Using Word 2007 and Google Docs to Collaborate on Documents

Tom Mighell and I thought that the subject of collaborating on documents was so important that we devoted an entire section, with several chapters, to it in our new book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together.
I noted two good articles recently that give a good introduction to topics we cover in detail in our book.
The first Is Brian Zeve’s article “Smarter, Faster Ways for Law Firms to Create and Share Documents” in the latest issue of Law Practice Today (many other good articles in this issue, too). Zeve highlights some of the collaboration features in Word 2007. You will want to familiarize yourself with these features if you will be moving to Word 2007 this year or are noticing that Word 2003 is now 5 years old and you want to put together good reasons to push your organization to Word 2007. The article also links to a Microsoft white paper on Word 2007 for the legal community.
The second is “Google Docs Lives to Share the Words.” We not only used Google Docs as a prime example of a document collaboration tool in our book, but we also used it to collaborate on writing the book. The article summarizes the way Google Docs is built for a connected environment.
There is nothing more fundamental to the work of lawyers today than working together on documents and no more necessary skill-set than document collaboration skills. Understanding the available tools is essential. These two articles do a nice job of introducing some of the key tools and taking some first steps. When you are ready to go further, our book will be waiting for you.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Join the book’s Facebook Group here.
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Dennis Kennedy’s Links of the Week – April 27, 2008

In this week’s episode:
The Links
The Gift that Keeps on Giving: Spam Turns 30
Secretary of Defense Honors John Boyd-The How To?
This Thing About Default Margins
Code, Law, and Spontaneous Order
The world changed last week, with no headlines to mark the news
Lawyers, Law Students and Facebook
Notes on “Evaluating SharePoint from a Business Perspective”
Death of social networking for lawyers is greatly exaggerated
5 Ideas to Come Up with Blog Content from Your Daily Life
Taking Mashups Deeper into the Enterprise
Kindle – preliminary review
Kai-Fu Lee on Cloud Computing
How to Leave the Perfect Voicemail
Towards diversity in law firms
Who Aren’t You
Hollow States and Foreclosure
Negotiating from a Position of Weakness
Web 2.0: Time to Tackle BIG CHALLENGES
Duplicate data: the bane of cloud computing?
When People Don’t Want to Change
10 Things To Do Before Your Speech That Will Take The Nervousness Out Of You
The Reality of Depending on True Fans
Prices at the Gas Pump ‘Round the World
Do today’s new collaboration tools make it harder for IT to wrangle corporate information, or easier?
Easy Ways to Go Green with Your Computer
Smarter, Faster Ways for Law Firms to Create and Share Documents
Google Docs Lives to Share the Words
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This Week’s Additions to 52 Books in 52 Weeks:
The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

The Rolling Stone Interviews, by Jann Wenner and Joe Levy

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Join the book’s Facebook Group here.
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Happy 4th Anniversary Wishes to Kevin O’Keefe and LexBlog

I enjoyed reading Kevin O’Keefe’s post tonight marking the fourth anniversary of LexBlog.
Kevin has done so much to bring blogging to lawyers and I’ve enjoyed watching the steps he’s taken all along the way.
In fact, one of my favorite memories from the early days of lawyer blogging involves Kevin. I had known Kevin for a while and always admired what he did with his Prairielaw site.
In the early days of LexBlog (and Kevin’s blogging), Kevin got in touch with me to talk about blogging and what he was working on. I remember that we finally got the chance to talk on the phone during a layover I had in the Kansas City airport over a terrible cell phone connection. I ended up talking with Kevin until the last possible minute before my flight. I really liked Kevin’s ideas, his plan, and the clarity of his vision for bringing blogging to lawyers. I must admit that he was much more of an optimist than I was. He’s definitely transformed the world of lawyer blogging in great ways.
As Kevin says in his post . . . to the next four years.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Join the book’s Facebook Group here.
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Dennis Kennedy’ Links of the Week – April 20, 2008

