meditate on this: buddhify 2

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I’ve been intending to write about buddhify 2 for a number of weeks. Today I came across this meditation on meditation by Russell Simmons and realized that today’s the day.

I’ve been meditating consistently for a while now. Crucial for both my profession and my personality. I’ve written about it before, even.

And since I happened upon it and think the thoughts are pretty spot-on, here’s what Simmons has to say about three benefits of meditation, all quite apropos for the legal profession:

1) Meditation improves focus. By relieving you of distraction. Crucial in this age of digital distraction and multi-tasking.

2) Meditation gets you past “success” and “failure.” Our profession is full of success (highs) and failure (lows). Meditation helps you maintain an even keel throughout all.

3) Meditation helps you be more creative. Simmons points to meditation as a vehicle for creativity, much as it is for focus. I tend to agree, since in the stillness of mind, there exists an atmosphere that can welcome creative thoughts. A busy mind may not notice them.

I have a meditation method of sorts but when I came across the buddhify 2 app I thought I would give it a whirl. My conclusion: it’s a great way for a non-meditator to get into the meditation groove, and it can also give a boost to an established meditation practice.

The app offers a series of guided meditations organized around 15 categories, with each category offering two to three meditations.

I’ve relied on the app’s guided meditations in some specific circumstances and found it incredibly helpful. The big one: I have no trouble falling asleep but often wake up in the middle of the night, mind racing. I keep my iPhone (with earbuds) on my bedside table, set to the “Can’t Sleep” series of meditations (Settle, Gentle, and Whack. Guess which one is my stand-by? Whack.). The calm, British voice of the guided meditation consistently does the trick. Sleep finds me.

I also like the “Feeling Stressed” series (Flip, Replace, Rain). Because I’m a lawyer. And I often feel stress.

Each meditation lasts in the five to 10 minute range. A very small time commitment for a big return on focus. And perhaps a renewed, healthier view on success and failure. And more focus and thus fuel for creativity. My conclusion: you’ve got nothing but a few minutes to lose, and much to gain.

buddhify 2 — 1.99 in the App Store.

got Mac? now you can get OneNote. free.

I’m a big Evernote fan. And a big Mac fan. I’m pretty unabashed on both fronts. To the extent that I tend to write about platforms and software that serve only Mac. (Sorry, PC users. Nothing personal, but my life changed when I went Mac in my professional world. I haven’t looked back.)

But worth noting: Microsoft released OneNote for Mac today in the Mac store. It’s free (for now). So, using a free OneDrive account, you can sync OneNote between and amongst all platforms and devices.

My observation: Microsoft is going after Evernote. Unapologetically. Here’s a list of OneNote features — if you use Evernote, these will be familiar:

I’ve installed OneNote on all Apple devices and am investigating. While I’m not planning on abandoning Evernote (and my premium plan) anytime soon, I am intrigued. Stay tuned.

Thoughts? Please share in the comments.

Google launches stores for Docs and Sheets add-ons.

Google launches stores for Docs and Sheets add-ons.

Stay tuned. I’m in the process of reviewing some add-ons, including one (Letter Feed) that looks quite intriguing for lawyers, and will be sharing thoughts shortly.

To access the Add-ons Store, open a new doc or sheet. Click on Add-ons (a new tab in upper right side of screen) and the Add-on store will pop up.

being yourself.

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For 16 years, I’ve been trying to figure out this law practice thing. Some days go very well. Other days, not so much. There are many reasons why this is so, many of which ultimately have nothing to do with anything I can control.

But this I know: being myself always results in the days that go very well.

There are more than 1.25 MILLION lawyers in this country. There are likely 100s if not 1000s in your immediate area who do pretty much exactly what you do. Most of whom do it pretty well.

The only thing you’ve really got? What makes you you. It is your differentiating factor, your unique selling proposition, your je ne sais quoi. It’s what makes you not like everyone else.

Don’t discount this. Instead, think about how you can really emphasize those things that make you you — and in the process make you a better lawyer for the right client.

Because here’s the thing: you enjoy your work more and you do the best work when you’re working with the right client. The client who appreciates you for you, and all that you bring to the work.

There are more clients than you can possibly serve, who want exactly what you have to offer. So be yourself. And you will attract exactly those clients.

the ideal responsible party?

I spoke to a group of professional legal assistants today about social media marketing. I deliver presentations and workshops on this topic to lawyers a lot.

This was my first time presenting to a legal support staff audience about all things social. And it got me thinking about one of the core elements of any solid social marketing plan: the responsible party. The RP is the person(s) who carry out the social marketing plan.

Today’s epiphany: support staff members are ideal candidates for the RP role. Specifically?

Give blog posts and other content intended for consumption via social media (including website content) to legal assistants and paralegals to review for you. Why? Because your content should convey information in clear-to-understand, non-legalese language that is interesting (and not boring). Your support staff is ideally situated to give you feedback on whether this goal is being achieved, for at least a couple of reasons.

First, they likely have some general knowledge about the content so know what you’re likely trying to convey — and thus can identify if you’re missing the mark. As well, they’re not lawyers. To put it bluntly, they’re probably more capable of placing themselves in the shoes of your intended audience and assessing the content from that perspective.

[This is a gross overgeneralization, but many, many lawyers, having been trained as we are trained, do a very poor job of creating content intended for an audience that isn’t other lawyers or judges.]

Assign the posting to a support staff member. Productive social media marketing requires a diligent and consistent presence. Most lawyers I work with on marketing freak out about the perceived time commitment. So? Focus on creating content and give someone else the job of posting.

Train support staff to contribute to content creation. If someone in your office is a good writer and you’ve established a clear social media game plan, then let him or her handle the Facebook posts. Tackle Twitter. Research blog post topics and start filling out the editorial calendar. Draft post outlines. Review the posts after you’ve written them for readability and likability. Note that I’m not suggesting that you have a paralegal write a post and publish it as your work. For obvious reasons, this is a bad idea.

Finally, an organized process is crucial if you’re delegating any aspect of social media activities. Use a cloud collaboration app like Trello, Tracky or Flow to manage your social media marketing process. This keeps the various responsible parties coordinated and on-task.

Someone on your staff may just be the ideal responsible party for carrying out your social media marketing plan.

when you put your mind to it [practice synchronicity]

Practicing mindfulness can change your life.  And your practice.

I’m an attorney and an entrepreneur. I first became serious about yoga as a college soccer player. Then, I thought of it as just another form of exercise. It was only during my sometimes-very-stressful years as a law student and a big-firm lawyer that I came to understand the incredible power of yoga and meditation to transform and improve virtually every aspect of my life. With time, I saw that this power also offered remarkable benefits for my professional life.

And mindfulness at work doesn’t mean trading suits and spreadsheets for peacock-patterned leggings and kombucha tea (though I’m a fan of both). It simply means finding ways to become more aware, tapping into our reserves of creative leadership and compassion, and then practicing these skills. Because it’s always a practice.

– Flynn Coleman| @SamyaPractice

Read THIS.  Good stuff. Important stuff.