Making Lotus Notes Personal #LS11

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Guest post by Ryan Heathers

The final opportunity to hear Eric Mack present at Lotusphere 2011 is "Getting Things Done with Lotus Software: Making Lotus Notes Personal". This Bird-of-Feather session focuses on the practical tips and tricks you can use right away to get more from Lotus Notes.

Eric has over 17 years of Lotus Notes experience, so he has much to share. Come on by for some casual yet focused conversation.

Here's the details:

Getting Things Done with Lotus Software: Making Lotus Notes Personal
Date: Wednesday, February 2nd
Time: 5:45pm - 6:45pm EST
Location: SW Pelican 

As usual, attending a session from Eric means you'll have opportunities for free productivity resources. Bring your business cards and stay tuned!

How to Create Value from Lotus Software #LS11

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Guest post by Ryan Heathers

Tomorrow on the big stage at Lotusphere, Eric Mack will be presenting a much-anticipated session on how to transform personal and organizational productivity.

The session, called "V=KMT: The Forumla for Creating Value with Lotus Software", is built off Eric's graduate studies in knowledge management and experience gained from providing expert consulting services to more than 350 corporate and government clients, most notably in the fields of messaging, collaborative, and productivity technologies. 

There's something for everyone in this session. For teams or companies, knowing how to create bottom-line value from your tools and resources is critical for survival, let alone success. For individuals, learning the secrets of value creation could be the difference in getting - or not getting - that raise or promotion. So this is a cant-miss kind of event!

Here's the details:

V=KMT: The Formula for Creating Value with Lotus Software 
Date: Wednesday, February 2nd
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm EST
Location: Dolphin, Northern Hemisphere, Room A-C 

Attending Eric's session also means you'll have opportunities for free productivity resources. Bring your business cards and stay tuned!

Guest post by Ryan Heathers

GTD® is the renowned productivity methodology created by David Allen. It provides you with a simple, effective way to achieve stress-free productivity. As millions of people around the world can testify, this stuff really works.

At the always exciting Speedgeeking event tonight, Eric Mack will be demonstrating GTD in bite-sized 5 minute chunks. So make sure to swing by and listen in.

Eric will also be handing out a valuable "cheat sheet" card on how to recover from inbox overwhelm in 4 easy steps, and he has GTD books and resource kits to give away. Come prepared with your business cards!

Here's the event details:

Speed Geeking: GTD
Date: Tuesday, February 1st
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm EST
Location: Dolphin Pacific Hall 

LS11 Messaging & Collaboration Strategy (Ed Brill)

(Liveblogging from Ed's session, so random observations to follow)

Marketplace Scorecard

Notes & Domino
- Steady (2nd place, I think he said)
- Fastest growing business & mobile email platform
- Vast majority running 8.5x release

LotusLive Notes
- Strong analyst & customer reception (I agree)

Lotus Symphony
- 50 Million Downloads

Where are Notes/Domino Winning
- Singapore Airlines
- 40% Increase in new clients
- U.S. Dept of Interior running IdeaJam (Go Elguiji)
- And more...

Quick review of milestones around Notes 8.5.2 (See LS Session on that)

Continue Reading "LS11 Messaging & Collaboration Strategy (Ed Brill)" »

(Live blogging, courtesy of an invitation from the IBM/Lotus Team - Thanks!)

Sitting in my comfy leather (or leather-like - can't tell) couch at the front of the Lotusphere 2010 opening general session. Mass Ensemble is performing the opening act. Amazing. To my right sits fellow bloggers Alan Lepofsky and Peter Presnel.

Lotus GM Alistair Rennie on stage, "I love the smell of Lotusphere in the morning!"

A major shout out to GBC College (Group Business Software) for hosting 500 college students (Com Sci and Business) to the event. Good to see an initiative from this.

And now... who will the special guest be? I'll know in 20 seconds.

It is.... Kevin Spacey  (Nice Bill Clinton impersonation on social networking,)  Learning the story of Kevin's journey to a film career. Now learning about there first experience with social business for independent film makers. ( In 2002. Fascinating,

Hearing how the movie "The Social Network" came to be.

Kevin asks: "What is your vision for yourself, your company, and the world? When we work together, send the elevator down, good ideas can come from anywhere - some of the best ones are the ones that got chucked over the wall."

