have it, and you might be sitting around going, “Oh, I wish I could do this or that or I could do this better.” Microsoft 365 with your account, you may already have those things in the different apps. And so, that’s one thing that I think is great. So, I talked about the numbers I found, Tom, but how would the average listener find out what they have in Office 365? I’ve shown it’s not the same for everybody, but how do you figure out what you have and then maybe how do you make changes to your account?
Tom Mighell: So, to see what you have in your account, and Dennis, you say that you have 16 apps in your personal account. I looked at mine. I have a business standard account, and I have somewhere around I think 25 or 26, no, 29 apps. So, I’m guessing that the difference between my account and your Michigan State account is that there are some educational apps that are in there that are not part of what I have. So, I’ve got, it’s a business standard account, close to 30 apps that are part of it. To see what you have, two ways to do that. Assuming that you already have a subscription, go to either office.com or portal.office.com. You will get a homepage there, that will be I think an extremely useful page because it’ll show you all the documents you’ve recently edited. It’s got anything you’ve got there that’s recent. You can get to it from that page without having to open up any application whatsoever.
But if you want to see what apps you have, click on the grid, it’s called the App Launcher. It’s in the upper left corner. It looks like a big grid of four by four. It will show you the primary list of apps. But if you’ve got more, there will be a link that says All Apps. So, click on that and that will give you the entire listing of everything available to you under your plan and it’s not just apps that Microsoft 365 provides you. If you happen to connect a third-party app to your Microsoft 365 account, it is going to show those as well. So, for example, I have links in my list to mirror the brainstorming tool. I have one to Zapier because I’ve been playing around with connecting that to something. And so, I have those that are listed too. So, it tries to give you not just the apps that Microsoft provides you, but anything that might be connected to it as well.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, and so I think that the point is that your mileage may vary depending on the plan that you have. So, you want to understand that and that will — Some of the things we will talk about in the rest of this episode, you might or might not have. The other thing that can happen is that if you’re in an organization, some of these apps might not be enabled. You might think well, I get this product as part of the plan and it’s not available. Or you could see that you have something like Microsoft Project. It could be kind of like a premium product but may not be. Actually, you may have to have specific permission to be able to use it in your organization. So, there are some things that you need to think about along those lines. I like to think of these apps in terms of categories. You know, rightly or wrongly, I have five categories. So, there’s the core apps, which are the Office programs, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook. Things like call Helper Apps, Power Apps, Collaboration Apps and Experimental Apps.
The core apps as you said, almost needs no explanation. That’s your standard office program. So, as you dig deeper, you got to find these other things. That first category for me is helper apps. Tom, do you want to take that one or should I talk that one through?
Tom Mighell: I think it’s interesting that you categorize them that way. I will only quibble with you in two ways. One is that to me, in a sense, every app in this whole portfolio is a collaboration app, with the exception of one or two. Every tool has collaboration features that are part of it. But I think that in order to divide it up and think about the way that you’re doing is helpful, because it achieves specific purposes. The other thing to think about and as we start talking about some of these is that some of the apps sound similar, or like they might do the same thing. So, many of you say, well, what’s the difference between OneDrive and SharePoint? Or what’s the difference between To Do and Planner.
