Looking forward to 2016!
POSTED ON December 30

Now that Christmas has come and gone, the most popular conversation starter in my circle is “Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?” For some reason, the urge for self-improvement that should always be with us takes on special importance at the annual changing of the calendar.

I’m no exception. A new year offers a clean slate, and a chance to put into words all those things that we expect will make our lives easier. Bearing in mind that I am a legal technologist, what do you think of my top two resolutions for 2016?

Lose weight. That’s always at the top of everyone’s list, but my weight loss resolution is a little different. I personally want to lose and I want our clients to lose electronic weight.

“Electronic weight” includes unnecessary data. Oftentimes it accumulates because we think that the cost of data storage is plummeting.  Mindful of that, we dismiss thoughts about the real cost of storing data that might never be accessed again.

This “excess” data slows the hunt for data responsive to an inquiry and there is no escaping it—there is a cost to storage.

Fortunately, there are tools that make electronic weight loss easier (and unlike the elliptical, they won’t end up as a laundry rack). By using these tools effectively, we keep our digital data in top shape. I resolve to lose digital weight through consistent tool use. I will also encourage and work with our clients so they can do the same.

Exercise regularly. This is a common resolution, but again, I mean it in a different way. I intend to exercise my imagination about software solutions.

My software exercise regimen consists of coming up with ideas for our software specialists. They turn these ideas into solutions to couple with off-the-shelf software products.  The result–better solutions for specific situations and for specific customers.

I have been doing my software exercises on an ad hoc basis.  In 2016, I resolve to exercise regularly. Seven to ten hours of my week will be dedicated to this creative effort. Regular software workouts will pay off for our clients.

Here’s to a happy, productive, and creative 2016 for everyone!

About the Author Chris

Author Avatar Christine Chalstrom is the Founder, CEO, and President of Shepherd Data Services, Trustee, Mitchell Hamline Law School and Adviser, Center for Law and Business. She has spoken widely on the Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, Digital Forensics, and eDiscovery best practices. Her credits include presentations to the American Bar Association, Association of Certified e-Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), Corporate Counsel Institute, MN Association of Corporate Counsel, MN Association of Litigation Support Professionals, MN CLE, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute. She is an attorney, programmer, and forensic examiner.