By Request: What Are Your Legal Tech New Year’s Resolutions?

Several people have asked me recently about my new year’s legal technology resolutions. I plan to publish soon my annual article on legal technology trends, but these questions were directed at my personal resolutions for using technology in my own practice.
I put the question on the back burner, but have been thinking about it. When I saw this recent post on speech recognition from St. Louis blawgger George Lenard, I decided to make and memorialize some legal technology resolutions for 2007.
These are my resolutions. Your mileage may vary. Readers may find it interesting to see where my own focus is at these days.
1. Make Speech Recognition the Primary Way I Write New Material. I’ve probably dabbled in speech recognition off and on for maybe the last ten years. The experiments have had their ebbs and flows. Like many other technologies, speech recognition requires a continuing effort to engrain it as a habit. I’ve always gotten distracted from the experiment. So far in 2007, I’ve decided to use my Tablet PC as a dedicated speech recognition machine and added RAM to it. In my experience, the crucial link in the speech recognition process is microphone placement. I’ve gotten a new headset that will keep the mike in a relatively fixed position. Next up, starting to make a habit of creating first drafts by voice. A reasonable goal: creating all first drafts of blog posts by dictation by the end of March.
2. Use OneNote and MindManager for Notes and Mind Maps. I really like OneNote. Unfortunately, I’m almost the only one who I know who uses it, and I’m always in a Word world. I’ve used mind maps for many years, and still reach for a piece of paper to create first drafts of mind maps – that’s a habit that I’ve engrained. I realized a while ago that taking notes and drawing sketches in OneNote was much better than putting them on paper and scanning them as PDFs later to eliminate the paper. Similarly, I’ve really underutilized MindManager – I think it can take my mind mapping to a completely new level. Here, some of the projects and efforts I’m involved in will put some constraints on this resolution. However, I think that the simple process of re-creating some mind maps in MindManager and rewriting some notes in OneNote rather than scanning the paper will help me get the hang of this.
3. Explore the Convergence of Macs and Windows. As many of you know, I’m using a MacBook Pro as part of a special program for lawyers that Apple is doing. The first two of my resolutions really focus on using my Tablet PC as a Tablet. For other computing, I want to experiment more with the Mac. I’ve had a great experience with the Mac so far (I also used a Mac in the late ’80s and early ’90s), but I plan to did much further into that. As I’ll blog about soon, I’m pleased that some of the feedback from the Mac program (including, specifically some of my feedback) has been turned into some excellent educational material for those converting from Mac to Windows. I like writing on the Mac these days – at least when I can get it away from our daughter, who really likes it.
4. Education, Education, Education. You can’t stand still – there’s so much for me to learn out there. I always pick a few new things to learn every year. In 2007, I want to delve deeper into a few areas: Microsoft Sharepoint, collaboration tools, digital recording tools, and probably Office 2007. Oh, yeah, and working on the notions of Law 2.0 (including Litigation 2.0 (look for Matt Homann to be making some announcements on that soon)).
5. Updating and Sprucing Up My Blog and Website. I don’t think I’m up for a new redesign, but I want to update a lot of the content and resource pages. It’s always easier to focus on writing new blog posts than doing basic blocking and tackling on your website. After a while, you realize that you need to pay some attention to the rest of the website.
So, what are your legal tech resolutions for 2007?
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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Comments

  1. John S. Kennedy says

    I’m new to mind mapping, but an experienced school teacher introduced me to CMap Tools, a concept-mapping app. It’s free and available at http://cmap.ihmc.us/
    SourceForge also has a mind mapping tool – again, free. It’s FreeMind, available at http://freemind.sourceforge.net.
    I can’t compare them to the tools Dennis uses as I have no experience with those.
    John