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. Over the last few weeks, I've been corresponding with Michael Cheatham of IBM Global Business Services, who's used eProductivity for the past three years. He seemed very satisfied with our product and service, so I gave him a few questions as prompts and asked whether he'd be willing to share his feedback, even if only a sentence or two.

I often ask for feedback from people who enjoy eProductivity. Sometimes I don't hear back, which I understand — our customers are usually very busy professionals. Other times, I'll get a nice, short comment.

But every once in a while, someone goes all out and blows me away. That's what Michael did the other day. He chose to answer the prompts I provided, so here's his complete eProductivity story, in his own words:

Image:I got this fantastic eProductivity story yesterdayHow did you learn about eProductivity?
Before joining IBM, I used MS Outlook as my email and calendaring system. I read David Allen's book, Getting Things Done, and while searching for more information on the topic, I found a Getting Things Done (GTD) plugin for Outlook.

The GTD plugin helped me to manage my in-box and greatly increased my productivity . . . Once I joined IBM, I found out that the email and calendaring system used was Lotus Notes, so I did a web search for a GTD plugin for LN. Instead I found eProductivity, which offered much more functionality that the Outlook GTD plugin, and so I ordered the application.

I started with a trial of the stand-alone version, but by the end of the trial I was convinced that the tool would provide a lot of value, and I ordered the full integrated version of eProductivity.

What problem or pain you were trying to solve by using eProductivity?
 
My problem was that I received 50 to 100 emails per day, some of them important and some of them not. Of those that are important, some I can act on immediately, some I need information from others, and for some, I have to schedule time to action them.

In regular Lotus Notes, the most I could do was set up rules to action certain emails as they came in, but that was not sufficient for me to stay on top of everything that needed to get done.

How long have you used eProductivity and how did it work for you?
 
I have now been using eProductivity for almost three years. When I first installed eProductivity, I had approximately 700 emails in my in-box.

Through using eProductivity and setting up some rules in Lotus Notes, I was able to get this down to literally zero. I now rarely have more than 6-10 emails in my in-box, and I am almost always able to end the day with none

. . . this is not just a matter of deleting all my emails as the come in: I am also able to uncover what needs to be worked on immediately, and I am able to schedule (with reminders) work that is necessary but cannot be completed when the email comes in. I am also able to view, in a simple and intuitive way, all of the actions I need to take and the individuals that I waiting to provide me with information.

What were your favorite features?

My favorite feature is the ability to copy an email into an action and delete the email or move it to another folder. For emails that contain all of the information I need in the email itself, I delete them and copy them into an action with a reminder date. If I need more information, eProductivity allows me to format the action in a way that it organizes all of the information I am waiting for under the individual's name. I can also copy the email into a meeting invite or an appointment if I need to schedule it for a later time.

What impact did eProductivity have for you?

With eProductivity, I feel that I am always on top of my emails, actions, requests for information, and calendar. As mentioned above, my in-box is almost always at zero, while at the same time I know I have every required action covered that was initiated by an email.

It allows me to feel like I am in control of my time.

(The views and opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer).Image:I got this fantastic eProductivity story yesterday


Wow. This is the kind of experience eProductivity was designed for. Thanks, Michael, for sharing your story!

How much is saving your time worth?

Time is the one thing you can't beg, borrow, or buy. That's why I so appreciate JT's story -- he recognizes time as "the most valuable resource of all" and credits eProductivity with saving it.

In his own words, here's how he started getting things done in IBM Lotus Notes with eProductivity:

My company uses IBM Lotus Notes for email and calendaring. Lotus Notes v9 has evolved a lot compared to prior versions of Lotus Notes, however, it still provides what I would say are rudimentary To-Do list management and bare bones email processing. The volume of email hitting my inbox made it impossible to stay on top of my incoming email, which meant I was missing important To-Do's or actions that I needed to take on some emails because they were lost in the volume of emails where I was only cc'd and didn't need to take any specific action. I found myself constantly re-reading emails to remember what they were for, whether or not I had already actioned them or not. All-in-all, I was not very productive managing my incoming email.

