I am a new attorney (2+ yrs) and my workload is quickly progressing. I want to implement GTD now so that my practice runs more smoothly now but also with an eye for the future when I will be even more overloaded. I know everyone has their fair share of projects and actions and that work is sometimes difficult for all, but attorneys seem to be much more prone to putting out fires rather than working in a more calm manner. Maybe I just have not been around the right attorneys.
I am committed to using Outlook and Palm. I have already purchased the Outlook Add-in and the process is underway. The first step was getting all of the client files off of my desk, computer desk, bookcase, etc. and capturing next actions in Outlook. I guess having the files scattered around my office served as a visual to-do list. I need to purchase a program for my Palm to synch with Outlook that will maintain the project distinction so that I can have my system with me at all times. Any suggestions?
Part of my problem is defining projects/subprojects. Under the Outlook Add-in system I have created a "CLIENTS" project and a few projects individually named for our larger clients with multiple matters. Under the clients project I created subprojects by client name. I have gone back and forth as to whether it would be better to create a project for each client but I like the separation and I don't want to have to put too much information on the project name. Any thoughts?
Another problem is having mulitple next actions for any given case, some of which are dependant on another action. For instance, if I need to draft a letter to opposing counsel but I have to consult with someone else prior to drafting the letter, I would rather list both actions even though one is required before the other can occur.
A similar example is a probate matter where I have a standard checklist of actions that need to take place throughout the course of the case. I would like to be able to store this checklist as a blank project and paste it into a new probate case (project) when it begins.
I am interested in any responses, lawyers and nonlawyers, that can help me streamline this process. If I am able to get this process working well in my practice, I plan to try to get it implemented with the other attorneys in our small firm. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully provide some insight.