If a  clean desk is a sign of a sick mind, is the same true for your Windows desktop?  


After 25 years in business, I've learned a few things about the way that I work, and I definitely work better when I can focus on the project at hand. In today's webinar on how I use Lotus Notes and MindManager as knowledge management tools, I shared a few productivity tips that I've collected and use; one of them was to clear your Windows desktop so that no icons would display. I mentioned that I considered this the most productive tip I found last year. As testimony to this fact, I'm still using it; I've found that most "productivity tips" aren't and seldom last more than a few days.  I received many questions about this simple tip and several callers asked me to share the tip on my blog, which I promised to do before the end of the day.

Continue Reading "Out of sight, out of mind. Out of mind, ready to focus" »
Well, the Mindjet webinar is now done, and it appears that it was quite a success. Last night, my children asked me what a webinar was, so we made attending one a homeschool assignment. Kathy and the girls logged in and watched the webinar on the big screen in the conference room. After the webinar, my fan club marched in with signs to let me know what they thought...


I love positive feedback. More importantly, I hope that they, along with the several hundred people that participated, found value in what I had to share about how I use Lotus Notes and MindManager as knowledge management tools.

By the time the webinar was over, I had already received 30 new emails from folks thanking me for the webinar, sharing how they use Lotus Notes and MindManager to support their implementation of GTD, and asking for my MindManager map of resources. Since then, another 25 emails have come in - and it's only 4:15 PM!

In a day or two, Mindjet will send me the WebEx recording of the webinar so that I can review it. I'll update my maps and create another map to respond to all of the questions that came in. Then, I'll make these available for download.  To that end, if you have a question that you wanted to ask but didn't, feel free to send it  to me. Likewise, if you would like to tell me how you are using MindManager and Lotus Notes as your knowledge management tools or if you have some resources/tips to share, write to me by clicking on the "contact" link on the menu bar.  For those that e-mail me, I will send the maps and links to resources.

Continue Reading "I guess you enjoyed the Notes & MindManager webinar" »
In case you are late to the game, Mindjet's asked me to share how I use MindManager and Lotus Notes to get things done.

I want to thank those who helped spread the word on their blogs. As of yesterday, Mindjet informed me that we had over 400 people signed up.

If you've not registered, there's still time to sign up for this free webinar.

I want to thank those of you who took the time to send in questions. I'll answer these during the presentation.

PS. A few folks have inquired about the new blog. A winter storm today and webinar prep has kept me busy, so I decided to postpone the launch until after next week.

What’s your religion?

Sunday, March 25th, 2007
This quote says it all...
Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over.

Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
A new class of web-based mind mapping applications - like Mindomo, MindMeister and Bubbl.us - has been generating a lot of buzz. Several mind mapping bloggers have covered individual applications, but so far there hasn't been a side-by-side comparison.

Until now.

Chuck Frey, of the Mind Mapping Software Weblog, has just posted a side-by-side comparison of web-based mind mapping tools.

Chuck, this is great! Why not add a fifth column for MindManager's web capabilities, for all the world to see?

Let's really turn up the heat!

A new blog on eProductivity, coming soon

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
Inspired by Bob Walsh and his excellent MicroISV and Clear Blogging books, I've decided to launch a new blog to record and share my journey creating a MicroISV to launch the public version of the eProductivity template for Lotus Notes and GTD. I wrote the first version of the template in the late 90's and arrived at a version I liked around the turn of the century (that just sound cool, doesn't it?). This project has been percolating and, in some cases, calling to me, ever since.


So what do I plan to blog about?

I plan to blog about the process of starting a MicroISV (a very small, efficient, independent, internet-based, software company, not owned by Microsoft) and the lessons I learn along the way.

Why do I want to blog  about starting a MicroISV?

I have six reasons; here they are:

Continue Reading "A new blog on eProductivity, coming soon" »
I'm not sure this has been done before, but the Flying Geeks achieved what had previously always seemed impossible - a perfect score of 400 at the US FIRST LEGO League Robotics competition. They beat out the Mindstorms Mayhem team - previous winner for the past three years. In response, the Mindstorms Mayhem team graciously posted this tribute to the Flying Geeks.

Even if you are not into Robots, or LEGOs or the like, you've got to watch this amazing video of the Flying Geeks as they achieve a perfect score in the New Hampshire Semifinals. (Wait or right-click to download, it's a large file)

Continue Reading "Congratulations Flying Geeks, a perfect score of 400!!!" »
MindJet just informed me that in the first week of sign-ups, over 250 people have signed up for the free webinar on how I use MindManager and Lotus Notes!

I'm still soliciting questions from people who are interested in using Notes and MindManager as a tool for getting things done and as a Personal Knowledge Management support system.

If you have any questions, please post them as comments to this post and I will do my best to address them in the webinar.


I recently delivered a speech to the incoming students at The Center for Professional Studies (CPS) at The Master's College in Santa Clarita, California.

This was an exciting opportunity for me to encourage the incoming students by sharing my experiences in the Organizational Management program and to offer some secrets for success in getting through the program.

While the speech is directed to students, and adult learners in specific, the principles I share could be applied to anyone in any situation.

This week, business cohort had a reunion and my colleagues encouraged me to share the speech, so here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

Hey Bruce, are you up to a challenge?

Sunday, March 18th, 2007
Hey Bruce, now that you've purchased your own MindStorms kit, it's time to start thinking about competitions. After all, you won't know what your robot's worth until it's in the ring, fighting for survival.

Tonight, our team made a video of our second sumo practice for an upcoming competition. Yesterday's robots were pretty weak,  but after a lesson on gear reduction, torque and drive trains, I sent the kids off to redesign their robots.

