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  • Notes, no PDA at work, Outlook w/PDA at home!

    My biggest hurdle in implementing GTD is that I have different, incompatible PIMs at work and at home.

    I have personal and work e-mail accounts. I can access my personal e-mail from my work PC via the web, but I can't access my work e-mail from my home PC.

    The IT environment at work is tightly controlled and I don't have admin rights to my work PC. We use Lotus Notes mail and MS Outlook is not installed. I don't have a company-purchased PDA. On my home PC I use MS Outlook and I have a personal Palm V that I sync with Outlook.

    My work involves a high volume of discreet transactions every day - mostly done on the computer (e.g., updating various databases). I also handle a fair amount of physical stuff -- computers, laptops, monitors, parts. "Stuff" comes at me at work by phone, VM, e-mail, walk-ins and pager, as well as paper and physical objects that get dropped in my office or come in through our mail room.

    I've put most of my personal/non-work "stuff" into the GTD system, and I've partially implemented GTD at work, but not thoroughly, and the personal and work systems don't sync.

    Does anyone have any tips for moving between 2 systems? I'd much prefer to put it all on one system but I don't see how I can do that.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    There are some discussions about this at www.43folders.com. You could try a Web-based approach, such as www.usetasks.com if you have access to the Web at home and at work. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Unregistered
      The IT environment at work is tightly controlled and I don't have admin rights to my work PC. We use Lotus Notes mail and MS Outlook is not installed. I don't have a company-purchased PDA. On my home PC I use MS Outlook and I have a personal Palm V that I sync with Outlook.

      ...

      Does anyone have any tips for moving between 2 systems? I'd much prefer to put it all on one system but I don't see how I can do that.
      If you are allowed to use (not sync) your PALM at work, you could store your context-lists and project-lists on it and use it as UCD. So you have always an overview of your working-environment with you if you have ideas.

      If your PALM is forbidden, you could use a ring binder including the lists and a printout of the next week(s) calendar.

      Yours
      Alexander

      Comment


      • #4
        POP3/IMAP or bribe a PC Tech

        Assuming they don't allow syncing software on your work PC...

        If you can connect to work from home, then use Outlook to pull your mail from Notes via POP3 or IMAP. Just be sure to "leave messages on server."

        Buy a Tech lunch... Food or multiple coffees is often a good bargaining chip with PC Techs. You might be able to convince one to install Intellisync, Pylon Pro, or whatever they have access to. If that doesn't work then evaluate what gadgets you have that are worth sacrificing. PC Techs will definetly break corporate policy for an interesting gadget.

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        • #5
          I had this problem for a while at a former job, however this was before I discovered GTD.

          But anyways at that time I used my Palm mainly just for Calendar and Addresses... while at work I was just stuck entering this info by hand when I had to.

          Everything else went on a USB key... which their IT department hadn't locked out. If I needed e-mail at home from work I'd export them to text files and save them to the key.

          I also used it to carry all kinds of documents back and forth.

          Actually I still use that key today even though where I work now is more open to PDA use etc... I have a copy of Instiki loaded onto it. So now I have my own wiki that I can carry back and forth from home to work.

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          • #6
            I have a similar situation (Notes at work, Outlook at home). My work situation is less restrictive though - I have it all on one laptop, and can take the laptop home.

            I was not content moving all of my personal items to Notes, nor did I discover a satisfactory means of connecting to Notes' server through Outlook.

            The solution I have settled on is simple -

            1. All work-related items are managed in Notes
            2. All calendar items - personal and business - are in Notes
            3. All non-calendar personal-related items are managed in Outlook

            This works surprisingly well. After working this way for a year, I find that I prefer having a system that helps enforce the separation between 'work' and 'non-work'. When I'm at the office I want to remain focused and in flow for professional tasks; when at home I want to concentrate on family. I find that the only "single view" I really need is my calendar, so I picked one system - Notes - to store my calendar.

            One benefit I've discovered is that having a separate system for my personal life helps me notice quicker when things are out of balance! If I have few "projects" in my personal/Outlook system, it means I am not investing enough in my own personal growth. With a single system, this kind of imbalance can remain hidden.

            Regarding the Palm...

            Unfortunately, I know of no good way to synch up both Notes and Outlook to a single Palm pilot (it is possible to synch one class of items - e.g. Calendar - to Notes, and another class of items - e.g. Tasks - to Outlook, but you can't synch both Notes and Outlook tasks for example). (there is a rather bizarre and unreliable way to do this if you have installed Franklin-Covey's add-in to Outlook, but don't go there).

            If you synch your Palm with Outlook, then you can have your personal items with you at work. And given the restrictions of your company, do you really want to be able to take your work home?

