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March 2008

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Personal
Overdrive

Hold on! The new
release of GroupWise will
put your people into overdrive
Tech Talk 1 Ken Baker

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The filter setting gives you granular control over what content displays within each panel. For a task list, you might want to filter it so it only shows incomplete tasks. With this filter, once you mark a task complete, it no longer displays, but you still have a record of it.

For your Inbox, you might want to only show unread messages or messages from a specific sender or ones on a certain subject. Panels are also highly interactive with other panels, giving you the ability to easily drag items from one to another. For example, if you want to add an e-mail message to your task folder, simply drag it to that panel. It will appear as a task with all the appropriate attributes, including the new percentage-complete feature discussed later in this article.

You can also turn any folder or combination of folders into a home view, allowing you to switch home views by simply clicking between tabs. For example, by day you might be a working professional, but at night you teach a university class. Your home view at the office might include a project calendar, this week's tasks, a team workspace, an RSS news feed, unread e-mail and a few favorite Web sites. But for the university you might have a different home view that shows your monthly class schedule; your student address book (complete with student photos); a discussion thread of questions students have e-mailed you; and a documents folder that contains your syllabus, handouts and slideshows. You can easily customize and switch between these home views to help you be as productive as possible in each setting.

You also have the ability to share your home view settings with others. This provides users with a way to easily share best practices for personal productivity. Sharing also helps you maintain corporate standards. You can easily provide employees with home views tailored to the needs of their roles and then allow fine tuning for even greater levels of efficiency.

You might just find that with the ability to pull Web pages, team workspaces, RSS feeds, external and internal calendars, contacts, and task management into your home view, you seldom have to leave the comfort and efficiency of your GroupWise personal assistant.

External Calendaring

Business, social and technology trends have blurred the lines between company time and personal time; people often refer to this as "work-life balance." The demand on everyone's time is growing because work crosses time zones; mobile devices make it easier to reach anyone, anywhere; and double-income families are more common. The goal of balance is to be effective at work, while making the most of your personal time.

GroupWise can help people stay on top of their game at work, at home and in the community. GroupWise 7 did this by supporting multiple calendars—a clear way to manage the various demands on users' time. It also let users import schedules or calendars from external sources. To make it even easier for you to achieve whole-life management, the

next release of GroupWise extends these capabilities with external calendar subscribing and publishing.

Subscribing to a calendar is similar to the calendar import capability in GroupWise 7. Whether you want calendars of industry events, national holidays, team workspace or the schedule of your favorite sports team, the import feature made it easy for you to bring those calendars into your home view; however, that data was static. If it changed, you might not find out until it was too late. And if it was updated on a regular basis, you had to import it on a regular basis. That became a pain.

The ability to subscribe to calendars solves those problems. You can subscribe to any calendar that supports the iCal standard. (For a selection of publicly available calendars you can subscribe to, see icalshare.com). Instead of importing calendar data to your home view, you get real-time calendar data. This means that whenever changes are made to that calendar, they are automatically updated in your personal calendar. That rocks!

The calendar publishing agent in the next release of GroupWise enables you to collaborate more effectively with your contacts, wherever they are and whatever system they're using. GroupWise can dynamically generate an HTML version of any of your personal calendars and publish them as a Web service. You can publish conference room schedules, class schedules, company holiday schedules, team project calendars, or any of your personal calendars. When you publish a calendar, it's exposed as an iCal standard calendar, giving others the ability to access or subscribe to it from any iCal-supported system.

The real power of publishing and subscribing to calendars shows itself when you set up meetings with your external contacts. Free/busy searches among GroupWise users in the same system have probably saved you significant time and effort when trying to hold a face-to-face meeting or conference call; however, setting up meetings with people outside your company has often proven to be a Herculean effort, requiring you to schedule and reschedule time and again.

To solve this problem, you can simply publish your free/busy information in a calendar and provide the URL to your external contacts. They can then subscribe to it, and busy search it to schedule an appointment with you. GroupWise can auto-accept any valid appointments you receive, as well as give you the ability to accept the appointment in the calendar of your choice. And to make it easier to schedule meetings with people in other time zones, you can display two time zones side by side in your calendar. This allows you to easily see common free time and ensure that you're scheduling meetings at reasonable times for all attendees.

One last calendar enhancement is the ability to aggregate your shared calendars. This basically gives you the flexibility to overlay your personal calendars with shared calendars to give you a better overall view of everything you have going on and need to do. Figure 2

Next

  • Figure 1

    The addition of Web panels in GroupWise means that you can have your most-frequented Web sites integrated and into your home view, automatically refreshing on a regular basis your ERPs, CRMs, Web portals, Novell Teaming + Conferencing team workspaces, and other Web-based applications.

  • Figure Discussion

    Panel display settings provide a variety of options, including the ability to show panel details as a discussion thread.

  • Figure 2

    The upcoming version of GroupWise allows you to aggregate your shared calendars so you can overlay your personal calendars with shared calendars, giving you a better overall view of everything you have going on and need to do.

  • Figure Contact

    To give you a quick overview of your contacts, GroupWise will let you display your contacts in business card mode, showing you at a glance their photos and other key information.

  • Figure 3

    GroupWise enhances task management with integrated checklists and tasks, subtasks, percent complete graphical indicators, colored categories, and sorting and display filters, making it a more flexible and productivity-enhancing personal project manager.

  • Figure WebAccess

    The WebAccess client has been enhanced with scrollable lists, improved contact management, multiple calendars, drag-and-drop appointments, HTML message editing, auto-save, spell checking, quick filter, dynamic time-zone detection and a host of other new interface features.



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