It's often been my experience that when users complain about Lotus Notes, they are unaware that there are simple things that can be done to achieve a big boost in productivity. For example, I sometimes find that users do not have Lotus Notes set up to take advantage of Lotus Note's ability to keep a local replica - something that can lead to a dramatic performance improvement, especially when then the objective is to make the tool as productive as possible.
For the past 17 years, I've been serving organizations and individuals that use Lotus Notes to get things done. My focus is on high performance knowledge work and I teach the importance of having the right tools for the job and knowing how to use them to be productive. Unfortunately, many people don't give a thought to their systems and what makes them work well.
Instead of using tools that are optimized for the job, users often struggle and are less productive than they could be. That's like using a dull saw to cut a tree down -- you can do it, but it's going to take a lot more work to get the job done.
As I work with and coach clients around the world that use Lotus Notes, I'm often asked why Notes and their systems in general seem to get slower and slower. While there are many parts to the answer, the good news is that there is much you can do to improve the user experience in terms of performance.
First, let me provide some context: for purposes of this discussion I'll be referring to the Lotus Notes Mail file; however, the concepts I describe can be applied equally to any Lotus Notes database or application.
Before we can talk about the things that can be done to speed up Lotus Notes, we must first understand what aspects of your system and Notes affect performance. I have broken these down into three areas: System, Lotus Notes, and User Data. Elements in each of these areas will affect end-user performance. Some are things you can change easily; some are not. Let's take a look:
I heard lots of good stuff, but I did not hear any earth-shattering news or announcements. I think that's a good thing. It means that IBM Lotus has a product line that is broad and deep with no gaping holes. In other words, solutions exist to not only meet the needs of business today but to transform how organizations do business tomorrow. I have lots more to share about Lotusphere and the meetings I have attended; I've taken a lot of pictures and notes and I want to spend some time thinking through the what I am seeing and hearing here at LS10 before I add my $.02.
For the latest information, PlanetLotus is a great aggregator site for all things Lotus. You can also follow the real-time twitter feeds at hash tag #LS10 or #LotusKnows.
eProductivity is a featured app in the catalog, and I was really pleased to see eProductivity up on the big screen during a session called, "BDD101: Lotus Messaging and Collaborating drives Better Business Outcomes", presented by Kevin Cavanaugh and Mike Masterson.
Here are some pictures I took from the session (click for larger view):
David Allen discusses a senior executive's story of a productivity transformation. By tapping into the power of GTD and eProductivity-enabled Lotus Notes, this transformation has greatly benefited the people under him and ultimately, the organization.
Footage taken from an interview with David on January 10, 2010. For more clips from the interview, go here.
Lotus Notes has been around for a long time. Since its release in 1989 it has always been viewed as a “different” piece of technology, loved by some people and reviled by others. It takes a different approach to information management and collaboration tasks, it looks different from the standard Microsoft offering which many people view as being “authoritatively correct”, and it offers capability for being used so broadly across an organization that it can be put to use on many tasks, including tasks that it is not well-suited for.
So what do we do with Lotus Notes, and by implication, the other products from Lotus Software? Is there still life left in Lotus? Is it time to move to “greener pastures”? Are the new offerings from other vendors better suited to the information management and collaboration tasks that organizations are using Lotus Notes for? These are the questions addressed in this report.
I have read the report (actually, I commented on an earlier draft last month), and I found it an outstanding contribution to the field. I'll be recommending it to anyone evaluating the strategic role of Lotus Notes and related Lotus software in their organization.
In addition to my BOF session, here's where you can find me:
IBM Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes - Best Practices Session, BP302, presented by Eric Mack. It will take place at 4:15 PM on Tuesday, January 19, at the Dolphin Hotel (Southern II).
As my session description says:
Lotus Notes software is marketed as an "organizational" productivity tool, and that’s
often the way organizations deploy it – from the top down – not as a tool for "personal"
productivity or knowledge management. As a consequence, many users see Notes as a
"company" tool and not "their" tool. When tools become "personal," productivity
increases and when personal productivity increases so does the productivity of the
workgroup and the organization. This session will show both expert and novice Notes
users how they can use Lotus Notes coupled with proven best practices to make them
immediately more productive.
If you didn't get enough in the first session, I'll also be presenting the BOF session the day after.
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:
In this clip from my interview with David, he relates his background as a long-time Notes user and advocate. He finds combining the power of Lotus Notes and eProductivity to be a natural fit and he's very pleased with the results.
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.
With the recent blog posts about making a bold yellow fashion statement at Lotusphere 2010, whether it's a group of people wearing yellow shirts on the airplane or old-timer's wearing their vintage Lotus T's, there's plenty of opportunity for the truly yellow to show off their memorabilia. (I was thinking of making a jacket of Notes 2.0 OS/2 3.5" diskettes to wear).
Anyway, I wonder how many of you still have one of these buttons to wear?
This was from Lotusphere 1995 - long before it was cool to be yellow.
If you have one of these buttons, I hope you will wear it proudly and say hello!
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: Test\Folder1 Test\Folder2 Test\Folder3
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.) Thanks!