Alistair introduces the theme: "Get Social. Do Business." Talking about Social Business Transformation.

"IBM and Lotus exist for one reason: Innovate, Outperform, Thrive - measured by only one metric: Your success."

Continue Reading "Lotusphere 2010 Opening General Session: Get Social. Do Business." »

Reflecting on Lotusphere 2011 day one...

Monday, January 31st, 2011
Reflecting on Lotusphere 2011 day 1: Lots of talk around Social Business. Of course IBM has lots of experience in this area. IBM's clients have been proving this stuff works for years. Lotus DominoBlog, SameTime Connections & Quickr - these "Social" innovations are proven and IBM's building on a strong foundation.

What's new and exciting is IBM's commitment and vision for how to equip businesses to become social businesses. IBM understands that it's not just about the technology to enable a social business. I plan to talk about this in my session on Wednesday.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's Opening General Session at Lotusphere 2011 to learn more.

Get Social. Drive Business. BDD @ LS11

Sunday, January 30th, 2011
(Live blogging from Lotusphere 2011 in Orlando, Florida)

Alistair Rennie welcomes the audience; 12,000 Lotus BPs in the ecosystem. Introduces Mike Rhodin SVP IBM Software Solutions Group.

(Congrats on the 100th anniversary of IBM, the company.)

"To visualize the future of IBM you must know something of the past." - Thomas Watson

The world is becoming more: Instrumented, Interconnected, and Intelligent.

Talking about IBM's Smarter Planet initiative
  • Smarter Commerce
  • Business Analytics and Optimization (Market $166 Billion this year alone)
  • Social Business (Potential $100B Oppty)

Companies are embracing social media. Cites a McKinsey study that show 74% of businesses integrating social media into customer interaction.

Tenets of Social Business...
  • Engaged (Connecting people to people)
  • Transparent (Removing boundaries)
  • Nimble (Leverage networks and devices)

Continue Reading "Get Social. Drive Business. BDD @ LS11" »

Guest Post by Wendy Mack

Amy and Wendy at age two using their computersRecently in the news, Microsoft has been bragging about how schools are either currently using or switching to Microsoft Outlook.  While that is true for most schools, our school, the Mack Academy has always used Lotus Notes and has made it an integral part of our school productivity toolkit.

Our principal realized the value of technology in the schools and started training us how to use computers at a very young age.  In fact, I was two when my sister Amy and I  were introduced to Lotus Notes and when I received my first email!  

Continue Reading "How old were you when you first started using Lotus Notes?" »

Tungle App for BlackBerry

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
Guest Post by Wendy Mack

Tungle for BlackBerry AppAs a follow-up to last week's blog post on Tungle for Lotus Notes, I decided to venture out today and install the Tungle application for my BlackBerry.  

The installation process went very smoothly, so much so that I am not going to document the steps here.   I simply downloaded the free application from my BlackBerry App World, and, once loaded, I followed the instructions Tungle provides to set up this app.  

Scheduling a meeting in the Tungle for BlackBerry AppWhat this application allows me to do is to initiate and respond to Tungle invitations from my BlackBerry, without ever having to log onto the web to schedule a meeting.  I am very pleased so far with everything I have seen and I am excited to continue using Tungle. For those of you trying to hurriedly schedule your meetings for Lotusphere, this should be a great help to you.

I found this email tonight as I was archiving 2010 email... I wouldn't normally share this kind of post on my productivity blog but I felt this one was relevant and related to my own productivity.

There are many people that I have met and interacted with through the Lotus community who have helped me personally and professionally. One of these people is an IBMer: Stephan Wissel.
From:        Eric Mack/ICA
To:        Stephan H Wissel
Date:        12/07/2010 09:23 AM
Subject:        Year end reflections - Stephan, thank you for your tremendous support in 2010


An email is hardly adequate to express my thanks, but I was reflecting on the people I know who have contributed to our success with Lotus Software this year and I keep coming back to you.

Your help navigating through the technical challenges we faced with IBM/Notes getting eProductivity to market was invaluable. When I could not get others at IBM to listen to my reports of bugs found, you not only confirmed the bugs but helped me find solutions and work-arounds. In the same way, when I became discouraged with IBM/LOTUS you were always there with some words of encouragement. Stephan, you're a great connector, both to people inside IBM and out. I appreciate your stream of introductions and I always try to follow-up on yours first, as a result. Finally, your thoughtful suggestions about features that we should add have contributed to the product as well.

