I'm only into my first day at the KMWORLD conference in Washington DC and I've already met several folks that told me (unsolicited) that they hate Lotus Notes with a passion. They are everywhere. If you've read this blog for any length of time you know I have a field day with this. It is frustrating -- that IBM does not appear to do much to change user perception while Microsoft markets like crazy to convince organizations that SharePoint will solve all of their problems. It's also exhilarating - that I can help show people how their investment in Lotus Software is a good one and that in fact, Lotus Notes is quite capable. The problems are not Notes as much as they are how Notes is frequently deployed, managed, or supported -- or not.

SharePoint isn't the solution either.  (If this blog were about using SharePoint, I could have lead with the title "Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone hates SharePoint?") Two years ago, at KMWORLD, it seemed that SharePoint could do no wrong; in fact, the answer to every ill, it seemed, was SharePoint. Now that organizations have had some time to work with SharePoint, we see the same issues and hear many of the same complaints about SharePoint that we have heard about Notes. And, of course, we have the cloud vendors telling us that they can fix the problems of SharePoint and Notes. Yeah, right.

Continue Reading "Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone hates Notes?" »

newsletter-dclug-logo.jpgI'll be speaking at two different Washington DC venues next week. If you're in the area, I'd like to meet you! And if you have the chance to drop by one of my sessions, please do.

On Wednesday, November 17, I'll be presenting to the DCLUG (DC Lotus User Group). You can find more details on the DCLUG website. I'll be providing free GTD resources for attendees, plus holding a drawing for free eProductivity software so bring your business card!

NOTE: You must RSVP by Monday morning, Nov 15th, because of IBM's building security requirements. Sorry for the short notice but our IBM hosts just relocated their offices.

newsletter-kmworld-logo.jpgThe next day, Thursday November 18, I'll be moderating/presenting on a panel at KMWorld, the annual conference on knowledge management. I'll be joined on the panel by Art Murray, CEO of Applied Knowledge Sciences, Inc., and Box.net's VP of Business Development, Karen Appleton, and our topic is Future Focused Formulas for Enterprise KM Success.

Both sessions give me the opportunity to share my expertise on knowledge management, in addition to discussing best practices of personal and corporate productivity. I'm looking forward to it.

kmworld-2009-eric-mack.jpg

How to be ready for every conversation

Monday, November 1st, 2010
cross-eyed-girl-post-it-forehead.jpg Many people are familiar with creating with agendas for formal meetings, but what about informal meetings? What about personal conversations?

Consider this: Ever sat down for an informal meeting and suddenly forgot what you wanted to discuss? Not a lot of fun, not to mention potentially stressful.

Equally frustrating is when you walk away from a conversation and get that nagging feeling that important topics were missed.

You don't have to do this to yourself.

Next time, write down your topics ahead of time. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel and at how much more efficient meetings are when you can march down a list of topics, confident that everything needing discussion is on that list.

It's time to eliminate "I'm glad I remembered that" from your vocabulary. You don't need to remember if it's written down.

Here are pointers I've found about creating and maintaining informal agendas.

Keep a running agenda list for people you regularly interact with

These people are probably coworkers, family, and close friends. You communicate with them all the time and there's usually plenty of things needing discussing.

Continue Reading "How to be ready for every conversation" »

Over at the Inside.eProductivity blog, Ryan Heathers writes about
3 Things I've Learned about being Productive while Telecommuting.

Here's an excerpt:

NewsletterTelecommutingWomanLaptopCouch.jpg

Telecommuter. Remote Worker. Digital Nomad. Road Warrior. These are but a few of the names used to describe people who don't regularly see their co-workers face to face. I'm one of them. Perhaps you are, too.

The names can imply different things. A road warrior is someone who takes frequent business trips while a remote worker is (usually) someone who works from home. Measuring how many people telecommute is difficult.

Regardless, telecommuting comes with it's own set of opportunities and challenges. Let me share some things I've learned.

3 Things I've Learned -

  1. Find the Right Noise vs. Isolation Balance
  2. Communicate Frequently with the Office
  3. Know When to Quit

Continue reading on the Inside.eProductivity blog



GTD & Lotus Notes Webinar for IBMers

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

David Allen's book, "Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity", and his GTD® methodology have revolutionized the way millions of working men and women tackle their work. His system turns achieving control and perspective over your commitments into a daily reality.

Many people know this about GTD. What you may not know is that for the past 17 years, David has used Lotus Notes as his personal organization system.

This month, David and I will be co-presenting two webinars on GTD & Lotus Notes.

