The picture tells most of the story.

GTD Summit Exhibitor Recognition: eProductivity - the Ultimate personal Productivity Tool for IBM Lotus Notes

Getting to see the eProductivity up on the big screens at the GTD Summit was quite a thrill. I wasn’t close enough to see Eric’s face but I’m sure he was grinning when the eProductivity logo displayed the first time. After all, eProductivity has been in the works a long time.

It’s been a journey. Too bad Ian, our principal software architect, couldn’t have seen it in person, but I’m sure he’s reading this blog carefully!
Having David Allen, a long-time eProductivity user, and other GTD faithful riff on the merits of eProductivity and Lotus Notes during the conference was quite encouraging to boot.

I wonder how many people caught this: when David flashed screen shots of his personal task lists - those were from eProductivity!

Guest Post by Ryan Heathers

Mind Like Mud: GTD and Innovation

Sunday, March 29th, 2009
Most ideas need a little churning to be great.


A more colorful word for idea churning is percolation. Percolation serves to let your brain take other great ideas and common themes, and then mash them together to create that most hallowed of business goals: synergy.

A Summit panelist proposed an intermediate step in the GTD workflow process for percolation-needy items. The step would nestle in between Capturing and Next Action

But the problem is that percolation is not a natural GTD workflow step to grab hold of. Once you’ve captured an actionable idea, GTD says to either put it into a Next Action or throw the item onto a Someday/Maybe list (third option: delegate it). But percolation? It’s less tangible than a Next Action but more immediate than a Someday/Maybe. It’s critical to innovation but awkward to handle.

My personal solution has been to put “brainstorm” next actions into my Anywhere category. This still can suffer from out-of-sight, out-of-mind tendencies. Ideally, I want my really creative ideas to be bouncing around my head frequently, creating all kinds of synergistic magic.

The same panelist who opened the percolation can of worms also had this tidbit of advice: when you are doing a Weekly Review, prime your mind with 3-4 projects that you want to pay special attention to over the next week. Maybe this is a better way to do percolation. I’ll experiment.

Guest Post by Ryan Heathers

Seeding Your Mind: GTD and Innovation

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

When I think of GTD -- perhaps because I’m fairly new to the methodology—inspiring creative innovation is not the first benefit I think of. After all, productivity helps to get the nitty-gritty details done, accomplished, put away. It clears space in your mind for higher-level thoughts to occur. But actually inspire innovation? That seems like a logical leap.

Not so.

GTD teaches you to capture thoughts whenever, wherever they occur.  Black belt GTDers have a capture tool with them at all times.

Once you’ve become a pro at capturing your thoughts and putting them into a trusted system, the benefit to innovation becomes obvious.

Stepping back for moment, creativity is defined as coming up with a great idea. Innovation is defined as putting that creative idea into action. Of course, the two concepts are very tightly linked. Bottom line, though, is that in order to be innovative, you need to be creative first.

That’s where GTD helps by teaching you to always capture your thoughts.

It’s far easier to innovate when you’ve come up with half a dozen creative ideas for that looming project over the course of the last week. Or year. When you sit down at your computer, and the deadline is ticking to think up something excellent, you have a huge head start. So much of your thinking can be done already and you can comfortably slip into execution mode. You don’t have to wait for the innovation lighting to strike you.  

A panelist at the session called this, “seeding your mind”.

So can creative innovation be scheduled?

Yes, if you’re using GTD capture principles to seed your mind for success.  

Guest Post by Ryan Heathers

20090312 - GTD Summit Guy Kawasaki and David Allen.jpg
To kick off the Summit, David Allen had an interview on stage with Guy Kawasaki. Guy asked a series of wide-ranging questions, and tried to pin down David on one side or the other of the Mac vs. PC debate. An enjoyable interview even if it did wander a bit.  

Continue Reading "Quick Hits from the GTD Summit Opening Session" »

Lotusphere Comes to You ONLINE 2009

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Ed Brill and Brent Peters of IBM Lotus will be presentating a sesion today on the future directions of  IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Products.

This is a great way for folks who were unable to attend Lotusphere or who want to catch up on the announcements to do so.

