eProductivity V4

Friday, February 23rd, 2018
After 10 years of development, eProductivity has proven to be a stable product; however, there's always room for improvement and the occasional fixes. :-)

This release of eProductivity includes many new features to facilitate working with archives as well as various new productivity features.

Here are a few highlights; for more details, see here.

Productivity Features Added
  • To speed up filing emails, the 'Send & File' and 'Move to Folder' menus now display the last three folders you filed into (even if they are in another mail file or archive).

Archiving Features Added

These were created to make archiving easier, especially for users whose organizations use automatic archiving. These will help you better manage your information and protect your active work from being archived without your knowledge:
  • The Archiving view has been updated to make it even easier for you to see and archive completed items while protecting incomplete items.
  • Easily archive and restore folders: New buttons in folders in Mail and Archives will allow you to:
    MOVE
    the current folder (including subfolders) to an archive.
    RESTORE
    a folder (including subfolders) from an archive back to the Mail file.

I use these feature daily to manage my mail file, by pruning inactive folders full of emails to my archive, yet knowing that if I ever want to restore that folder from my archive I can do so with a single click. This keeps Domino Administrators happy as users have small mail files, yet it keeps users happy because they can find with they want and have it where they want it. The eProductivity Global Search tool also makes it easy to find messages, regardless of whether they are in the mail, archive or an external mail file.

New features in eProductivity Reference

The latest version of eProductivity Reference has added two new features:
  • The Timestamp feature makes it easy to timestamp any entry in the Reference DB. This is similar to the timestamp function in journal entries, but the new Timestamp can be applied to any document in the Reference DB.
eProductivity is free for use on archive files and reference (Notebooks). A free essentials version is also available. Details

Domino Server on Raspberry Pi

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
I have a Domino server which I've kept on the shelf for the past 10 years because it runs a legacy application that I use occasionally. It's been running just fine -- nonstop -- for more than a decade. It doesn't need much processing power nor does it need much disk space. I've thought about how I might preserve it and keep it running and I have considered using either a VM or a mini ATX server.

Last year, Hackaday, one of my favorite hacking sites, had an article on how to load a limited version of Linux on a Linksys Router. That got me thinking that it would be cool to have a Domino server inside of a Linux router sitting on my bookshelf.

That reminded me of a post by Daniel Nashed about running Domino an on Xbox.
Small computers have come a long way since then, so I've been thinking about what it would take to run a Domino server on a Raspberry Pi.

Why would I want to do that? 1) Because it just well may be possible, and 2) to allow a seldom used dedicated Domino server app to continue its life in a low power machine.

A quick Google search did not turn up anything but I'm sure someone much smarter than me has had this same idea.

It's possible to mount a USB hard drive on a Raspberry Pi and even SD cards have plenty of storage so that shouldn't be an issue.

I found this blog that documents how to install Lotus Domino 8.5 on Ubuntu which may be helpful (or not).

I'm not a Linux guy, but I did manage to set up Ubuntu once on an old ThinkPad. I'm not afraid of learning something new, though. No idea if I will build this but I might try, just to see what can be done. (If you have links to share, either on getting started with Linux or working with Domino on Linux, please share in the comments.)

So, I post this idea to the YellowVerse to see what conversation or links it may generate.

Coaching my clients new levels of workplace performance is my favorite thing about what I do. Sometimes it's hard, but hearing what they say afterward makes it all worth it:

Clearly, I wasn't working as efficiently as I could have.  Now, I'm creating greater results, with less effort

I had no idea such basic shifts in the way that I think about my work and how I use my tools could have such a profound impact on my performance, and my life. Thank you!

The last time my inbox was this empty was 5 years ago -- on my first day of work as CTO

I feel so much better about my work.

Sometimes, though, I run into something puzzling. After coaching a busy executive and hearing them express (over several weeks) the immense relief it's brought them, I'll bring up the subject of training the rest of their team.

