Knowledge management is rocket science -- at least for a group of people I spent the afternoon with yesterday. I was invited to attend Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne's 7th annual Knowledge Management Share Fair. Each year, this KM event grows larger. This year, the exhibits filled the main auditorium and spilled out into the front entrance. No cameras were allowed in the building, so the best I can do is give you this after-the-fact photo of the top of my ID badge:


It was inspiring to be in the auditorium, walking among various KM exhibits from all divisions of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) surrounded by huge rocket engines and pumps from various rockets - they even had a Space Shuttle Main Engine on display.

Continue Reading "Knowledge Management Share Fair; it's Rocket Science!" »

New Mind Mapping Survey On-Line

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
During the last year, web-based mind mapping applications have grown significantly in their level of functionality and popularity. To better understand how people are utilizing these tools and what their potential impact is likely to be, my friend, Chuck Frey, is conducting another mind mapping survey.

Chuck would like to find out how people are currently using mind mapping tools and what their impact is likely to be.

If you use mind mapping tools, I encourage you to participate in Chuck's survey. He's posted a brief 12-question survey on-line.

Some of the areas Chuck's promised to cover include:

Which tool offers the best functionality?
What features matter most to users?
What are the biggest benefits of web-based mind mapping tools?
What are the shortcomings of this emerging technology?
What is the future of this cool technology?

I should also mention that Chuck has a wealth of mind mapping information on-line over at the Mind Mapping Software Blog.

In memory: Fred Gilman Westlund

Thursday, September 20th, 2007
I met Fred Westlund 13 years ago at Pine Mountain Christian Community Church in the sanctuary he helped build. Fred built many buildings and homes in PMC but the church was his favorite. It was his labor of love and he could always be found tending it.


When we built my new offices, Fred volunteered to help coordinate and manage the contractors. I cannot imagine having completed the project without him. Much more important to me, however, is Fred's service in the AWANA program and as a leader to my children.

Continue Reading "In memory: Fred Gilman Westlund" »

Paradoxical characteristics of knowledge

Friday, September 14th, 2007
I'm buried in my graduate studies in the field of Knowledge Management and having a fun time assimilating what I'm learning into usable form. I'm using a variety of tools to capture what I'm learning, including Lotus Notes, MindJet Mind Maps, and Personal Brain for knowledge visualization. I plan to blog about it from time to time, both to share what I'm learning and to organize my thinking on the subject. Here's today's thought:

Kimiz Dalkir, the author of Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice shares that knowledge has certain paradoxical characteristics:
  • Use of knowledge does not consume it
  • Transferral of knowledge does not result in losing it
  • Knowledge is abundant, but the ability to use it is scarce
  • Much of an organization's valuable knowledge walks out the door at the end of the day
How interesting is it then that we talk about knowledge management. Traditional methods for managing physical assets won't work knowledge.
"You can't do knowledge management until you accept that you can't manage knowledge." - Luke Naismith

GTD and Office 2.0

Friday, September 7th, 2007
Marc Orchant is moderating this afternoon's panel on GTD and Office 2.0 and the Office 2.0 Conference. Compared to other sessions, room is packed. I'm live-blogging, with the goal to have this live, including photo, before Marc steps away from the podium. (Just for Michael)


Marc asked for a show of hands: most of audience has read Getting Things Done, few have attended a GTD seminar.

Each presenter has a 2 minute demo window, then Marc will ask for questions from the audience...

First up: Robert Walker of Vitalist (

Web-based, opens to dashboard. Can pull in feeds. Has mobile version (e.g.

Second up; Mark Mader,

Results focused collaboration based on a spreadsheet model but with an emphasis on sharing - all in a browser.
Everything is a list. Implementation of hierarchies looks well done by allowing you to indent/outdent. Neat tool to show deltas between previous sessions. Seems to be more free-form spreadsheet than a structured task manager.
You can send the smart sheet, via PDF or Excel. once or repeatedly, over the web as a link. The Office 2.0 element is collaboration - the ability to invite others into the process to work with your lists.

