User Story: Carl Novit - Why I switched from eProductivity to paper and back to eProductivity

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.

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