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Productivity Tips for Lawyers

I spoke on a panel with Carolyn Wilson and John Starzynski about lawyer productivity and having a balanced life. Carolyn told a great story of adapting to life changes while practicing, and some of the tools she uses. John talked about some of the challenges that lawyers face – alcohol, depression, etc. – and some of the “simple” things that can help minimize some of these problems. My piece was focused on tips for better productivity, and I had initially thought I would be the techie on the panel. As it turned out, my tips tended towards a variety of low tech concepts as well.

I am not a productivity expert by a long shot, but I follow a number of the life hacking blogs, including, of course,, and Gina Trapani’s new  My own productivity trip has been one of finding the little utilities or ways of doing things that save me time, or make more effective, or force me to confront my natural inclination to procrastinate!  The presentation was a great way for me to think about some of the things I do and a number of productivity tools that I don’t use enough.   The slide deck has about 12 slides, and there’s a more extensive paper available as part of the conference.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.