With heartfelt thanks for 2010 and looking forward to a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Thank you,


From a productivity perspective, Stephen is one of the people that contributed to my productivity this year. He's not the only one - there are too many to acknowledge in this post. If you know Stephan, then you know that he is one of many excellent people in the Lotus community that tirelessly reaches out to others to offer support, encouragement, and at least 1000 reasons why they should create an xPages or Composite app.

Several weeks ago, my team and I set out on a mission to better understand how satisfied people are with Lotus Notes as a tool for productive work. So we did what many companies do - we set up a survey. We put together a long list of questions designed to help us better understand who our customers are, how and why they buy and what value they get from using our product. We signed up for a SurveyMonkey account and sent out invites.

A survey like that is generally not remarkable, but I think the answers to two of the questions are...

Within the first few hours of the survey launch, responses to two of the questions in the survey immediately caught my attention. The majority of survey respondents described themselves as not satisfied with Lotus Notes or neutral on the subject. Interesting...

User Satisfaction with Lotus Notes Mail & Tasks (Click for source data)

Take a look at the chart on the left. These aren't just grumpy end-users. These are senior and C-Level executives, department managers, product managers, sales executives, and IT managers from across ALL areas of their organizations. These are the pacesetters that select or influence the tools that they and their organizations will use to get things done. (When I filtered the results to examine  responses from IBMers only, the numbers were only slightly different.)

"OK", I thought, "it's early in the survey process; let's see what happens when we have a larger sample of responses."

Continue Reading "User Satisfaction with Lotus Notes Mail & Tasks" »

I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I talk with customers to learn what they think about our product and why. I've learned a lot and I have learned a lot about what people think about Lotus and why. In general, people seem to be surprisingly passionate - one way or the other.

So, what if Notes users loved Lotus the way iPhone users love Apple?

We know that many if not most of our customers have become huge fans of Notes (and to some extent, Lotus). So, we know it's possible.

As we look ahead to Lotusphere 2011 and talk with other attendees/non-attendees as well as business partners and exhibitors, I hear a variety of emotions about Lotus. Like many, I'm hopeful for a shift in the way that Lotus does business, engages with its customers, and presents itself in the market.

I find it helpful to think about successful outcomes in terms of "Wild Success" and to ask myself what that would look like. This prompted me to consider the question I put in the title of this blog post: What if Notes users loved Lotus the way iPhone users love Apple?

I'd like to have a discussion, so let me begin by asking a few questions about different facets of the above...

What if Notes users loved Lotus the way iPhone users love Apple?
a) What would that look like?

b) What would it take to get there?

c) What would need to happen at Lotusphere 2011 to facilitate that?

I look forward to the discussion!

Like many people hoping to present at next year’s Lotusphere 2011 conference in Orlando, I have submitted my session proposals. I’m encouraged to see that a new “Business Solutions” track has been added to the conference agenda and I think it will help balance out what has traditionally become a very technical conference. In addition to the many excellent technical sessions around Lotus Solutions, we need to equip end-users, pace setters, and decision makers with the soft skills they need to get the most from their investment in Lotus Software.  

So, here are the two session topics I hope to present:

SESSION #1: V=KMT - The Formula for Creating Value with Lotus Software

TRACK: Business Solutions

Session Abstract:
Lotus knows it’s not just what you know; it’s also who you know and what they know.  Lotus makes great software, but that alone won’t transform personal and organizational productivity. The problem is that we have not been taught to use many of the tools we need for knowledge work. To create value we must understand the relationship between what we know, the tools we use, and what we do. By thinking differently about your work and the tools you use, you can become more productive and create greater value.

This session will present a formula for high performance knowledge work and show you how proven best practices can help you become create greater value with Lotus Notes, LotusLive, SameTime, Connections, & other Lotus Software.

