Deja Office for Lotus Notes - Part 2

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
After setting up Deja Office on my new iPhone, I have been experimenting with their "Memos" or Reference Database over the last few days.  Here is what I have found:

I created a new test document on the iPhone and synched it over to notes.  I made sure to choose a category for this test document, and was pleased to find that when I replicated with Notes, my test memo appeared and was correctly categorized.

New memo in Deja OfficeHowever, I was away from my computer yesterday and needed to capture some information into my Reference Database.  I pulled out my iPhone and quickly created a new Deja Office memo.  The information I was recording fell under two categories in my reference database, so as I was adding the category, I chose two categories, everything looked fine, so I saved the memo and double checked that it was recorded in Deja Office - no problem so far.

Deja Office Memo in Lotus NotesIt was not until I synched Daja Office with Lotus Notes that I noticed the problem.  I replicated Notes, then went to my Reference Database and opened the category I had filed the memo under to find the memo.  To my surprise, I could not locate the memo under either of the categories I had filed it in, nor could I find it in my uncategorized view.  It was not until I searched under "All Documents" that I located my entry.  It appears that Deja Office had created a new, invisible category that was a combination of the two categories I entered.  This new category does not appear as a category on the left side of my screen.  

This is a big problem for me as I often have entries that use multiple categories.  I would love to see a solution for this.

Deja Office for Lotus Notes

Saturday, January 4th, 2014
apple-iphone-5c-1.jpgOur company recently purchased several iPhone 5c's for testing purposes and I spent a good portion of the day setting up my  phone and testing various productivity solutions to see how well they integrate with eProductivity.  I set up Lotus Traveler to synchronize my email, contacts, and calendar. Next, I set up the IBM Traveler Tasks application and the IBM Traveler Companion App I was disappointed to learn that IBM Traveler does not provide a solution for the IBM Notes Notebook as this is a key element in any personal information management (PIM) system.  I use my Notes Notebook as my go to Reference Database.  The Reference Database is a key tool in my toolbox and I find myself using it on my smartphone on a regular basis.

Continue Reading "Deja Office for Lotus Notes" »

I've been following the progress of Julian Buss and his Domino To Go platform for mobile application development and his flagship application, Notesbook. While I have not yet tried his application personally, it appears to have a the makings of a core information support tool for getting things done with Lotus Notes. I'm particularly pleased to see that there are plans to add support for multiple Notebooks.

We get requests daily looking for mobilization tools to recommend. Soon, I plan to evaluate Notesbook as a possible companion app to eProductivity and the free Reference DB (If you have already done this I'd like to hear from you.)

Meanwhile, Domino To Go, Notesbook and Lotus Domino were recently featured on Appcelerator Titanium’s Developer Blog.

Congratulations, Julian. Nice to see coverage like this for a productivity tool that works with Domino.

Review of the BlackBerry Torch’s task app

Friday, November 5th, 2010
Guest post by Ryan Heathers

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now.

Before getting my BlackBerry Torch, I'd heard the native BlackBerry task app was buried deeply within the OS and wasn't too streamlined for efficient use. So I was interested to see if that'd be my experience.

I use Lotus Notes with eProductivity, and my tasks sync seamlessly to the BlackBerry thanks to the power of BES. So at least getting the task information to and from the device is quite simple.

Task App Location and Favorites menu

So is the task app buried deeply? Yes it is.

To get to it, you have to go to the Applications folder, which is itself pretty far down the icon list on the home screen. Featuring the Task app doesn't seem high on RIM's priority list, a curious decision because isn't BlackBerry's cachet all about business productivity on the go?

Anyhow, we can easily make the Task app more accessible by adding it to the Favorites menu. I had to hunt around a bit before figuring out that to add new apps to the Favorites menu, you have to press down and hold for a second on the app's icon. Then a little menu pops up asking if you'd like to mark the app as a favorite.

So I did this for the Task app, plus a few others. Here's my current Favorites menu:


I also looked at programming the Convenience Key to point to the Task app instead of the default Camera app, but the Task app is not one of the listed options. Bummer.
Sorry for the misinformation, this is not true. The Task app IS an option. Not sure how I missed that when I checked on this initially...

Continue Reading "Review of the BlackBerry Torch's task app" »

A guest post by Ryan Heathers

So I have a few days of BlackBerry Torch experience now. As I expressed in my initial post, I had good first impressions of the Torch.

I still have them.

