Today was a great day at the GTD Summit. We are hanging out with some of the best and brightest people in the world - key thought leaders and leading innovators from around the world. The day was full of inspiring conversations. Some, however, were less than inspiring - at least until I got a new outlook on how to receive what I was hearing. Let me explain...

The first person I met today in the general session ask me what I do. As soon as I mentioned the software I used, his immediate response was "I hate Lotus Notes."
I had several other equally inspiring conversations within just a few hours.

At first it bothered me - I almost felt that I should somehow apologize for using Notes (or the fact that I really enjoy doing so).

Then, mid-morning, I remembered a lesson I learned from Zig Ziglar.
People never change their minds. But, they do make new decisions when provided with new information.
I decided to make it a challenge to see if I could help as many people make new decisions about what they thought about Lotus Notes.

We had many people stop by the eProductivity exhibit, some because they simply wandered over and others because they heard David Allen talk about how he "loves Lotus Notes." and how he uses eProductivity. (They apparently figure that if David Allen uses and recommends IBM Lotus Notes there must be something about Notes that they are missing.) In any case, however they get to the exhibit, they arrive with either a question or a comment. Some were excited about Notes and some were frustrated about Notes. I met several of each today. The people I really enjoyed meeting, however, were the self-proclaimed Notes haters.

As soon as someone said "I hate Lotus Notes!" or "Lotus Notes Sucks!" I responded enthusiastically, "I'm so glad to hear you say that!" People were surprised and either said, "Why do you say that?" or "Oh., you must use Notes, too." In both cases, I would respond, "I'm so glad to hear you say that you hate Lotus Notes because I want to show you how David Allen and I have been using Lotus Notes to get things done for the past 15 years. This often led to inspired conversations about Lotus Notes, productivity and GTD. I would always offer to show them eProductivity for IBM Lotus Notes. Many people had never heard of eProductivity; some had hear David Allen talk about it; all were interested to see it. As I tweeted earlier today, I loved seeing people's jaw drop when they see how eProductivity embeds the best practices of GTD right inside of Lotus Notes. Then, I would methodically show them how Lotus Notes can be a powerful tool for information management and how with eProductivity it can not only support but enhance their use of David Allen's GTD methodology.

Almost everyone I spoke with today left with a smile, and many even asked for my business card so that they could follow up.

Perhaps there's a new opportunity here...?

Anyway, it was indeed a great day at the GTD Summit and I'm having a wonderful time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I want to see how many more people I can help change their perspective on IBM Lotus Notes.

Eric Mack

P.S. Chris Blatnick is blogging the event so be sure to read it or follow the #GTDSummit Twitter Feed.

Discussion/Comments (7):

Albert Buendia ( 03/13/2009 1:58:24
I have a new outlook when I hear I hate Lotus Notes or Lotus Notes Sucks

Eric, I've really enjoyed reading this post. And, only for your positive feedback. It's important to know who has written this or another post. I've "supposed" it was Eric but if the post isn't signed (in the header or footer of the post). Not all the visitors come from PlanetLotus, :).Thank you.

Ed Lee (): 03/13/2009 2:57:54
I have a new outlook when I hear I hate Lotus Notes or Lotus Notes Sucks

"I'm so glad to hear you say that!"

Eric, that's a great response and I guess it is suprising for the individual to hear but also allows the individual to feel that their opion counts and is being listened too. Like it, thanks for sharing.

Keith Brooks ( 03/13/2009 6:32:07
I have a new outlook when I hear I hate Lotus Notes or Lotus Notes Sucks

The line "I'm so glad to hear you say that!" is similar to one I and many people use when asked a question in a larger forum audience.

"That is an excellent question or point" is one of the best ways to engage people that raise issues with you or your product/solution.

You can educate the person why they may not fully see the glass 1/2 full afterwards.

Well done!

Eric Mack ( 03/13/2009 7:28:49
re: I have a new outlook when I hear I hate Lotus Notes or Lotus Notes Sucks

I was surprised that it actually was not too difficult to give folks a new outlook on Lotus Notes. I will try to pay attention today and try to determine why people say they hate Notes. I suspect, as I have written before that there are many factors, including 1. Using very old versions that do not have current features (e.g. Met a large user on 6.02) 2) No training provided, 3) Only presented as e-mail and nothing else, 4) forced top down, 5) They think it is a dead product because they do not see anything about it in the market place - all they hear is Outlook and SharePoint.

All of these can be reasons why they dislike. Lack of training is probably the key. This amazes me that companies would invest $$ in collaboration infrastructure and then not train folks in how to use it.

Paul Gardner ( 03/13/2009 15:14:38
I have a new outlook when I hear I hate Lotus Notes or Lotus Notes Sucks

Eric, this is a great way to approach that problem.

I have also been in the position of saying that I hate Notes (see { Link } ) and it would have been wonderful if the people in the know had taken your approach instead of the "Well, you just have to use it" answer.

Keep up the good work!

Eric Mack ( 03/14/2009 9:43:05
Two converts from I hate Notes to I’ll look at it again + one new Notes customer!

I had fun giving people a new Outlook on Notes this week. Some neat wins and it turned would could have been depressing conversations into great discussions


Eric Mack ( 04/04/2009 23:15:58
Now you can listen to an interview re: I Hate Notes

Here's a link to a blog post in which I share recordings from some interviews about Lotus Notes. These were recorded live at the GTD Summit in San Francisco.

{ Link }

Discussion for this entry is now closed.