The volume of email hitting my inbox made it impossible to stay on top...Now, my email inbox is emptied by the end of each day.

I knew I had to do something different to keep up with the ever growing number of emails passing through my inbox. I knew there had to be a better way and that surely someone had written software to address these pain points. This quest led me to find the excellent book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. The GTD system made a lot of sense to me, but I struggled how to implement these GTD concepts using Lotus Notes.

After googling around a bit, I found the eProductivity for IBM Notes Mail product, which has forever changed how I manage my email. Today, my email inbox is emptied by the end of each day by utilizing the GTD system in eProductivity. I drag emails to the left to create actions for future To-Do's and drag items to the right that I want to keep for future reference. Finally, I delete any email which I don't need to perform any action and do not need to keep for future reference. Using the Today view, I get an overview of my meetings scheduled for the day and/or any actions that I have due that day.

One of the best features of eProductivity IMHO, is the "Waiting for" action. I send a lot of emails where I need someone else to respond or take some action on my behalf. Before eProductivity, I relied on my memory to remember what I had asked for and whether or not I had received a response within the expected time frame. With eProductivity, I click one button that says "Waiting for" when I send the email and a future action is automatically created as a reminder that I'm waiting for something to be responded to.

Getting all of these actions and To-Do's out of my head and into the eProductivity system has allowed me to manage my email my more productively. I hope one day that my company adopts eProductivity company wide, but until then, I'm happy to pay out of pocket for eProductivity because it saves me the most valuable resource of all, my time!

JT

Thanks for sharing your story, JT!

If you'd like to share how eProductivity has helped you, select "Send feedback" from the eProductivity menu:



Happy New Year!

-Nathan

"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. Hey everyone! We've got some new eProductivity stories from our customers, but we especially wanted to share one that we just got today. Terry Ash, a member of the IT team for the Surrey City Council in the UK, tells us how he was so impressed by eProductivity, even though he couldn't use it at the time, that he remembered it for 10 years(!!) until he was finally able to get it. He also relates how eProductivity helped him gain and maintain control over his enormous workload:

I came across David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology way back in 2003 and immediately became hooked. I avidly read his book and then looked about for a software solution with a view to automating the process as much as possible. Like everyone else, most of my work commitments arrived via email. I came across eProductivity which looked like it would fulfil all of my needs, with one exception. I wasn’t using IBM Notes as my email client. What followed was a number of years trying to get by using GTD with an alternate product. I could only look on enviously at all of eProductivity’s features not implemented in my solution.

Fast forward 10 years and I found myself as General Manager for a company providing IT services for Virgin Atlantic Airways. With a heavy workload and a very demanding boss I found myself sinking without a trace.  Fortunately for me, the company I worked for used IBM Notes and I remembered eProductivity and immediately sought it out. To see that eProductivity was still around after all this time spoke volumes and I immediately purchased a license. At last, I would be able put the GTD methodology to full use.

I spent a whole day pulling in all of my loose notes and reviewing my emails, ostensibly doing 3 months’ worth of weekly reviews all in one go. I immediately felt back in control.  The ability to look across my work commitments in one fell swoop was empowering. I gained confidence and was able to respond to requests for status updates and accurately agree deliverable dates for new work simply because I could see what my workload was as well as what it was going to be.

My Inbox was at zero for the first time in many years.

I’ve now used eProductivity for just over a year now and only wish I used it straight from the start back in 2003. Yes there are alternative solutions out there but eProductivity remains the only product to be truthful to the whole GTD methodology.

For me the guided weekly review is an absolute lifesaver and ensures that I don’t miss a thing. Once completed I feel ready to hit the ground running at the start of the following week. Being able to see what requires my attention according to my “Today” view is essential. Creating items with an agenda context and associating that item with a person meant I could easily remember to raise matters with that person when I next conversed with them. No more putting down the telephone and remembering I’d missed something.

There are so many more productive features I could mention, but don’t take my word for it: take a look at the eProductivity website for a full list.