I've been pleased with the speed and smoothness of the user experience. Push notifications of my emails/text messages/BB Messenger/etc is really addicting - probably too addicting!

I love...

the messaging experience. Threaded conversations for text messages and BlackBerry Messenger, a great tactile keyboard that lives up to the BlackBerry reputation, and a host of options to customize my inboxes. Plus I just really like the minimalist look of the icons and messages themselves.  

20100928 -blackberry-torch-threaded-messages.jpg

But a couple of annoyances...
. There's no LinkedIn app yet available. This one of course is on LinkedIn and not RIM, but it's still a negative. I need the app for both work and personal network management, so I hope LinkedIn fixes this STAT.  A bunch of unanswered questions (scroll down to the bottom) by users on the LinkedIn blog asking about the app isn't a good sign, although hopefully that doesn't mean much.

20100928 -blackberry-torch-linkedin-app-not-available.jpg

I had to figure out how to reboot the phone OS and it wasn't obvious. For all the BlackBerry veterans out there, this is probably a no-brainer. I've additionally been told that as a managed device, it makes support sense for it to be hard to reboot my Blackberry. But all I knew was that a few minor glitches - such as not being able to vertically scroll my list of installed apps - was getting in the way and that a reboot would probably fix it. Powering the phone off and on wasn't restarting the OS - arghhh.

However, once I googled for the reboot command (for the record, a soft reboot can done by pressing ALT - CAP - DELETE) and got the OS restarted, everything worked well again.

We use GoToMeeting and GoToWebinars extensively to manage our company events. I have been following with interest the announcements coming from IBM about LotusLive and as a long-time Yellowbody I really want to use LotusLive. My concern has been that many of our events, like the recent world wide Notes & GTD event with David Allen, have close to 1000 participants and I don't know how LotusLive would handle an event of that size.

It's not about $ as both services are very competitively priced -- it's about stability and features and I really don't have much time or justification to investigate either. No point venturing into this area when what we have works so well for us and there's no visible ROI to switching. So, I continue to sit back, waiting for someone to blog about hosting a large meeting on LotusLive to convince me to switch.

Today, IBM just added another reason to consider. They just announced an app for the iPhone that will allow mobile users to participate in a LotusLive meeting. I'm not an iPhone user yet so that's not terribly exciting to me yet but something Darren mentioned does have my interest - apparently IBM has a mobile app for the BlackBerry in the works, too. As a BB user, that would be cool. A tipping point? Probably not. But value add? Yes.

I've never attended a webinar on a mobile device so I can't speak to how effective this is or isn't, but it has potential as a mobile productivity solution. I don't know how many meetings I would attend this way, but It would be great to manage my meetings and view details from anywhere.

You can learn more about the IBM app for LotusLive and iPhone here.

Mark Hughes is the Lotus Notes developer behind the ITANA app that makes it possible to access Lotus Notes tasks, Journal entries, and more from an iPhone or Android device.

The iPhone is notorious in productivity circles for not having a native task application. This makes syncing the iPhone to desktop task managment software like Lotus Notes to be a challenge at best. Mark's ITANA application could be a solution to this gapping need in being productive with the iPhone. Plus, his solution works on Android.

Mark recently contacted me about getting eProductivity to work with his solution and there has been progress on that front. He wrote a blog post yesterday that shows how he's modified ITANA to alow you to manage eProductivity Projects & Actions on an iPhone or Android. He's got a few screenshots there that show what he's been working on, including this one:

Using eProductivity on an iPhone with ITANA

Head on over to Mark's blog to see more screenshots and learn more about ITANA .

GTD fail.jpg

Via the Rational Geekery blog

A few months ago, I engaged Darren Duke of Simplified Technology Solutions, to help me get my BES up and running and I have been hooked on my Blackberry every since. (Darren's a master at all things BES. I highly recommend him) Anyway, the ability to have everything in sync with Lotus Notes at all times is absolutely fantastic. At this year's Lotusphere, we will see RIM and IBM introduce even greater support for IBM Social apps (e.g. Connections and Quickr) on the BlackBerry. I'm told that with OS5 we will even see support for Symphony documents. Cool.

Unfortunately, as a productivity platform for messaging and task management, mobile devices leave much to be desired. As great as it is to receive email on my device, it's unproductive to process it on the device and then have to process it again when I return to my computer. David Allen has this same issue, too.

