I'm looking forward to ILUG. The conference schedule is available, here.

If you plan to attend and want to meet, let me know.

From time to time, clients ask me if I know if a way to Hot Sync Lotus Notes on the Mac with a Palm or Treo SmartPhone. I'm a big fan of CommonTime's mNotes or iAnywhere for synching Notes and PDAs/SmartPhones but, as far as I know, none of these products support Mac. In fact, I'm not aware of any proven sync tools for Mac and Treo. I also question the future for the Palm OS. Most exciting development is in the Windows Mobile arena, with promises from Apple with their iPhone dev kit. (I expect to know more on that this summer.)

Usually for my Mac users, I set them up with a wireless sync tool that allows them to sync directly to their Domino Server with no need for sync software at the client.  This way, they can run around with a Treo that's always in Sync and it does not matter if they are PC or Mac based - the beauty of Notes.

I'd like to ask an Notes for Mac users out there if and how they are synching their SmartPhone/PDA with Notes.

I suppose this brings up the bigger point of the need for suitable sync tools between the Mac and not just the Treo but any PDA or SmartPhone. I wonder how long it will be before a major sync tool vendor embraces the Mac to provide quality sync between Lotus Notes on the Mac and any number of mobile devices, e.g. Treo, Palm, Blackberry, etc..



What makes a good GTD list manager?

Monday, April 28th, 2008
Kelly Forrister recently posted her thoughts on what makes a good GTD list Manager. She proposes several requirements and key features to look for in a good GTD list manager:
  • Sorting lists by context
  • Ability to assign a due date
  • Portable for on the go access
  • Easily accessible
  • More attractive to you than repelling
  • Doesn't force priority codes
  • Place to capture additional notes
  • Ability to search and sort in various ways.
  • Robust enough to handle all of your stuff.

I think Kelly's list serves as a good foundation of the core features that any sound GTD implementation tool, whether low-tech (e.g. paper) or high tech (e.g. Lotus Notes) should offer.

If you have not read Kelly's excellent blog post, I encourage you to read it: What makes a good GTD List Manager?

The timing couldn't be better for me, as I'm in the process of doing a product analysis and writing copy for eProductivity for Lotus Notes, my own GTD implementation tool for Lotus Notes. In addition to my own criteria, I plan to run vanilla Notes and eProductivity for Lotus Notes through Kelly criteria and see how they fare. I'll post my thoughts here, in a future blog post.

GTD Times recently (and quietly) launched. I've been asked to be a guest contributor; I'll be in great company.

This is a GTD Community planned in part by my late friend Marc Orchant.  Marc and I had spoken about this project and I'm delighted to see it continue on, if nothing else as a tribute to a topic he was so passionate about. - GTD. GTD Times is now in the capable hands of his friend, Oliver Starr.

GTD Times promises to become the premier go to site for all things GTD, and I'm excited to be a part of the community.

I'll start contributing to GTD Times, shortly. (I'll still be blogging here,too.)

I'm honored to be a part of the GTD Times team.

You can read Oliver's welcome and introduction, here.

What’s new with eProductivity for Notes?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
Things have been pretty quiet on the web front with eProductivity. The web site hasn't changed from the "coming soon" banner I put up last year and eProductivity guy still needs a haircut.

Behind the scenes, things remain busy as we work with clients that are currently getting things done with Lotus Notes and eProductivity using David Allen's GTD methodology.

At the end of last year, we completed the eProductivity beta program, and at the end of this month, we will wrap up a four-month eProductivity workgroup pilot program. We are now getting ready to turn on the web site so that the world can see what we've been up to. We still have some work to do on promotional materials, strategic partner relationships and training people to become future eProductivity coaches to support enterprise deployments.  

I've decided to make eProductivity available both as purchased or subscription software so that users may choose the option that will serve them best. I'm going to need a bunch of people to test the new license activation system, if you'd like to help and (get a free preview of eProductivity at the same time), contact me.

Otherwise, if you have signed up for the this eProductivity Newsletter, you'll be invited to a sneak preview, soon.

This is the final post from my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"  We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. We also explored the technology or tools that can be used to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.  Last week, I discussed Mobility: how to get things done on the run, and two days ago, I blogged about the value I've found in getting coached and coaching others.

As I wrap up this series, I want to share some of the resources I've used to get connected  to the information and people who help me sharpen my skills.

Here's what I shared in my e-mail about some of my current favorite ways to stay connected to all things GTD:
Continue Reading "eProductivity Equation: Get Connected & Get Creative" »

Today, I'll share the next part of my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"  We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. We also explored the technology or tools that can be used to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.  Last week, I discussed Mobility: how to get things done on the run. Now, as I begin to wrap up this series, I want to discuss the value I've found in getting coaching in how to make all of this work together.

