Most of the people who've asked us about the future of eProductivity with Verse have been from IBM.

Speech bubble question mark blue.pngIn response to this, I decided to reach out to IBMers to find out three things:
1.        What's eProductivity done for you?
2.        What would happen if you lost eProductivity?
3.        What do you think about switching to Verse?

I gave people these questions as suggestions (not requirements) for what to write about:

- How did you learn about eProductivity?
- What problem/pain you were trying to solve by using eProductivity?
- How long have you used eProductivity and how did it work for you?
- What were your favorite features?
- What impact has eProductivity had for you?
- If you were to lose eProductivity, how would it affect you?

I've received many responses; below are a few I've selected to share (and I may add more).

Disclaimer:

The below-named persons wish to make it known that their opinions, endorsements, testimonials, judgments, words, and statements of fact and value reflect only their individual views and apply solely to eProductivity, and do not reflect any opinion or judgment on IBM Verse or any other product, whether on their part or IBM's. All comments below are shared by permission of their respective authors.

That said . . .

Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to VerseNot having eProductivity will be a disaster for me.

I learned about eProductivity through David Allen and GTD and tried it out on several iPhone apps. They all lacked the very tight integration between mail and GTD that eProductivity provides, and since corporate policy is that no data can reside outside the firewall, eProductivity is the only tool that can comply.  

My favorite features are: linking mails to projects; the Today view, and the Weekly Review Coach.

The impact on my job is simple: eProductivity keeps my mailbox at a manageable level and I'm in control of my todo's and forthcoming actions, which means I'm on top of my business.

I seriously hope you will consider making eProductivity for Verse!Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse

Torben Linér
Project Executive
IBM Denmark


Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to VerseI have found eProductivity essential to clearing my head on my priorities for each week, especially when things are very pressured and all of us have more to do than we can in the time available.

. . . I think eProductivity does a good job, considering it is an add-on above the basic Notes layer. Having invested the time and money in getting my projects and tasks set up, I would be reluctant to sacrifice that, so I would hope (and expect) that you guys provide some roadmap with the introduction of Verse.Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse

Doug Stapleton
Executive IT Architect
IBM Australia


Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to VerseI was trying for years to find a system that would help me work on the right thing at the right time. I have been using eProductivity for two years, and it works excellently for me. Every action is recorded immediately; nothings getting lost anymore. Emails can be easily put into actions with the right categorisation.

It helped me (and still helps me) enormously to get everything done as quick as possible and keep my brain free. I know that every action that is coming into my mind is recorded and getting done soon. My productivity level has increased significantly. Over the last two years I completed 3000 actions. My Lotus Notes Mail In-box is always empty. eProductivity is a treasure for me!Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse
                             
Franz Schroettner
IBM Austria


Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to VerseFor me, losing eProductivity would be catastrophic. I haven't tested Verse yet, but the increase in productivity I've had with eProductivity has been exponential during the last months I've been using it.

My full support on you adapting to Verse.Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse

Julio Sánchez Cubas
Executive Architect
IBM of Spain

*UPDATE* I've recently received this feedback as well:

Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to VerseI learned about eProductivity while searching for info on GTD suggestions and implementation.  I've just started using it, and I find it a useful tool to improve my inbox handling.  It's encouraged me to get my inbox much closer to zero than ever before, and I'm still working through it.

GTD [David Allen's Getting Things Done] can be done in Notes, but I like having projects and next actions more clearly integrated.

In Verse, I suspect I'll have to do more things manually than with eProductivity
.Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse

Jerry Quinn
Senior Software Engineer
IBM

(emphasis added)

*UDATE 5/28* I just received this today:

Image:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to VerseI think I heard about eProductivity from an internal group here in IBM.  At that time, I was already using David Allen's "Getting Things Done" and looking for ways to integrate that into my working tools.

I've been using eProductivity for about six years. It works pretty well. I have tweaked a couple of things, like adding a Next Actions view (you really need this!) to show Next Actions (and "orphan" actions that aren't attached to a project). The best thing is the ease of turning email into projects and actions.

eProductivity is how I manage my to-do list. To be honest, when I switch to Verse, I don't know what the impact will be. The ability to mark a mail as "Needs Action" is useful, but this feature clearly does not have the full action-management capability that eProductivity givesImage:IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse .

Dr. Keith Collyer
Rational Expert, Requirements
Medical Device and Electronic Design Solution Offering Lead
IBM Internet of Things Engineering Solutions


I'll just let those speak for themselves.

Based on all the marketing materials, Verse looks great -- but I've yet to see any user-generated content showing how someone uses it to get things done. I'm hoping we can help make Verse productive for people who use it.


More on Verse:
Will eProductivity work with IBM Verse?
IBM Verse: our challenge and opportunity
IBMers ask: Will I lose eProductivity to Verse?

More IBMer feedback:
This fantastic story from Michael Cheatham of IBM US.

IBM Verse: the challenge and opportunity

Verse has been the subject of a bit of discussion around here lately—understandably, since IBM will undoubtedly try to push all their customers to move onto their shiny new product.

For me, the big question about Verse is: how well it will enable personal productivity?