Third Presenter: Michael Sliwinski, creator of Nozbe

Michael is CEO of Invites us to test Nozbe live on the web at  (One of the few presenters that mentions David Allen and concepts in the book.)  Also web-based. Includes time tracking. (Think GTD 2-in timer).  Good point: this is just a tool. get to work.

Last up: Tim Norton, Business planning based on GTD.

Tim is CEO of Plan HQ. Ties projects to goals. I like the names of sections: "What I've done this week" (Completed), "What I've got coming up" (Tickler) etc. Nice. Nice Backburner feature - will move things to Someday Maybe and sends an email alert to project participants.

2. minutes per presenter is not much time.

Marc invites Ismael to speak.

One book changed my life: GTD. What a great testimony! Book is a series of simple recipes. Ismael looked for a tool to help implement. Decided to do this inside of  Likes ability to attach tasks to leads, campaigns, etc. and see tasks by each. It took several thousand tasks to create Office 2.0 Conf. He uses delegated action management within Challenge: Salesforce was not designed with GTD in mind. Ismael has a goal to get to the moon, but he's looking for what the next action would be. (Ismael, "It's call Fred")

Marc does the wrap-up

Good Q&A session. Too fast to summarize, but I'll try, I may have to review audio.

1. How do you handle the necessity for people to narror down their focus to get things done, with the need to also see the big picture of what they are doing? (Ismael had a good point about the challenge of finding the next action for subprojects. I think the answer is to have a set of good questions.)

2. Is GTD Great only for personal productivity or can it also be used for teams/businesses? (Audience comment on lack of software suitable for implement GTD in a team.) Some of this boils down to process, not tool, e.g. how to make projects & actions visible. Brief discussion of Gyronix ResultsManager as a tool for Mapping - both ways - in the framework of MindManager.

Audience member complained about challenge of weekly review, needs reminder at task completion to prompt for next action. A valid complaint. eProductivity does that. Quick discussion about priorities and contexts. Marc did a nice job of explaining how the two relate. Context, time, priority. Good job, Marc.

3. Why web-based applications for Geting Things Done?
Michael: Accessibility, different devices, no need to sync.
other: option to plug GTD data into other applications, thougfh feed, RSS, gadgets, etc.
Other: huge population that will not follow GTD but will use tools to do the work for them. interesting.
Eric Mack,

Thank you for submitting your abstract for Lotusphere 2008!.

In early November, you will receive electronic notification of the status of your session.
On behalf of Bruce Elgort and myself I'd like to thank everyone who provided feedback and topic suggestions for our proposed session at Lotusphere 2008. We've invited Alan Lepofsky to join our presentation; I think Alan would add a lot of value to the presentation and I would be delighted to have him on our team. I just posted the session abstract at the IBM/Lotus site; it's now up to the Lotusphere 2008 organizers. The process of preparing the abstract was a good one and has already given Bruce and me several ideas for upcoming blog posts and podcasts.

Here's the abstract:

Continue Reading "Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes" »

Notes on the Future of Work

Thursday, September 6th, 2007
[Sitting in conference ballroom. Wireless access points every 8 feet. This place is seriously wired. I guess if your work is in the cloud you better make sure you can access it. Fast, too. 45 Mbps.]
Office 2.0 Trends
Shift in work from application centric to information centric

Challenges of Office 2.0
Harder to separate work from life
We are faced overwhelming choice
Driving innovation at a record pace

What does Office 2.0 mean?
Continue Reading "Notes on the Future of Work" »

Our Brain on Office 2.0 Mobility & Productivity

Thursday, September 6th, 2007
In just a few hours, Steve and I will try something new.

We will deliver our Office 2.0 presentation using our brain.

Harlan Hugh created custom version of Personal Brain for us that will work for the more than 500 iPhones at the conference. (Thanks, Harlan!)
Here's our presentation on Knowledge Worker Mobility and Productivity.

Our backup PowerPoint deck is also on the web
"Lotus Notes for Me: Leveraging the Power of Notes for Personal Productivity, Personal Knowledge Management and Personal Action Management"
[This is a working title. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read the rest of this post. Then, let me know if it resonates with you...]

