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basic question about deferring for further review

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  • basic question about deferring for further review

    This is something I've been having trouble with. Things pop into my paper inbox . . . (I'm an attorney so it's usually a brief or memo). I can't read it right now, but will/must do so when I have the time.

    Do I tickle it not knowing when I'll have the time? It's not a reference or support material and has no fixed action date.

    How do you all handle these items?

  • #2
    Re: basic question about deferring for further review

    Originally posted by dabnyc
    This is something I've been having trouble with. Things pop into my paper inbox . . . (I'm an attorney so it's usually a brief or memo). I can't read it right now, but will/must do so when I have the time.

    Do I tickle it not knowing when I'll have the time? It's not a reference or support material and has no fixed action date.

    How do you all handle these items?
    When you have the time to process your in basket, read the memo if its less than two minutes.

    If its too long to read now, I would bring it with me in my Read/Review folder that always follows me.

    Remember that Next Actions that derive from the memo goes on the to do list, and do not always have to be done at that same instance.

    Regards
    Peter

    Comment


    • #3
      Dabnyc, could you be a little more specific about what type of memo or brief and what the outcome is?

      Are these briefs related to clients that you need to mark up, or memos you just need to read then toss, or things that need responses eventually when you can get around to them?

      They sound like maybe they need to go into a special read/review pile and have next actions on your lists.

      I wouldn't put items that actually really do have to be read within the next 6 months in your regular read/review pile. If your read/review pile is anything like mine, it's more like a "bottomless pit of potentially interesting articles that I might read sometime in that fantasy world where I have time/energy/interest but will probably not look at again until I need the shelf space back."

      So putting anything that I actually have to read in there is a bad idea. (I know, I know, I should exercise better judgement about what articles to put in this pile, like we are discussing in the other thread -- but hey. Nobody's perfect. )

      Taxgeek

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      • #4
        It's usually the sort of memo that I should read to keep up to speed on other aspects of a case, but requires not specific comment or revisions from me.

        Is it proper read/review material? I fear that it will disappear.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think this is probably "priority" read/review material. Maybe it doesn't need a specific next action for each one (time consuming to input), but if you mix it up with all the other read/review material, it could get lost.

          Here are a couple of suggestions: (and if you don't like these, maybe brainstorm some of your own. I just love brainstorming, especially about other people's stuff!

          Maybe have a separate storage area for this stuff where you can toss it when it shows up. A redwell, or a lower inbox on your stacking inboxes, a horizontal surface , a corner of the floor, whatever. Then, have a system for making sure this priority pile gets read in whatever you consider is a timely manner.

          Maybe you read it all during your weekly reveiw. (Ugh).

          Maybe you just put it in that priority pile and schedule some regular time to read that stuff.

          Since this stuff is client related, you can bill it if you lump the reading in with other stuff you're doing for that client, but not if that's all you do for the client that day, right? (I can see the bill now: "$500. Read memo by [other attorney] on status of ancillary out of state probate.") So maybe you can figure out a way to trigger yourself to read all the Jones read/review docs while you're doing another beefy project for Jones (like put an asterisk or code in the subject of a NA for that particular client when you see you have read/review related to theproject?). Not sure if you could make this work, but maybe.

          (BTW, if you title all your NAs in your todolists with the client's name, it's easy to sort them and do all of the Jones NAs in one chunk on one day, avoiding scattered billings for stupid little things that sound idiotic by themselves on the time sheet.)

          These are just ideas - I don't know if you tend to resist this type of stuff or find it a welcome break, or have problems billing it or even care about that. Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Good ideas. I"ll let you know how they work out. Thanks for the thoughtful answers.

            Comment


            • #7
              3 Read/Review categories

              I can't remember where I saw this, but at some point, I saw or heard DA suggest three different Read/Review categories:

              Actionable Read/Review: things you need to read and that you know you will have to take some further action on, like edit, forward, react to, etc.

              FYI Read/Review: things you need to read or want to read, but won't be acting on. You might read them, and then toss them, or read them, and then file them in reference.

              Junk/Browsing Read/Review: Catalogs, low-interest magazines and newsletters, and other things that you'll probably just want to skim and toss.

              dabnyc, it sounds like the stuff you're asking about is in the FYI category. I have a folder for it that I keep handy. I try to touch the folder every couple of days to make sure stuff doesn't get too backed up in it.

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