In today's ComputerWeekly column, Ian White, asks, "Does the world really hate Notes?"

No. I think the world loves to complain.

As far as Lotus Notes is concerned, I run into folks that say they hate Notes as often as I run into users that say that they hate (insert product name here).  (I even know Mac users that complain about their software. Shocking, I know.)

In my experience it often comes down to
       a) no understanding of "What's in it for me?", or
       b) lack of training - management simply said here's your new tool
How do we, the Notes community help fix this problem? I think we need to start by understanding the problem.

Many years ago, Zig Ziglar taught me that most people never ever change their mind. They simply make new decisions when presented with new information.

I've been able to show many a self-proclaimed Notes-hater new information -- a simple few things that they can do that will be personally beneficial to them -- and almost immediately they change their song about Lotus Notes.  

It's that easy.

I've posted more thoughts about this on Notes On Productivity.

Presidential Buzz

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
I've long known that Buzz Bruggeman  is the most prolific social networker in the blogosphere, so I wasn't surprised when I learned of a grass-roots effort promoting Buzz for president!


I had no idea of the reach of this campaign: Billboards, Television (We don't watch TV), Taxis and... tattoos?

Well done, Buzz!  Best of success to you!
I'm preparing for an upcoming workshop on Personal Knowledge Management. Both of my desktops, digital and physical, are covered with stacks of papers on various topics. I have digital versions of most of the printed papers, too. If I don't, I scan them in as searchable PDFs. All of these, I organize in a computer folder hierarchy according to an ever-evolving taxonomy.

Over the years, I have used and experimented with a variety of software applications to manage my stuff. I've explore applications from Adobe Acrobat to Zotero (a useful FireFox plug-in) and many in between, including two of my favorites: Lotus Notes and Personal Brain. I've also worked with a number of home-grown systems. Some of these I have scrapped, while others are still around. Every so often, usually when I am doing research or preparing to give a talk, I like to see what new or proven tools and methods are out there for self organization.

At the enterprise level, there are a multitude of content management systems competing for market share. At the personal level there are many tools that solve specific problems but few that appear to approach the problem of personal content management from a wholistic perspective of the knowledge worker. Perhaps one of the closest I've seen is The Brain.

I'm curious to know what tools or methods you use personally to organize your files, specifically, your documents on your computer so that you can organize and retrieve your information quickly.

Do you have a favorite information organization tool or system, or is your file system more organic?

Thats right, Elguji is not a yoga position

Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Bruce and team Elguji continue to make inroads with IdeaJam, not only with the innovative product they have created it is but for creativity in advertising. Here's a screen shot from the latest PlanetLotus banner ad:


I think Bruce's ad is a little misleading: You do not need to be a Notes or Domino shop to benefit from Elguji's IdeaJam technology. A simple vanilla Domino install (or even a hosted instance from a third party) is all you need. (I told Bruce not to include mention of Notes & Domino but he only listens to me when I blog in public, like this.)

At ICA, we use IdeaJam to track ideas that our customers would like to see in our eProductivity (a product that makes implementing David Allen's GTD methodology in Lotus Notes easy). So far, IdeaJam is working well for us. I think it's a practical application of Web.20, bringing customers into the middle of the feedback and design loop. We had our eProductivityJam site up and running in minutes. No product development management should be without a tool like IdeaJam.
Question: When you identify important projects, do you clearly define the successful outcome?
Do you clearly describe, either in the project title or description what success, even "wild success" will look like?  If you are not doing this, you are missing out on perhaps the most powerful productivity tool available to help you accomplish your goals and dreams: your brain.  In fact, if you don't regularly do this, you're leaving your brain in park, when it could be driving you to accomplish wild success.

Visualizing the Successful Outcome

Many years ago, David Allen shared with me that one of the first things he did when planning his first book, the best-selling, Getting Things Done, was to write the Wall Street Journal review of his book, first. He wrote the book review as he would like it to appear in print, even before writing the first chapters of his book. For many years, I've written my projects in the past tense -- as if they were "done" and I found that helped me to "see" done as the objective. I thought that David's example of writing a formal review of his book project was very clever and a powerful visualization tool, so I made note of it.

My Personal Application
When I set out to develop my eProductivity software, I followed David's recommendation and decided to write my own review. I decided to summarize the product in two sentences, each from the perspective of a different audience. eProductivity is built on Lotus Notes, so I decided that the Notes community would provide one perspective. Since eProductivity embodies many of the principles that I learned from David's book, I decided that the GTD community should provide the other.

Continue Reading "Your Brain as a Success Coach for Getting Things Done" »