Personal Productivity for Lawyers
This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.
The best practices for you and your lawfirm are just that—ideally suited just for you—and something you need to decide for yourself.
To office or not office
I have written more than one post on why solo attorneys should rent office space with other attorneys. I absolutely stand by my stance that being able to bounce ideas (and potential mishaps) off other attorneys is essential to young attorneys.
I have also written plenty of posts about how working in various locations can enhance productivity. I am fortunate enough to have a “real” office and a home office. On some days, working from my home office means getting more done. On other days, it means I will stare at my dog licking his paws, play with my son, and otherwise find household tasks to do.
The bottom line is you do what works for you. If you can work from home, a coffee shop, or a public park, and still get things done, go for it. If you can seek advice by picking up the phone or sending an e-mail, then do it. There is no “rule” regarding offices.
World of technology or world of typewriters
I am very biased towards shiny new gadgets. Most of the time they increase my efficiency, which I view as critical to running a solo firm. Sometimes, however, using (and learning to use) the technology takes more time than it saves. Take a step back and decide what tech works for you—not what you think you need to use.
If you like using Windows, stick with it. If you cannot fathom the idea of wasting time scanning documents for a paperless office, then don’t do it. In my opinion, having a paperless mobile office helps me get more done. But that is not true for everyone.
Technology, perhaps more than anything else, can become a gigantic time suck. It can save time, but I have spent more than one afternoon trying out the latest and greatest _______. Maybe that’s just because I’m an Apple guy.
Either way, figure out what works for you, and stick with it.