For me the product continues to evolve and the support provided is second to none.  With a host of tutorials and community input, I strongly recommend eProductivity for IBM Notes as the GTD methodology tool of choice.

-        Terry Ash, UK eProductivity User, May 2014

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to recommend your product. Wishing you every success for the future.

We get stories like this all the time, but what really stood out to me personally was the fact that he remembered eProductivity for 10 years without even using it!

I think Terry's story also shows that, no matter how deep you're buried, the methods of Getting Things Done, which are built in to eProductivity, can help you get calm, clear, and in control. Finally, I'm touched by the fact that he thanked us for the opportunity to recommend our product. I can't remember when I've ever done that for anything!

For more about eProductivity's features, as Terry mentioned, see here.

Thank you, Terry, for allowing us to share your story here to inspire our readers!

If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email.

Here's another powerful customer story from the customer service inbox. It's from a passionate and productive customer: Brandon Starr. It's longer than many posts we feature but it's rich with details and worth a read if you want to learn how other smart and productive people are getting things done with less effort with eProductivity for IBM Notes. Brandon also mention's a product that he uses called ActiveWords. We use this ourselves and, as Brandon mentions in his letter, eProductivity integrates with ActiveWords. In fact, it's one of our recommended resources. Thank you, Brandon, for sharing your story and for allowing us to share it here to inspire others.

I became interested in the GTD methodology around 2009, when my former boss introduced me (and the rest of his staff) to GTD. After some additional research I found the GTD website. I was looking for a way to maximize my production (and also admittedly to impress my boss). While browsing the GTD website, I stumbled across a link to a program that David Allen recommends called ActiveWords (if you don't have ActiveWords you're working much harder than you should be). For the next two years, I gained a better understanding of the fundamentals of GTD, and also refined they way I used ActiveWords at work and on my home PC. During this time, I was also using Outlook at work.

In July 2011, I transferred inter company to a department that uses Lotus Notes. At first, I was lost. Lotus Notes felt overwhelming with so many options and a much more complicated interface than Outlook. I felt like I needed to learn programming in order to effectively set up and use Lotus Notes. It took me 6 months before I found the To-Do's section of Lotus Notes. My calendar wasn't set up properly and I wasn't receiving notices for meetings, appointments,...or even for REMINDERS. Eventually our tech department found out my Lotus Notes was looking towards the wrong server and corrected it. Once they fixed my Calendar, I thought I might as well see if there were any ways to improve my Lotus Notes experience. After searching for ways to improve Lotus Notes, I wound up on the GTD site again. That's when I noticed eProductivity. At first I was a little tentative about downloading and altering my Lotus Notes. So I tried the free stand-alone version. I started manually migrating my emails into the eProductivity folder, and I set up a few projects and actions. I started to realize that eProductivity was basically using my Lotus Notes in a more efficient way. It was setting up To-Do's with contexts and due dates of my choosing.

After I became more comfortable with eProductivity, I decided to try the Integrated monthly pay option. I successfully downloaded and installed it, and then I no longer had to import my emails into eProductivity...it became my mail template and main interface (BUT you can quickly and easily get to your normal Lotus Notes inbox). Then I really started to use it. I could drag an email and create a new task, project, tickler,...basically anything you might be familiar with if you've tried the GTD method. Even better, I could adjust the names of contexts and categories as I saw fit ("At Computer", "At Home", "Action Support", etc...). I could link new emails to existing projects so they would be together when I opened the project, and I could even link and open these projects and actions from my Lotus Notes Calendar. That's when I realized the power of eProductivity. It lets you shape and turn Lotus Notes into a simple GTD type system, or a full fledged granular interface. Lotus Notes only has To-Do's, and they are almost an oversight in Lotus Notes. Most people in my office have an inbox full of unread or even read emails that may or may not require action and the emails just sit in their inboxes (some people have thousands of emails in their inbox). My inbox is almost always empty, and the emails are assigned to relative tasks and projects, with due dates and assigned reminders.

It's great to have an empty inbox! But you can't get that way by just deleting emails and trying to remember them. You have to put those emails somewhere outside of your mind and into a system that will remind you that something needs to be done with a particular context, place, and/or time. eProductivity does exactly that, and in a very easy to use and bug free interface.

