A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Friday, July 15, 2011

I hate to admit it, but digital is making a comeback

I remember a partner at one of the big firms I was at in the 90s. She reminisced about how much nicer it was to practice law in the 70s, before opposing counsel could send nasty demands via email and fax, demanding immediate responses. She thought it was bad in the 90s? It's much worse now. The flow of information for a modern lawyer is torrential.

So, recently my paper calendar succumbed to digital. I've migrated my calendar from paper to iCal, making it accessible from any computer, my iPhone, and my iPad. Carrying my phone or the slim iPad is easier than the bulky Circa notebook I was using for my calendar, and it is much easier to check my calendar.

I still think analog management of my projects makes sense. I work so much more effectively from a piece of paper than a screen. But finding things and keeping everything straight? Well, digital has its advantages. I'm hoping to stay with analog tracking, then maybe electronically archiving my projects so they are searchable later
But I've also been dabbling with Microsoft OneNote and Remember the Milk again lately. I'll probably end up tasks tracked digitally but reference material stored on paper.

This is all a work in progress. I figure I'll get the perfect system in place about 5 minutes before I die.



  1. I understand your pain. Try OmniFocus by the OmniGroup as a task manager. Also some folks like "Things".

    Also, without a doubt, try the free app Evernote. It works on all systems and is just amazing.

  2. I bounced back and forth between paper and digital for years (Palm+Outlook) and now have settled on a digital calendar and handwritten notes. My calendar is in the cloud with Google, but my notes will always be written with a Lamy Safari or AlStar in whatever notebook I am carrying at the time.

  3. Surfbits,

    I've lost track of how many task apps I've tried! I liked Things, but the iPhone app limitations made it less friendly. Omnifocus was too complicated (yet with all that complication, only one context could be assigned to any one task!), but I'd probably give them another try if I did not now have to use a $&*!@@ PC at work instead of a Mac, like I used to.