Many people have asked me if I've thought about presenting at Lotusphere 2008. I have. In fact, my colleague, Bruce Elgort and I have been exploring the idea of doing a joint presentation for some time. (You may know of Bruce Elgort as the founder of OpenNTF of the Taking Notes Podcast and now, the idea exchange) Bruce and I would like to invite you to give us your input on possible topics you would like to see us present... There's a catch, we need your feedback right away. (I'm presenting at the Office 2.0 conference this week and the deadline for submitting our proposal is this Friday.)

While Bruce and I haven't finalized our proposal, there is a recurring topic that keeps coming up for me: How to use Lotus Notes as a personal productivity tool in addition to the excellent collaborative tool that it already is. You see, Notes is usually marketed as a collaboration solution to organizations, that's fine. Unfortunately, it's not marketed as a personal  tool. That's probably because organizations typically buy Lotus Notes - people don't. But I think that's part of the problem. Notes hasn't been made personal. As far as I know, there are few people or organizations that are doing anything to make Notes personal. Probably the best example I can think of, someone who is working to make notes personal, is Alan Lepofsky. Alan's blog contains an amazing array of productivity tips that the average guy can use to be more productive using Lotus Notes. if you've not read Alan's blog, I highly recommend it.  (Bruce, Alan, and I did a podcast together last year)

Continue Reading "I want your feedback: I'm thinking about presenting at Lotusphere 2008" »
The idea of Office 2.0, that you can move your applications and data into the cloud has people on both sides of the fence. Some argue that they feel more safe, knowing that their information is always accessible to them from any computer. Others argue that unless you can maintain a local replica of your data you are at the whim and mercy of the availability of power and internet access providers. They point to the recent internet and power outages in San Francisco as an example. I often find myself in this camp. Today, I got a new perspective on Office 2.0 and while I'm not sure I'm any closer to a conclusion one way or another I thought I would share the experience...

20070903LightningStrikeinFrontyard.jpgEarly today, we had a downpour accompanied by... a thunderstorm accompanied by... a lightning strike... at the power pole... in our front yard.

I'm still assessing the damage but the net effect so far is that it blew out the power transformer and sent a massive power surge into the house over the power and phone lines. This did several things: first, it shocked my daughter who was upstairs turning on a light, it also shocked me, right through the keyboard. Then it  blew out much of the network equipment in my office.
Continue Reading "A look at two sides of Office 2.0 Accessibility" »

"You had me at the pen ..." The X61 Tablet PC

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007
I recently visited with my good friend and fellow productivity consultant, Kelly Forrister, at her home in beautiful Ojai California.  The purpose of my visit was to show her the Tablet PC system and environment and to give her a tour of my most recent addition to my mobile knowledge worker productivity toolkit, the X61. I've known and worked with Kelly and her husband John at a number of organizations over the past 15 years and we share a common passion for finding cool gear to help us get things done. (For those of you who started with the first Palm Pilot and early Palm hand-helds, you may remember that Kelly published a very successful email newsletter with productivity tips on how to use the palm productively.)

Lenovo was kind enough to provide me with the amazing ThinkPad X61 Tablet PC and I have been enjoying using it and demonstrating to folks how Tablets work and how I use the Tablet PC. (Be sure to search my "Tablet PC" archives for other posts about this incredible tablet.) The X61 combines the best of features - a powerful processor, a long battery life, high resolution and highly visible screen, light weight and the fantastic ThinkPad keyboard 7 TrackPoint to create a flexible and powerful computer. Add to this, Microsoft Vista (I know; it's not ideal on the desktop, but it is a much improved Tablet OS) and I have a powerful tool for mobile productivity.

Listen in as I give Kelly a tour of the new Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Tablet PC.

Continue Reading ""You had me at the pen ..." The X61 Tablet PC" »

If Batman had a gadget bag...

Saturday, September 1st, 2007
He would probably wear like Marc Orchant carries. He would probably also be platform agnostic and live in the cloud

Marc Orchant shows us the gadget bag Batman would drool over

As part of my prep for the upcoming Office 2.0 conference, I'm listening to past interviews I've done, looking for excellent examples of people that are living and working the Office 2.0 lifestyle.