Also, eProductivity interfaces with ActiveWords!...the program I mentioned earlier that I found on the GTD website. I found no other Lotus Notes solutions that will help you keep your inbox empty and your mind clear.

As for customer service, anytime I've had a question about how to do something in particular, they've always been quick to reply...no longer than a day and sometimes faster. I found the how to guides and videos as well, and they've done a great job creating easily to understand tutorials that are readily accessible. I recommend eProductivity without hesitation, and it's great to know you can try it for free as a stand alone add in for Lotus Notes, without changing your Lotus Notes template, or you can integrate it and make it your Lotus Notes template. It's up to you, and they even have instructions for how to remove eProductivity if you want. They even thought of that! But my guess is that you want need to look at that tutorial, because you'll be happy with it.

Brandon K Starr SENIOR SPECIALIST • INSURANCE GROUP New York Life Insurance Company

You can learn more about integrating ActiveWords and eProductivity here.

If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email.

A customer recently wrote: "Your software has helped me not hate Notes!"  I hear this a lot from our customers. In fact, it's one of the two main reasons people buy eProductivity.

As the creator of eProductivity, I am always looking for stories from passionate users about how they have benefitted from eProductivity so that I can share them with others. So I reached out to Kiara and asked if she would be willing to share her story of eProductivity - to tell me how she uses it and what impact it had made personally/professionally? Most customers do share their story and my team and I read every one.

A few days later, Kiara wrote back...

Eric,

The bottom line is that you've given me a way to incorporate my GTD process back into my email and calendar client - in a way that really follows the GTD process.

I actually did the research to find out if I could move to a Notes client personally so that I could use eProductivity to manage my personal GTD process as well. Sadly, that's not a option, as far as I can tell, and I don't want my personal life merged into my corporate email/etc.

How I use it - the weekly review coach is a major win. I love being able to use it to hold myself accountable for staying on top of the floods of inbound information that otherwise get out of control. My personal adaptation of GTD involves a mini-daily review - dealing with loose paper and email box clearing daily is the only way I can keep my head above water, and I'd love the option to be able to have a customizable version of the weekly review that I could use daily (so I didn't feel like I was skipping things by not completing the weekly version every day.)

It's provided a robust way to manage my contexts, projects, and actions. I had been trying to figure out how to adapt my previously working GTD process to Notes for a year and a half, and had been failing. Notes, by itself, just didn't have the depth of functionality needed to do that.

So, ultimately, your product has given me a way to get back to using a system that just flat out works for me. Using the tools you've provided, I don't have to try to manage the process in a spreadsheet or on paper or in a standalone product. Given how much of my work life is lived in email, an integrated system is key to succeeding.

Thank you for creating a product that gave me back the ability to work with GTD effectively!

Best,

Kiara Rodemaker
Manager, IT Accounting Services
Czarnowski

Kiara, thank you for sharing your story. I'm glad that you find value in eProductivity and that it has given you a new appreciation for the power of Notes.

P.S. We get many requests from people that want to run eProductivity at home. That is easily done. You can install Notes on your home computer and use it as a POP3/SMTP client. (Sorry, Note IMAP does not work at this time). If you use the same Notes ID you do not need to purchase a separate license; your current key will work just fine.

From the customer service inbox comes yet another customer story from a long time eProductivity user...

I've been using eProductivity for several years since learning about it during a "Getting Things Done" (GTD) seminar presented by Eric Mack and David Allen.

I had tried several other GTD systems, including some Notes databases, but was never satisfied that I was achieving my desired level of organization and focus on day to day tasks.  Since switching to eProductivity I am much more confident in my awareness of current tasks and efforts.  The recently added mobility features in eProductivity allow me to continue to clear my in-box and track work efforts while on the go.

The perfect integration of the tool in Lotus Notes, was the winning factor that pushed me to the immediate acquisition of the tool. I immediately started using full eProductivity, filling the project database and associating these actions and relations with all the information (contacts, notes) combined. Actually I have more than 50 active projects with related actions and notes.

eProductivity is a great product and one that I have recommended and demonstrated to several co-workers.

