I'm at home today, preparing for an important eProductivity meeting. I just emailed the following meeting confirmation and three questions to the 10 people who plan to attend. The first two questions are relevant to anyone that wants to implement the GTD methodology in Notes:
As I prepare for Wednesday's meeting, I want to make sure that I show you things that you will find useful - things which you can take back and put into practice right away.

I have 3 very quick questions to help me prepare...
These questions assume that you are already using, have tried using, or are considering using Lotus Notes as your GTD Implementation tool.

1. What is a key frustration to successfully managing projects and actions in Lotus Notes?  (e.g. What gets in the way of doing this easily?)

2. If you could have any feature you wanted in Notes to support you in better managing your actions and projects, what would that be?   (e.g. What's missing? What would help you be even more productive with Notes?)

3. What would you most like to learn about at Wednesday's meeting? (Please agenda, attached.)

Thank you for your comments.

The meeting will be in two parts. The agenda is below.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday!


How would you answer questions #1 and #2?

Discussion/Comments (5):

Roland Reddekop (): 05/26/2008 17:49:24
Linking Projects & Actions in Lotus Notes

#1. Assuming you use the Task List to track a list of project, there no function for tracking next actions (or series of next next actions). You can fudge it by putting a list of next actions in the body of the Task and manually promote the very next action into the subject field like this:

Web Launch Project~NA~Call meeting of decision makers

But that's a little tiring if you have 60+ projects on the go.

#2 A special projects form that lists projects and spawns the next Action as child task document which will also show up in my BlackBerry.

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 05/26/2008 18:37:58
RE: Linking Projects & Actions in Lotus Notes

Hi, Roland.

Linking projects to actions is among the top feature requests that people seem to make. eProductivity solves this. it was a real challenge to solve it in a way that would not break Blackberry (or any third party application or device) sync. it works great. The shipping version of eProductivity allows you to link of projects, actions, emails, and calendar entries. The next release (version 1.65) also adds the ability to link to a contact. I'll email you a screen shot.

Thanks for reminding me of this key frustration point. I've been away from vanilla Notes for so long that I sometimes forget how hard it once was.

Thanks for starting the discussion, Roland. I'll send you a screen shot of how I do this. - Eric

Gareth Howell (http://blog.garethhowell.com): 05/27/2008 11:06:02
What gets in the way, when implementing GTD in Notes?

I second Roland's item and add a couple more:

1. The fact that a Notes To-Do always has a start by and complete by date: even if you leave them blank. the consequence is that your calendar soon fills up with ToDo items.

2. The fact that completed To-Do items don't dissapear from the main To-Do list.

I solved Roland's matter by having a "Project" context and re-using the Task field so it could be either a project name or a Task. That way Projects still show up on the BB.

I added a subform containing a Context field, a button to switch between Project and Task and a field to select the project to which the task belongs. I then created a single category view sorted by Project name and embedded that in the subform.

The net effect so far is that though I can't see Project tasks as such on the BB, I still see them as To-Dos and Projects also appear as To-Dos.

I keep meaning to post some scrreenshots on my blog. There is a task in the list :-)


Eric Mack (http://www.EricMackOnline.com): 05/29/2008 14:14:31
What gets in the way, when implementing GTD in Notes?

Thanks for the feedback Gareth, I hear these complaints from many of the people I work with. I don't understand by Lotus would not provide the ability to hide completed items from lists. You offer a clever workaround. Thanks for the comment.

Peter Simoons (http://blog.simoons.com): 06/01/2008 6:26:49
What gets in the way, when implementing GTD in Notes?


Basically nothing would get in the way of usine Lotus Notes for GTD. However I did switch away from Notes for only one simple reason, I bought an iPhone and needed my lists there too. I could not find any work around to synchronize my Lotus Notes tasks to the iPhone in a decent way and looked for something else. So I use 43actions.com now, a great list manager tailored to GTD with only one downside: it does not replicate (yet) to an offline version.

As for Gareth's post there are workarounds for this. In your preferences you can select to show your todo entries in your calendar or not. I choose not to have them displayed and work purely from the list.

Secondly I updated my view selection in Lotus Notes for the task list. With this formula in the default view selection criteria I managed to keep completed items out of my "By category" list in Notes:


((Form = "Task" | Form = "TaskNotice" | DueDateTime != "" | @AllDescendants) & !(ExcludeFromView = "T") & form != "Memo" & DueState != 9)


(Form = "Memo" & @IsAvailable(PostedDate) & PostedDate != "" & ReplyDate != "" & DueState != 9)

Hope this helps!


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