After partnering with Lawyerist to create the Lawyerist Productivity Journal, we wanted to introduce you to the legal minds behind this new organizational tool. Meet Sam Glover and Aaron Street of Lawyerist, who were kind enough to answer some questions for us.
Give us a brief summary about what Lawyerist is.
Lawyerist is shaping the future of law practice by building a digital “tribe.” We work with creative, innovative, disruptive, entrepreneurial small-firm lawyers and help them build healthy, successful law firms that are prepared for the future. (Lawyers wondering what that means should take a few minutes to rate themselves using our Small Firm Scorecard.)
Our website is built to support lawyers with free resources like the Scorecard, our resource pages and product guides, The Lawyerist Podcast, and more. We also work directly with lawyers in the Lawyerist Lab to proactively and systematically drive improvement in their firms.
We also believe better firms will provide better options for businesses and consumers who need to solve problems.
How do you like to start your workday?
I start every workday with a cup of coffee, my Google Calendar, Trello, my paper task lists, and a place to write down my most important tasks (MITs) for the day. (Now I use my Lawyerist Productivity Journal for that, obviously.)
I also like to block off my schedule for the day based on my MITs so that I can maximize my chances of actually getting them all done.
What’s your number one organization or productivity tip?
Get everything out of your head and into your notebook—or whatever system you use for keeping track of all your goals, projects, tasks, notes, and ideas. When all the stuff you have to do is taking up space in your head, there’s less room for problem solving, ideas, and well, life.
How did you decide on the contents of the Lawyerist Productivity Journal?
Aaron and I have collectively tried a ton of productivity systems and apps. We both have different approaches, but we were confident we could come up with a flexible personal productivity journal that will meet most lawyers’ needs. But we also wanted to make sure that our journal helped lawyers see their business goals alongside their day-to-day tasks, encourage them to be strategic with their time, and have plenty of room to capture notes and ideas.
I think we’ve done that, although we know that, like us, some lawyers will want to modify the base system. That is why we also included a coupon for a Boundless paper punch. And we are planning to release some additional print-your-own templates in the near future.
You talk about digital tools on your website, your podcast, and the intro page of the journal itself. How do you like to use analog tools in conjunction with digital ones?
Digital tools are awesome. I can’t imagine going back to a paper calendar, for example. It’s too useful to be able to share my schedule with my family and my team at Lawyerist, feed it to my scheduling app, and sync it up between my computer, phone, and watch.
But paper tools are better for some things. There’s persuasive evidence that taking notes with a pen and paper increases retention. And while you can probably get the same results with a good stylus and tablet, I’ve never found a digital notebook that lets me flip through my notes and ideas the way I can in a paper notebook.
It’s a preference, of course, but paper is just … nice.
However, I’ve also been paperless since 2005. I choose to carry a notebook, but I don’t want to have to deal with any other paper unless there is a good reason to, or it’s a better user experience. So I’m constantly pulling pages out of my notebook and scanning them, either with an app or my ScanSnap. That’s why I prefer the Boundless system to a bound notebook. I want to be able to add and rearrange pages as necessary, pull out pages to archive them digitally, or shred pages when I’m done with them.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing lawyers today? What about in five years?
I think Aaron explained this really well in a recent announcement on Lawyerist.com:
The practice of law is changing. Rapidly. But not evenly. Some practice areas, jurisdictions, and firm types have already completely transformed. Some are evolving in fits and starts (either by choice or necessity). And some are the same as they ever were, still enjoying profitability using traditional tried-and-true practice management systems. But changes in consumer technology adoption, business technology systems, legal industry demographics, consumer demographics, and the underlying global economy will, in the next 10 years, disrupt even the most “traditional” law firms.
Helping small-firm lawyers prepare for that disruption is what we’re all about, and why we built the Small Firm Scorecard in the first place.
Thanks for talking to us, Sam and Aaron! We look forward to seeing what’s next for Lawyerist.