IBMers ask: Will I lose eProductivity to Verse?

This is a question I've been getting from many IBMers. Some of them hear they're moving to Verse and throw in the towel, assuming eProductivity is lost -- but others (typically more-experienced users) have asked: will I be forced to give up eProductivity?

The answer, as far as I can tell, is no.

As long as you have access to the Lotus Notes client (whether hosted on-site or in the cloud), you can still use eProductivity Stand-alone. This will work with your current license or subscription, and it has many of the same features as eProductivity Integrated.

What should eProductivity users at IBM do to prepare for the transition to Verse?

If you're using eProductivity Integrated and are going to be transitioned to Verse soon, you should:
A) Download and open eProductivity Stand-alone
B) Follow these instructions to migrate your data from Integrated to Stand-alone
C) Follow these instructions to remove eProductivity functionality from your Notes Mail
D) Replace the design of your Notes Mail with the standard Notes Mail template (to prevent snags when IBM replaces it)

These are the best steps I can recommend to preserve your eProductivity data in useable form (especially the links between projects and actions) and prepare your Notes Mail for a smooth transition.

What's the difference between eProductivity Integrated and eProductivity Stand-alone?

1) Stand-alone lives only on your local machine, so you'll need to manually back up your data.
2) You'll need to click the "import mail" button to get your email. It looks like this: Image:IBMers ask: Will I lose eProductivity to Verse?
3) Be aware that your Stand-alone Calendar is separate from your Notes Mail Calendar
4) You will need a third-party tool (such as CompanionLink) to sync tasks to mobile from eProductivity Stand-alone.

When you're ready to stop your eProductivity from being taken away, Stand-alone is the way to go.

More on Verse and eProductivity:
Will eProductivity work with IBM Verse?
IBM Verse: our challenge and opportunity
IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse 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).


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

(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)

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 (], via Pixabay ( Modified with permission.

Will eProductivity work with IBM Verse?

I've been getting this question more and more lately. The short answer is: not without your help.

To make eProductivity for Verse a reality, IBM would need to either A) provide "hooks" in Verse to allow eProductivity functionality to be developed for Verse, or B) license eProductivity for direct inclusion in Verse, thus making Verse "GTD Enabled."

IBM probably won't do either of these unless they hear that their customers and employees want it. They've proven they understand the value of what GTD and eProductivity can deliver to their customers [see here], so this wouldn't be a huge stretch for them.

The long answer is this:

IBM Verse has been touted as a new way to work [source]. From what I've seen so far, it is (at present) a shiny webmail client that appears to be a subset of iNotes.

Shiny blue cursor smaller.jpg

It remains to be seen how Verse is actually going to make people more productive, less stressed, and better equipped to handle our always-on world.

In short, I have yet to see how Verse is actually a new way to work.

On the other hand, users of David Allen's "Getting Things Done" (GTD) method have been experiencing a really new, proven, revolutionary way to work since 2001. eProductivity has been bringing GTD's new way to work to IBM software for a decade (in fact, our CEO just wrote on this very topic the other day).

Because eProductivity has changed how so many people work, my team and I have been asked more and more whether it will work with Verse, much like it currently works with other IBM software. I would love to be able to say yes.

Our vision for a really new way to work
(that you already have)
If my team and I could work our will in the professional world, we'd make sure that everyone, from overloaded executives on down, could easily:
- Empty their inbox as often as needed
- Maintain a clear view of everything requiring their attention, no matter how often it changes
- Know what's most important to do in the moment based on their priority criteria in the moment
- Keep track of their projects to ensure they're all moving forward

This is what GTD and eProductivity have actually enabled for many, many people around the world for over 15 years. How new would that be for your work?

On the other hand, Verse claims to deliver all of this, but from what we've seen so far, it doesn't.

How you can help

What about the people whose productivity is about to plummet? I mean eProductivity users who've heard they'll be switched to Verse (mostly concerned IBMers).

I've been having conversations with these people (especially IBMers). They're helping me understand eProductivity's value to them and what "eProductive" features they'd like to see in Verse.

I'd love to hear from you too, especially if you're:
- concerned about losing eProductivity to Verse
- eager to give your input on what features (eProductivity-inspired or otherwise) you'd like to see in Verse

Whether to get the official GTD label on Verse is up to IBM, and the biggest thing that could influence them would be to hear from their own people and customers—so let's hear it!

Feel free to email me at NPaul[at]!

More on Verse:

IBM Verse: our challenge and opportunity
IBMers speak up about eProductivity and switching to Verse
IBMers ask: Will I lose eProductivity to Verse?

Image credit:
By Arcanev [CC BY 3.0 (], via DeviantART.

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