This weekend, David and I were talking about Lotus Notes and eProductivity and I gave him an overview of our roadmap for mobile and cloud computing. David shared a few thoughts about staying productive in the cloud, and he told me he wanted me to get eProductivity into the BlackBerry sooner than later.

I think David shares the sentiments of many mobile knowledge workers that want to get things done on the road. I know I look forward to the day when my productivity tools are available wherever I want to work, whether that is on my BlackBerry, at my desk, or in the cloud.

This is why I am pleased to have David collaborating with me to create such a solution. It's coming folks.

If you work with RIM and will be attending Lotusphere, I'd like to talk with you. Though much is under wraps, If you find me at Lotusphere I'll give you a quick overview.

Meanwhile, here's David's wish for a GTD Enabled Blackberry to use with IBM Lotus Notes:

Video: David Allen- GTD and Cloud Computing

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

I had the opportunity to spend time with David Allen this weekend to talk about Getting Things Done, Lotus Notes, Cloud Computing, and extreme productivity. David allowed me to interview him on some questions and record it so I could share it with you.

Here's the first video. I'll try to post a few new clips each day.

Perhaps you can help me out. I'm testing features for a mobile productivity application that (I hope) will run on a variety of SmartPhones. One of the features that I'm using is the ability to nest folders in Lotus Notes, like this.

This works fine in Notes, on the web (thanks to iNotes) and on my BlackBerry Bold, via BES.  


What I want to know is how well nested folders are supported on other SmartPhones
How you can help:

If you are synching a SmartPhone with Lotus Notes

1. Send yourself 5 sample sample emails to play with.

2. From the Notes client, take the first three of these and file them into a NEW folder using these examples:

3. Now, sync your Notes mail with your mobile device and check to see if the folders appear

4. Finally, from your SmartPhone, take the last two sample emails and try to file them into Folder1 and Folder 2 respectively.

5. Post a comment here and let me know how this worked for you. Be sure to indicate the Type of SmartPhone and synchronization tool used. (e.g. BES, Traveler, mNotes, etc.)


For many years, I have used and recommended mobility solutions from CommonTime, Sybase, and RIM. Each company has specific strengths that make their offering attractive to clients that want to extend Lotus Notes to their mobile devices.

For iPhone users, there were few solutions at the enterprise level to sync Lotus Notes mail, calendar, tasks, and contacts to the iPhone.

This week, Sybase announced the iAnywhere Mobile Office for the iPhone:
iAnywhere Mobile Office extends Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange to iPhone users for a complete enterprise solution that supports email, calendaring, tasks and contacts with corporate directory look-up. In addition, it provides several key security features for IT to administer and control iPhones within the enterprise including:
  • Application password protection
  • On-device encryption for all enterprise data contained within the iAnywhere Mobile Office application on an iPhone
  • On-demand remote data wipe to remove all enterprise data within the application in the case of a device being lost or stolen

While the iPhone App is free, it requires an iAnywhere Mobile Office server and a client access license to connect with email systems.

This is exciting news. I know many eProductivity have been asking for a solution to manage their tasks on iPhone. Perhaps this will be the answer.

If you are using this product, I would like to hear from you.

I am preparing to write a series of posts about my 2009 Productivity Toolkit. For that adventure, I've purchased several tools for myself and my team, including the new BlackBerry Bold 9000 some new Lenovo Laptops and a variety of software applications.


I've had the Bold for just 24 hours, long enough to collect my thoughts and first impressions. Here's my 24-hour report card:
Setup/Operation EXCELLENT
Device Design EXCELLENT
Screen/Keyboard EXCELLENT
Use of standard connectors EXCELLENT
Voice Call/Quality/Volume VERY GOOD
Navigation/Ease of Use EXCELLENT
AT&T Coverage & Network (so far) VERY GOOD
WiFi Integration EXCELLENT
BlackBerry as Modem POOR
BlackBerry Desktop Software VERY GOOD
Task Management POOR
Overall Satisfaction VERY GOOD

Some of you may disagree with my POOR ratings.  I wanted to capture my first impressions. I will continue to test and evaluate these and other features of the Bold offering. I simply wanted to capture my first impressions.