Description: (from
Future Directions for IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Products This session will provide a strategy-level overview of the Lotus Notes and Domino product family. We'll examine the new 8.5 release of Lotus Notes and Domino, along with plans for 2009 and our vision for collaboration in the future. We'll also cover product and strategy directions for the Lotus Protector family, SAP integration via Project "Atlantic", the Lotus Notes and Domino mobility strategy, and Lotus Symphony. You'll also learn about our market-facing themes for the year, such as "green" computing and integration.

Show starts at 8:00 AM PST I assume you can listen to replays, too.

Lotusphere Comes to you ONLINE 2009

Blogging the GTD Summit

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
20090312 - GTD Summit Day one Screen.jpgHello fellow Notes users and GTD enthusiasts!

My name is Ryan Heathers. I work at eProductivity with Eric Mack.

Eric invited me to guest author a series of blog posts covering the recent GTD Summit.

The first-ever GTD Summit was held two weeks ago in San Francisco and I was in attendance. Let me just say, it was fantastic! I had planned on blogging the event in real-time, but things got a little hectic between being an exhibitor and an attendee.

But nevertheless, the blogging was accomplished by drawing upon some extensive notes and a few pictures. The posts in the series vary between quick blurbs and medium-length thought pieces.

A lot of my writing assumes that you are familiar with GTD. If you are not, take a look at for info straight from David Allen, GTD’s creator.

Look for a new post each day!

Guest Post by Ryan Heathers

For many years, I have used and recommended mobility solutions from CommonTime, Sybase, and RIM. Each company has specific strengths that make their offering attractive to clients that want to extend Lotus Notes to their mobile devices.

For iPhone users, there were few solutions at the enterprise level to sync Lotus Notes mail, calendar, tasks, and contacts to the iPhone.

This week, Sybase announced the iAnywhere Mobile Office for the iPhone:
iAnywhere Mobile Office extends Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange to iPhone users for a complete enterprise solution that supports email, calendaring, tasks and contacts with corporate directory look-up. In addition, it provides several key security features for IT to administer and control iPhones within the enterprise including:
  • Application password protection
  • On-device encryption for all enterprise data contained within the iAnywhere Mobile Office application on an iPhone
  • On-demand remote data wipe to remove all enterprise data within the application in the case of a device being lost or stolen

While the iPhone App is free, it requires an iAnywhere Mobile Office server and a client access license to connect with email systems.

This is exciting news. I know many eProductivity have been asking for a solution to manage their tasks on iPhone. Perhaps this will be the answer.

If you are using this product, I would like to hear from you.

Dave Pollard asked a question that many of us have asked (or should ask):
 Shouldn't unanswered email, to dos, & calendar items be a single application?:
I gave up on Getting Things Done methodologies when I realized that, by saying no to urgent but ultimately unimportant tasks, I could keep all my "to dos" in my head.
Or so I thought. I've discovered that I have a lot more "to do" lists than I realized. Here are some of them:
  • My work "to do" list, which I keep in a Lotus Notes task list because it replicates to my Blackberry
  • My personal "to do" list, which I keep in various formats, including scraps of paper and the new Google task list which integrates with GMail.
  • My blog "to do" list, which I keep in a separate GMail e-mail folder, because most of these "to dos" originate from e-mails
  • My GMail personal e-mail inbox, which consists of (a) e-mails to which I have yet to respond and (b) e-mails which are actually "to dos", and which should probably be with list 3, except that they are more urgent so I want to keep them in front of me.
  • My "books to buy" list
  • My "music to buy or download" list
  • My work Lotus Notes e-mail inbox, which consists of (a) e-mails to which I have yet to respond and (b) e-mails which are actually "to dos", and which should probably be with list 1, except that the e-mail provides a lot of detail on what needs to be done, so I can't be bothered to transcribe it to a "to do" list).
  • My work Lotus Notes Calendar, which consists of both (a) scheduled work and (b) personal appointments
  • Gmark Google Bookmark "to dos" consisting of (a) links to include in my next Links of Week, (b) links to pages I intend to read "when I have time" (i.e. never get around to these), (c) links to pages to add to my blogroll (actually belongs in list 3), and (d-e) links to books to buy and music to download (actually belong to lists 5 & 6).
  • My blog post ideas "to do" list
  • My "to read" hard copy piles
  • My voice mail "in-boxes", for my work and home numbers.
I could write a chapter on how I would organize this. For now, I'll share a few quick thoughts and invite my readers to share how they would tackle Dave's problem.