Regards,

Matt Corman Services Solutions Executive Industrial Sector IBM Global Technology Services

If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email.

Another customer story from the customer service inbox:

I read the book, "Getting Things Done" in 2006, and was literally "struck" by the method proposed by David Allen and I started the implementation of the method immediately after the reading of the book. The implementation of the GTD approach has affected my entire life, both private and professional.

Three years ago I discovered eProductivity during a search on the internet relating to tools to support the implementation of the GTD method. At the time, I was looking for a tool that would allow me to integrate my project management and actions associated with them to the working environment. Until then I had to use, with much difficulty, all the relationships between projects, actions and e-mail.

The perfect integration of the tool in Lotus Notes, was the winning factor that pushed me to the immediate acquisition of the tool. I immediately started using full eProductivity, filling the project database and associating these actions and relations with all the information (contacts, notes) combined. Actually I have more than 50 active projects with related actions and notes.

Among all the features, the ones that have given me more support are:

  • The Weekly Review Coach: For years, the implementation of the GTD method, I did not implemented this key stage. With eProductivity, that provides a perfect tool to support this critical phase of the process, I have started to implement this phase, and it was the very big change and improvement in my "GTD life".
  • The management of connections between emails sent and ongoing projects: In this way they are able to control and have the history of "relationships" with colleagues.
  • In summary, eProductivity has allowed me to have precise control under all my work activities. It allowed me to have a tool that focuses on a single point control and organized management of everything that has to do with my work. My productivity in the work environment has increased and for this reason. I have recommended it to colleagues, to use this great tool.

    Cordiali saluti/Best regards

    Gianluca Morbidelli Project Executive SO Certified Project Executive Global Technology Services, IBM

If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email.

Another customer story from the customer service inbox:

"Having been a long time IBM Lotus Notes, I was looking for a task management template/program. I was determined to find a Notes based software package as we are a Domino/Notes/IBM shop and was not interested in other packages. I stumbled on eProductivity via Google, which led me to the GTD methodology. I immediately ordered David Allen's book, which I spent the weekend reading.

The methodology made so much sense, that the next weekend I scoured my office top to bottom, making lists, disposing of non-essential items, making folders, etc. I downloaded the GTD/Notes set up guide and decided that wasn't as good as I wanted.

Now it was time to investigate eProductivity (which happens to be the software used and recommended by GTD creator, David Allen). I checked out the web site, downloaded the program and applied it to my mail file. I started making my Project and Action Item lists, then populating the various lists. All seemed good for awhile. I even took some coaching sessions from Julie Ireland, one of the David Allen coaches. By the way, this is very worthwhile.

After a year or so, I found myself overwhelmed with GTD/eProductivity. I decided to take a step back and try and figure out why I was resisting my lists. I still believed in the GTD methodology. I just didn't want to look at my lists in eProductivity. After some thought and reflection and a call with Julie, I decided to switch to paper.

Going to paper is another topic. What notebook to use, how to organize it etc. My biggest challenge was dealing with the meeting notices I receive and create. These needed to be in Notes. Then I was creating written calendar notes as reminders of things needing to be completed on a specific day.

The one thing I liked about paper lists, is there seems to be something about writing the item on a list that made me slow down and think about what I was writing.

Then there was carrying around a notebook. Since I carry an iPhone that is connected to my Notes through IBM Lotus Traveler, and I am so email bound, I came to the conclusion I was wasting time and effort.

Time to review eProductivity again.

A few weeks ago I downloaded the latest version of eProductivity, and applied it to my mail file. I spent some time reviewing the default Projects and Actions lists, while reviewing my paper lists.

In the end I set up my new eProductivity not as granular as the first time. As an example, I have one Project list, not a Projects-Work and Projects-Home. I didn't categorize my work list so it appears so detailed.

Today I use a Moleskin notebook for note taking at my desk. It lets me refer back to items until I get them in my system. While out of the office I use the note taker wallet or send myself an email.

