Tuesday, April 7, 2009

eProductivity for Lotus Foundations - Post 1

Like most of the citizens of PlanetLotus I've seen the posts about eProductivity around and even clicked through a few of them when the fancy took me. So why did I take up Eric's offer to blog about it?

Firstly, because I can see a synergy between Lotus Foundations Server and a Personal Productivity tool (be it eProductivity or otherwise). A large segment of the target market for Lotus Foundations Server will be a SMB directed by a single leading individual and it makes all kinds of sense to help that leader get as much as possible out of their day. Gaining an additional 20 minutes a day productivity out of a janitor might save a SMB ten dollars per day in overtime but generating the same productivity boost for the CEO might add another 5% to the bottom line. I'd like to show that kind of benefit to my customers.

Secondly, because my company (Binary Concepts), is a SMB and I'd sure like to add another 5% to my bottom line.

Third, because in the past I've tended to see these sorts of tools as a commercialized version of one man's desktop. eProductivity is the first personal organization tool I've heard of that is based on a productivity methodology and I want to see how it's different to all of the other PIMs, notepads and glorified calendars I've worked with previously.

The web site for eProductivity lists five activities leading up to installing the software. Now I hate watching advertising as much as the next guy but if I'm going to give a fair evaluation of the product then it's only fair that I RTFM first. Here are the five steps:

1. Listen to a 3-minute testimonial from David Allen.... Well, its actually four and a half minutes, and it expands on the three points listed on the David Allen page.
  • eProductivity lets me quickly get things into Notes, into the system I can trust.
  • eProductivity, gives me the ability to have both perspective and control,
  • eProductivity gives me pretty much every tool that I need inside of Lotus Notes;
You can probably skip it.

2. View some screen shots.... A dozen or so screen shots showing different parts of the application. Move along... nothing earth-shattering to see here folks.

3. Watch the video tour and explore eProductivity.... This is 45 minutes long and is absolutely essential. The video tutorial explains the relationship between the different components of eProductivity.

4. Experience eProductivity: download an interactive demo.... I'll pass on this one. I want to get straight to ...

5. Try it! Use eProductivity for 21 days at no cost.... OK then! Let's start downloading!

The download and installation process was simple enough - basically you are replacing your mailfile template. I dutifully stepped through the documented process but found that the instruction videos all had a common feature ie descriptive text of "Video coming soon..." It was simple enough for an experienced administrator to download and install the template but perhaps it would be better to remove all references to the videos until they are available. I'd say it's a two hour process to watch the video then download and install the template.

The next step is to categorize my mail file into Actions and Projects. Stay tuned.


Eric Mack said...

Graham, I'm delighted that you are evaluating eProductivity and I look forward to learning from your experience. However, I will pint out that in your zeal to get things done, you have probably skipped over the most valuable learning opportunity - the evaluation database. Why" It's a stand-alone database that comes preloaded with strategic emails designed to teach you how to use eProductivity in a matter of minutes while processing an in-box to zero. There's nothing to install; simply download, open and go. Skipping this step won;t hurt you but you will certainly miss out on the subtler nuances of the what the product can do for you.

Either way, I look forward to learning from your experience. Happy to assist in any way that I can.

Eric Mack

Graham Dodge said...

I downloaded the evaluation database at the same time as I downloaded the GTD template. I'll have a look at it during the evaluation period and tell you my impressions