Right, I did it. I replaced the design of my Lotus Notes mail database (8.5 format) with the eProductivity template.
The instructions are pretty easy to follow. I did this on my Linux laptop of course. No problems there.
I am using the Lotus Notes 8.5.1 Standard client - also known as the Rich Client - both on Ubuntu Linux 8.04 and on WinXP.
This is the extremely early testing phase, but a few notes:
Both on WinXP and Ubuntu I see that when I launch the "Mail" bookmark from the Bookmark bar, I do not get the complete eproductivity look and feel. The left-side navigator is the old left-side navigator (R7 or thereabouts).
I have now created a new bookmark that points to my mail file, and when using that, it launches like it should.
Added note: eProductivity support told me I can switch to the eProuctivity navigator by clicking a "drop down" at the top of the navigator an selecting "Switch to eProductivity".
Sidebar problem with the Day-at-a-glance panel
The right-side sidebar in Notes 8.5 has a Day-At-A-Glance panel. It does not display like it did when running the 8.5 mail template. It will not work for me now as it needs a quarter of the total horizontal space to display properly.
That's a pain. I am used to having the sidebar open all day with both the day-at-a-glance and Sametime Contacts panels open.
Added note: eProductivity support told me that this is an issue that comes from the Notes client. I am not entirely convinced about that. Or rather - I think it can be fixed by tinkering with the Standard R8 mail template.
Sidebar problem when the sidebar is open when the Notes Client starts up
Not a major issue. When starting using the template, the eproductivity tool has a "splash" screen. When you haven't selected to not display the splash screen, it will display when the Day-at-a-glance sidepanel gets displayed.
Creating an email - error when unable to open html footer file
Also a small issue, but some people might get confused. When I create a new email I get an error message saying that c:\sig\jbr.html is not available. That is probably because I once a long time ago had an html signature for my Notes email placed in that spot. I had moved on to the 8.5 way of handling signatures, but it looks like a field in the email profile document remembered the location for me.
Dragging email to the left navigator - no prompt about what to do about email
When I drag an email to for instance the "At Computer" navigator item, I get to create an Action. Then I close and save it. In the Demo database I would then get prompted about what should happen to the email I dragged - put in folder or delete. I don't get prompted now. I guess it is an option somewhere in the preferences.
Personal projects - nice
Aha. It's possible to have Work- and Personal projects separated. Not just by naming them "Private" or something similar. You can actually have up to five Project types where I now have "Projects" and "Projects - Personal". Good.
First full day of using the eProductivity template
This is the day after I replaced the mail database template. So now I have a representative day at the office. Here are my notes on the experience:
I reported two issues using the built-in feedback forms: The broken Day-At-A-Glance Sidebar panel and the issue with launching mail using the "Mail" bookmark. Both mentioned above. These won't stop the show though. I'm excited to see how the template will work.
I found that I could create my own Context. I created "At Hvidsværmervej" which is the headquarters of Convergens, the Business partner I work for. I needed it to create an Action with that context. The subject of the action was: "Pick up new hard drive". My server (at my home office) has a hard drive that is about to fail, and the replacement was delivered to our headquarters.
Great to have the option of having your own contexts.
Synchronising with Lotus Traveler
No issues there. Synchronisation is not broken.
Email works like it always does.
Lots of what eProductivity does is built using the To-Do form inside the Lotus Notes mail template. This means I have started having a lot more to-do notes in my Nokia E65 device. I have a feeling that I won't be using eProductivity from my phone. The To-Do features of the E65 are just too primitive: There is no way of sorting or filtering To-Do notes. I certainly can't blame eProductivity for that problem.
Converting outbound email to Projects and Actions
This is powerful. When I have a newly created email open I have clicked the Action bar button at the far right. It is a toggle that displays an interesting drop-down: "After sending this email, create a..." it says. And here I can select for instance "...new action linked to new project". This is great. When I now send the email I get prompted to first give my new project a name (and optional start and due dates) and after that I get prompted to describe the next action.
A real world example:
I received an email from a colleague at the Main Office saying a new hard drive has arrived ready for me to take back to my home office.
I created a reply saying thank you. And here I selected the "...new action linked to new project".
When I sent the email I got prompted to name the project. I named it "Home office server re-installed including new drive".
Saving the project I got prompted to create a next action. I called this action "Pick up new hard drive at Main Office" and gave it the context of "At Hvidsværmervej" and a due and start date of tomorrow where I know I will be visiting the Home Office.
I am pretty sure that tomorrow in my Today view there will be an action telling me to remember to pick up the drive.
Converting inbound email to Projects and Actions
I have also been dragging inbound emails to the navigator to create Actions. And when I have crated an action in this way I have the possibility of creating (and thus linking to) the project that the action should should "attach to" to. Works fine.
The only thing I am missing here is the thing I memtioned earlier: In the demo I saw that the process of creating an action from an inbound email ended by me being asked what to do with the original email: Put in folder, delete etc...... I neeed to take a new look at the options.
End of the day notes
And that was it. I have created 3-4 projects and maybe 10 actions linked to them. I like it. It feels good.
I have also exchanged a couple of emails with the eProductivity support. They are helpful. Sending an email to the support is built into the template. Goode idea.