[This is a working title. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read the rest of this post. Then, let me know if it resonates with you...]
Many people have asked me if I've thought about presenting at Lotusphere 2008. I have. In fact, my colleague, Bruce Elgort and I have been exploring the idea of doing a joint presentation for some time. (You may know of Bruce Elgort as the founder of OpenNTF of the Taking Notes Podcast and now, the idea exchange) Bruce and I would like to invite you to give us your input on possible topics you would like to see us present... There's a catch, we need your feedback right away. (I'm presenting at the Office 2.0 conference this week and the deadline for submitting our proposal is this Friday.)
While Bruce and I haven't finalized our proposal, there is a recurring topic that keeps coming up for me: How to use Lotus Notes as a personal productivity tool in addition to the excellent collaborative tool that it already is. You see, Notes is usually marketed as a collaboration solution to organizations, that's fine. Unfortunately, it's not marketed as a personal tool. That's probably because organizations typically buy Lotus Notes - people don't. But I think that's part of the problem. Notes hasn't been made personal. As far as I know, there are few people or organizations that are doing anything to make Notes personal. Probably the best example I can think of, someone who is working to make notes personal, is Alan Lepofsky. Alan's blog contains an amazing array of productivity tips that the average guy can use to be more productive using Lotus Notes. if you've not read Alan's blog, I highly recommend it. (Bruce, Alan, and I did a podcast together last year)
Lotusphere typically has many sessions dealing with how to use Notes for collaboration, how to sell Notes in your organization, how to mobilize Notes applications, or something like that. What I haven't seen yet is a session that deals with the personal side of using Lotus Notes productively: How highly effective knowledge workers can (and do) use the Notes client already on their desk as a personal information management system, decision support tool, and a tool for just getting things done. ( e.g. project and action management.) Some of what I would like to show may require add-on software (e.g. I'd like to show how I use Notes and MindManager together) but much of what I have in mind can be done with the standard Notes client. if you've followed my blog for any length of time, you already know what I'm talking about. If not type "Lotus Notes" into the search window of this site to get some ideas.
I'm sick of hearing people tell me why they hate Notes only to discover that, in most cases, they simply did not know what they could really do with Lotus Notes.
In my eProductivity consulting work, I'm constantly amazed at how many organizations hand out Notes to their employees and never mention (or show) the personal productivity side of using notes to make smarter decisions and to manage personal knowledge. Yet, when this happens, the entire organization can benefit. I want to send folks away from the session with practical information - things that they can do with their current Lotus Notes client to be more productive right away. (My recent webinar on how I use MindManager and Lotus Notes is just one example.)
This won't be a "why you should use Lotus Notes" presentation
I have no plans to try to get non-Notes users to switch to Lotus Notes; that's not my goal. It also won't be a "why you should buy this add-on or that add-on." My purpose is to show existing Notes users how to get things done using the Lotus Notes they already have in ways that they may have never considered. The session I have in mind would focus on using Notes as a personal productivity tool. In short, I'd like to show people how I use Lotus Notes and how some of my clients are using Lotus Notes effectively.
Please reread the proposed session title again and see how it sits with you:
"Lotus Notes for Me: Leveraging the Power of Notes for Personal Productivity, Personal Knowledge Management and Personal Action Management"
Like it? More important, is this the kind of session you would like to see at Lotusphere? If so, I'd like your feedback, right away.
Here's how you can help:
1. Let me know what you think: If you enjoy my blog, have watched any of my webinars or listened to any of Bruce's podcasts, then you know where we are coming from. Is there something you'd like to hear more about? You can post your feedback, but do it now so that we can include your feedback in our planning
2. Spread the word:
If you like the idea, consider blogging about it.
Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.
PS. Special thanks to my buddy, Michael Sampson for his clarity and prodding to get this going...