Sometimes, they'll hesitate, then say, "I'm not sure they need this as much as I do . . ."

This used to stump me. I've seen my client's teams, and usually they're just as overwhelmed as the executives they answer to. My clients have gotten clear, lasting relief, so bringing the same to their team seems like a no-brainer to me. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone were so effective? Why not train the rest of the team?

Building people instead of buying them

Here's my philosophy on coaching: when I hire someone, I want to get their full value. To do that, they have to grow; to grow, they have to be fed.

That's why it boggles my mind when companies invest in the latest systems and tools for their employees, then refuse to invest in training them. The team is left to flail about and figure it out for themselves, always struggling just to survive in their job: overwhelmed, over-stressed, overwrought, and overboard.

As an employer, I don't want my people working that way. I want them to be effective, confident, executive, and efficient. Of course, I could simply hire someone with all the skills I want, but those tend to be very rare and very expensive; besides, they may still be unfamiliar with my tools and processes.

Honestly, I'd rather build my people.

One employee, then and now

A few years ago, I hired an intern, a recent college graduate new to the workplace. When I hired him, he knew relatively little about effective self-management and knowledge work. Most of his experience had been with someone else telling him what to do and how. He wasn't a "knowledge worker."

Now, though, he is an executive: maybe not yet in title, but in what he's capable of achieving.

He didn't get there by osmosis. I've trained him myself over time.

I could have spent my time on other activities. I could have let him sit with his current skill set and simply answer emails and do clerk-work. I could have been content to not get the full value of his potential—but I wasn't.

I chose to unleash his potential, for his benefit and mine, by investing in and training him.

Has it been worth it? I'd certainly say so.

This isn't my first time, either: I've repeated this many times, with many people over the past 30 years, and gotten tremendous value as a result.

Get the value

Maybe that's an extreme example, but it illustrates the point. You hire someone to create value for you. Even if they come in with skills, at the minimum they need to learn how to work with you and your organization to create value.

"Value" can be measured in a number of ways:
- How quickly you get things done
- How much of your effort is directed towards the right things to do
- How confident and focused you are at work
- The speed and precision of your decisions
- Your ability to quickly process inputs and recalibrate

The job of you and your team, together, is to create value (all of the above and more) for the organization. So the question again is: what if you grew value in them?

But what if you lose them?

A senior manager once told Zig Ziglar that he didn't want to waste money training his people only to have them leave. Zig's response was, "The only thing worse than training someone and losing them, is not training them and keeping them."

I take the same view. You can train your people and make them more effective, confident, executive, and efficient . . . or, you can simply stay at your current accomplishment level. Think about it.

There's more to the story of the young intern I hired. I knew from the start that our time together was limited—a year or two, at best. So why would I invest so much in him?

Again, because I wanted to build value in him, for as long as I have him. I know it's been better for him and me.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that coaching and training work, and my clients and I have seen it work hundreds of times. This includes training I've given, received, and seen others give and receive. Some of my clients have even gone out of their way to measure how well it works (ask me for the impact report from PUMA).

I've seen people become more confident, relaxed, de-stressed, in-control, effective, and efficient after only a few hours of training. I've even come back to those people weeks or months later and found they're still working effectively. In most cases, they've even built on what they've learned and moved beyond it!

I've had the privilege of working with some forward-thinking managers and executives who've chosen to invest in their people. Because of that, they and their teams have gotten far more value out of their work. Most of them aren't using any more time or energy than they were before, but they're still getting much more done and much more effectively.

The client's decision . . .

To me, the decision to train people and build their value is unmistakably clear. It was clear for my client as well: once he saw the value, he decided to extend the training to other members of his team, and greatly appreciated the benefit of it.

. . . and yours

So will you be the manager that doesn't invest in training their people, leaving them to work with their current skills until they leave you?—Or, will you invest in them and get the value of their full potential for as long as they stay? The choice is yours.

When you're ready to invest in your people and get greater value in return, give me a call. I can help.