Collaboration/social/analytics are neat and slick and fun and all that, but I have to echo Eric Mack in saying that, at the end of the day, work—as in, the actual getting done of things by people—is inherently personal and individual. And I "have" to say that not because I work here, but because, based on my experience, I can't reasonably say anything else.

A closely-related question is: can we make eProductivity work with Verse?—create a "vProductivity," if you will?

20150521 - vProductivity.jpg

Our mission has always been to enable individuals to get things done. We've accomplished this by bringing the "Getting Things Done" method—a truly radical "new way to work"—to benighted Notes users at many, many workplaces around the world.

That's why I still have two questions for Verse: A) how well will it help people be productive? and B) can we improve this?

Ultimately, our interest in Verse will be driven by the marketplace—good ol' supply and demand. At the present, although I'm hearing from many passionate eProductivity users asking about our plans for Verse, most of them are IBMers who will have no choice about switching to Verse (in fact, I'm planning to reach out to IBMers to ask what eProductivity's done for them and how it would affect them to lose it). In other words, when it comes to Verse, we've yet to see a significant, public, collective cry of "I want that!"

We'll keep developing eProductivity and other solutions, and we'll keep our commitment to the Notes marketplace and Notes users. People at over a thousand organizations use eProductivity every day to get things done, and we'll keep serving them. We've been using Notes for over 22 years, and we've seen many other solutions come and go in that time. While I realize things are shifting toward mobile and cloud, I also know that many, many people continue to rely on their Notes client to do their work.

Got questions, comments, concerns, queries, etc.? Email or contact my team and me at:
Our "Contact Us" page
Twitter (#vProductivity)
Facebook


See also:
Will eProductivity work with IBM Verse?
IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse
IBMers ask: Will I lose eProductivity to Verse?


Image credits:
Laptop with coffee mug image by CQuadraNet [CC0 Public Domain (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/)], via Pixabay (http://pixabay.com/en/computer-laptop-workplace-mac-416569/). Modified with permission.

Email in real life

From the makers of "Conference Call in Real Life" comes another viral sensation that's sweeping the nation! See how many email mistakes and bad habits you can spot:

Here are a couple I'd like to point out:

  • If you really need a report (or anything else) ASAP, email is probably not the best way to ask (especially if your reader is getting hundreds of emails a day)
  • Only use "Reply All" if every single person in the conversation needs to know what you're saying

Yes, Tripp & Tyler are right that people use email for the wrong things. But that doesn't make it a bad tool. Like we've said before, email is not the problem: how people use it is the problem.

Would this be a bad time to repeat that you can get our Top 10 Email Tips by following this blog? These are completely, 100% guaranteed to make everyone want to respond to every one of your emails, all the time.*

Best,

Nathan

@eProductivity
FB: eProductivity

*Unless they don't feel like it, or yours is the 180th email they've received today, or they're in a meeting, in which case the full faith of this absolute guarantee is annulled, abrogated, eliminated, invalidated, abolished, expunged, undone, and annihilated. The tips are still good, though, and with them you're still more likely to get a response than without. And they're free!

In an hour, I went from about 120 emails (in five inboxes) to 0.

For the first time in months, I saw this:

iPhone Mail - No Mail.png

This felt so good to achieve.

If you've never experienced this, it's hard to understand -- it just feels so clean and complete. Can you imagine that being your inbox (even if you don't use an iPhone)?

Here's how I did it. As I looked at each email, one at a time, I chose what to:

Continue Reading: "Have you ever experienced an empty inbox? Here's how" »

GTD: How to prevent an overload of "due today"

[Today's post comes from Nathan Paul of the eProductivity Team]

After learning David Allen's Getting Things Done  from Eric Mack for a year, I had a problem: on any given day, I had way more things marked as "due" than I could possibly get done. I dealt with it by taking all my incomplete items at the end of each day and changing the due date to the next day -- you can imagine how well that worked out.

To do list.png
...times 20, but better-defined

This continued until I realized something: I was putting due dates on a lot of things that weren't really due that day. This not only overloaded my to-do list, but gave me the extra mental stress of filtering my tasks, asking "Is this really due today?"

Here's how I solved this: by distinguishing between "due" and "like to do."

Continue Reading: "GTD: How to prevent an overload of "due today"" »

"I’m glad I have Lotus Notes!"

Bet you never thought you'd hear those words.

From Matt Redard:

There's no better methodology out there for personal productivity than GTD, and eProductivity seems to be custom built to implement the GTD methodology within the Lotus Notes environment.

I was disappointed when I learned my new employer was on Lotus Notes as their e-mail/calendar system - now with eProductivity, I'm glad I have Lotus Notes!

Excellent product. Thanks for making it easier for us Lotus Notes people to get things done.

Matt Redard
Director of Servicing Operations
Nationstar Mortgage, LLC

What can I add to that? Maybe some poor, frustrated worker will Google "I'm glad I have Lotus Notes" or "I love Lotus Notes," just to see whether anyone has ever used those words in a sentence together like that in all of recorded history -- and stumble across this humble little post and be filled with hope that there can be something better.

