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Has anyone ever implemented a functional GTD on Groupwise?

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  • Has anyone ever implemented a functional GTD on Groupwise?

    Hi all.

    As it says, really. My organisation is using Novell Groupwise as its calendaring system. I have used many systems [used to work for Netscape a decade ago, and even used Netscape Calendar -- have to eat your own dogfood {'s_own_dog_food} ] but the fact that Groupwise simply has no concept of an "undated Task" is driving me mad.

    I am using the Palm Desktop for all calendaring, and GW only for email, but you can already see that multiple systems are in play and so there is a hit in terms of divided attention.

    So, the question: has anyone managed to set up a functional GTD system based on the Groupwise platform, even given this "feature"?


  • #2
    First off, I feel your pain. I work for an organization that uses groupwise as well. It is pretty difficult to implement GTD using groupwise, but I have figured out a system that works, definitely not seamless but it works. I’ll assume you already have your preferred sources of capturing information and just focus on the list portion of my system. I will also assume that you are using Groupwise 6.5 or higher.
    First off I set up all of my categories using the new category feature in groupwise 6.5 & above i.e. @Office, @Phone, @Home etc. Do not bother with associating colors with categories, as you have already mentioned “Groupwise has no concept of an undated task” and will turn all your tasks or “Next Actions” red the very next day anyway. You will just have to ignore this and get use to looking at red next actions.
    Next I associate a priority number with each context i.e. Projects: Priority 1, @Office: Priority 2, @Phone: Priority 3. What this does is allow Groupwise to automatically sort all of your tasks or “next actions” by its particular context otherwise they would all be sorted by entry date.
    Next, in order to view your next actions outside of the cluttered calendar view, right click your toolbar and click “Customize Toolbar’. Now add the icon “Open Calendar” to your toolbar. Once this icon has been added to your toolbar, there will be a dropdown list associated with it. Click it and scroll to “Task SM”. Now you have an uncluttered view of all of your next actions sorted by context, furthermore you can use the filter option in the top right to only show the context that you wish to view at that moment.
    Another deficiency of Groupwise is that it will not allow you to print with any filters turned on. So if you prefer to print your lists, you will have to print one long list that is sorted by context as opposed to separate lists. I prefer not to see my lists like that and have gone totally electronic using my Blackberry Curve and a program called “Next Action” it allows me to sync Tasks or “Next Actions” and their context with groupwise.
    Like I said not a seamless system, but more of a compromise. Hope this helps.
    I would definitely like to hear of anyone else who is using Groupwise to implement GTD, as I may be able to find new tweaks to make our lives using GTD & Groupwise easier.


    • #3
      Eeek! Yes, I had started to go through this, but thought 'no, there must be a better way! Groupwise can't be that stupid!' Alas, there isn't and it is

      Many thanks for your ideas. Anyone else have any to add?



      • #4
        Alternate GW Solution

        I've been a user of GW here at work for the past four years and I've been on GTD for about one year. I was using checklists in GW, but I wasn't really happy with that. Having read your post, I dove back in and I think I found something that might work: Create a new folder.

        Here's a shorthand rundown of what I did:
        • At your "home folder" right-click and select "new folder"
        • Select Personal Folder and click "next"
        • Give your folder a name (I called mine "GTD tasks") and use the map on the bottom half of the screen to determine the folder's location.
        • Click on "next"
        • Under "setting name" select "all items"
        • Under "view by" select "details"
        • Under "sort by" select "category" ... Let "sort order" be "ascending"
        • Use the "more display settings..." button to make changes to what you'll see for each task (as follows).
        • On the "more settings..." screen, I selected only "tasks" for item type, and I checked the box for "show group labels".
        • Use the "edit columns" button to tweak the columns you'll display. I wound up with "category, date, due date, and subject" (in that order)
        • When you're done there, click on the "finish" button. If it asks for a display settings name, give it something like "GTD task list."
        • Now that you have it, you'll need to enter some tasks. As you enter them and categorize them, you'll see them grouped BY THE COLUMN YOU'RE SORTING BY! So, if you sort by due date, you can then filter by category and see things like "phone calls I need to make by today"

        One thing I can't figure out is to how to make it work with tasks I've already created, which is a bummer. It seems as though it acts like it's a whole new set of tasks. Unfortunately, I don't know enough about GW to figure this one out.

        Anyhow, play with the column sorting and filtering and make sure you have a button in your toolbar that lets you do "new posted task." With all that, you'll be able to quickly add and manage your list.

