Tech Tools To Help Manage Info Overload - Kathleen Brockel's presentation


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Managing Information Overload

Presenter: Kathleen Brockel

We are bombarded by an avalanche of information each day. We have to remember relevant facts about our cases, while running from duty to duty and juggling the needs of the multitudes. We try to stay above water by relying on our ability to remember the "important" stuff. We lay awake at night running through the lists of things we need to remember to do. We use a calendar to let us know where to be and when. We do our best to outrace the pending crisis. There is a better way.

In this session, we will explore a system developed by David Allen called Getting Things Done (GTD). We will: understand the theory; practice applying the system; explore how the system can be modified to fit our realities and personalities; discuss techniques for managing email; be shown a number of quick free tricks to save time and track information; and learn how to plan and implement projects

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  • Tech Tools To Help Manage Info Overload - Kathleen Brockel's presentation

    1. 1. Tech Tools To Help Manage Information Overload Kathleen Brockel, NTAP Jeff Sherr, Kentucky Dept. of Public Advocacy NLADA Annual Conference November 2008
    2. 2. NTAP <ul><li>The Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project </li></ul><ul><li>NTAP provides technology support to the poverty law community through trainings, direct support, website based resources, and tech guidance </li></ul>
    3. 3. Overview of Session <ul><li>Info Overload – What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to Reduce Email Reliance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant Messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting Schedulers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web Conferencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Email Overload
    5. 5. Electronic Overload
    6. 6. Starbucks Overload
    7. 7. Is this your inbox? Email = Communication. Period.
    8. 8. Distractions <ul><li>Workers distracted every 3 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>Once distracted, a worker takes nearly a half-hour to resume the original task </li></ul><ul><li>Interruptions and recovery consume 28% of worker’s day </li></ul>
    9. 9. Result? <ul><li>Workers frustrated, pressured and stressed </li></ul><ul><li>Checking email in meetings? Opportunities for collective creative energy and critical thinking are lost </li></ul>
    10. 10. What to do? <ul><li>To make inroads on the deep, messy work of life, we need to stay focused. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice may help. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating places or times for uninterrupted, focused creative thought. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Blawger Dennis Kennedy: <ul><li>The real difficulty with email is that we are asking email to do far more than what was intended for. </li></ul><ul><li>The trend to watch is the movement away from email into appropriate tools for the task at hand. * </li></ul><ul><li>*From 8 Legal Technology Trends for 2008 </li></ul>
    12. 12. Adopt Strong Email Practices <ul><li>Use a strong subject line </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate information </li></ul><ul><li>Request action </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate simple problem-solving </li></ul><ul><li>Leave a message </li></ul>
    13. 13. Don’t Use Email to… <ul><li>Track attachments and documents as a filing system </li></ul><ul><li>Manage projects, timelines, or histories </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in heavy problem solving or brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>Ask quick questions </li></ul>
    14. 14. Using New Tools <ul><li>Instant Messaging for quick check in </li></ul><ul><li>Online schedulers </li></ul><ul><li>Web Conferencing for problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management tools for deadlines and files </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis for institutional knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>RSS for substantive updates </li></ul>
    15. 15. Instant Messaging <ul><li>Get rid of the quick question emails . </li></ul><ul><li>I’m running 5 minutes late on another call. Call you when off. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s Molly’s phone number? </li></ul><ul><li>Here is the login number for the conference call. </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the name of the guy on Alabama with the cool podcasts? </li></ul>
    16. 16. Instant Messaging for Quick Communication or Check In
    17. 17. IM Info Resources <ul><li>IM options </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality issues and IM </li></ul><ul><li>Getting started with IM </li></ul><ul><li>Open versus closed systems </li></ul>
    18. 18. Meeting Schedulers <ul><li>Get rid of the 20 emails it takes to schedule a meeting! </li></ul><ul><li>Meet-o-Matic </li></ul><ul><li>MeetingWizard </li></ul><ul><li>Doodle </li></ul>
    19. 19. Doodle Sample
    20. 20. Web Conferencing <ul><li>Use for coordination and heavy problem solving or one-on-one in-depth meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Meet instantly online for discussions, training, technical support or document review. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Law Office Use of Web Conferencing <ul><li>One-On-One document collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming Sessions </li></ul><ul><li>Remote Tech Support </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Meetings & Training </li></ul><ul><li>Board, Task Force and Management Meetings </li></ul>
    22. 22. LegalMeetings: To sign up for services
    23. 23. Other Web Conferencing Options <ul><li>Team Viewer ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Cross Loop ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>WebEx™ Meeting & Training Center </li></ul><ul><li>Brevient </li></ul><ul><li>Raindance powered by InterCall </li></ul><ul><li>Microsoft Live Meetings. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Online Project Management <ul><li>Reduces email because organizes all aspects of your project using an online system, including deadlines, drafts, communications and more </li></ul><ul><li>Many project management tools integrate with other programs, including email </li></ul>
    25. 25. Law Office Use of Project Management <ul><li>Poverty law staffers are involved with </li></ul><ul><li>more than casework: </li></ul><ul><li>ALL of which generate email communications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing grants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Substantive task forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working on staff or website committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Statewide or regional conferences </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Project Management Tools <ul><ul><li>Basecamp </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft SharePoint </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Central Desktop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Sites </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Sample Basecamp
    28. 28. Law Office Use of Wikis <ul><li>Helps your program create institutional memory – can significantly reduce emails related to these issues. </li></ul><ul><li>HR Guides and Protocols </li></ul><ul><li>New Hire Guide </li></ul><ul><li>Case Management Guide </li></ul><ul><li>Day to Day Tech How-To </li></ul>
    29. 29. Introduction: What is a Wiki? <ul><li>A website easily edited by multiple users </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a logical, navigable platform for storing and retrieving information </li></ul><ul><li>A cost-effective, paper-free tool </li></ul><ul><li>Visit </li></ul>
    30. 30. Wiki Sample
    31. 31. Resources <ul><li>Training Material on Wikis & Proj Mgmt </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis: </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    32. 32. What is RSS? <ul><li>RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication </li></ul><ul><li>RSS brings select information to the user </li></ul><ul><li>Helps you stay updated on your field </li></ul>
    33. 33. How does it work? <ul><li>Choose a reader </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Reader (web-based) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iGoogle (web-based) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feed Demon (desktop application) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Net News Wire (desktop application) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet Explorer 7 (browser based) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefox (browser based) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to your feeds </li></ul>
    34. 34. Google Reader
    35. 35. iGoogle Page
    36. 36. Is there really a lot of content out there that is relevant to my work? <ul><li>Legal news sites </li></ul><ul><li>National legal aid organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Statewide websites </li></ul><ul><li>Law Blawgs </li></ul><ul><li>Courts </li></ul><ul><li>National and state media outlets </li></ul><ul><li>Find a Blawg in your practice area </li></ul>
    37. 37. RSS Feed Ideas <ul><li>ABA Journal Blawg Directory: </li></ul><ul><li>CLASP Feeds: </li></ul><ul><li>Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: </li></ul><ul><li>National Health Law Program: </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Services NTAP: </li></ul><ul><li>US Government Feed Library: </li></ul><ul><li>Recent US Supreme Court Opinions: </li></ul><ul><li>LSC Updates: </li></ul><ul><li>Step Forward – Shriver Center: </li></ul><ul><li>Technola: </li></ul>
    38. 38. Questions or Comments? <ul><ul><li>Contact information: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kathleen Brockel, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Jeff Sherr, [email_address] </li></ul>