Thank You to Eric Mack and Our IBM Hosts for a Great DC Lotus Professional Meetup



As a follow up to last week's terrific DC Lotus Professionals meetup, I want to extend a few well deserved Thank Yous. The first goes out to our featured guest Eric Mack of GTD/eProductivity fame for imparting his invaluable insights and practical tips on increasing our personal productivity. The group was enjoying Eric's presentation and the accompanying conversation so much that we blew right through our 5PM end time because no one in the room felt like stopping. That should tell you something. I have to say that I have been inspired to take the next steps and start applying GTD principles to my daily routine using Eric's eProductivity Notes template. You'll probably see an up-tick in blogging here as that process unfolds. There are two other group members who already use the template and report great results, so I am especially looking forward to following their example.

The second thank you goes out to IBM for arranging to host our meetup in their brand new Washington DC offices. Maurice Cogdell and Jeanette Coury really came through for us in the face of a challenging timetable, especially considering IBM has only been in their new office for a couple weeks.. The conference and training room they have there is state of the art and very well designed. It is large enough to accommodate the much larger groups we hope to see attend future meetups, but has a coziness that works well with smaller crowds too.

I would also like to apologize to any folks out there who didn't see the meetup announcements in time to attend. As mentioned above it took some extra work to get our meeting location confirmed, so that meant a very short turnaround to promote the event. If you haven't already, please register on our Meetup site so you are always informed about upcoming plans.

And finally, Eric would like me to remind those who did attend last week that he is offering you a free eProductivity Reference Database with GTD Materials. If you haven't already made arrangements with Eric and want to avail of this offer feel free to contact him directly. Two lucky attendees also received a full Pro & Premier license of eProductivity in the drawing we held during the meetup.

We are now planning our next meetup for January and are looking for ideas on speakers and/or topics. I would encourage you to join our Meetup Group and use the site's idea features to make suggestions.

Simple Idea to make Grouped Tabs in Notes Client Really Shine



If you like the way the Windows 7 task bar works then you'll really like this idea to put some polish on a cool but not quite perfect feature of the Notes client. I'm talking about the option to group multiple windows from the same application under a single tab, as discussed recently by Bob Balfe in this blog post. Here's what you get now...

A picture named M2

...but if you want to make it better, go vote and add comments if you have additional thoughts:

Improve "Group documents from each application on a tab" usability

Keywords: Group documents from each application on a tab

DC Lotus Professionals Meetup Featuring GTD Guru Eric Mack - Nov 17th



DCLUG MeetupAnnouncing a new Meetup for DC Lotus Professionals (aka DCLUG)!

What: GTD Expert Eric Mack on Getting Things Done with Lotus Software

When: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 3:00 PM

Where: IBM Office
600 14th Street NW Room 356
Washington, DC 20005

NOTE: You must RSVP by Monday morning, Nov 15th, because of IBM's building security requirements. Sorry for the short notice but our IBM hosts just relocated their offices.


Join the conversation Wednesday, November 17th 3-5PM when well-known GTD expert Eric Mack will show us how we can use Lotus Software coupled with proven best practices to become more productive and get things done!

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.

All Attendees will receive a free eProductivity reference application with GTD and other resources.

There will also be a drawing for free software licenses and subscriptions - bring your business cards!

Eric Mack, MKM, is an expert in personal productivity and knowledge management. A Notes user since version 2, he is also the creator of the popular eProductivity application for Lotus Notes which brings the best practices of David Allen's "Getting Things Done", or GTD methodology, inside of Lotus Software.

We look forward to seeing you there!

RSVP to this Meetup

Join the Meetup Group

Whether or not you can attend next week's DC Lotus Professionals Meetup, I strongly encourage you to RSVP anyway and join the DC Lotus Professionals Meetup group so you can easily stay informed about future local Lotus events.

PlanetLotus Hack and the Danger of Private Clouds - Lessons from Ground Level



The narrowly averted collapse of PlanetLotus this past weekend helped crystalize my thinking on the whole issue of cloud computing, or rather the risks therein...

First of all, Yancy, thank you. Secondly, thank you again.

Thirdly, this strikes me as yet another example of the dangers of relying on the "cloud". Specifically, privately run clouds. Private entities have various motives for maintaining some service (online or otherwise), be it profit or altruism or simple enjoyment. The dangerous part comes when a specific service reaches a point where a significant community of people come to depend on it heavily, to the extent the very health of that community will be impacted by its demise. When something that important is held together by a single individual, we are bound to have problems.

We've seen this before, on a much grander scale and right here at ground level, but the idea is the same. A century ago many American cities were blessed with pretty good public transportation networks in the form of streetcars. These services were integral to the health and vibrancy of the urban communities they served. They were largely if not completely privately run. After WWII, as cars and suburbs diminished the ability of these companies to run their services profitably, they pretty much all disappeared before the communities that depended on them figured out what they had lost. The basic mistake these communities made was not to realize that *public* services cannot be trusted to private companies, at least not over the long term. Some manner of public subsidy is sometimes a required, and sensible, measure to ensure those essential services are maintained. This particular failure helped ensure decades of urban blight across many American cities that fractured those communities in too many ways to cover here.

How this lesson applies here or more generally to other, much bigger, private clouds (I'm talkin' to you Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo Groups, Flickr, et al.) is a question that obviously concerns me. It should probably concern everyone. Unless that is you don't care what happens to your stuff in 5, 10, or 50 years.