Why I think it’s important that this session be included on this year’s Lotusphere agenda

The value you bring to an organization ultimately depends on your ability to bring together what you know, who you know and what they know to consistently solve problems and innovate quickly and efficiently. That’s well and good but as Kevin Cavanaugh pointed out during the LS10 Tech Keynote there are many impediments to value creation:

"Everybody talks about information overload today; but every new tool has added to the flood of information, rather than help us focus. In order for collaboration to continue to evolve naturally, users must be encouraged to work with tools and will do so when the right information comes to them... We don't need more ways to capture text; we need ways to reduce the stress of unfulfilled commitments and organize tasks for action.  As an industry, we're kind of guilty of multiplying lists with no real method for how those lists of tasks might be managed…”
Kevin talks about the need for a methodology, for best practices around high performance knowledge work. This session will provide attendees with practical methods and skills they can put to use immediately. I will share how I help organizations get more from their investment in Lotus software by helping them change the way that their users think about and use these solutions.  My experience in KM and value creation has demonstrated that to truly transform an organization, a bottom-up approach often works best; and when people become passionate about the tools they use they can’t help but share what they are doing throughout the organization.

With Lotus’ strong push around productivity tools and the individual, I believe a session on end-user productivity and value creation will round out the Lotusphere agenda by helping end users, administrators and enterprise managers alike get the most from Lotus Software.

Note: If you have attended any of my past sessions at Lotusphere, you’ll recall that these sessions were primarily focused on Lotus Notes and received great praise by audiences at LS09 & LS10. This session will expand the focus to include the methodology of high performance knowledge work using other products in the Lotus Software suite as well.


So what does V=KMT stand for? You'll have to attend the session to find out. ;-)

SESSION #2 Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes

TRACK: Best Practices

Session Abstract:
Most people think of Lotus Notes as an "organizational" tool; that’s the way it’s marketed and it’s often the way organizations deploy it – as a top down solution. Seldom do you hear about Notes being used for "personal" productivity or knowledge management.  As a consequence users see Notes as a “company” system and not “their” tool. Lotus knows when tools become “personal,” productivity increases, and when personal productivity increases so does the productivity of the workgroup and the organization. Lotus also knows my Inbox is overflowing; I could be better organized; and my real work is outside the inbox.

This session will show you how you can use Notes coupled with proven best practices to become more productive and get things done!

Why I think it’s important that this session be included on this year’s Lotusphere agenda

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I hate it when folks say they “hate Lotus Notes” -- especially when most of their complaints are easily addressed in five minutes or less. In most cases the underlying problem is that they haven’t taken the time to make Notes personal -- as a result, they are quick to complain about anything and everything. I like to see how fast I can turn people around and I’ve found that the easiest way to do this is to show them how to make using Notes “personal.”

I want to share how I help organizations get more from their investment in Lotus software by helping them change the way that their users think about and use Notes, and I will give the audience practical tools and skills they can put to use immediately. The business world has embraced David Allen’s GTD methodology and I will present GTD in the context of Lotus Notes and show people how they can get things done with Lotus Notes. My experience in KM has demonstrated that to truly transform an organization, a bottom-up approach often works best; and when people become passionate about the tools they use (e.g. Notes), they can’t help but share what the

y are doing throughout the organization

With Lotus’ recent push around productivity tools and the individual, a session on end-user productivity will round out the Lotusphere agenda, helping end users, administrators and enterprise managers alike get the most from their investment in Lotus Software.

This session was well praised by full audiences at LS09 & LS10. This year, I’m revising the content based on user feedback to add more hands-on demos and examples.

See also
Notes doesn’t suck:

Lotusphere Comes To You in Barcelona, Spain

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

This year, unfortunately, I couldn't make it to Lotusphere in Orlando. After 2009's triumph there with the eProductivity team, I was disappointed not to attend. But, all was not lost. Today I attended the Lotusphere Comes to You roadshow, and this time I didn't have to fly half-way round the world. It was taking place in Barcelona, at the Hotel Juan Carlos I hotel, and a 20 minute walk had me arriving just before the 09:30am start.

So, how was it? I would say a 'roaring success' judging by some comments from my fellow-attendees (a crowd of around 150 attended).

The highlight for me was certainly Ed Brill's talk on the direction of Lotus collaboration. In Spanish! Well done Ed, your effort and enthusiasm were appreciated by one and all. eProductivity got a nice mention, as did yours truly (Eric Mack must have warned him of my presence). Thanks Ed. The 5-minute Project Vulcan video that Ed included left me inspired. You could almost feel the sizzle in the room, as the new tools that Lotus are building looked great. Looks like exciting things ahead for IBM Lotus software.