Some quick thoughts:

Continue Reading "Shouldn't Unanswered E-mail, To Dos, and Calendar Entries Be a Single Application? " »

Some of my productivity-minded friends are attempting to use an iPhone to get things done with Lotus Notes. My friend, Kelly Forrister, of the David Allen Company, has been blogging about implementing GTD on her iPhone and I have enjoyed learning from her experiences. Unfortunately, many of the solutions we've tried to connect the iPhone to Notes so far haven't worked out very well for us and it's been a rough road to integration.

At Lotusphere 2009, IBM announced that they would integrate ActiveSync into the IBM Lotus Notes Traveler 8.5 platform offering so that iPhone (and presumably Windows Mobile,too) users could natively sync their iPhone with their Lotus Notes Mail., Calendar, and Contacts. Fellow Notes blogger, Gregg Edlred points to the news surrounding the announcement of the forthcoming iPhone OS 3.0 release with respect to support for synchronization with Lotus Notes. So far, things appear to consistently suggest that we can expect to see this functionality mid-year.

This is encouraging news.

eProductivity for Lotus Notes

I've explored the idea of writing or partnering with someone to write an iPhone-specific version of eProductivity for IBM Lotus Notes but to really make things happen, we'd like to see a few things in terms of developer support.

Here are some of the things that I'm still looking for, hoping for, waiting for:

  1. Full Sync of Tasks to a suitable onboard task manager (Notably missing in the ActiveSync announcements or any press that I have seen is any mention of Tasks, but that's another post for another day.)
  2. Better support for on device application management with sync to external databases wired/wirelessly so we can write our own task app (see #1)
  3. Multitasking - so that we can run multiple apps/threads concurrently and have stuff happen in the background
  4. At least minimal security/remote admin - important for enterprise users.

What are you most waiting for in terms of integration between the iPhone and Lotus Notes?

GTD Summit - What were your bad habits?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I'm still processing my thoughts from the GTD Summit. What an amazing event! In fact, it was probably the most inspiring (not to mention productive) conference I have attended. To be in one place with 400 people, including movers, shakers, thought leaders and GTDr's was definitely a high.

I'm not sure the audience caught it but when David Allen showed screen shots of his personal system. he was showing Lotus Notes and eProductivity. I know that Several people downloaded and installed Lotus Notes and eProductivity for the first time as a result. How cool.

The above video was created by David Spark

Today was a great day at the GTD Summit. We are hanging out with some of the best and brightest people in the world - key thought leaders and leading innovators from around the world. The day was full of inspiring conversations. Some, however, were less than inspiring - at least until I got a new outlook on how to receive what I was hearing. Let me explain...

The first person I met today in the general session ask me what I do. As soon as I mentioned the software I used, his immediate response was "I hate Lotus Notes."
I had several other equally inspiring conversations within just a few hours.

At first it bothered me - I almost felt that I should somehow apologize for using Notes (or the fact that I really enjoy doing so).

Then, mid-morning, I remembered a lesson I learned from Zig Ziglar.
People never change their minds. But, they do make new decisions when provided with new information.
I decided to make it a challenge to see if I could help as many people make new decisions about what they thought about Lotus Notes.

We had many people stop by the eProductivity exhibit, some because they simply wandered over and others because they heard David Allen talk about how he "loves Lotus Notes." and how he uses eProductivity. (They apparently figure that if David Allen uses and recommends IBM Lotus Notes there must be something about Notes that they are missing.) In any case, however they get to the exhibit, they arrive with either a question or a comment. Some were excited about Notes and some were frustrated about Notes. I met several of each today. The people I really enjoyed meeting, however, were the self-proclaimed Notes haters.

Continue Reading "I have a new outlook when I hear "I hate Lotus Notes" or "Lotus Notes Sucks"" »

The GTD Summit kicks off this evening and I've decided to make a special offer to commemorate the event. In short, for every individual license of eProductivity purchased, I'll provide not one but two license keys.

