My thoughts about an Ink-enabled Lotus Notes R8

Thursday, November 30th, 2006
Ed brill and I have exchanged a few e-mails about the idea of Ink Enabling Lotus Notes for the Tablet PC. I hope that Ed will post his thoughts on his blog, so I won't steal his thunder. Meanwhile, I will share one of my emails that summarizes my thoughts on Lotus Notes for the Tablet PC and whether it is critical for IBM to address digital ink in the next release of Lotus Notes (R8).
Ed, Aside from my personal desires, I do not see this as business critical for IBM/Lotus today, but I do see a shift in what users will come to expect in the future. I agree that, in the business, market Tablets are still niche oriented and vertical market. However, the once-large price difference between a laptop and a Tablet PC form factor has diminished rapidly. As it does, more tablets will be sold and more people will expect to use their  applications with a tablet.

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Journal: The undervalued notes program

Thursday, November 30th, 2006
Following up to my post on why business applications should be ink-enabled, I'd like to share this excellent post on why Microsoft Journal is the undervalued note-taking program.

Tracy Hooten, of the Student Tablet PC, recently wrote this detailed post about the power in the simplicity Journal as a tool for note-taking with digital ink.  (I had the privilege to work with Tracy last year during our 8-week paperless challenge. Details here.)

Tracy blogs about how she's returned to Microsoft Journal and she offers four reasons why:
1. Stability
2. Flexibility
3. Familiarity
4. Simplicity
Tracy's article describes both the beauty of the Tablet PC platform and the power we can find in simplifying our tool set.

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What business app do you want Ink Enabled?

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
Rob Bushway's trying to find out what business application do users most want to see ink-enabled.

With as much progress as the Tablet PC continues to make with education, health care, legal, etc., it continues to surprise me as to how few business applications are ink-enabled. By ink-enabling, I'm referring to converting a note field to accept both ink and text, adjusting fields for context awareness so the TIP can be used more effectively, etc....

My answer:
1. Lotus Notes

2. Adobe Acrobat  
3. SameTime

Did I mention Lotus Notes?

What business application would you love to see ink-enabled?

Post a comment here, or on

Getting Things Deleted Scobleized

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
[This post is intended for the many people who've read about the new two-minute rule for email that is racing around the blogosphere.]

12 days ago, I shared Robert Peake's secret to success with e-mail. What we both thought was a humorous IM chat (posted here) is now spreading around the blogosphere, thanks in part to getting Scobleized.

Since then, the number of people blogging about why (or why not) deleting emails that take longer than 2 minutes to process is a good idea continues to grow by the hour.

It looks like I touched a raw nerve here.

As Robert Scoble wrote in his Scobelizer comment thread: do realize it’s only a joke, right?
It’s what we all WISH we could do, but can’t.

Despite the fact that Robert and I and other have pointed out that this was a tongue-in-cheek post in the comment threads, many bloggers have not taken the time to read the comments and are blogging away with their thoughts and ideas on the merits or demerits of deleting any email that will take longer than 2 minutes to handle.

For the record, I am NOT advocating that anyone summarily delete emails that they think take longer than 2 minutes to process.  

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In response to my earlier post, about the lack of ink-enabled business applications, Ben Poole wrote:
Here's what I don't understand:
Why should ANY application be "ink-enabled"?

Seriously. Why?
The way Microsoft have approached the Tablet PC is all wrong in this regard: ink-enabling should be an OS-level abstraction. Applications should just take advantage of what the host operating system offers, using its input managers and what-have-you. It seems crazy to me that the OS vendor is relying on application developers to push *their* technology in this way.
I'm sure MS have their reasons for tackling the Table PC like this, but I must be missing something big time...

Yes, Ben, you've missed something.

So did IBM and the Lotus Notes team.

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Thoughts on Visualizing Outcomes

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
This morning, I attended the latest MindJet Webinar,"Visualizing Outcomes: Managing Simultaneous Projects with MindManager and ResultsManager."

Today's Nick Duffill, began by presenting his Productivity Formula:
Effectiveness = Knowledge x Focus2

Key takeaways:
  • Prioritization is the key to progress - identify the important things to do, not just the urgent (e.g. the Covey approach)
  • A To-Do list does not show you what to do - it simply lists what you can do, which is why understanding your priorities is so important.
  • A Project-based approach does not have to mean "Project Management." As Stephen Covey taught us to "begin with the end in mind," funnel time lines for project-based planning are a more powerful planning tool than traditional list-making.  
  • Project dashboards present a specific viewpoint, purpose, and time frame.

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ThinkPad X60 Tablet PC worth the wait

Monday, November 27th, 2006
I recently deployed a Toshiba M400 for a client who could not wait any longer for the long-rumored X60 Tablet PC from Lenovo.