Ed's slide showing eProductivity:


Luis Suárez also did a very nice job of explaining the social software improvements being made in the Lotus family. Sametime, portal, mashups, social enterprise, Lotusphere prizes and case studies followed-on and, without going into any detail, rest assured that it really does show the strong offering that Lotus has.

All-in-all a great day.

Guest post by Ian Armstrong

Lotus Knows value creation begins with me

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

At this year's Lotusphere event in Orlando, Lotus V.P. of messaging and collaboration, Kevin Cavanaugh, presented the Technology Keynote. The presentation is worth watching as Kevin and Lotus Product Manager, Ed Brill, talked about the Lotus product strategy, roadmap, and of course, Project Vulcan. At one point in Kevin's presentation talking about how Lotus applications can bring a variety of information to the user, he stopped and addressed a key problem that many users face: information overload.

... we don't need more calendars... we need a way to consolidate and adjudicate between competing events. [Lotus Notes can do that] ... we don't need more ways to capture text; we need ways to reduce the stress of unfulfilled commitments and organize tasks for action.

Kevin goes on to talk about how users need help managing their commitments...

...As an industry, we're kind of guilty of multiplying lists, with no real method for how those lists of tasks might be managed. However, there are some great counter-examples...

To learn what the counter examples are, watch the 2-minute video below...

Kevin and Ed get it. In a time when CEOs have extracted all the value they can from IT by cutting costs. The only thing left to increase the value from IT is to find ways to make workers more productive and effective with the tools they use. Lotus has introduced many new improvements and enhancements to the product line that can help, but at the end of the day, Lotus Knows that value creation begins with the individual. It's at this level -- increasing worker productivity -- that the next great opportunity to create value exists. It's exciting to see Lotus explore ways to increase knowledge worker productivity by looking beyond Lotus software to the best practices and tools that can complement Lotus offerings to help users get things done.

I'll be blogging more about this in the weeks to come...

Related Information:

ICA announces eProductivity 2.0 for Lotus Notes 8.51
ICA announces the upcoming release of eProductivity for IBM Lotus Foundations
Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing personal productivity with IBM Lotus Notes

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.

Meanwhile, I will be presenting my session in Dolphin Southern II at 4:45 PM Today.
        BP302 Lotus Notes & Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with IBM Lotus Notes

I hope to see you there.

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.

I haven't talked much about my upcoming Lotusphere sessions, so before it's too late, I want to give you a heads-up.

On Wednesday, I have a Birds of Feather session: Getting Things Done with IBM Lotus Notes”. The time and location is 5:45 PM on Wednesday, January 20 at the Swan Hotel (Macaw 1).

A NOTEable fashion statement for LS10

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
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?

Loyal Notes user button from Lotusphere 1995. (Click for large view)

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!

Read the full story: Managing the flood of e-mail

The Disney Perspective on Lotusphere 2009

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

In case you missed Lotusphere 2009, here's a vlog about Lotusphere 2009 as part of a review of Walt Disney World conferences.

Be sure to look for:
  • The guy's response: Lotus Notes? Is that thing still around?
  • And a cameo appearance from Alan Lepofsky
Source: NetCOT Podcast

A few weeks ago, David Allen shared with me that he had been invited to introduce the Windsor Lotusphere Comes to You event, hosted by CastleBreck Inc., a Canadian Lotus Business partner. I encouraged him to accept the invitation. Last week, David greeted the Lotusphere Comes To You 2009 Windsor audience:


David makes the case for why tools like Lotus Notes are key to his personal and organizational productivity:
"You know, in order to get things done, we all need to collaborate, with ourselves as well as with others, so it's important to have great tools that help us manage our commitments and focus as well as supporting each other with communications, information, and our ability to stay consistent and current in our organizational focus. Lotus Notes really fills that bill."


David then goes on to share his experience using Notes and why he thinks its cool:

Continue Reading "David Allen greets attendees at Lotusphere Comes to You" »

Lotusphere Comes to You ONLINE 2009

Friday, March 27th, 2009
Ed Brill and Brent Peters of IBM Lotus will be presentating a sesion today on the future directions of  IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Products.