Some of the things we'll show:

  • How to go home at the end of the day with an empty inbox
  • How to tackle your work week with the confidence of knowing you’re being as productive as you can possibly be
  • What's in David's productivity toolkit and how he uses Lotus Notes to get things done

Webinar exclusively for IBM employees
On April 8th from 10:00am – 11:30am PST, we’ll be doing a webinar exclusively for IBM employees on applying GTD to Lotus Notes. Many IBMers are fans of GTD already, and this will give more insight into David’s master tips, tricks & strategies. We’ll also look at eProductivity – the only software tool for Lotus Notes that’s earned the distinctive “GTD Enabled” certification.

If you’re an IBM employee, sign up now. Space is limited.

Webinar open to the public
On April 28th from 10:00am - 11:30am PST, David and I will be doing another "Getting Things Done in Lotus Notes" webinar for the general public.

Go here to get more details and sign up now. Space is limited.



The GTD Summit - perhaps more important than ever

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
We no longer live in a make-it-and-move-it society where productivity can be measured by parts produced, raw materials consumed or time spent. For knowledge work, we need a new productivity equation. In my public seminars, I present just such an equation:

VALUE = Knowledge x Methodology x Technology

I've blogged about this formula before, so I won't go into detail here, but I do want to point out two things: First, notice that the value created is the result of not one but three factors: Knowledge, Methodology, and Technology (or tools). Each play an important role in the productivity equation. Second, these factors are multipliers - changing any one of them has the potential to greatly effect the outcome or "value" created.

Unfortunately, many people focus on the tools they use or even what they know while giving little attention to the methodology - the process - they use to get things done.

It's in economic times like this when the improved productivity of organizations and the people within them becomes critical. It's also in these times that our ability to maintain personal focus and control are key to success. I've blogged a lot about my success using the Getting Things Done (GTD)  methodology an important part of my personal productivity tool kit. My friend and long-time client, David Allen, creator of this methodology, has been a pioneer in finding ways to increase our productivity by changing the way we think about the work we do.

Continue Reading "The GTD Summit - perhaps more important than ever" »

Clear the Decks!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008
One of the productivity exercises I try to go through at least once each new year is to clear the decks of my productivity workspace. What that means is I remove from my office everything that isn't supplies, reference material, or decoration. I dump it into boxes and move it into the next room. What  you see here is the result of that first step. this is my productivity cockpit, my flight deck for productive work....

Eric's office, ready for productive work Eric's office, ready for productive work

Eric's office, ready for productive workIn these photos, you can see that my desk surrounds me and I have everything I need to work effectively. (I'll blog more about the tools later, for now I simply want to share what the decks looks like when they are clear.)




My InboxThe next step is to bring things back into my office and put them into the appropriate places. Much of the "stuff" that I bring back is in piles - books and reviewing or researching, papers, project files, stacks of mystery read/review items, and piles of scraps of ambiguous stuff. The rule is - and this is important - I cannot bring anything back in without putting it into the proper place. To do this, I throw all of the collected items into my physical in basket to process.

Then, I remove one item from the top* and answer two questions:

1. What's the successful outcome?


2. What's the next action?


With a clear understanding of the outcome for something that I am holding and a clear grasp of the next action I can decide what to do next:
Continue Reading "Clear the Decks!" »

I recently sent out a call for productivity-minded people that want to implement David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology in Lotus Notes to join the eProductivity Workgroup Pilot program. eProductivity came out of beta a month ago and now I'm doing the research on enterprise deployments to learn how they are using and benefitting from eProductivity and how I can facilitate deployments. The eProductivity workgroup pilot program is for workgroups of 10-20 people and allows me to personally coach a group of people and learn from them as they start getting things done in Notes. To help them get started, I offered to host private webinars for these pilot sites to assist them in the process of learning to use eProductivity.

This week, I delivered the first of several private webinars, this one for an eProductivity Workgroup Pilot at a large organization on the East Cast.  Most of the people on the call were technically savvy but many were new to the GTD methodology.

Using some slides from last year's eProductivity Conference, I began by presenting a brief overview of my eProductivity Equation and some of the GTD principles and concepts that I have found most helpful. Then, we took a tour of some of the key eProductivity features. Finally, we wrapped up with an extended time of Q&A. We did not cover all of eProductivity but we laid a foundation for future webinars.

After the call, I asked my host if I could share the audio portion of the webinar with other eProductivity users; she graciously agreed...


Continue Reading "I invite you to listen to a private eProductivity webinar" »