Now you can increase your own productivity and help a colleague get things done at the same time.

Details here.

This evening, Chris Blatnick  (Interface Matters) and I were invited by Bruce Elgort and Julian Robichaux to talk about eProductivity for IBM Lotus Notes.

I talked about GTD, eProductivity, and Lotus Notes from a designer perspective and Chris talked about how he uses these to get things done.

Session notes, courtesy of the Taking Notes Podcast:
The show runs 49 Minutes and is 45.7 MB (128kbps)

Taking Notes Podcast #96

Special thanks to Bruce and Julian for inviting us on the show and thanks to show sponsor, Elguji Software for making it happen.

Here's a helpful productivity tip from Vaughan Rivett. It's actually a video tip. Vaughan has created a series of videos to help users get the most from Lotus Notes. Here's a link to his latest post on Keyboard Shortcuts in Lotus Notes 8.

In addition to using the standard keyboard shortcuts, Many of my clients use ActiveWords which integrates very nicely with eProductivity and IBM Lotus Notes. The neat thing about ActiveWords and the integration with Notes is that you can connect to Notes functionality no matter where you are - Notes does not even have to be running!

I'm very excited to participate in the first GTD Summit. As with my recent trip to Lotusphere, I will be wearing three hats: Attendee, Exhibitor and Panel Moderator

This year, I will be moderating the "GTD at Home: From the Board Room to the Living Room" discussion panel. If you have a question you would like to ask the panel, please post it here. IBM Blogger Chris Blatnick  will be attending as well. Between Chris and Ryan on our team I'm sure the event will be well covered. Also be sure to keep an eye on the GTD Times site as they will have live updates, too.

I believe that GTD Summit will prove to be an important event to attend, possibly the best investment for 2009. The list of speakers is impressive and the breakout sessions will address important areas of personal and organizational productivity from key thought leaders

I'm also excited that we will get to meet several of our eProductivity customers there. If you are planning to attend the GTD Summit, please plan to stop by and say hello, You can find me in the above session on Thursday and at the exhibit with Amy and Wendy during the week. Look for this sign:


Need a ticket to the GTD Summit? Here's an opportunity you won't want to miss.

Lotusphere Comes to You - now ON-LINE

Monday, March 9th, 2009
You may not have been able to attend Lotusphere, but that does not mean that you have to miss out on the news and events. There are two ways to do this. The first is to check out the Lotusphere Comes to You events that IBM is hosting around the world - over 200+ events in all. The second is a new opportunity I just learned about: Lotusphere Comes to You  ON-LINE, hosted by the

From their web site:
Lotusphere Comes to You ON-LINE is a premier on-line event series featuring newly updated presentations from Lotusphere 2009, and some special, 10-minute briefing sessions from our sponsors. Designed to bring anyone who couldn't get to Orlando the critical information and the excitement they missed, this FREE on-line series will help you get more from your existing IT investment and boost collaboration across your enterprise.

I'm delighted to see public events like this.

Lotusphere Comes to You  ON-LINE

How can the Notes Community help encourage potential new Lotus Notes users?

As a result of the public launch of eProductivity and David Allen's subsequent endorsement of eProductivity as the ultimate productivity tool for IBM Lotus Notes, I now receive many requests from people that are hearing about Lotus Notes for the first time. The emails usually follow a familiar pattern: a) Eric, I heard about Lotus Notes and/or eProductivity from your [web site | blog  | David Allen's speech at ....] b) I would like to [evaluate | purchase] Lotus Notes for myself or my company, c) I went to the IBM site and I am lost at where to begin or how to get started using Lotus Notes for myself or my company. d) Would you please sell me a Lotus Notes License so that I can get started using eProductivity? I really want to set up my systems like [you  | David Allen].

My company, ICA, stopped selling IBM Lotus Notes over a decade years ago when we decided to focus our efforts on consulting. That said, we routinely recommend products and solutions, including IBM Lotus Notes, and we encourage our clients to purchase directly from the vendor or reseller of their choosing. I am more than happy to make qualified referrals and I ask nothing in return other than the assurance that people we refer will be treated with the utmost respect and concern for their needs.