This is a great way for folks who were unable to attend Lotusphere or who want to catch up on the announcements to do so.

Description: (from
Future Directions for IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Products This session will provide a strategy-level overview of the Lotus Notes and Domino product family. We'll examine the new 8.5 release of Lotus Notes and Domino, along with plans for 2009 and our vision for collaboration in the future. We'll also cover product and strategy directions for the Lotus Protector family, SAP integration via Project "Atlantic", the Lotus Notes and Domino mobility strategy, and Lotus Symphony. You'll also learn about our market-facing themes for the year, such as "green" computing and integration.

Show starts at 8:00 AM PST I assume you can listen to replays, too.

Lotusphere Comes to you ONLINE 2009

David Allen and I presented our session: "Maximizing Personal Productivity with IBM Lotus Notes." It was a fun session and I estimate that we had about 450-500 in attendance. Well, just before we started the Q&A, I mentioned that I had brought CD's with me as a gift from the Notes on Productivity Blog for the attendees. I explained that I had brought 200 CD's and that if folks were unable to get a CD from someone at the back of the room, they could stop by booth #722 to get one. Well, at that moment, at least 2/3 of the audience stood up in unison and rushed the back door while Ed Brill moderated questions. I couldn't believe it! I did not connect the fact that the reason they were rushing the door had nothing to do with Ed, David or myself but the limited supply of CD's until I realized that once people left the room, a number of them returned, CD in hand, smiling.

OK, I should have not announced the resource CD until after the Q&A.

If you did not get a CD, please stop by pedestal #722. We will have another box of CD's and we would be happy to give you one.

I need to file this one under "Lessons Learned" for next year.

I'm off to the Swan Mockingbird for a 7:00 AM BOF session with David Allen. After that, David and I will be hanging aroun pedestal #722 until David leaves for the airport, mid-morning. We hope to see you there!

(I will update photos later this afternoon/evening...)
Today's the big day! Lotusphere Opening General Session

Live blogging from Lotusphere. Oops. Can't connect to WiFi. OK, Almost-live blogging....

After finishing breakfast, I wind my way in the queue of thousands, waiting to get into the Lotusphere Opening General Session (OGS).

I've just walked into the Lotusphere General Session. I hand over my golden ticket which gets me an immediate escort to the Bloggers Den - a roped off area with 20 Lotus-yellow bean bags with our names on them. Ed Brill motions me to my bean bag.  I'm in the firs row. Wow! To my right is fellow Notes blogger, John Head and behind me is Alan Lepofsky.

First up, Blue man group. Awesome.

Continue Reading "Lotusphere Opening General Session - Live Blogging" »


I've not been doing as much blogging as I would like - things have been quite hectic and will probably continue this way until after tomorrow.  David arrived at the Dolphin Hotel, this evening, and after registering and walking around the Lotusphere beach party we went out for a delightful dinner (thanks, David) to visit and talk about our presentation.

We've decided to shorten the "presentation" part so that we can open up more time for questions at the end. If you have a question you want to ask, I encourage you to write it down and come prepared. I'm going to ask Ed Brill our host and moderator to keep things moving and limit folks to one question so that we can cover a lot of ground. We also talked about the latest versions of Notes and PDAs (e.g. Blackberry or iPhone) and what we thought it would take to make the killer mobile productivity application. Of course, that led to the age old, "why don't some people get notes and what can we do about it" topic, some of which may spill into our presentation. Bottom line: we think IBM Lotus Notes is an awesome product, over-capable and under-utilized and most people are barely making use of the power of what the Notes team delivered even a decade ago. In our presentation, we will talk about how to use Notes more productively as a tool for personal knowledge management and as a tool for action management.

Our session is at 5:00 PM in the SWAN 7-10 (January 19). I'm concerned that the room won't hold as many people as may want to attend, so I encourage you to arrive early to get a seat. I have two hundred Notes on Productivity Resource CD's that I will bring to hand out while they last.

I've already been stopped in the halls by many who read this blog. If you read my blog and are at Lotusphere this year, I hope you will stop by and introduce yourself!

Update: If you would like to meet with me and David and visit, we invite you to attend our Birds of a feather session, which takes places Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM. Or, stop by the eProductivity pedestal #722 in the Product showcase and check in with my team; they will know where to find us.