The Toshiba M400 is a nice Tablet PC and were it not for the challenges of getting good support from Toshiba I would recommend the M400 to anyone looking for a powerful Tablet PC. Of course, I warned my client that as soon as he purchased his new Toshiba M400, Lenovo would probably announce the X60.

You guessed it...

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This promises to be another outstanding MindManager Webinar. Tuesday (tomorrow), Nick Duffill of Gyronix and MindManuals will present a webinar entitled: Visualizing Outcomes:  Managing Simultaneous Projects with MindManager and ResultsManager

If you are interested in Mind Mapping and specifically how to use MindManager to manage your projects and actions GTD-style, you're in for a real treat.

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Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
Michael's always trying for a way to capitalize on my words, especially when computers are involved. Today, as part of his relentless campaign
to get me to buy a Mac, Michael's just launched a new line of apparel for  clueless Mac users.

If you use Lotus Notes and the GTD methodology, you'll be pleased to know that the long awaited GTD and Lotus Notes implementation guide is now available. My colleague, Kelly Forrister, and her team worked hard to assemble a valuable collection of tips and tricks for using the Lotus Notes Calendar, Email, Personal Journal, and To Do's more effectively.


David Allen and I began using Lotus Notes long before The David Allen Company first opened its doors. Over the years, I've not only learned for myself what works and what does not, I've had the privilege to watch other highly productive people use Lotus Notes effectively. I think Kelly's done a great job of collecting some this wisdom in one place.
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Taking Notes Podcast One-year Anniversary

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
Bruce and Julian recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Taking Notes Podcast, a regular podcast focused on Lotus Notes for the developer community. Even if you are not a developer, you'll find valuable information in each podcast.

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Another big weekend for FIRST Robotics

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
The girls FIRST Robotics Team competed in San Diego this weekend and they again won the robot design award. I'm particularly proud of them as this is an area in which the team has worked especially hard this year.


I was not too involved in the robot design, other than to show them how to map out the features that they wanted their robot to accomplish and to encourage them to design an integrated robot with no detachable parts.
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Tell me why I should open your email

Monday, November 20th, 2006
One simple e-mail productivity rule that I started using many years ago -- originally as a defense against viruses -- is the "tell me why I should open it" rule.

If a sender, clients, family, & friends included, can't tell me why I should open an email in the subject, I delete it. It's their fault for not gaining my interest and differentiating their email from the 300+ junk emails I receive daily.

Subjects like: "billing," "software update," and "Scott's computer" don't cut it. Instead, I encourage my clients and friends to be more creative in their subject lines. Example:

"Eric, please review billing for November. I need your approval by Friday."
"I've installed MindManager on David's computer. No action required."
"Jack's Tablet PC arrived; Are you available to meet with him Tues?

Of course, this rule works two ways; I'm still training myself to improve my own subject line habits.

MindJet responds to heavy CPU issues

Monday, November 20th, 2006
Since I first posted my concern that some MindManager users, myself included, have had problems with high CPU utilization, several users have blogged or posted in public forums about similar experiences..

MindJet recently posted an update on this topic. If this problem affects you, I encourage you to keep in touch with MindJet.

A new two-minute rule for email

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
Yesterday, I spent 12 hours processing 117 emails in one client folder alone. This was the second pass at my in-box and these were the hard emails - the ones I had dragged there because I knew they would take more than 2 minutes to complete. I finally went to bed with an empty folder, in fact I deleted the folder. This morning, my SameTime IM window popped up with a message from my colleague, Robert Peake, the unwilling recipient of many of the emails I had sent the day earlier. Here's the transcript:
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Productivity in Motion Update for 11/08/06

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
If you are interested in robotics, LEGOs, or want to see how kids use mindmaps and GTD to plan and prepare for a competition, our U.S. FIRST Robotics updated team blog site is now on-line. The girls have written over 50 blog entries detailing their experiences preparing for the upcoming robotics competitions.


I hope you'll visit their team web site and offer a few words of encouragement.

The competitions begin this week and continue for the next 4 weeks. To follow all of the excitement, you'll want to add these links to your RSS reader:

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KM, GTD on The Brain

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
A fascinating day at the KMWorld Knowledge Management Conference! I came looking for tools for knowledge visualization and Personal Knowledge Management and I 'm not disappointed.


One of the tools that I've looked at off and on over the years is TheBrain by The Brain Technologies. Tonight, I had a fascinating conversation with CTO and Co-Founder, Harlan Hugh and Shelley Hayduk (VP Mktg & Sales). We discussed the genesis for TheBrain and how Harlan came to design the brain 15 years ago, based on the associative thought process of the brain. For those of you into mind mapping, TheBrain is not your traditional mind-mapping/diagramming tool - at least not in the sense of the Buzan model or MindJet's MindManager.

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