Continue Reading "My Bold First Impressions of BlackBerry 9000 Bold" »

Craig Wiseman, a long-time Treo-user, ditched his Treo 680 for a BlackBerry Bold 9000. Meanwhile, Greg Eldred asks: Is there a future for Palm? and Ed Brill raves about his first 30-days with his BlackBerry Bold.
I've been a long-time fan of the Palm Treo SmartPhone due to the simplicity of its applications and the extensive integration I have done with Lotus Notes. As I look forward to 2009, I've decided to evaluate a few new mobility platforms and the Bold is at the top of the list.

I recently decided to move to the BlackBerry Bold 9000 as my mobile computing platform. I have a collection of mobile devices, including Palms, Treos, Nokias, and as of yesterday, a shiny new BlackBerry Bold 9000 which I plan to integrate into Lotus Notes. I selected the Bold over the Storm primarily for two reasons: 1) I want a device that is as well suited for information input as it is for retrieval, and 2) I need a device with WiFi support. (No network coverage where I live.)

Continue Reading "I've decided to make Bold move in my productivity" »

I've been using and recommending CommonTime and iAnywhere Solutions for years. In fact, CommonTime mNotes is a key part of my personal productivity toolkit. I love the way that it seamlessly extends PIM functionality in Lotus Notes to mobile devices.

Earlier this year, a client purchased a Nokia E90 Business Communicator for me as a gift. The E90 is truly an amazing piece of hardware. Unfortunately, I'm unable to use it for two key reasons: 1) no native support for tasks (Sorry, notes attached to calendar do not count) and 2) No support for synch of tasks (see #1) and categories. These were terrible oversights in my opinion.

I'm pleased to read about CommonTime's release of MSuite 5, which extends support for the Symbian S60-based SmartPhones, including the E90. As far as the Nokia support, I hope that CommonTime does not repeat Nokia's mistake by excluding true support for tasks. We'll see. Of course MSuite 5 is about much more than the Nokia support and I look forward to using this product. If it works out well for me, I'll add it to my productivity toolkit.  

via Volker Weber

I came across the web site today when I was doing some research to help a client manage his eProductivity lists on his BlackBerry.


The site is a treasure with focused information on all things Notes and BlackBerry. I later realized that two of the brains behind this site are Bill Buchan and Jason Hook, both of whom I had recently met by way of introduction from Bruce. And, I'll get to meet these gents in person next week at ILUG. Small world.

Great site. Worth bookmarking.

From time to time, clients ask me if I know if a way to Hot Sync Lotus Notes on the Mac with a Palm or Treo SmartPhone. I'm a big fan of CommonTime's mNotes or iAnywhere for synching Notes and PDAs/SmartPhones but, as far as I know, none of these products support Mac. In fact, I'm not aware of any proven sync tools for Mac and Treo. I also question the future for the Palm OS. Most exciting development is in the Windows Mobile arena, with promises from Apple with their iPhone dev kit. (I expect to know more on that this summer.)

Usually for my Mac users, I set them up with a wireless sync tool that allows them to sync directly to their Domino Server with no need for sync software at the client.  This way, they can run around with a Treo that's always in Sync and it does not matter if they are PC or Mac based - the beauty of Notes.

I'd like to ask an Notes for Mac users out there if and how they are synching their SmartPhone/PDA with Notes.

I suppose this brings up the bigger point of the need for suitable sync tools between the Mac and not just the Treo but any PDA or SmartPhone. I wonder how long it will be before a major sync tool vendor embraces the Mac to provide quality sync between Lotus Notes on the Mac and any number of mobile devices, e.g. Treo, Palm, Blackberry, etc..



"You had me at the pen ..." The X61 Tablet PC

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007
I carry a number of productivity tools; one of my current favorites is my Lenovo X61 Tablet PC. It's small, light, and fast. Did I mention, too, that I can read the screen and that the batteries last 4-6 hours?

I recently visited with my good friend, Kelly Forrister, at her home in beautiful Ojai California.  The purpose of my visit was to show her the Tablet PC system and environment and to give her a tour of my most recent addition to my mobile knowledge worker productivity toolkit.  We recorded a podcast of the meeting and I invite you to listen in as I give Kelly a tour of the new Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Tablet PC.