Ed Brill: PlanetLotus Blogger of the Year

Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Congratulations to Ed Brill for winning the PlanetLotus Blogger of the year award at the B.A.L.D event at Big River Grille today.
Yancy Lent announced the award and they accepted it on Ed's behalf as Ed was no doubt hard at work elsewhere at Lotusphere.

Congratulations Ed!!

After registering, we decided to head downstairs to catch a glimpse of the Lotusphere 2009 Product Showcase. There's still a lot of work to do...

Lotusphere Conference Hall

And, very exciting, here it is: the eProductivity Pedestal #722!

Visit eProductivity at Pedestal #722 in the 2009 Product Showcase

We'll come back tomorrow to set up the booth.  

Now, on to the BALD event.

IBM Provided the opportunity for speakers to sign up for a coaching session with Bill Chuck, aka BCzar guy, so I signed up. Thank you, IBM!

Bill and I met for an hour and I ran through the presentation deck that I created with David for our Lotusphere presentation. It was very helpful to have Bill play audience and provide feedback from a positioning and audience perspective. My big takeaway was about meeting people where they are in light of the current economy. This was a good point and one that works well considering our topic. David and I will show folks how to get more from their Notes investment by thinking differently about the tools they use and how Notes can be a powerful tool for personal knowledge and action management. My biggest concern going in was the # of slides we have to present and the short amount of time. Given the choice between cutting out 20 slides or running longer (perhaps with a shorter Q&A session) I wonder what would be better? I'll try to prepare for both options and talk with our track chair. We're the last session for the day, so perhaps we can have some flexibility.

Anyway, I highly recommend Bill Chuck's coaching. if you are a presenter and have not signed up, I encourage you to do so. Bill's web site is

Lotusphere Productivity Resource CDs are Ready!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009
If you are planning to be at Lotusphere, you are in for a treat! Stop by pedestal #722, say hello and hand us your business card. Then, pick up your Lotusphere 2009 resource CD from the Notes on Productivity Blog.

Lotusphere 2009 Resource CD. A gift from Eric Mack and the eProductivity Blog! Visit Pedestal #722 to pick up yours.

This CD contains the presentation slides from my Lotusphere presentation (BP304) with David Allen, a number of GTD Documents from the David Allen Company, two recent podcasts on using Notes productively, (courtesy of Bruce Elgort and Michael Sampson), links to useful resources, and a special gift from eProductivity.

This is my way of saying "Thank you" to the Notes community and for stopping by to say hello!  I look forward to meeting you!

Remember: eProductivity, Pedestal #722 in the Lotusphere Product Showcase. See you soon!

Industry analyst, Michael Sampson, recently interviewed David Allen about his use of  Lotus Notes, and today has published the almost one-hour long  discussion. During the podcast, Michael and David talk about: how David uses Lotus Notes in his company, what he thinks of Notes and the tools he uses, and David's upcoming presentation at Lotusphere.

At the end of the podcast, Michael puts his IT analyst hat on and shares his thoughts about why he thinks Lotus Notes works so well for David Allen and his company.

Here's an opportunity to listen to two very smart (and productive) people talk about Lotus Notes!

Michael Sampson: Interview with David Allen on Lotus Notes

BES Expert advise needed for my Lotusphere Demo

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
I'm exploring an idea for a specific demo for my Lotusphere presentation with David Allen. I normally try to find my own answers before I ask others or blog. but I'm running into roadblocks trying to find the answers to my questions. With the holidays approaching, I'm also running out of time.

So, here's my question to the ND community.

I want to be able to demonstrate two BlackBerry Bolds (already purchased) connected to Domino with
        a) custom applications and
        b) SameTime mobile.

We are a small consulting firm; I don't want to invest the resources to purchase a full Enterprise BES server just to support 2-3 demo users so that I can show my clients. There must be an easier (read: faster and low cost) way...

As best as I can tell, I will need:

1. A BlackBerry professional server of some flavor

2. MDS Support for the custom apps, and possibly for the Mobile SameTime
        (Isn't there a simple way to just connect SameTime to the server direct?)