Each morning I do a mini review if you will, and flag items to show on the "Today" view. Once these are complete, if I have time I then work my list.

Just yesterday I set up the mobile folders in eProductivity so that I can now process my email into projects and actions when I am away from the computer.

I am much happier now that I am back on eProductivity, but I had to go through the process to realize the full potential."

-Carl Novit

If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email.

Another customer story from the customer service inbox:

We recently sent out an invitation to our customers inviting  them to join us in Boston for an in person eProductivity meetup with Eric Mack (the founder of eProductivity).  These meetups are great ways for people to come together and share tips and best practices for getting things done with Lotus Notes and eProductivity.

In one of the responses, we heard back from a customer in China who has been hosting her own productivity meetups:
eProductivity Meetup in China
I am now also hosting Time management in-person meetup in Shenzhen (a city in south China near Hong Kong) regularly. The frequency is once every two months. In coming September, we will have our 7th meeting. We share tips and best practices on time management, GTD, email efficiency, meet efficiency etc. People attending have increased from 10 people of 1st meeting to more than 50 people of the 6th meeting. On the 4th meeting in March 2012, I delivered a presentation about my experience of using eProductivity.  Here is a happy photo of the attendees.  

Jun Zhou

Someday, we hope to return to Asia to meet the growing number of eProductivity users. For now, we are delighted to  receive and share this story from Jun Zhou.

If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email. Another customer story from the customer service inbox:

Some years ago I was enrolled to an internal Management/Young Talent Course with IBM in The Netherlands. During this course a small bit of GTD was covered, which struck my interest.

During my daily work I am working as an Storage Specialist serving multiple customers. This can be a challenging and demanding job and I was overwhelmed by a flood of emails on a daily bases. I had 'developed' my own system with comprised a multitude of folders and sub folders, which worked but had no clear overview. I had keep track of everything in my head still.

Having heard about GTD, I bought the book and started reading to find out what I could learn and apply to my work. While reading the book, I downloaded the eProductivity template and had applied to my Lotus Notes Mail DB at work. I had an instant workflow for my email, clearing several hundreds of email from my inbox while now having the confidence that I would not forget about any of them. This had happened to me frequently in the past using my own system, cause everything had to be tracked in my mind. Something I was not always very good at. :)

Continue Reading: "User Story: André J. de Wit - eProductivity improving workflow and email management" » Another customer story from the customer service inbox:

eProductivity allows me to have full control over my day to day activities. Ever since I started using eProductivity, I've never missed a due date and I am on top of all communications. I can easily maintain track of activities, from a single email response (using "Waiting for") to a complex projects, they are all taken care of!! This has really made a difference on my personal management system.

Toni Ribeiro


If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email. Another customer story from the customer service inbox:

I have now been using eProductivity for almost 2.5 years and since I discovered the product accidentally, it has really changed my life. Not a day goes by that I do not use eProductivity in my daily work, it has now become completely integrated in the way I work. I usually receive between 200 and 300 emails a day and it was an impossible task keeping up with follow up, actions, projects. I had not found any products, let alone Lotus Notes products that helped productivity and trust me, I have tied dozens of tools and products all claiming to improve productivity.

The ease of use and integrated nature of eProductivity really saves hours a day in being able to easily link emails to projects and assign actions in context. The views make it very simple to then track all outstanding tasks in the context of the work and who I need to follow up with. I am also delighted with the support I get from the support team. On the occasions I have needed help, I have had great response. I would say this is such an undiscovered , wonderful product and with out doubt, saves me hours of wasted time that I otherwise would spend delving into folders, searching for emails and trying to figure across a dozen tools how to track and manage. All this happens simply with one product!! This really makes up for so many deficiencies that simple mail products like Lotus Notes or Outlook have. Well done team, I look forward to the continued development of the product.

Peter Inness
Director, UBS Service Delivery Executive
CSC


If YOU have a story about your experience getting things done with eProductivity, we'd like to hear from you. If you're willing to allow us to share it on our blog/web site, please include that in your email.

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