Over the years, I have referred many people to IBM and CDW.COM to purchase Lotus Notes. Recently, however, the last few people I referred came back to me frustrated, either because someone at CDW said that they do not sell Lotus Notes (they do) or because they were offered them hundreds of options for Notes and the sales rep could not help them determine which Notes product to buy. I find that hard to believe but given the inquiries I'll consider it fact.

To me, this is a wonderful opportunity for an enterprising BM Business partner or blogger.

In the past, most of our large sales of Notes originated as inquiries from individuals who in turn influenced their organizations to switch to Lotus Notes. I think this is a great opportunity to help folks that have expressed an interest in using Lotus Notes. I think it would also be a great opportunity to help show the marketplace that Notes is a valuable product not just for big business but for small businesses and individuals as well. I know that there are qualified business partners out there that would be happy to serve them. Most of the Notes blogs I'm aware of focus on people within the Yellow Bubble. I'm not aware of any blogs intended for people unfamiliar with Lotus Notes or new to Notes and a Mac, but I think it is a great opportunity.  

Continue Reading "IBM BP/Blogger opportunity to help future Notes users" »

Is TweetDeck Twittering over the Twop?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
I signed up for a Twitter account over a year ago but seldom used it, mostly because I had plenty going on and I was concerned about it becoming a distraction. I began using Twitter seriously as part of a knowledge management course; I wanted to evaluate Twitter from a Personal Knowledge Managment (PKM) framework.

While Twitter is great, I quickly outgrew the Twitter web interface  - too inefficient for me. My first thought was to find or create something in Lotus Notes, perhaps even to add to eProductivity. I decided to see what was out there  first. I decided to try TweetDeck. TweetDeck allows me to more effectively manage and track Tweets. It's also highly addictive - especially when viewed on a 30" cinema display.* I am no longer leaving TweetDeck on my computer, preferring instead to check it just a few times a day. Here's a screen shot of my current system and feeds.

Eric Mack TweetDeck Twitter Feeds, use to support my Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) strategy

I'm still trying to determine what role and place Twitter will have in my own PKM strategy. For now, I commit to use it through the end of the term and I'm collecting my thoughts about the use of Twitter as a tool for Personal Knowledge management.

So I ask, "Is my Twittering over the Twop?" More important, how does Twitter fit into your Personal KM strategy?

*I just learned that the new Apple Mac can support eight 30" cinema displays concurrently. Hmm. Maybe it is time... Unfortunately, I still have a few thousand reasons why I won't be doing that just yet.

David Allen asked me if I would be the moderator for one of the sessions at the GTD Summit.

I will be moderating the following session:

GTD at Home: From the Boardroom to the Living Room

The session will take place on Thursday - 10:45 to 12:15.

My panelists will include:
  • John de Souza
  • Mike Willliams
  • Kim Hagerty
  • Brian Lowery
  • Ismael Ghalimi
  • Bruce Somers
  • Meg Edwards

You can read about these panelists, here.

It should be a lively session. I'm looking forward to it!

The GTD Summit is shaping up to be the conference to attend for 2009!

P.S. Thinking about buying eProductivity licenses for your team? Remember, if you purchase a workgroup license of eProductivity, I'll give you a pass to the GTD Summit. If you are on the fence, this is a great opportunity. (See details)

Guest post by Wendy Mack:

Next week, my sister Amy and I will be accompanying our father to the GTD Summit; we will be assisting him at the eProductivity pedestal in the product showcase. We will help people learn how we use Notes, eProducivity and Mr. Allen's GTD methodology to get things done.

As part of my preparation, I created two documents to help my sister and me prepare for the Summit. I have learned that it is helpful to map out the people we might meet and connect this to a picture so that if we meet them we have a reference point. So that is what I did.

GTD Summit Planning Map. Created by Wendy Mack

My father encouraged me to share these maps on his blog so that whoever is interested can use them to plan for the conference.

The first mind map contains all of the information relevant to the GTD Summit (speakers, agenda, exhibitors, etc.)

The the second map contains information about key people at the David Allen Company - many of whom will be attending the Summit.  

I hope that this information helps. My sister and I look forward to helping and learning.

Update: I created these in MindManager 7. Use the free MindManager viewer to read these maps.