Bruce, when you come to visit me in the digital sandbox, bring your MindStorms kit and we'll have some fun. Perhaps we can write an extension to the Notes API to manage our robots from LotusScript and hve them respond to the status of our programs. Interesting idea...

Related links: LEGO Mountaineers Team Web page
MindJet has asked me to present a webinar on how I use MindManager to get things done. I agreed, and on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 10:00 AM (PST) I will present a free webinar, entitled MindManager as a Knowledge Management Tool: How I use MindManager and Lotus Notes to get things done. That's the fancy title. My working title is "Mind Mapping in the Digital Sandbox." (See description below)  


I don't consider myself an expert in MindManager - to me that implies that I know all there is to know about Mind Mapping. (I don't.) Rather, I think of myself as a perpetual student of tools and methodologies for productivity and knowledge management. I'm always ready to learn and to share what I've learned.

I plan to share how I use MindManager in my daily work and how I've integrated it with other software tools that I use. No sales pitch, just show-and-tell about some of the geek tools I use daily.  I plan to cover a range of topics, including how I use MindManager and Lotus Notes and how I use MindManager teaching my children and coaching robotics teams. I plan to leave ample time for questions and answers.

This will be a fun opportunity, I look forward to it as much for the opportunity to share as to learn from your questions and comments. My goal is to make this presentation as informative as possible, so I invite you to submit the questions that you would like me to answer or things you would like to see. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please post your questions below. Also, if you blog, please help me get the word out about this webinar.

I've provided a link to sign up for the webinar at the end of this post.

Continue Reading "Sign up for my "How I use MindManager" webinar" »
Well, one of them, at least. Robert and I are looking for a full-time Director of IT for the David Allen Company. If you'd like to know more, read on...

Fifteen years ago, David Allen hired me as his technologist. A few years after we started working together, David gave me the title of "Chief Propellerhead" which continues today. (It fits.)  When I first started working with David, his company, The Productivity Development Group, was a small but growing productivity consulting firm. In the 15 years since, David Allen has become a household name in the world of personal productivity. Well deserved, too. I've enjoyed the privilege of working along side David for this time and I've had the unique opportunity to watch and learn how he gets things done and I've been privileged to have his coaching in my business and with my software development.


In the past two years, however, the company has grown to 40 people, which means that the IT responsibilities have also grown from something I could handle remotely, on a part-time consulting basis, to something that requires a full-time in-house Director of IT.

For the past several years, I've served David in a dual-role, as eProductivity specialist and Director of IT. Last year, we hired a wonderful support specialist, Lyz Dinh, to support me at the David Allen Company. She handles the day-to-day needs in Ojai and I handle the strategic work remotely from Pine Mountain Club. This has worked well... except that the company continues to grow...

After deciding that I did not want to become the full-time Director of IT for The David Allen Company, we decided to look outside of the company for a new person to fill this position, which is why I'm writing this post. We are looking for a full-time Director of IT to work in Ojai, California. This person will report directly to Robert Peake, our CTO.  

Continue Reading "Would you like to have my job at The David Allen Company?" »
My close friend and colleague, Tanny O'Haley, recently redesigned his DominoBlog site and I think that he's done an amazing job, too.


Tanny and I have been using Steve Castledine's excellent DominoBlog template (now the IBM Blogging Template) to manage our web sites.

Who said that a Domino web site had to be dull?

Continue Reading "Tanny gets a face-lift, and it looks really good" »
Today, I'll wrap up my thoughts on effectiveness by looking at focus and concentration.

Focus and concentration are two tools that are used by the executive to bring about results that will be of greatest benefit to himself and to the organization he serves.  Peter Drucker, in his book, The Effective Executive, tells us that “The way to apply productively mankind’s greatest range is to bring to bear a large number of individual capabilities on one task.”   From Drucker’s statement, one can conclude that there are two key tools that the effective executive must use to achieve this productivity: focus and concentration.

The first tool, focus, is important because is directs the attention and activity of the executive or the organization towards a singular achievement – the successful outcome.  Focus is the tool that helps the effective executive decide what should be shut in and kept within the sphere of attention and effort.   The second tool, concentration, is the undivided attention of the executive or his organization towards the object of focus.  The need for concentration is great, because the executive is constantly presented with new information and opportunities, which, if not filtered through the sieve of concentration, will quickly distract from the present task. Concentration is the tool that helps the effective executive decide what should be shut out.

While a clearly defined list of successful outcomes, be they personal or organizational, are essential, without the tools to accomplish these outcomes, few lasting results are likely to be achieved.  When the tools of focus and concentration are applied to ensure that energies are directed toward the achievement of defined outcomes, the effective executive will be able to impact his organization in a positive and productive manner.

The Secret to Executive Effectiveness

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007
Peter Drucker, in The Effective Executive, writes: “The focus on contribution counteracts one of the basic problems of the executive: the confusion and the chaos of events and their failure to indicate by themselves which is meaningful and which is merely ‘noise.’”  If an executive, a knowledge worker, simply deals with “stuff as it shows up,” he will quickly find that he has misspent his time on the operational aspects of his work at the expense of the strategic work which his title and responsibilities require of him. The secret to effectiveness, therefore, is to clearly define the successful outcome of his role in the organization.
One way to do this, proposes Drucker, is to ask the question, “What is the most important contribution I can make to the performance of this organization?”
The answer to this question, indeed the process of asking it, will provide many tangential benefits and impacts, including: an understanding of self-development, knowledge, and skills, which may be required, an understanding of the key information flows in an organization, and identification of the key people and processes which provide or rely upon those flows.  A focus on what the executive can contribute, that no one else can, will lift the executive to a level beyond the immediate needs of the organization to a place where he can focus the best interests of the organization.  It is there that the executive – and the organization – will realize the maximum potential: effectiveness.

Focus on Contribution