        I'm psyched! I want to get back to using this for myself at work! I had given up on it, because it was such a pain in GW.


        • #5
          Groupwise and GTD

          I'm glad to see that people are now discussing this topic. Our institution also uses Groupwise and it works well for email. It doesn't work well for task management, particularly if you don't sit at your desk all day. I move from one location to another frequently and am not even in the same building all day. I was hoping to synchronize something with my iPAQ but to no avail. The due dates in the Task section and the Checklist restrictions make this a cumbersome system for GTD.

          I've set up a paper-based 43 folder system for materials that need to be ready for a particular day. This tickler system includes notes too.

          On Groupwise, I have categories @Calls, @Office, @Home, @Research, @Project A, etc. I place my emails that I have to act on in specific folders and archive the rest in other folders. Weekly review habits help keep this from getting out of control. I can send myself email reminders for task management. I also try to get my email InBox to 0 at least once a week, if not daily, to reduce the clutter.

          I carry around 3.5 x 5 index cards to jot down things as they come to mind, or to remind me about pressing matters on the go.

          Fortunately, I can access Groupwise from anywhere in the medical center so I can access my calendar and my emails almost anywhere I can find a computer so I don't depend on my PDA too much anymore. If you have instant access to your Groupwise via phone/PDA you can use the folders in your email section as your Task manager too.

          I welcome any more suggestions.


          • #6
            Since my previous post #2 in this thread, I have done some more tinkering with my system using Groupwise 6.5.5. Here is what I’ve come up with using the pretty useful Find Results Folder in Groupwise:

            1. Create categories for all of your contexts (Right click an item > click categories > click more). Below is an example of how I have my GTD categories set up in Groupwise 6.5.5.
            * Projects
            * @Office
            * @Office Phone
            * @Waiting On
            * @Field
            * @Cell Phone
            * @Home
            * @Home PC
            * @Errands
            * @Grocery Store
            * Someday Maybe

            2. Now you will create a new folder to correspond with each category listed above.
            * Click: File > New > Folder
            * Click: Find Results Folder.
            * Click: Custom Find Results Folder.
            * Click: Next
            * Now you will name your first folder to correspond with your first category.
            * Use the Left, Right, Up and Down buttons on the right to align your folder to your preference in the folder tree.
            * Under “Item Type” Click: Task.
            * Under “Item Source” Click: Posted
            * Make sure “ Find new matching items each time the folder is opened” is checked.
            * Click: Advanced Find
            * In your first drop down menu, select “Category”
            * Click the small red, blue & green icon to the right and a list of the categories you added earlier with drop down.
            * Select the category that corresponds to the folder you are currently adding.
            * Click: Next
            * Click: Edit Columns
            * Use the Add & Remove buttons to display the columns of your preference. I currently have only three columns displayed, Category, Subject and Dated Created. (Personal Preference).
            * Click: OK > Finish.

            3. Now you will have to complete step number 2 for each category you have associated with your contexts.
            4. You can now add your next actions and projects by clicking the drop down arrow next to “New Task” in your toolbar and select “Posted” Task. Note: you must select “Posted Task” in order for your new folder to search and find the corresponding next action.
            5. After entering your task information in the task window, click the options tab.
            6. Once again, click the small red, blue & green icon to display a dropdown of your categories.
            7. Click the category or “context” of the NA that you are creating. Note: This step is mandatory along with step number 4 in order for this system to work.
            8. Now click “Post” in the top right corner of your toolbar.

            Now each time you open up one of your newly created folders they will automatically search out and list all of your NA’s associated with that particular context. You will even be able to check the NA’s complete from these folders as well.

            * Allows you to avoid using the useless task view in groupwise that will not sort.
            * I’m a 90% paperless GTD user (100% as far as lists are concerned) and my weapon of choice is a Blackberry 8300 Curve. The system above integrates and syncs almost, keyword almost perfectly with NextAction 2.0 for Blackberry. If you do a search you can find more info on this app elsewhere in these forums.

            * If you like to print your lists, this system will leave you high and dry. You can print your list, but it will be one long list that will not sort and is fairly intimidating to look at.
            * It’s Groupwise and I’m still Jealous of all of the companies that implement MS Outlook.

            Hope this helps anyone faced with the daunting task of implementing GTD with Groupwise.

            Here is a screenshot of my system:

            Click image for larger version

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