Listen to the podcast

Many of my eProductivity clients use the Treo 650 for phone and PIM applications. With the hype surrounding the new EVDO network devices I recently conducted several tests to help me determine if EVDO would indeed provide the performance benefits claimed by the respective networks. Note that I was not trying to determine the better network, simply whether the cost to upgrade to a Treo 700p could be justified on the basis of improved productivity.
Continue Reading "Treo w/EVDO - a worthwhile productivity upgrade" »

I'm often asked how I work on the road and what tools I use to stay in sync, both for myself and for my clients. Here's a very brief summary of a recent project; I've made sure to provide links to previous blog posts and to manufacturer's sites so that you can explore these on your own. I hope you find this information helpful. (You may want to follow each link)

Two weeks ago, I helped move David Allen from his old Palm to a Treo 700p. I used mNotes, by Commontime to keep David's 700p in sync with the Lotus Notes applications we use at The David Allen Company. mNotes is a tool that allows for bidirectional synchronization of PIM apps (e-Mail, Calendar, Tasks, Address book and Memos) between Lotus Notes and mobile devices, like the Treo 700p. Over the years, I've worked with and deployed many wireless sync applications, including mNotes and Pylon Pro/iAnywhere. I like both products, and I've blogged favorably about both. Personally, I use mNotes for PIM apps, due to their rich feature set, and I will use the Pylon Application server to extend non-PIM Notes applications (e.g. custom Notes databases) to my Treo.

Continue Reading "Increased mobility with a Treo and mNotes" »

New mNotes version 4.x looks good

Saturday, October 15th, 2005
I decided to re-evaluate the latest release of mNotes; I wanted to compare it to Pylon iAnywhere. I'm not ready to post a review, but I can say that the folks at Commontime have been busy. One thing I like about the mNotes product is that a license is per-user, regardless of the type of PDA, how many simultaneous PDAs are synched and regardless of whether you sync by USB, Bluetooth, or wireless. In fact, the server's the same for all three. The program is tightly integrated with Notes, too. The e-mail support Notes rich, including full bidirectional support for folders, which means that you can process your mail on your PDA. Handle it once; sweet. If you're looking for a sync solution between Notes and your PDA, mNotes is certainly an option to consider. Link: Commontime.

Treo 650 Update #1

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004
Last night, I configured my new TREO 650 with the beta release of PdaNet so that I could evaluate it as a wireless modem for my IBM ThinkPad.  I was very pleased with the results. I was able to surf the web, replicate my Lotus Notes databases, connect to my server via PC Anywhere, and use instant messaging. The speed tests report throughput between 100k and 140k, which is satisfactory for these applications. I was able to do this quickly and easily, using the USB cable. I also tested this via Bluetooth. Bluetooth worked the first time, however, I could not get it to work again. (I understand that the software is still in beta.) In all, I'm quite pleased.

Another busy week ahead. I've just returned from my daughter's second robotics competition. I'll wait for them to post their blog entries before I share how the event went.  (hint: it was amazing)

Coming soon, I'll be sharing the results of my evaluations of a few on-board productivity tools that I am using with my Treo 650.

UPS delivered a shiny new TREO 650 SmartPhone today. My plan is to fully integrate the TREO 650 with Lotus Notes for a variety of eProductivity.NET applications using Pylon iAnywhere to mobilize them. I've done quite a bit of integration using Pylon products over the years, and I highly recommend them.

Lately, I have been looking into a product called mNotes by CommonTime. The mNotes product is similar to iAnywhere in many ways, however, it has a few features not found in the Pylon product that are of interest to several of my corporate customers. These include: support for multiple calendars, multiple To-Do lists, multiple email users, and on-device folder support. This last feature will apparently allow for the filing of messages on the device and to have those changes replicated to Lotus Notes wirelessly. I'll let you know how the evaluation it works out.

My primary reason for choosing the TREO 650 and the SprintPCS network is their $15 PCSVision plan with unlimited internet. Thanks to the Sprint PCS network, I can replicate data between the TREO and Lotus Notes. When changes happen at the desktop or on the device, they will be immediately replicated to the other location.  Earlier this year, I deployed this system for a client using Pylon iAnywhere and I was very pleased with the results. On the unified messaging front, I've been using and recommending Remark! Unified Messaging for the past 8 years; my next project will be to look for ways to integrate the TREO and RUMA.

BTW: The SprintPCS activation process, while mostly smooth, left something to be desired. After entering all of my data on my touch-tone keypad, I was connected over a mediocre quality VOIP connection to Ray, in the Philippines. (I sure hope Sprint's PCS voice quality is better than their customer service voice quality). Of course, I had to give Ray all of the same info that I typed in when I placed the call -- the same information I had to provide when I placed the order. So much for integrated ordering. :-(  20 minutes later, after sharing all of the information that you are not supposed to give to strangers over the phone, I was assigned a temporary mobile phone #.  As for the famous $150 rebate, the rep told me that it would take between 4 and 12 months to get  the rebate and that I would have to initiate it after 4 months. I wonder if I'll see that $ again.