There's a lot to be learned from reading books and attending seminars. I routinely do both. But when I really want to improve my skills or performance in a given area I turn to a coach, a mentor, or an expert that can help me accomplish my objectives. I think it's important to understand that hiring a productivity coach is not a magic bullet for getting things done. YOU have to do the work, but a good coach can help you see what may not be readily apparent to you and encourage you to build sustainable habits. (I'll talk more about sustainable habits at the end of this post.)

Here's what I wrote to the person who asked me about getting things done on the run...

Continue Reading "eProductivity Equation: Coaching to get it right" »

Today, I'll share the next part of my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"  We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. We also explored the technology or tools that can be used to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.   Now, let's look at mobility...

As you learn more about GTD, you'll come to appreciate the value of getting everything out of your head and into a system you can trust no matter wherever you are and find a tool to support you. To do this, it's important that you equip yourself with tools that support you wherever you are; at home, the office, or on-the-go. I recommend at least one analog tool and often at least one digital tool, depending on your mobile information management needs. If you are someone that always has a computer available to you 24x7, then this section may not be useful. Lotus Notes does a great job of keeping information synchronized across distributed computers. On the other hand, if you are like me, you spend at least some part of your work day "out and about" and you need a way to keep your GTD lists and related information with you so that you can work from your lists, and manage your work.

Let's discuss the mobility aspect of getting things done while on the run...

Continue Reading "eProductivity Equation: Mobility (for Notes & GTD)" »

In my graduate research in Knowledge Management (KM), I've noticed several things about KM tools and how they have been positioned...

[Note: Before I go on, let me state that in this blog post, I'm not judging Microsoft or IBM/Lotus for the effectiveness of their respective products. This post is about the positioning and promotion of their products.]

In the mid 1990s many of us thought of and promoted products (e.g. Lotus Notes) as Knowledge Management (KM) "solutions", rather than "tools".

For organizations that did not develop an underlying methodology or knowledge sharing culture, they blamed the "solutions" [read: tool] for failing to transform the organization, while other organizations that did develop a knowledge sharing and collaborative culture thrived with these same tools.

In the late 1990's, the KM and collaboration tool that was often promoted was Lotus Notes, and for good reason: companies were then and continue now to achieve dramatic rates of return on their KM and collaborative initiatives supported by Lotus Notes as a tool.

Now, in the 21st century, as I read and study about KM tools and technology, I see some very successful case studies for Lotus Notes as a knowledge sharing tool (from the 1990s) but much of what I see being touted as the "KM solution" is not Lotus Notes but Microsoft SharePoint.

I see a few problems here:
Continue Reading "It's all about the process, not the tool, or is it? Where's IBM/Lotus in the Knowledge Management space today?" »

Today, I'll share the next part of my e-mail that answers the question: "How to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes?"

We've touched on the productivity equation and we've looked at how methodology is the first component of the equation. Now, we'll look at the technology or tools that you use.  Since you've already selected GTD as your methodology (a decision I wholeheartedly agree with) you now need to find a GTD implementation tool that will support you in the way that you work. From my email:
II. Choose your GTD implementation tool and master it
From 3x5 card to paper planner to MAC/PC to BlackBerry -- there are a range of solutions. The brilliance of GTD, I think, is that it's platform agnostic so you can manage using the GTD methodology just as well on a napkin or using custom software.  What you need to find is a very good list manager, something that is easy to use, is easy to integrate with your existing workflow, and is fast. Most important, it must be something you can trust.

We discussed your use of Lotus Notes at your company. I think Lotus Notes is a powerful tool for personal knowledge and action management. It also happens to be the tool of choice for me and for the The David Allen Company. (Disclosure, The David Allen Company is an ICA client and David is a good geek friend - I designed and deployed their Notes collaboration infrastructure and have supported David and his team for the past 15 years, so I'm a little biased as to the power of Lotus Notes.) Many people are successfully using GTD with Lotus Notes in a variety of ways.

Continue Reading "eProductivity Equation: Technology (for Notes & GTD)" »

The eProductivity Equation: KWP = M x T x K

Thursday, April 10th, 2008
(This is the first installment in my series talking about how to ramp up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes.)

In my eProductivity Seminars I always begin by introducing my eProductivity equation for knowledge worker productivity:

KWP = M x T x K

Put another way:

Knowledge Worker Productivity [or results]  =
Methodology x Technology x Knowledge

That is, the outcome of any project will be influenced (one way or the other) by how well you use and apply (your methodology) your knowledge and tools to the problem at hand.  

I believe GTD provides an outstanding framework for managing work productively - the methodology; I think that Lotus Notes can be a powerful tool for information, action, and knowledge management -- the technology. As far as what your knowledge... only you know that.  

Think about how this equation applies to your knowledge work. What are your methodologies (defined or undefined)? What tools do you use?  

How does what you know influence the work that you do?