In this week’s episode:
The Links
How to Blog Like a Canadian – A great primer for new bloggers and a great reminder for longtime bloggers.
Six Habits of Highly Effective Mentees
Is IT Collaboration an Unnatural Act?
The Talent Era
118,000 lawyer profiles at LinkedIn – Note: if you are a regular and would like to add me as a connection, please make the invitation and indicate in the message that you are a reader of this blog.
Do Nice People Make Good Leaders?
Danny Federici 1950-2008
Harrison Owen tells us how he came to invent Open Space Technology
Georgetown Conference on the Future of the Global Law Firm: First-Hand Report
There is a Difference between Having Technology, Using Technology and Dedicating Yourself to a Process Utilizing Technology
Why Blogging is Different
America’s Most Dangerous Enemy
Basecamp recommended in a book published by the American Bar Association
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This Week’s Additions to 52 Books in 52 Weeks:
Bathroom, by Suzanne Ardley

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Join the book’s Facebook Group here.
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Collaboration Tools Book Report

I’ve gotten some inquiries about the new book: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together. Let address some of the questions.
First, though, I wanted to say how happy Tom and I have been with the response to the book. The book took a lot of work and it’s great to hear from readers – makes it all seem worthwhile.
We were thrilled to get the recent comments from law practice management guru Patrick J. McKenna, who has written some very influential books, including Herding Cats, First Among Equals, and First 100 Days: Transitioning A New Managing Partner. Patrick writes:

There is an old adage that one can either work hard or work smart . . . you have a choice. And we would all choose working smart, but once having made that obvious decision, you then have to figure out how. The good news is that Kennedy and Mighell have now produced the most comprehensive playbook, whether you are a solo, large law firm practitioner or working within a legal department, for how to choose and use the right technology tools to ‘smartly’ collaborate. And for those who know that collaboration is a profoundly human endeavor, the authors identify all kinds of practical and cultural issues to watch for. This is one of those few texts that will be dog-eared throughout, from continued reference.

Evan Schaeffer, one of the most influential lawyer bloggers and a collaborator with Tom and me on some my favorite e-discovery articles says:

No matter what the size or scope of your project, this book will get you started. Sections include the following:
* Collaboration on Cases, Transactions, and Projects
* Commonly Used Collaboration Platforms
* Developing a Collaboration Strategy
Since my own practice includes many joint ventures with differing plaintiffs’ firm, each involving a single distinct groups of cases such as asbestos or Vioxx, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard Kennedy and Mighell were writing it. (The three of us have collaborated ourselves from time to time.) Book finally in hand, I’m sure I’ll find new and more effective ways to communicate with the lawyers on my team.
I’m especially having fun working my way through Appendix 3, which lists “tools by category,” with web links to resources for conference calls, email, extranets, instant messaging, metadata removal tools, online meeting tools, online office tools, open-source software, PDF creation and management, project management, redlining tools, screen-sharing meeting tools, SharePoint tools, high-end platforms, wikis, file sharing, mind mapping, and social networking.
That’s quite a list–which gives you an indication of the breadth and scope of Kennedy and Mighell’s work. Recommended.

We’d love to get your comments as well.
The most common question we get:
Why is your book only available for pre-order on Amazon and other online bookstores and e-commerce sites?
We’re agonizing over this one, but there will be a delay before the book becomes available at those locations. It sounds like it will become available this summer. The good news is that the book is available RIGHT NOW at the ABA Bookstore with available discounts. Note especially the great discounts for orders of 100 or more copies. ;-)
Can I get a sneak peak at the book before I buy it?
Yes. Both the Table of Contents and Chapter 1 are available as PDF downloads on the catalog page for the book.
When will the companion website for the book go live?
Uh, Tom, could you answer that one? Seriously, though, it looks like the site, which might be better described as a blogsite, will be live in a few weeks. I think that people will like it.
Are there Facebook or LinkedIn groups for the book?
Yes indeed. Details here. BTW, if you are the first one to help me figure out how to find the URL for the LinkedIn group, I’ll give you a mention and a link on this blog.
Is the book for US lawyers only?
Collaboration is global. We look at many Internet tools. Interestingly, our first article based on the book just appeared in print in the Law Society of Ireland’s Law Society Gazette.
Is the book only for lawyers?
Tom and I wrote the book with a broader audience in mind, but with a focus on lawyers. We’ve been pleased at how consistently readers are telling us that they see that the book has great information not just for lawyers in all types of practices, but especially for others than lawyers. In our view, anyone who is a professional services provider will find the book useful and we’d like the book to find that audience.
If you have other questions about the book, let us know. I’ll answer them here from time to time until we get the book’s companion site live.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Now Available: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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