Wednesday, September 03, 2008

On Total (e)Productivity In Lotus Notes

I've mentioned the eProductivity system a few times here and there and wanted to share some additional thoughts about it. It's great to see applications that enhance and extend the power of the Lotus Notes platform. Eric Mack and his development team have done a great job in this respect.

(Don't forget to check out the video demo)

If you are a practitioner of Getting Things Done (GTD), David Allen's system for managing the overwhelm almost all of us feel due to the myriad things that require our daily attention, you will most certainly want to give eProductivity a try.

eProductivity is a Lotus Notes-based application that empowers the GTD user in ways not possible using a plain vanilla system. It delivers on a promise that many software products fail miserably at. That is, it gets the interface out of the way so that you can get work done. Not only does eProductivty faithfully adhere to the major tenents of the GTD methodology, but it does so in a very unobtrusive manner.

The functionality of eProductivity is delivered as logical extensions to the typical tasks a user performs within the context of their work in Lotus Notes. Because the eProductivity functions are so closely integrated into the standard look and feel of the Notes mail template, there is little cognitive overhead for the user in learning the new system. Creating new tasks, defining next actions, creating projects...all of these events are quite intuitive in the eProductivity system. Since the user can get to these functions in the context of their regular work, they immediately become more productive, as their flow state is not interrupted.

Nathan and I have talked at length in the past about designing your interface to fit the needs of the application you are building rather than always replicating the design of the standard Notes templates. There's one exception to this rule, and that is if you are building extensions to the mail file. If you are doing this, as the eProductivity team has done, then you want to make sure that your new functionality blends in seamlessly with the existing template. The eProductivity system has accomplished this nicely.

From a user experience standpoint, eProductivity offers no flashy functionality or complicated routines and that's the beauty of the system. It is simple and easy to use, which is the hallmark of good software design. It also includes some wonderful new features, such as the Weekly Review Coach and integration with ActiveWords and GyroQ.

If you are a practitioner of GTD and a Lotus Notes user or you just want to be more productive, I can highly recommend the eProductivity system.


Martin Vereecken said...

I saw the demo and it seems like a very attractive way to manage one's work!

Do you know where I can get an evaluation copy? The website doesn't mention that...


KeithC said...

As Eric's website is full of puff about how great he is, I tend to be a bit turned off. Especially as it seems that the only way you can get hold of this tool is to sign up to his consultancy courses. Now, I don't mind a bit of gratuitous self-promotion, but there is an awful lot of tease there. A lot about how wonderful Eric's approach is, and almost nothing about WHAT it is. I signed up last week to hear about the public release, so we'll see if I get anything back.

Eric Mack said...


Hi Keith, this is Eric Mack.

I trust you received the information you were looking for. If not, let me know and I will try to help.