I’ve started the new year with a little experiment, until I get a call from our operations team about using a non standard Notes email template locally (sorry folks!). The productivity template from openntf.org allows me to implement some of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology to my work. The template isn’t new, last updated in 2005 and others produce mail templates for this purpose, most notably Eric Mack, who has worked with his clients to improve productivity and has a Notes mail template built specifically for this purpose (which will soon be released as a commercially available template).
Like most of my friends and colleagues I’m finding I have more and more work to organise and need better methods of dealing with this. I find it difficult to reach peak productivity with the disconnect between email, tasks, reminders, calendar and time management in my standard Notes template. The productivity template has really helped me, even in a few days, become much more organised. Here are the key benefits I’ve found thus far with the openntf productivity template:
- Much better ways of me tracking actions I need to perform.
- Nice folder structure to allow me to check what I need to do today, tomorrow etc.
- Ability to view activities by project.
- Very simple to track items where you are waiting for someone else to action.
- Integrates excellently with calendar and with alarms in Notes for reminders.
- Great simple interface to add data to an email message to allow for GTD:
Here are the areas where I see some gaps:
- It deals brilliantly with emails but not so well with items I need to add as actions manually where an email was not the trigger for the activity.
- Corporate IT departments are initially likely to frown on people like me using this template (time to do some influencing).
All in all though this is an excellent development effort by koolpal, I look forward to hopefully testing Eric Mack’s eProductivity template soon also. I’ll keep you informed of my thoughts as I use the template more.