            Bottom line: yes, you can probably find some technical solution to integrating Notes and Outlook, however my experience shows this to be far more effort than it is worth. Instead, take advantage of two systems to help keep your professional and personal lives distinct and focused.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks, this last post is the most helpful and relevant to my situation. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am not allowed to sync my personal palm to my work PC, so that is a moot point. I do bring my palm to work so I have my personal stuff their.

              CJ Brown, I work in the IT dept with the field service techs. We are responsible for enforcing the policies and making sure all software licenses are tracked. Syncing s/w is allowed if your dept will pay for it, but it is not allowed to sync personal PDAs with the work PC. So that approach won't work for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Work as an island

                If work wants to be separate, I think that the principles of GTD can accommodate that.

                Your mind may generate personal ideas while on work time. Where do you put them ? Onto paper, into a PDA. If you have to do personal things during business hours, where do you have the reminder and the supporting info ? On paper or in PDA. What happens if you have work to-dos that are to be done away from your PC ? Paper or PDA.

                This does lead to a little extra transcription sometimes, but your personal self can send your work self e-mails containing info already in the other system to reduce the effort and vice versa.

                And you wouldn't want to put your secret career and alternative-job projects on the work system anyway.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A few suggestions and a possible solution

                  I have a similar situation. First, a question: Is it possible to access your Notes server from home? If so, I would think the easiest answer would be for you to install Notes at home to access your mail and calender. IBM allows you to download the latest beta version for free. The drawback with this would be that your personal information is still split between Notes and Outlook.

                  If you do have access to your Notes (Domino) server from outside work, then there is a great free program from IBM called Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook that you can install at home. It essentially integrates all core Notes features into Outlook (as another PST file) allowing access to your email, calender, contacts, but not to any custom written Notes databases. Still amazes me that IBM doesn't advertise this program at all.

                  Combining that with Chapura software's KeySuite, I've been able to sync both my Notes work calendar and my Outlook calendar easily with my Palm.

                  Word of warning: the program is very finicky about where it is installed on the C drive, and can replicate your email NSF file and address book locally, so make sure you have plenty of room on your C drive. Also, for some reason, the program is much slower to replicate than the standard Notes client.

                  Before I found this, I used to use the previously mentioned approach of syncing Outlook to my Palm, and just using my Palm at work to track everything.

                  Heres a link: (or just Google the name)

                  http://www.lotus.com/products/produc...smsoutlookhome

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Use Yahoo

                    Well you could use Yahoo Calendar http://calendar.yahoo.com, they have a sync module to be able to sync to outlook/palm/pda/lotus notes whatever.

                    You can always Sync from home and to the PDA and then at work just keep using it via the browser.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am in almost the exact same situation, actually.

                      I've implemented two GTD systems, one at home and one at work. I keep my home GTD system on a laptop that I take with me to work, so I can add things to it there. In practice, I usually don't need to remind myself of work items when I'm at home, so I haven't needed a consistent way of getting ideas from home into my work system.

                      At work, I have a tickler file for paper-based items, a physical calendar (in your situation, I'd recommend using a digital one), and an @ACTIONS and a @WAITING FOR folder in Lotus Notes.

                      I expect you'll have an easy time if you maintain two separate systems and devise an appropriate gateway (which can be as simple as an index card that gets checked up arriving at work and arriving at home).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a very similar situation, made more complicated in that I rarely have the same office location for more than a few months. So I too split the Home and Office systems,.

                        The "gateway" between Work and Home that I use is very simple. I email myself !

                        As a way of getting "stuff" out of my head it is great, if I remember something I need to do at home when I am at work I bang off an email to myself, certain in the knowledge that it will be waiting for me when I get back.

                        Calendar syncing is impossible, but in practice work items stay on the work calendar, others on the PDA.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mocephus
                          Actually I still use that key today even though where I work now is more open to PDA use etc... I have a copy of Instiki loaded onto it. So now I have my own wiki that I can carry back and forth from home to work.
                          Mocephus,
                          Do you have a copy of Ruby loaded on it as well? Or do you need Ruby loaded on every machine you use? It acts as a private wiki, but it might be nice if it could selectively share data with a public wiki. Do you know a wiki that could do that? I suppose one could hack instiki to do that. And also, does instiki have a nice calendar available? Or do you start a new wiki page for each calendar day/week you need?

                          Generally, it seems like a cool idea. Do you actually use it every day? Personally, when I start using some cool new software, and I've installed wikis before, I tend to use it for a month or two, and then my interest wanes. That's why I'm seriously asking about your usage of this tool. How long ago have you installed it? How frequently do you use it? What kind of data do you keep on it? Etc.
                          Chariot

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