I sometimes hear the question, "Why should I invest in the tools my people have? We're getting a shiny new tool in a year." To me, what they're really saying is: "Our people are using dull tools now, but that's ok, because in a year they're going to get another, shinier, set of tools, which may or may not be better."

Here's a practical application: I was recently talking with a client about expanding eProductivity usage at his company. He wasn't sure he wanted to, because, he said, "I've heard our company is switching from Notes to Outlook in the next year."

I responded, "Ok; let me ask you, then: would you like your people to get things done at their current level for that time, then reduce that level as you switch?— Or, would you rather get a proven productivity benefit within days, then enjoy that benefit for the next year, and give your people skills and habits to use with any tools?"

Look at this way: if your employees' job was to cut boards, but they were using dull saws, would you leave them well enough alone for a year?

Carpe annum (seize the year)

Whether you're going to be using your current tools (e.g., IBM Notes) for a short or long time, it's good to consider how much value you're getting from them. In most cases, it's not hard to sharpen the saw to get incredible value.

"Value" can be measured in a number of ways:
- How quickly you get things done
- How much of your effort is directed towards the right things to get done
- How confident and focused you are at work
- The speed and precision of your decisions
- Your ability to quickly process inputs and recalibrate

The fact is, the jobs of you and your team are more complicated than cutting boards. Your job, together, is to create value (all of the above and more) for the organization. So the question again is: what if you could use a tool now, with minimal investment, that's designed to make all of this easier?

what if you could make your current tools even easier to use and more productive with minimal investment and effort?
what if you could use a tool that's designed to make all of this easier?

The only thing worse . . .

A senior manager once told Zig Ziglar that he didn't want to waste money training his people only to have them leave. Zig's response was, "The only thing worse than training someone and losing them, is not training them and keeping them."

I take the same view on giving people good tools now. The only thing worse than giving them great tools and losing them, is not giving them great tools and keeping your current level of accomplishment. You can stay there, or get better.

The bottom line

My clients and I have seen eProductivity work hundreds of times. Some of them have even gone out of their way to measure how well it works (ask me for the impact report from PUMA).

I've seen people become more confident, relaxed, de-stressed, in-control, effective, and efficient after only a few weeks (or days) of using it. I've even come back to those people weeks or months later and found they're still working effectively. In some cases, they've even built on what they've learned and moved beyond it!

I've had the privilege of working with some forward-thinking managers and executives who've chosen to help their people. Because of that, they and their teams have gotten more from their systems and learned to think differently about how they work— and they know that what they've learned can be applied to the future to create greater value, no matter what tools they're using.

The client's decision

To me, the decision to give people great tools now and get the most from them is unmistakably clear. It was for my client as well: he decided to expand eProductivity among his people, and he considered it an investment.

He knew it would immediately boost his team's productivity for as long as they were using it. He knew the switch to Outlook may or may not come, but he wasn't deterred from investing in his people by improving their toolkit and skills.

His time, place, position, needs, and team were not unique, and this was his decision. What's yours?

When you're ready to invest in your tools and get greater value in return, give me a call. I can help.



Recently, a coaching client asked me for some recommendations for paper-based resources that would help him implement "Getting Things Done."

I coach executives and professionals who use a variety of systems and tools. No matter how elaborate your systems, I find it's always helpful to have at least a few physical tools: solid reminders of ideas and tasks can be extremely helpful. Plus, the physical act of writing can help your memory and creative thinking.

In light of this, I recommended that he consider the following for his personal GTD system, all of which I've found helpful:

  • GTD system folders: I use these as my filing system away from the office
  • Large zip pouch: This helps keep the folders tidy
  • Notetaker Wallet: This lets me quickly and conveniently capture ideas anywhere. It's important to have this capability, whether you use the wallet or something else
  • Paper organizer: A PDF-format organizer that you can edit or print
Disclaimer: I don't benefit from the sales of these products: these links are provided solely as helpful resources for your consideration.