Links to related posts in this discussion:
I. The eProductivity equation
II. Methodology

eProductivity Equation: Methodology

Thursday, April 10th, 2008
Today, I'd like to talk about methodology as a key component in my productivity equation and specifically how it relates to ramping up quickly with GTD and Lotus Notes.

Whether you are conscious of it or not, you have a methodology, a system, a habit for how you get your work done. Some methodologies, systems, and habits will be more productive than others; some can even be counter productive. I began this series by writing an email to help someone get started using Lotus Notes as his implementation tool for David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology.

Over the years, I've learned several approaches to knowledge work but to date I have found none that made more sense and was more sustainable for me than GTD. It wasn't always this way. I used to find Stephen Covey's  7-Habits approach to be ideal and while I think it is an excellent approach for planning, I was unable to sustain it on a day to day basis and I often felt bad that my day to day actions were not getting me closer to my goals and vision. That's not to say that Covey's approach doesn't work - it does, but it was a great deal for me to maintain. Covey takes a top-down approach to productivity, starting with the desired outcome ("Begin with the end in mind") and then working down to daily actions that line up to support those goals. On paper that makes sense to me as the best way to go. In real life, however, it was hard to do, because, well, life happens. David Allen's approach starts at the bottom - clearing the decks -- so that you can think freely about the bigger picture stuff. I've been working with GTD since long before the GTD moniker and I can tell you that it is sustainable. What do I use today? A little of both. The foundation of my work style is built on the GTD methodology, while Covey has certainly influenced the values and planning aspects of my work and life.

OK, let's get practical: My advice for getting started with the GTD Methodology:

Continue Reading "eProductivity Equation: Methodology" »

Last week, an executive at a large global consulting firm with over 100K Lotus Notes users called me to ask for help getting up to speed with GTD and Notes. He told me that he was feeling overwhelmed at work with a growing number of projects and responsibilities and in his pursuit of a solution he had found and read David Allen's book, Getting Things Done. He was also aware that while Lotus Notes is an excellent tool for messaging, collaboration, and information management, it wasn't supporting him in the way that he needed. He was calling to get eProductivity for Lotus Notes and some coaching to help him set up Notes to be more productive. After a fruitful conversation, and my promise to help him, he asked me, "How can I ramp up quickly with GTD & Lotus Notes?"  
Continue Reading ""How can I ramp up quickly with GTD & Lotus Notes?"" »

OverweightManPizzaAndBeer.jpgZig Ziglar tells a story of how for 40 years of his life he chose to be fat. That's right. You see, according to Ziglar, he never accidentally ate anything.

Last year, I realized that when it comes to the internet (among other things) I was choosing to be fat. I was consuming more Internet calories than I needed and it wasn't even the good stuff. Worse yet, like junk food, the Internet -- the very tool that had enabled my high-tech lifestyle -- was distracting me from getting things done.  So, at the beginning of 2008, I decided to reduce my daily internet intake in order to improve my productivity.

What I expected to be a one-month experiment turned into a 3-month adventure and I learned a lot along the way...

Continue Reading "I went on an Internet diet and GAINED 30 minutes a day!" »

What can we learn from SharePoint as a collaboration tool?
In early February, my colleague and industry analyst, Michael Sampson, sent me copies of his two most recent independent research papers that evaluate SharePoint 2007 as a team collaboration tool.

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Analysis
Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Analysis
SharePoint fails the 7 Pillars Framework: Marketplace Opportunities for ISVs; Next actions for Microsoft

I've known Michael Sampson for the past 11 years, as a professional (we met as speakers at an Electronic Messaging Association EMA Conference). In that time, we have become good friends and, even though we differ in our choice of computing platforms, I still have great respect for his work as an independent researcher and analyst. Michael funds his own research and enjoys the freedom to publish his observations and recommendations without having to water them down due to vendor pressure. I think he's a balanced researcher and an excellent communicator.

In 2005 -- before Microsoft began promoting SharePoint as the ultimate collaboration tool -- Michael developed and published his 7 Pillars framework as a way to evaluate and filter the claims of collaboration vendors against the capabilities of their products. His framework proposes and defines 7 pillars of collaboration:
  • Pillar 1 - Shared Access to Team Data
  • Pillar 2 - Location Independence
  • Pillar 3 - Real-time Joint Viewing
  • Pillar 4 - Team-Aware Calendaring
  • Pillar 5 - Social Engagement
  • Pillar 6 - Team Task Management
  • Pillar 7 - Collaboration Auto-Discovery

I've had the opportunity to not only read Michael's 7-Pillars paper but to sit in on his  7-Pillars for IT Professionals workshop. Both are excellent. (You may download the 7 Pillars paper for free, here.)

How does SharePoint measure up as a 7-Pillars team collaboration tool?

Continue Reading "Is SharePoint an effective tool for team collaboration?" »