This has been Nathan Paul writing for eProductivity. Imagine if, instead of taking a few clicks to do a task, you could to it in a few keystrokes? I'm sure you're all familiar with the shortcuts for copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V).

Imagine doing those manually instead of using the shortcuts, every time. Now are you getting a sense of how much time those little keystrokes save you?

How to use the Alt key (a.k.a. the "magical shortcut to darn near everything" key)


Hold the Alt button.

Notice that this does two things:

1) causes certain letters in your menu items to be underlined, like so:

Image:Ramp up your workspeed with the most powerful key on your keyboard

2) causes numbers to appear over your first nine action bar buttons.

While holding the Alt key, you can press one of those numbers or underlined letters. For example, holding Alt and pressing T will open the Text menu, like so:

Image:Ramp up your workspeed with the most powerful key on your keyboard

See how the k in "Strikethrough" is underlined above? That means that pressing K will activate the Strikethrough formatting.

To recap that example:
Press Alt+T+K
Start typing
You get this: Stricken-through text

Try it! (To turn off strikethrough, just press Alt+T+K again).

The secret Master Shortcut Formula


To access any function on any menu, just hold the Alt key and press the underlined letter of the thing you want to do. This also works with any numbers that pop up when you hold Alt. Go ahead and explore -- find the shortcuts for your favorite functions.

Hint: Alt+W is really handy.

Have fun!

-Nathan [Guest blog post by Nathan Paul]

David Allen opens his book, Getting Things Don, the Art of Stress Free Productivity, with this statement: “It’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control” (p. 3). I don’t know about you, but my immediate reaction was, “Yes please!”

I’m going to give you a partial summary of the first chapter of Mr. Allen’s book. I’ll try to give you enough of a sense of what this book says and what it can do for you (and has done for me) without giving you all it has to offer (both to respect Mr. Allen’s IP and not get myself sued by him or his publisher).1

What do you want to get done?

Mr. Allen defines “work” as “anything that you want or need to be different than it currently is” (4).

So. Are there weeds in the garden? Are there emails in your inbox? Is your air conditioner broken? Do you need to help your kid decide on a college? How many hundreds of things are there in your life that you need or want to accomplish, do, create, or change? We’re going to take a little look at how to do it all.

This isn’t just a system for your job. It’s for your whole life.

What’s in your way?


Continue Reading: "An introduction to a solid way of getting things done" »

[Guest blog post by Nathan Paul]

The Natural Planning Method is something you’ve been doing your whole life without realizing it. Recently, I’ve been learning to consciously apply it to everything I do — and it’s been a huge relief. In a word, it’s given me a trusted process for dealing with just about anything I need or want to do. Now, instead of dozens of projects flying into my brain at random to tug my attention away from what I’m doing, I can focus on the present, because I know that everything on my to-do list is set to be taken care of. This isn’t anything quasi-mystical, and I’m not going to ask you to buy anything.

The steps

What David Allen (the speaker from the video that was the subject of my last entry) has done is reverse-engineer the process that your brain naturally uses to plan anything:
1. You identify something you want
2. You envision what having it will look and feel like — what will be true once it’s accomplished
3. Everything (information, ideas, actions) associated with getting it floods into your mind
4. You organize those ideas, actions, and info into patterns and steps
5. You determine the very next thing you need to do — and do it

How you’re already doing it


Continue Reading: "The Natural Planning Method: simple, effective, and free for helping you get things done" »

[Guest blog post by Nathan Paul]

When I hear the words “productivity guru,” I picture a bald, fit, bespectacled man with a goatee and a flashy suit giving a jargon-heavy presentation to a group of executives (who are pretending to understand what he’s saying) on the subject of how to cram 100 hours of work into a mere 50-hour work week — and, more importantly, how to get their employees to do the same. His constant calendar-checking, emailing, and texting do nothing to interrupt his flow of sophisticated corp-speak.

I definitely do not picture a guy like David Allen speaking intelligibly about concepts I can understand and that get me excited about learning to get things done. The fact that my expectations were utterly confounded is the reason I recommend this video.

DavidAllenTEDxAppropriateEngagement.jpg


Continue Reading: "TED: “The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” A recommendation and response" »

Introduction: Nathan Paul, guest blogger

NathanPaul.jpg

I'd like to introduce you to Nathan Paul, a friend of mine whose current blog title is "Aspiring pro writer and non-homeless person". Nathan is a recent graduate of The Master's College where I have the privilege of teaching as an adjunct professor in the business program. (I've also taught an introduction to robotics course as well). I've been mentoring Nathan and sharing with him topics and information I wish I had learned when I was his age. I've put together a list of topics and we are working through them together. I've encouraged Nathan to write about these topics and even to post some of them on his blog so that others may benefit as well.

Many of the topics we are exploring together have to to with personal effectiveness and life management. Nathan has given me permission to share some of these posts here on this blog.

I'm sure you will find Nathan's posts inspiring and thought provoking. If you want to read more, I encourage you to visit his blog, Nathan the Paul.

Stay tuned...

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"GTD®" and "Getting Things Done®" are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. Lotus® and Lotus Notes® are registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.