The basic answer to that is that Microsoft is trying to provide both individual and group tools to you. So, think about OneDrive as your personal storage, SharePoint as your group or collaboration storage, and then To Do as your personal task manager and Planner as the group or collaboration task manager. So, they each have a place. They each are there and depending on whether you want to use them or not, they’re both useful. They have different features as a result. But that’s the other way I would think about. Some of these is that some are designed with you in mind as the user, but some of them or most of them are designed with collaboration features in mind. So, do you want to start Dennis, to talk about Helper or?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I’ll talk about Helper, because I think there’s also a little bit of notion sometimes of overlap in some of these two. So, with the Helper Apps, my examples are the To Do app, the Planner app, the Whiteboard app, which is really surprise — one that surprises people because you’re trying to figure out like, oh, what kind of — I’d love to have a Whiteboard tool. I’m trying to look at these ones that are out there. It’s a little bit complicated. If you have to do things and you go like oh, wait, there’s a Whiteboard already built into Microsoft obviously have. And there’s a great calendar appointment app called Bookings where you can open your calendar and allow people to book appointments with people typically have used a third-party app. So, like To Do, there’s a task lists in Outlook. I just think that To Do for many people works a little bit more like a To Do list and it sort of buried within Outlook. So, I think you have these little almost like productivity, low productivity apps, but these Helper apps I think are great so you can get a better To Do list, the Planner tool, as Tom mentioned, and the Whiteboard. And then that the calendar booking, the Bookings thing is great. That’s really helpful when you can just let people make appointments at the times you open up on your calendar.
Tom Mighell: One of the things that’s helpful also that I think Microsoft does is, is that it makes some of these tools available to you in ways that would be useful because of the type of app they are. So, for example, To Do, the To Do List app, by the way, it’s based on an older tool that you may be familiar with called Vendor List. Vendor List was something that Microsoft bought many years ago. A lot of people were unhappy about that purchase. So, Microsoft has really tried very hard to incorporate as much of Vendor List into To Do. I’m not sure how successful they are. I still prefer To Do as To Do personally, so I don’t use it that often. But you can download a separate To Do app to your phone. You can have it on your tablet as a separate app. You don’t have to go and access office.com to get to your To Do List. You have a separate way. So, in a sense, its separate, but it’s connected to Microsoft 365.
Similarly, Planner, one of the nice things about Microsoft 365 is that you can get to all of your Planner Tasks at tasks.office.com. If you go to that website, that will take you. Let’s say that you’re a member of a bunch of different groups. We set our teams up at work based on our clients and I set up a Planner board for each one of the clients so I can track the To Dos for each client that we have. And at Tasks, all of those boards come together so you can see what are the tasks that I have across all of my clients or all of my projects or all of whatever and however you set that up.
So, it’s nice that it’s separate and apart. You can get the Planner within a project or a team, or you can look at everything all together in one place. So, I think that’s one of the nice things that Microsoft does, is that it gives you options on how you access some of these tools either as part of other tools or separate and standalone depending on what they’re useful for.
Dennis Kennedy: The next category I have is what I call Power Apps. I chose this because two of the tools, one is called Power Automate, one is called Power BI. So, it’s just a natural title for the category. Those would be two examples forms which allows you to put together forms. And like Google Forms to do surveys and those sorts of things and keep the data, there are some other apps that are analytics. Two I noticed. One called Viva Insights and one called Delve that allow you to do some data analytics. I’d probably throw those into that power category, but these are the things where you can automate and you can do, actually, I would say more computational type apps. I think that power is a good word, but the sort of forms and a little bit of data analytics.
Tom Mighell: I totally agree, and they each have kind of a different formats. So, Power Automate is really like a Zapier or an IFTTT, which is a workflow tool. So, it helps you to automate workflows throughout the organization. Incredibly helpful. I use it all the time. Power Apps is how you can build applications to do that analysis. You can build databases from within Microsoft 365. Tools like Delve and Viva have slightly different angles. Delve can tell you what you and your team are working on. It shows you access to documents that you have. I mean, shows you statistics about documents that you have access to. It doesn’t give you access to other things that other people are working on unless you also have access to it. But it helps tell you kind of what’s going on with the documents that you are working with other members of your team. And then Viva Insights is almost a little bit more of a wellness tool because it tells you how many meetings you’re in per week. It helps you schedule focus time during the week, and it’s really looking out for making you a more productive user. So, they’re all approaching analytics from a slightly different way. I think those are all really interesting parts of the Stack.
