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Take GtD, Add Lotus Notes Journal a Palm and stir......

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  • Take GtD, Add Lotus Notes Journal a Palm and stir......

    Is there anyone using the Lotus Notes Journal function as part of a GtD implementation and synching with Palm m500?

    I'm really interested to see if anyone has used the Journalling capabilities of notes as part of GtD seeing as the majority of people seem to have Outlook as their weapon of choice.

    I have the sync bit sorted out thanks to Easysync Pro v3.2 which finally snycs the Notes Journal to the Palm Memo along with its Categories.

    PS I have been to Eric Macks website

  • #2
    Beam me up......
    It appears as though I am "boldly going where no man has gone before"
    with this particular combination of tools.

    I have learned how to build a (very rudimentary) view within the Journal database in Lotus Notes so that I can sort by category and then date last reviewed.

    I dont think it is as elegant solution as Bonsai or Shadow plan but if this little project goes anywhere I'll update the posting


    • #3
      We use Notes at work. Reason that I don't sync journal in Notes is that I have a lot of personal memos in Palm that I would not want in Lotus as my main deskside repository so to speak. Instead I sync those to Ecco along with tasks, and only sync Calendar with Notes.

      Good luck in your adventure.



      • #4
        Use of Notes Journal w/Palm Memos

        W I T N A,

        I see that you have already been to my site, so I won't mention topics I have already covered. I do, however, use the memo pad on my Palm and it is synched with Notes. I tend to use memopad primarily for checklists and reference. I prefer to track my projects and actions in my Mail DB using either standard ToDos or my eProductivity template.

        As far as PDA, I use a Tungsten C locally and I plan to add a Treo6X0 soon. I tend to use the C at home and at clients where I can use the 802.11 networks. I'll use the Treo when I travel. The Sync software that I use will support multiple concurrent PDA's so I plan to choose device based on whatever is convenient.

        I have done a lot of work with Lotus Notes in the past 10 years, and I have found ways to get just about anything done with it. At the same time, I am mindful that it is the process, not the tool, that is most important. GTD simply works. I try to keep the management of my projects and actions independent of the platform that I am using.

        Hope this helps.

        Eric Mack


        • #5
          New to GTD and the forum. Great to see this question here, as I'm in a Notes environment too. As a Fortune 500 org we lock down a lot of our technologies so I'm most interested in how to use out of the box functionality rather than looking at add-ins and customization. Deciding on how to use Notes to dos, calendar and journal most effectively in combination with the Palm offers a lot of different options. I'd like to get to some best practices quickly so I can focus on the work rather than the tools!


          • #6
            How much interest in applying GTD within Notes?

            I would like to know how much interest there is in applying the principles of GTD within the framework of Lotus Notes.

            While Notes and Outlook are both powerful tools, they are not very GTD friendly out of the box. Fortunately, thanks to documents, templates and add-ins, which have been discussed in this and the GTD_Palm forum, there is a lot that can be done to make Notes and Outlook more GTD friendly. I have addressed some of this in presentations and in materials which I have prepared for my clients; I plan to add some of these documents to my eProductivity web site and newsletter in the future.

            If you work for a company that uses Notes, I would be interested to know what the corporate mentality/desire is relative to using Notes for more than basic email/calendar. One person mentioned that their company locks down their technologies, which might prevent (or discourage) the use of a template that is better suited to the GTD methodology. I wonder how receptive management at these same companies might be to deploying a company-wide template and process to help their employees use Lotus Notes more effectively.

            Eric Mack


            • #7
              Originally posted by another guest
              New to GTD and the forum...I'm most interested in how to use out of the box functionality rather than looking at add-ins and customization. Deciding on how to use Notes to dos, calendar and journal most effectively in combination with the Palm offers a lot of different options. I'd like to get to some best practices quickly so I can focus on the work rather than the tools!
              I don't know if what follows qualifies as 'best practice' but I thought that I would share my experiences (as previous related in the GTD Palm Yahoo gropup) as a high-volume corporate email user. Some is common sense, some GTD and some stuff I've picked up along the way, however, I hope that all of it is useful. Comments and questions welcome.


              My work and personal emails are read and kept on separate PCs. My home email requirements are simple so I won't bother with them here, save to say that for virus avoidance and functionality, I tend to use applications such as Thunderbird and PocoMail rather than the ubiquitous Microsoft products.

              However, at work, email is one of my primary tools and so it is my work setup that I describe below. I am required to use Lotus Notes for email at work and the following has been implemented in my Lotus Notes R5 client which, in my opinion, is far from ideal as email client - but that is another story. However, the principles can be applied in any fully-featured email client.

              One of the quickest wins for me when I first implemented the GTD principles was gaining real control of my email account at work. The sense of relief and security I got from processing my mail inbox and folders was out of all proportion to the effort required to process it - a valuable lesson learned and great start to using GTD principles.


