Xobni

I’m a tad late to the party with this one, but as we’ve migrated from Lotus Notes to Exchange/Outlook as our corporate email within Orange Business Services, it’s finally given me a change to try out Xobni. So far it’s pretty neat it’s made a difference while on a call, being able to quickly search for somebody and see all the files we’ve exchanged without having to hunt though the files. That’s a great plus as is the automatic transfering of the email you’re viewing moving to the xobni sidebar when you click on the calendar, it means no more flicking back and forth while you jot down details.

I’ve read the comments that it’s slowed people’s outlook down massively, I can’t say I’ve noticed anything as yet. It’s crashed once when I minimized it, it wouldn’t come back.

On the whole, it’s a good aid to productivity and I’d recomemd people give xobni a try.

Are Calendars the reason for poor productivity?

I was just reading this post by JP and found it extremely interesting. I intend to read the concepts behind the thinking when I get some more time.

The theory is that inability to react quickly within large organisations are due to the fact that it’s so difficult to schedule meetings. Meetings are often arrange days, sometimes weeks in advance. Then when something new or urgent is required, it’s delayed as it’s too hard to either move the meetings that have been booked, or that the calendar is already full.

JP has moved to the concept of fixed and variable time. Fixed time is meetings booked 48hrs in advance and variable time allows the greater flexibility to focus on what’s really important and get things done as opposed to waiting for the slot in the calendar to appear.

I’ve seen this many times myself, your calendar is full and someone calls and ask to schedule some time to work on something urgently. The glance through the calendar fails to find a suitable slot and the urgent item is put off till next week.

The challenge then is how to resolve this agility issue within large corporations.

GTD

I’ve been working my way this week through the process of a full implementaion of the GTD methodology and all seems to be going OK. I previously had implemented a partial system, ie. I had a full next action list and projects list but my filing system was shot. So I spent about 7 hours yesterday sorting though all my stuff and I’m now all processed.

I’m really surprised how much extra time I’ve found as a result of the excercise. I think the most powerful part of the system is the "if it’s less than 2 mins just do it". That’s simple but incredibly powerfull, a simple adjustment to, "if it takes less than 10 mins just do it", means that you can crank trough a lot more stuff with only a small change.

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inbox after a vacation

Having just come back from a four day trip to southern spain (28 degress…hmm) I know what this post is getting at, how to clean out your red inbox.

My big tip here is to start with the most recent emails and work backwards. That way you can deal with the latest version of a hideous chain email and then just detail all the earlier versions. Secondly it stops you responding to something that may have already been resolved. There’s nothing worse than banging out an email and then reading one a bit more recent that says exactly what you said.

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Presentations

I’ve got two presentations to give over the next three days to the European network teams. So I’m busy writing the material today and reading the tips of giving great presentations such as this and this.

My own tips are, don’t rush through the presentation, take your time. Don’t put all the information into the slides, rather use the slides to back up the information you are giving. And the last tip which makes all the difference, enjoy it put some enthusiasm into it.