There is no wireless coverage up here in the mountains where I live, so I'll have to wait until I drive down to the city to see how it really works.

Best wishes for a blessed Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for.


Treo 650 and Pylon iAnywhere

Monday, October 25th, 2004
I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Treo 650, from PalmOne. The TREO is an ideal match for my Pylon iAnywhere server,  which allows me to keep my Lotus Notes E-Mail, Contacts, and other databases in sync with my mobile devices. While I probably won't send too many e-mails from my phone, I love the idea of having my Lotus Notes databases replicated to my handheld so that I can access all of my information in one place. (See my previous thoughts on this topic.) I should point out that the Pylon iAnywhere server is device independent, so I can (and will) keep profiles for multiple devices (e.g. Tungsten C, Treo 650, Pocket PC) and then just pick and take whichever device most suitable for my needs or happens to be closest at hand.

Back to the real story: Palm Infocenter is reporting the announcement of the Treo 650 SmartPhone; Treo central has a hands-on review of the unit, as well. Wondering about price? Treo central has some information on that, too. The Treo 650 looks like a good unit, I'm ready to buy two, and to encourage my clients to do the same.

Sprint has just announced service for the Treo 650 on their network and I am sure that other carriers will be quick to follow suit. There seems to be some concern about whether (or not) the Sprint offering will allow the Treo 650 to be used as a wireless laptop modem.  The current buzz is no. If that's the case, I'll be moving to AT&T's Edge network. I have faith in our competitive economic system; I know that other alternatives will emerge soon.

For me, I'm immersed in a few key client projects, so the blogging will be light. Big plans in the works for eProductivity.NET, but those will have to wait another month or so, until I complete some of my present commitments.

What value, wireless E-Mail?

Thursday, June 24th, 2004
For me, the measure of success in evaluating a new technology or productivity tool is the degree to which it becomes transparent to the actual work being done, and the level of productivity that is gained as a result. A doctor should not have to think about his scalpel or stethoscope; neither should a writer have to think about his pen or legal pad. In the same way, a knowledge worker should not have to think about his information processing tools. Any time he does, he robs himself of the opportunity to get his real work done.

Yesterday, Michael Hyatt blogged about his experience, using the Blackberry. Michael presents a cogent overview of his experience using his Blackberry to help him get things done.

As an eProductivity specialist, I enjoy reading about people's successes (and challenges) as they attempt to work various technologies into their "systems."

Technology now exists to enable us to process, or at least access, our email and calendar from anywhere; but where should we really handle this information?

Two months ago, David Allen, in his blog: "Coaching to 40,000 feet," wrote about one of his clients:
"He tossed his Blackberry ("Crackberry" as he called it!), agreeing with my recommendation that e-mail should be processed most efficiently for most people from at least a laptop, and he ordered a Palm to distribute his Outlook lists into for portability. (Though there are exceptions, this is usually the best configuration for most people in an Outlook environment)."

This casual comment touched off a flurry of responses about the value of a device that can provide instant email. I've been watching the log files with interest ever since, to see who would pick up on his comments -- either to agree, or to share an alternative viewpoint.

I agree that for most people, including myself, email can be more efficiently processed at a computer -- a context in which it can often be completed or processed down to the very next action. I authored one of the first wireless e-mail solutions for LAN messaging  in 1992, when I was CTO of Peloria Technology Corporation. In those days, we were dealing with simple one-way and eventually two-way devices, basically pagers.  Since that time, the on-device technology and speed of delivery has vastly improved, but the process of dealing with e-mail on the road has changed little. Often, e-mail on a mobile device is still treated as a page or alert -- which can be important and useful; however, the user must still return to their desktop to process these messages a second time to decide what to do with them.  This is not as efficient as it could be.

To be fair, David did not fully explain the reason for his view that e-mail is better processed at the computer, but I suspect the fact that the same message must often be processed twice (at the device and at the desktop) had a lot to do with it.

For many of us who live the mobile lifestyle, waiting until we can get back to our desk to check or process our email is simply not fast enough.The demands of modern competitive business often require that we be in-touch. The ability to respond or make a decision quickly, based on new information, can be a determining factor in the success or failure of a project, or even a company. So for some, the cost of double processing, is more than offset by the value of the information.