Dennis Kennedy: So, the next category, I called collaboration and not surprisingly I agree with Tom that there definitely is a collaboration theme to all of Microsoft 365. But these things in this bucket I have Microsoft Teams, obviously, OneNote, which is kind of a core program, but I’ve always felt that OneNote makes the most sense when you’re collaborating with people. There’s an app called Lists, OneDrive, which is sort of your online hard drive but it’s so easy to share. If you’re in an organization that uses SharePoint, and then in certain plans and in certain organizations, you have Microsoft Project, which is a tool that’s commonly used for project management.
Tom Mighell: Yeah. Project is available by separate subscription that sometimes your firm will buy for you. Sometimes you have to buy yourself if you don’t have it. It is not part of the standard offering. You would need, that will be a separate add-on. I won’t say much more about it. I think this is really, to me, the core function of Microsoft 365, which is the collaboration abilities and we’ve talked so much about a lot of these tools that I’m not sure I have anything to add about these here.
Dennis Kennedy: And then I had a final category, which I resisted the temptation called Miscellaneous to cover the other things. I sort of call it experimental because there are some apps in there like Sway, which in a certain sense kind of falls into the presentation category, I guess. But there’s some other things out there, and probably Viva and Delve are example also of these things. It appears that Microsoft is trying some new things and seeing how they work within the world of Microsoft 365. I don’t know, Tom, is that experimental a good way to categorize?
Tom Mighell: Well, my own quibble there is that I don’t believe Microsoft is a company that actually experiments on anything publicly. I think that they want to do everything behind the scenes and give you somewhat fully of all services. But, to that extent, to a certain extent, and I’m actually going to talk in the next segment about some apps that I think are closer to experimental that haven’t even come out yet.
But I think to a certain extent because Microsoft 365 is constantly evolving. They are updating it on an iterative basis. It is you’re getting new features added literally every week. So, there’s an element of experimental in a lot of the tools that you have. And I think that the ones you described are things that are works in progress, and they may not be things that people are ready to work on but they are things that Microsoft finds interesting, and they are constantly working to improve and add new features to it.
Dennis Kennedy: I thought maybe we just kind of compare notes on which apps did we, you know, are just starting to play with maybe interest as the most or there’s sort of outside the core. And so, for me, really interested in Bookings and allowing, kind of take myself out of the process of setting up appointments. So, that’s what I’m looking at the Microsoft Forms. Like I say for surveys and other things that in the past I might have used Google Forms for. Planner as a lightweight project management sort of tool is interesting to me. And then the Whiteboard tool. I’m just looking in teaching and otherwise to have like a really simple whiteboard that people can use. So, those probably are the four I would say that I have the most interest in at the moment that I would play around with.
Tom Mighell: So, I’m going to take a little bit of a different tack and I’m going to talk about what I think is one of the single most important applications in the whole stack, but it’s only useful to you if you are probably a small firm, or if you have, if you’re in a larger firm, but you have access to the administration panel. What’s nice about M365 is that if you are an owner, if you have that certain level of permission, the administration area gives you complete control over your entire M365 account, and it really is extremely powerful. You can manage users, you can manage teams, you can manage groups. I have to say, my account that I have my business standard is just for me personally, it’s because I like the tool, I like to use it but occasionally I’ll have problems. The customer support from right within the admin panel is tremendous. It’s just me. I’m just one guy. I’m not a big company calling up for support, and I get great technical support from right within the panel. I love it.
There are administrative control centers for SharePoint, for compliance, for security, for exchange, for your email. If you have a bigger license, there are five licenses, you have access to Advanced e-discovery, where you can place legal holes on everything in your M365 environment. You can conduct searches and review information if that ever becomes an issue or you have to place a legal hold on your information. If you take a look at the security area, we’ve talked in the past about the Microsoft Secure Score, where you can see how secure your information is and it will give you specific steps to do that. And then the health, the service health area. If you feel like something is working a little sluggishly, you can go to the health area. It will tell you the health of each one of Microsoft services. And what I particularly like about that area is that there’s a message center in there. The message center is something that is updated. There are probably 30 to 40 messages a week about new features that are coming out. And I religiously visit that once a week to see what are the new things that Microsoft is doing and that’s where I get most of my new information to see what’s coming out.
