Welcome back to Part 2 of this series! Today we will be focusing on non-tech tools that can enhance the productivity of legal professionals. Now, this isn’t a tech bashing post, however, the focus of this piece is highlighting non-tech tools that can be just as beneficial in increasing productivity for the non-tech inclined.
So here goes!
Part 2: Productivity Tools for the Not so Tech-Inclined Legal Professional
It’s no secret that there’s an app for almost everything in this social media emerged, tech savvy world. But if you’re anything like me, this can sometimes be overwhelming. As a being from the late 1980s, I’m the type of millennial who experienced what it was like to function without having a cell phone attached to my person and what it was like to take handwritten notes in my classes. With that said, I am open to technological advances that enhance productivity, but I admittedly find some solace in disconnecting at times and developing my organization through other means. So, for all you legal professionals who have your feet in both worlds, or even firmly planted in a non-tech world, this post is for you.
It’s almost a well-accepted joke that the legal professional world is still very antiquated. This statement lends some credence to the fact that attorneys tend to retire extremely late in their careers. Therefore, the existence of five generations in the workplace stands very true at many law firms. Accordingly, legal professionals whose early lives were not shaped by technology may be less inclined to delve into the sea of productivity apps available, and that’s ok. There is certainly some gratification that comes with organizing your days by putting old school pen to paper. In fact, there are numerous benefits to writing down your schedule. Not to mention the fact that the internet can singlehandedly kill your productivity. However, if you opt to not use an online app to enhance your productivity, just understand that you will have to put in more of the ground work to stay on top of everything. But, no worries, doing this will not be much of an issue with the excellent non-tech productivity tools available on the market. So how about giving some of the below a try?
1. When you have an Upcoming Hearing, a CLE and your Niece’s Recital in one Week
Give the Filofax planner a try! The Filofax planner is your ultimate organizer. It essentially enables you to incorporate numerous productivity benefits available through the tech tools I highlighted in Part 1, all in one place. When I say that this planner has everything, I’m not joking. It provides the option for dated or undated calendars for you to plan out your upcoming court hearings, it has more than enough pages for notes in the back, so you can jot down that trial strategy that pops into your mind. This planner also offers pages for lists so you have the option to synchronize your to-do lists all in one place. It also offers multiple pockets for additional note pads, sticky notes and, wait for it, even your phone. There’s even a zipper on the back to hold cash or coins. Ok, I’ll stop raving now, but this planner is great. Most importantly, this planner is very portable – it’s small enough to carry around with you so that you can have your planner on your person almost as much as you have your phone.
Now I won’t lie to you, the cost of this planner is on the higher end. But if you ask me, it’s worth it, considering the benefits. However, the yearly refills are very cheap, therefore you would only need to spend more on the ring bound cover.
Don’t forget to back it up!
If you do opt to get this planner it will be very important to back it up! Unfortunately, one of the major draw backs of a paper planner is the lack of ease in which you can back up your information. Now backing up a paper planner is possible, but it will require some technological involvement. One awesome way to back up your planner is to take pictures of the important pages and upload it as a note to Evernote, another awesome productivity app. Having your planner images stored on Evernote allows you to sync it with the cloud, which essentially secures your planner forever.
2. When you have an Upcoming Trial and you Need to Plan Strategy
It may be 2018, but I think it’s safe to say that a whiteboard will never lose its relevance. A whiteboard gives you the option of seeing all your thoughts mapped out right in front of you. This productivity tool is especially relevant in the legal profession which oftentimes involves making game plans with several people either for trial or even a client consultation. Having your plans mapped out right in front of you can serve to make you more organized which ultimately increases your productivity.
3. When you Start to Feel Overwhelmed and Begin to Lose Track of your Purpose
Finally, as a legal professional, it’s extremely important to be mindful. It’s no secret that mental health issues plague the legal profession and unfortunately many lawyers forget to prioritize the importance of mental health. With that said, when you start to feel overwhelmed and begin to lose track of your purpose, getting involved in activities such as yoga or meditation can help to keep you centered. Lawyers should absolutely take advantage of mental health counseling, a benefit that some bar associations provide for free to attorneys.
Additionally, another great method is to create a vision board. I suggest doing this at the start of your legal career. You should spell out all the goals and dreams you want to fulfill both in your personal and professional life. Whenever you begin to lose steam, looking at this board should help in providing you with some inspiration.
Don’t forget that when your mind is right, that’s the time you can be the most productive, so if you haven’t already started, begin implementing this step now.
Being productive ultimately comes down to how much effort you’re willing to put into it. I do hope that this series can lend a helping hand regardless of your tech-filled or non-tech inclined capabilities.
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