David did allow for these exceptions. (Perhaps Michael and I fall into the "exceptions" category, or maybe we are just exceptional people.)  

In the end, I believe that what matters most is not where you process your stuff, but whether or not you are getting things done.  Having to process email twice is not much different than folks who capture their thoughts on a voice recorder -- they have to process their ideas twice. Both approaches are inefficient, yet they aren't. For some, the extra mobility outweighs the inconvenience of double-processing.

While many of the current generation of wireless devices now allow for onboard deletion of messages, they continue to fall short of their potential by not allowing messages to be filed or converted into projects and actions at the device. Developers and device manufacturers still do not seem to understand the value [or potential] of being able to fully process your information on a mobile device. They provide us with wonderful tools, yet they often miss the mark by only a feature or two. In this case, the ability to really process the stuff that we receive wirelessly in a seamless fashion.

What I would like to see, is the ability to file an email in a folder and have that sync to my desktop application. I would also like to have the ability to convert an email into a project, action, or calendar item. These seem like simple things but they would have a profound impact on the utility of these devices.  Perhaps they should attend one of David's GTD seminars or have me participate in their usability testing. If they did, and if they truly got it, I'm sure that we would see big changes in the usability of the these products.  (This is my eHint to: RIM, PalmOne, Sybase and Microsoft)

For me, I continue to do the best that I can, using variety of eProductivity solutions to support me in my work.  Having the ability to quickly review my projects and actions and at the same time receive or send receive e-mail or calendar updates in real-time, from anywhere, remains a powerful productivity tool.

A while back, I wrote about how I was using a wireless Palm along with Pylon iAnywhere. I have continued to use this solution to provide myself and clients with real-time push of email & calendar updates from/to the office. (This solution works with both Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange, by the way).

Image:What value, wireless E-Mail?

As with the Blackberry, the e-mail processing is not perfect (the folders on the mobile device do not yet sync to the desktop), but the advantage of being able to do a quick scan of my email and calendar is worth the extra effort of possibly having to occasionally process these items twice.

The real beauty of this solution, for me, is that it has now become transparent to the way that I get things done.

Do you have another viewpoint or experience to share? I'd like to hear from you. Feel free to post a comment.


Pylon Anywhere

Thursday, May 6th, 2004
One of the neat things about being an eProductivity specialist, is that I have the opportunity to research, test, and deploy a variety of new technologies for my clients. Before I recommend any technology to a client, I work with it in-house. If, after a few weeks, I'm still enamored by the solution, then it will find its way into a recommendation for a client.

One technology that I have used over the years is a product called Pylon Pro, which allows me to publish Notes databases to a Palm or Pocket PC device. I've been helping my clients to deploy the Pylon desktop solution for many years (since the 1.0 release), when it was first developed by a small company called Globalware.  Now, after several acquisitions, Pylon seems to have found a home and an outstanding support team as part of the iAnywhere family of solutions, from Sybase. The neat thing is that Sybase did not just add Pylon to their existing family of solutions and park it there. No, they have continued to develop, extend, and refine the Pylon technology into their suite of M-Business products.

Image:Pylon Anywhere

I am most excited about two products: Pylon iAnywhere -- a server-based tool to extend PIM information from Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange to any number of handheld devices (Palm, SmartPhones, PocketPC, etc.), and the Pylon Application Server, an M-Business solution that allows me to extend the reach of Notes/SQL/ODBC databases to a mobile workforce.

This means that my clients can now take the same databases that they have on their desktops with them on their PDA or SmartPhones. Changes made in one location are immediately reflected in the other.

This takes mobile computing to a whole new level, as I'm now able to quickly design and deploy eProductivity applications for my clients which can be used anytime, anywhere.  

This morning, I received a call from Gabe Stanek, a systems consultant from iAnywhere Solutions. Gabe gave me a private tour of the new Pylon Apps Server 6.0, which delivers client-side processing to their existing product. This means that I can now deploy mobile applications that will do onboard look-ups, validations, and updates to records as they are edited on the device. My enterprise clients will be quite excited to learn about this!  I can now deploy a database as a mobile application with client-side logic -- something that used to take days or weeks of development -- in just a few hours . Nice work iAnywhere team!

I'll have much more to share about this and other productivity enhancing technologies, when I launch my eProductivity.NET blog site.