In terms of apps that you may more likely use, Power Automate is one of my favorite ones because you can automate something that you are already doing in a way that’s probably not very productive. So, someone in your firm can start a workflow to review a document. You get a notification when it’s your turn and then the next person gets a notification when it’s their turn, and the document stays in place the entire time. It doesn’t go anywhere until everybody reviews it. For me, I’ve set up very simple automation because I’m not a To Do or a Planner user outside for my personal stuff. I like to manage all my tasks in Todoist. Anytime somebody in the company assigns me a task in Planner, I get that. That task shows up for me in Todoist automatically. And so, I’m able to manage it. I like it that way. But here’s the deal and let me go on a little bit of a, not really a ramp, but extended commentary. Microsoft is doing what it did. It is doing what it did since the time that it robbed the Netscape browser of its market share 25 years ago. It finds a tool that’s popular. It builds one of its own and it gives it away for free. And the thing is not all the tools that Microsoft offers as part of Microsoft 365 are as powerful as some third-party alternatives that are out there.
I think that Todoist is more powerful than To Do or Planner. I think Trello is more powerful than Planner is for example. I think that Calendly is probably a better bookings tool than Bookings happens to be. You would say that OpenText or NetDocuments are better document management systems than SharePoint. But here’s the compelling argument. Maybe you don’t need all the bells and whistles of any of those tools. That will cost you a whole lot more than Microsoft 365, which you are going to need anyway because you need Word, Excel PowerPoint and Outlook. Microsoft is counting on that. If you need the power, then you can and should justify the expense of buying or using those other tools. But a lot of these tools are just good enough to get things done. We work with so many companies who say why should we invest millions of dollars on getting a document management system and where we can make SharePoint work for all of our document management needs. So many companies are doing that these days because it is good enough to do that sort of stuff, which is why I think Microsoft succeeds here.
So, the only other thing that I’ll quickly add is that there’s some new apps that are coming up I’m really excited about. One is called Fluid Components where you can actually work with somebody in real time and collaborate. You can create something in there and the person who’s on the other line can edit while you’re editing. It’s almost like Google Wave maybe. And they actually are also introducing a new tool called Loop, which if you look at some of the critics out there say looks a lot like Notion. So, some people are thinking that Microsoft is trying to drive Notion out of business by giving people a similar tool called Loop for free. That’s not out yet, but we’ll see a little bit later. Dennis, sorry for the extended talk, but I had a lot to say.
Dennis Kennedy: No, I think that you made a great point there. I think that in a lot of cases they are lightweight. So, there’s not all the features that you get in some of these dedicated tools. So, I think that’s important. You can kind of experiment a little bit with these things. The other thing that struck me with what you were saying is that in some cases, your IT department will not let you use these other apps. So, you would say I liked it. They Calendly, they got like, no, you can’t do that or we need six months to review it. And you have Bookings right there and you can accomplish let’s say 80% of what you need or maybe 100% of all your sake. I just want to open up my calendar and let people put appointments in there and get notified. So, I think that’s the other thing.
I also think they’re just great way to get started in some areas. So, Tom, talked about Power Automate, to do some simple automations. I would say Forms is another way that you can do some things to collect information. Some of the simple project management tools can help you manage projects and see what’s happening in workflow and with deadlines and stuff. And some of the simple analytics, things are great. So, I think it’s one of those things where I can get a taste of something, have something that’s reasonably works, fairly easy to learn. And if I outgrow it, I’ll grow it, and then I can make the case to go to a more sophisticated product.
Tom Mighell: Well, we’re both bullish on Microsoft 365. If you have it, then you should be taking a look at it. There’s no excuse not to start experimenting on some of these tools. We definitely think it’s worth it. So, we look forward to hearing from you on your experimentation with the different M365 tools that are out there. All right, before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.
