My mission to get to a “zero inbox” is succeeding, with fewer than 100 emails sitting in my inbox this morning, and the hot ones being moved into one of four action folders. I have grown more merciless in deleting emails that have a questionable impact or “ask” of me. If I don’t have to reply, I don’t. If I don’t have to retain, I don’t. Delete is my friend.
But, I write to moan about the wrongness of Lotus Notes, the fact that it is the most isolated, stranded, proprietary, horrible email tool on the planet, one that offers its victims no options to migrate their calendars, their tasks, their contacts to a better alternative. Where do I want to be? Let’s start with the calendar — I want desperately to move to Google Calendar, Foldera or 30Boxes — but alas, the import/export functions of those tools don’t even acknowledge Notes, let alone support it. I am sure I could drop $75 on some third-party utility, but for now, Notes remains stuck to me like a low-level skin disease — always itchy, not quite disfiguring, a fact of life.
I know Notes is a favorite of IT administrators and I won’t slag it for that reason, but I wonder how many new hires have arrived at a new company only to discover, to their horror, that Notes is the central nervous system.
I first experienced the pain at McKinsey, where the firm depended on Notes like oxygen. Forbes was a cc:Mail shop — another Lotus product which had the weirdest icons on the planet. Then Forbes went to a strange off-brand Novell client — Groupwise — and life deteriorated until I figured out how to map the mail stream to Outlook.
I’d like to junk it all and move to POP3 run through GMAIL. But until the calendar coordination and scheduling tools get more sophisticated, Notes will remain my productivity psorasis.