It appears that my initial options are:

Blackberry Professional Express.
        Great for messaging only
        Does not appear to support MDS or SameTime
        Free for first user, ~$100 for each additional user

BlackBerry Professional Software
        See here for comparison
        Appears to support MDS, though not stated
        SameTime support not available (Unless I can manually load)
        Will cost me $500 for my 2 users (up to 5)

BlackBerry Enterprise server
        See here for comparison
        Will support MDS and Enterprise IM (SameTime)
        Will cost me $4000 for my first 2 users (up to 20)
        $ out of my ball park for a demo.

Hosted Options
        I've sent email to one hosting company; but I have no idea of price or time to deploy.
        It appears it will take weeks to get set up, which may be a deal breaker

As you can see, I know what I want to accomplish. If this were for a client, I would opt for the full enterprise sever. For my own test, demo, and development, that's a bit steep. All I really care about is the ability to use and demo this at Lotusphere. So I need to get it set up quickly, load up a few custom apps and SameTime, if at all possible) and go. I would be most appreciative to talk with some who's been down this path before and who has set up this specific type of system. Thanks folks.

This productivity tip is not just for Lotusphere presenters, but for anyone that wants to move their documents to the Open Document file format...

How to quickly convert your LS09 presentation to ODF from PPT

The deadline for submitting the Lotusphere 2009 presentations is tomorrow.  IBM added a new twist this year by requiring that all presentations be created in Symphony. While I appreciate the intent behind the request  -- to get everyone using and showing Symphony -- it may not be a practical solution for everyone. I'm all for learning Symphony, but if I have to choose between working on my presentation deck for Lotusphere or learning Symphony so that I can convert my PowerPoint slides to it, guess which I'll choose?

I pinged Stephan Wissel over this and, after some ribbing about why I've not yet converted to Symphony (I know, shameful, but I plan to, soon), he told me about a plug-in from Sun Microsystems that will ODF-enable Microsoft Office:
  • The ODF Plug-in seamlessly integrates with the Load and Save As dialog and the Save (Ctrl+S) shortcut of Microsoft Office Word.
  • A new toolbar in Microsoft Office Excel and Microsoft Office PowerPoint simplifies the import and export of ODF documents.
  • Make the ISO standardized OpenDocument file format the standard in your company, and switch the standard file format in Microsoft Office Word to ODF.

Here's a link to the Sun ODF Plug-in for Microsoft Office

If you haven't seen the list of Best Practices session proposals for Lotusphere 2009, please check them out. There are many excellent session proposals and you can vote to help determine which sessions will be on the Lotusphere 2009 agenda.  Right now, according to the early polls, my two session proposals are near the top of the list. I would sure like to have your vote.

This year, I've invited my client, David Allen, to co-present with me at Lotusphere. David graciously agreed to participate and I'm excited.  We'll be talking about how we get  things done with Lotus Notes.  I've asked David to present a mini-GTD overview in the context of Lotus Notes. I know that many of you are already aware of GTD, if so , this will be a nice review. For those of you that have not heard of David Allen or his Getting Things Done methodology, I encourage you to read his best-selling book, Getting Things Done, the Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I promise these sessions, if selected, will be ones you won't want to miss!

Bruce Elgort's IdeaJam service allows you to cast your vote for or against any session topic on the list, so let your voice be heard and make your vote count.

Please log into IdeaJam today and review the many session proposals. Be sure to take a look at my two session proposals, then, after you've read them, cast your vote!

Breakout Session:
Lotus Notes and Me: Maximizing Personal Productivity with Lotus Notes

Discussion Group:
Birds of a feather : Getting Things Done with Lotus Notes

Please tell your friends to visit the IdeaJam site and vote today for the Lotusphere 2009 sessions!


My name is Eric Mack and I approve this message.

Lotusphere 2009: Have you voted yet?

Monday, September 29th, 2008
Many excellent proposals have been submitted for Lotusphere 2009. Whether you plan to attend Lotusphere in person or watch the broadcasts and read the blogs after the fact, as part of the community it's your civic responsibility to understand the topics and cast your vote for the session's you would most like to see - or not see - on the Lotusphere agenda.

I encourage you to visit the IdeaJam site, review the Best Practice session proposals, and cast your vote for or against the session proposals as you choose.

While you are there, please be sure to check out (and vote!) on these two recent proposals:

Lotus Notes and Me - Maximizing Personal Productivity
Getting Things Done with Lotus Notes - Making Notes Personal

Remember you have a vote.

Make it count.