Male: Wish you could get a quote and purchase an appeal, trustee, estate or any other court or fiduciary bond quickly online? Colonial Surety Company has every bond you need and is a direct insurer that’s U.S. Treasury listed, licensed in all 50 states and territories and rated A excellent by AM Best, so you can be confident it’s a trusted resource. Get started at colonialsurety.com/podcast.
Male: Looking for a process server you can trust? Servenow.com is a nationwide network of local pre-screened 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 pre-screen process server today. Visit www.servenow.com.
Female: As a lawyer, ever wish you could be in two places at once?
You could take a call when you’re in court, capture lead during a meeting. That’s where Posh comes in. We are live virtual receptionist who answer and transfer your calls so you never miss an opportunity and the Posh app lets you control when your receptionist steps in. So, if you can’t answer, Posh can. And if you’ve got it, Posh is just a tap away. With Posh, you can save as much as 40% off your current service provider’s rates. Start your free trial today at posh.com.
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 another segment of Hot or Not. We pick a tech topic in the news and decide whether it is hot or not. We’ll probably not agree in our assessments but it’s a fun way to hear our perspectives on tech topics. This time, our topic is moving to Windows 11. Tom, what’s your thermometer reading on this one?
Tom Mighell: Well, the thermometer gave me two readings this time. if you’re an early adopter like me, then moving to Windows 11 is pretty hot. Why not upgrade to something more modern, more sophisticated, more secure, with more bells and whistles. I think that there are some, you know, we were talking about this before we recorded it. I think that a lot of the new bells and whistles are more evolutionary than revolutionary. There’s nothing just must have, but here are the ones that are interesting to me. One, new look and feel. I like the new look and feel. They put some new sounds in there when you hit the backspace button and you come to the end of something, it used to give a sound. Now, it gives a completely much more calming sound that I really love.
You can now run Android apps on your Windows device. If you’re an Android user, if that’s useful to you, you can install and run an Android app, which I’ve actually tried to do. It’s not quite ready for primetime, but that isn’t very interesting feature to me. You now can install widget so you can put whether or news widgets in and see what’s going on. You can create different virtual desktops. So, if you want to create a desktop for work, a good desktop for personal. If you happen to be a gamer in your spare time, you can create a separate desktop for gaming and you can easily switch between those desktops so you’re keeping those programs and other things separate from each other.
One of the things that I really like is that they have something new called Snap Layouts, that if you hover your mouse over, that button in the middle, if you put the top of every window, there’s one that minimizes, there’s one that maximizes and then there’s the X. If you hover your mouse over the maximize button, Snap Layout appears. There are six preset layouts for your applications, and I’m using one of them for this recording right now. It has three different places. They’re divided up equally. You hit that one and then it’ll ask you what do you want in your first one. I chose my recording program audacity. What do you want in your second one? I chose Zoom. What we’re talking to each other on and what do you want in their third one? I chose Word, which is where our scripts are, and it immediately put them in their right place and I didn’t have to resize them or have them overlap. I really like it.
Anyway. All right, so that was way too long on the features. I’ll come back here and say on the other hand, upgrading to a new window system does have some qualifications. First is the hardware issue. If you have a brand-new computer, it’s no sweat. But if your computer is older than 2019, your Hardware may not be strong enough. In fact, if you have a seventh generation or earlier Intel processor, you can find that out by going into your settings and looking for it. You won’t really even get the option to upgrade. I don’t think Microsoft even let you have that. There is a way to force installation even if you have older equipment, but it’s a lot more manual. It’s complicated. It’s not something I recommend. There are always features that are removed in Windows 10 that you won’t see in 11, so that may be hard.