Listen in to this interview with my friends Marc Orchant and Michael Sampson as Marc gives us a tour of his gadget bag. This near-bulletproof gadget bag carries everything that Marc uses for mobile geek productivity.

The conversation is not strictly limited to gadget bags, though, as Marc shares how much of his data lives in the cloud allowing him to work from anywhere he has an internet connection.

We stop for a brief commercial break -  to plug Michael's excellent article on Calendaring & Scheduling in Messaging News Magazine. A worthy read!

We then continue discussing about Marc's [then current] mobile devices kit and all of the glue that he uses to get all of these to work together nearly as in sync as do in Lotus Notes....

Continue Reading "If Batman had a gadget bag..." »

Mobile Productivity at the Office 2.0 Conference

Saturday, September 1st, 2007
Office20Logo.gifPersonal Knowledge Management expert, Steve Barth  and I have been invited to speak at the Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, September 6-7, 2007. We're on the Knowledge Worker Mobility and Productivity track. I'm delighted to see that also in this track are fellow productivity blogging buddies and GTD geeks, Marc Orchant and Buzz Bruggeman. Marc will be on a panel discussing GTD and Office 2.0, while Buzz will talk about Actionable ideas.

With BETA 1A now out, I'm now free to focus on the conference. Today. I'm reviewing some of my recent articles and presentations along with some podcasts from the archives of the digital sandbox. Soon, I'll toss those ideas onto a mind map and start playing with them to see what I want to talk about. The challenge for me is never deciding what to say, it's deciding what not to say. Mark Twain once said something to the effect of "...ask me to speak for a day, I'll need an hour to prepare; ask me to speak for an hour and I'll need two weeks." I feel like that.

iphone.gifThis promises to be an exciting conference, not only because of an excellent selection of topics and speakers but also because all attendees will receive a free iPhone as part of the iPhone Experiment.  Mine arrived Friday; at last, I can now sing the song.

Continue Reading "Mobile Productivity at the Office 2.0 Conference" »

eProductivity Beta 1A at Last. Praise God!

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Many years ago, I  took a number of useful productivity concepts and wrapped them in a Lotus Notes solution to make it easier for me to get things done using Lotus Notes. I made this collection part of my "eProductivity" toolkit and I have continued to enhance it over the years.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that for the past 15 years my friend and client, David Allen, has had a profound influence on my work personally and professionally. (Thank you, David!) I've incorporated some of the productivity best-practices that I learned from David and his book, Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity into my eProductivity template as well.

My personal eProductivity system has served me well and has evolved over the years based on daily use, testing, and feedback from some of my eProductivity consulting clients who use the template as part of their own GTD implementations.

The eProductivity software adventure begins.

Continue Reading "eProductivity Beta 1A at Last. Praise God!" »

Batman would love it: what the phone has become

Saturday, September 1st, 2007
Marc Orchant and I wrap up our three-part tour of his gadget bag as Marc gives Michael Sampson and me a hands-on demo of his current Nokia N-Series handheld multimedia computer.


Continue Reading "Batman would love it: what the phone has become" »

New gear for the mobile Office 2.0 worker

Saturday, September 1st, 2007
Whether it's GTD or geek gadgets, Marc is one of my favorite people to talk with about mobile productivity.  Marc's completed the tour of batman's gadget bag; now he shows us the amazing array of mobile productivity devices he carries inside that cool bag and then shares how he makes it all work together.
Marc Orchant shows us his current mobile productivity toolkit (as of June, 2007)

A few of the goodies inside Marc's gadget bag (as of June 2007)

Nokia N800 Internet Tablet
Nokia N95
Stowaway Sierra BlueTooth Keyboard
Treo 700p

Will Marc add an iPhone to his bag?

Ten minutes into the interview, I ask Marc if he will purchase the new iPhone...
"No, not the first generation. Absolutely not. Apple has a number of issues to resolve..."
Marc Orchant, June 18, 2007

[Less than 2 weeks  later, Marc decides he can't wait for iPhone 2.0]

Continue Reading "New gear for the mobile Office 2.0 worker" »