              The first step is to create/rename the 'local' folder structure within your email program to make it as easy as possible to file reference mails. I have settled on a three-tier structure as this allows me sufficient subfolders to categorise stuff efficiently without having to 'drill down' too far to find it again. My top level folders fall into three lots; the default hard coded ones that come with the application, my GTD actionable folders and my reference folders. These are in the following order (explanatory notes in brackets)

              Hard coded folders (not including the one's unique to LN)
              INBOX (all email not filtered by rules arrives here)
              SENT (all email sent is here - copies are dragged to relevant folders if required)
              ALL DOCUMENTS (LN's all documents view - useful for searching out that one elusive email)
              ARCHIVE (mirror image archive folders on a separate drive - all 60+ day old mails get archived but are only a click away) - see note [1]
              TRASH (self-explanatory)
              RULES (folder where mail filtering rules are written and kept)
              STATIONERY (templates for frequently sent mails)

              GTD actionable folders
              +Metrics (filtered and frequently-accessed daily metrics advisories)
              +Statistics (filtered and frequently-accessed daily local call centre statistics)
              @@ACTION (all NA mails until they're completed - I don't raise separate NAs in To-Dos as I'm used to working this way now)
              @@DELEGATED (all 'forward' mails to directs with delegated NA actions until completed)
              @@WAITING (mails upon which I am waiting for a response/reaction)
              @@READ & REVIEW (rarely used - but useful for stuff that I will read if I have the time)
              @@RUNNING ISSUES (not strictly GTD - all mails relating to all ongoing cases/tickets/outages escalated to me)

              Reference folders
              ALL COLLEAGUES (one folder per colleague for mails specific to that person - often X-referenced to other folders)
              ALL CONSOLIDATIONS (all mails concerning lines of business being consolidated to my centre)
              ALL CUSTOMERS (one folder per customer - plain and simple)
              ALL INFO (my email equivalent of reference memos - one folder per subject)
              ALL PROJECTS (not GTD projects but company projects that are not consolidations)
              HUMAN RESOURCES (all emails regarding HR policy & issues plus one folder (zJoe Smith) per person sorted to bottom by prefix)
              PERSONAL (all non-business correspondence from colleagues, staff present and past etc - i.e. the jokes and URLs!)


              I have my email interface set up in the common three-pane manner with my folders in the vertical left-hand pane, my unread inbox in the top right-hand pane and the preview bottom right. With this setup, I can scan inbox mails rapidly and follow GTD guidelines to process them. I do this by strictly applying the 2-minute rule to all inbound mail as it is the only way I can handle the volume I receive whilst remaining sane and focused. This means that the process options I use are:

              1. Read and respond in 2 minutes, using @@WAITING if necessary to track the thread of email exchange until finally filed.
              2. Read and move to @@ACTION as a NA to be actioned later.
              3. Read and forward and move to @@DELEGATED to track action by staff.
              4. Read and move to @@RUNNING ISSUES if mail is an update on a current operational issue I need to track.
              5. Read and move to the relevant reference folder - see note [2] below on attachments.
              6. Read and Delete - my absolute favourite.

              I used to employ a different method that works pretty well. It is based on the paper method outlined in the excellent 'The Manager's Toolbox' by John Mitchell and I include it here for comparison/interest.

              1. Scan each mail for no more than seven seconds.
              2. Allocate every item into one of three folders:
              -ACTION (see below)
              -READ (reference filing/Read & Review equivalent)
              3. Scan each mail in the ACTION folder, again for no more than seven seconds.
              4. Allocate to one of three further folders:
              -DO IT NOW (items for immediate attention - NA equivalent)
              -DELEGATE (items would be delegated and tracked - Waiting For equivalent)
              -DO IT LATER (future actions/tickler/SDMB equivalent)
              5. Action the mails by folder - normally filing and delegating before hitting the NAs.

              NON-GTD TIPS

              The following two tips are nothing to do with GTD but everything to do with getting things done; both, if you are able to implement them,
              will help greatly, especially if you are a high volume mail user.

              Resist The List!

              My email client at work is probably the busiest 'Inbox' I have. One reason for this is the nature of my work for I manage a large multi-lingual technical contact centre for a global data networks provider and my 'genuine' daily email count is always in excess of 200 emails. By genuine, I mean emails that I choose to receive, rather than emails that others want to send to me for the wrong reasons. More often than not, if I was included in the cc: or carbon copy
              listing of an email in the past, I was there for one of several reasons:

              1. The sender sought action by another but wanted to ensure my awareness - for me, the legitimate use of cc:
              2 The sender didn't know / wasn't sure if those in the To: field were the correct contact for the action they required.
              3. The sender was keen to cover their backside by copying everyone possible - a get-out clause if things went wrong later.
              4. My name was part of a distribution list that they chose to include.

              In this age of 'knowledge is power', we tend to be pressured or brainwashed into believing we need to read every email we are sent. If at all possible, request or negotiate your removal from every distribution list that brings you little or no value. It may not always be possible due to your position or company policy but, if you make a well-reasoned business case to your boss, they might just accept your reasoning.

              Rules Rule!

              Depending on the email client you use, you may have rules or filters that you can build and use to automatically file inbound 'information only' emails without you lifting a finger. These can be very powerful allies in reducing the amount of mail that you need to manually process each day. By 'information only' email, I mean those that you might need to refer to should a particular situation or circumstance arise but ordinarily are sent to 'all users' or some such as a mail out. Below are just two examples of the types of email (which my user-defined rules automatically route to their respective repositories) that I don't even touch/read/process until I actually ned the information they contain:

              - System maintenance advisories/outage alerts - if my team's case management system or diagnostic tools don't work, I scan for planned/emergency maintenance before reporting the problem to my IS team but, normally, I know because I scan this folder once a day to get a heads up.

              - Weekly senior management metrics reports - each Wednesday morning I open this folder, read this week's metrics and transfer my key performance indicator data into my T3 to report at the weekly manager's meeting.


              [1] Archiving is essential in Lotus Notes as it becomes cumbersome and resource hungry if this isn't done - my company place a limit on profile size so archives are frequently prompted by the system. However, accessing the archive is just like opening a mirror set of folders and essentially provides me with two email profiles - my live and current mails and my massive data store of archived information.

              [2] More often than not, I will detach attachments from the mail and file in my GTD one tier style folder list on my data drive for easy access later.

              I hope that this helps others with a high volume of email