DCLUG Reminder - RSVP Yes (or No) on TODAY for Thursday Meeting



DCLUG MeetupWhether or not you can attend this week's DCLUG meeting, I strongly encourage you to RSVP anyway and join the DC Lotus Professionals Meetup group so you can easily stay informed about future local Lotus events. If you plan to attend, a reminder that you must RSVP by 3pm today so your name is "on the list" at IBM's security desk. Otherwise they won't let you in, and I will be sad.

I'll have more to say about in a future post, but in short it is probably the most useful site we in the Lotus community seem not to have discovered yet. Indeed I was quite shocked to be the *first* person to have registered the topics "Lotus Notes & Domino" and "Lotus Software" IN THE WORLD. If you are a LUG organizer it's a great tool for announcing events and tracking attendance, and building community. It's not free for group organizers but it's not expensive either ($12/month if you register for 6+ months). Great site, very user friendly. Go register and check it out.

A Reader Writes: How can I pull multiple email accounts into Notes?



From the mailbag:

Dear Kevin,

New Lotus Notes user here...I thought that maybe you saw my problem first or have some suggestion.

I would like to have several email databases, one account each, checking email. After understanding that Lotus Notes is not "an email client" in the sense of Outlook as everyone around me seemed to think, I joined the GTD-Eproductivity wave, and since I am very chaotic (which explains my stress, which explains in turn the GTD thing for me) I would like to check email and manage all from one instance.

Problem: for the new mail to appear into each inbox, I must change the location. I installed the Vista widget the check gmail and more or less saved the stuff, but, really, there must be a way of checking different accounts on lotus notes at the same time.

This is the closest thing I have found,


Do you have any ideas? I am up the creek without the paddle.

So you have several email addresses and you'd like to funnel them all into a single Lotus Notes mailbox, without the hassle of switching locations, ids, etc. As with Gmail or Yahoo Mail you probably also would like to have responses to one of those accounts appear to come from that account (as opposed to the parent account). Something like this idea on IdeaJam.

In a corporate setting, you might need to access other "shared" or "team" mail boxes, in which case I highly recommend the DominoTeamMailbox template on OpenNTF. But for purely personal accounts, is there in fact a decent solution out there?

We're Back Baby! DCLUG Gets LinkedIn and Will Meet Sept 23rd



DCLUGThe Washington DC Lotus User Group (aka DCLUG, aka DCNUG) is back from its long hiatus with two big announcements this week. First off we have gone social by establishing the new DC Lotus Professionals LinkedIn Group. We encourage any Lotus professional in the region to join the group and encourage your friends (especially those not as tuned into the blogs and PlanetLotus as you obviously are) to do the same. And when I say "region" I include our friends in all of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Delaware.

We are also holding our next meeting on Sept 23rd 3-5PM at the IBM offices in downtown Washington. Note: RSVP is mandatory at least 2 days in advance. Here are the details:

David Allen's “ Getting Things Done ” is a classic in personal productivity. David Allen uses Lotus Notes, and Eric Mack has taken GTD further into Lotus Notes with his eProductivity tool. This month we'll be showing a quick demonstration. We are hoping to have Eric join our user group in November for a detailed, and comprehensive analysis.

News to review: Traveler 8.5.2, Quickr 8.5, Sametime 8.5.2, Project Vulcan, Project Northstar. Mindplan in the Notes Client:
- Award winning mindmapping tool which comes as a commercial, corporate product, and a free, personal-use edition.
- with Lotus Notes  (and everyone else)
- Domino and Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is released. What's new and improved, by those who have put it to use.
- Raffle for a free “IBM Lotus Connections 2.5” book from IBM Press. This is a 5 star rated text on planning and implementing Lotus Connections.

IBM Briefing Center, 1301 K Street, NW • 4th Floor, West Tower • Washington. DC 20005 (202)-218-3940
Please be aware that due to new security provisions at the IBM Briefing Center, we must receive a COMPLETE list of attendees and their company with at most 2 days prior to the meeting date. The list will be provided to building security. If someone shows up for the meeting that is not on the list, they will be denied access to the meeting.

All are invited but it is important that we have an idea of the number of attendees for planning purposes so please RSVP here

NOTE: If you have any specific things you would like to discuss please note them in the RSVP comments. If you have any questions, please a post a discussion topic on the LinkedIn group or email me directly (see contact link on the right side of this page).

Thank you Jack! Thank you IBM!

A huge thanks to Jack Dausman for working out the hosting arrangements with IBM, and to IBM for hosting!

Lotus Notes/Domino Developers Wanted - Get Sponsored for Top Secret Clearance (U.S. Citizens Only)



UPDATED: I should have gotten clarification on this initially, but these positions are all in the Washington DC Metro area...

If you can answer YES to ALL of these questions, get in touch and I'll connect you to a recruiter looking to sponsor qualified individuals for Lotus Notes Developer jobs requiring high-level U.S. Government security clearance.

Q: Are you a Lotus Notes/Domino Developer?

Q: Are you a U.S. Citizen?

Q: [NEW] Do you live in the Washington DC Metro area?

Q: Are you interested in obtaining a high-level security clearance (including full scope polygraph)?

If you answered YES to all three four questions, then please contact me and I'll pass you over to my recruiter friend. It's worth noting that while going through the clearance process you will not have to quit your current job, so other than enduring a rather tedious and occasionally awkward application process, there isn't much downside.

Your Host

Kevin Pettitt View Kevin Pettitt's profile on LinkedIn

Idea Jam


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