In the past, bugs are a reason they usually say let’s hold off until they’ve ironed all the bugs out. I have to say, I’ve been using Windows 11 on my home computer for several months with very few issues. I’m really not having any problems. So, I don’t think that the bug excuse is a reason not to do it. The good news is Microsoft isn’t forcing you to move to Windows 11 anytime soon. If you really aren’t comfortable doing it, the major feature update is supposed to roll out in July of 2022. So, from about seven months, six months from when we’re recording right now. But if you’re an early adopter like me, I think the temperature is hot. If you’re not quite sure, if you’ve got a separate computer to play around with, maybe install on that computer and leave your work computer for other things. Otherwise, I would say the temperature is perfect. The water’s fine, come on in, but don’t feel obligated if you’re not ready. All right. I spent more time talking than I should have, Dennis. How do you feel about it?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I’m just like a little cooler than you are, but I think the temperature is a little bit varied on this one because for me, when it comes to new version of Windows, I’m like everything else. I like to upgrade everything and update things as fast as I can for security reasons alone. So, generally, I’m running the latest and greatest. So, that’s one reason to do it. I think if we are in the corporate type of environment, your IT department is going to tell you when you’re going to upgrade. And so, you might not even be allowed to upgrade. I think if you have a nuke, if you’re buying a new Windows computer, did you just get Windows 11 on it. I wouldn’t even think about doing anything else other than that. And then if you are doing an upgrade, I just think it’s one of those things where you say, dude, how much time is going to be involved, which is usually much more than you think, what is the work you need to do to do that just in case something you get a little blip or something.
So, you definitely back up and do all those sorts of things. But it’s sort of like do I have the time to do it? I think the natural times are when you get a new computer, just go ahead and do that then. But I’m intrigued and as you move to a different version of an operating system, sort of the best programmers continue to work on that one, and they gradually phase people out of the older systems. So, it becomes the more secure place and the place to be and a better performance. There are definitely performance enhancements in Windows 11. So, I think it’s very varied, Tom. I’m with you. I think we’re on — the warmer side but I may not be quite as warm with you because it’s going to be ice cold if your IT department tells you, you can’t do anything. So, now, it’s time for a parting shot, that one tip, website or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So, I’m actually going to stick with Windows 11 as my tip. One of the other features that they have is something that we’re seeing iOS users as you’re getting out on your iPhone and your iPad and Android users too, which are what they call focus sessions. So, in Windows 11, if you pull up your clock in Windows 11, you now have a new option to create a focus session to help you focus. So, you set a focus time. You want to focus for 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. When you get to 45 minutes, it starts to assign you a break saying you need to take a break if you’re going to work for at least 45 minutes. It will track that daily practice for, you can gamify, you can see what your streak is, and you can sign in with your M365 account and connect it to your To Do.
So, you can say, I want to focus on these tasks during my focus session. You can also enhance your focus by connecting to your Spotify account and listen to music. So, I think it’s nice to see Microsoft is joining the whole focus productivity bandwagon. I think it’s something worth trying out.
Dennis Kennedy: Here’s you pretend you’re focusing when you’re really just looking at Twitter every two minutes?
Tom Mighell: All focus tools will let you do that.
Dennis Kennedy: My parting shot is, I mentioned JetPens before, which is just a cool little company that does all kinds of stationery products. So, pens, pencils, notebooks, those sorts of things, primarily Japanese, but other types as well. So, one of the things they do are these guides to like you’re one of the best pans, one of the best pencils. But the one I really liked, and I know Tom would like as well, is they have a guide for left-handed pens. And so, if you’re left-handed, like people talk about their favorite fountain pens, Dry Erase is another bad one. If you’re left-handed, you just get that ink all over your hand. So, the fact that they’ve identified these pens that are really well suited to left-handers is great. Link in the show notes take a tour around the side. They do great videos and the guides are great. It will introduce you to lots of things that you didn’t know that you need, that will make your life much easier.
Tom Mighell: So that wraps 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 the Legal Talk Network sites page for this show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site, where you can find archives of all of our previous episodes along with transcripts. If you want to get in touch with us, you can reach out to us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Remember, we love to get those voicemails. Give us a voicemail at (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 podcasts 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 Lawyers 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 the Legal Talk Network
Podcast transcription by Tech-Synergy.com