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IBM® Lotus® Notes® is the client-type application of the Notes/Domino® client-server model that functions as the main interface of the IBM Lotus Domino server. Lotus Notes provides several integrated features such as email, instant messaging, calendar, agenda, forums, To Do list, and a full productivity suite called Lotus SymphonyTM
Here we focus on using the Notes calendar to schedule and keep track of meetings, appointments, all-day events, anniversaries, reminders, and event announcements (collectively referred to as calendar entries).
First, to open your Notes calendar, click the Open button and select Calendar (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Open --- Calendar
A window like that shown in figure 2 displays. Click the New button to see the main entry components of the Calendar:
Meeting. Schedule a meeting with others and send email invitations they can respond to (for example, accept, decline, or propose changes). Figure 2. Main entry components
Appointment. Schedule time within a day in your calendar.
All Day Event. Schedule an entire day or block of days (such as vacation time) in your calendar.
Anniversary. Add annual events such as birthdays to your calendar. Anniversary entries repeat on the same date for 10 consecutive years beginning on the date you specify (unless you click Repeat in an anniversary entry and change its duration).
Reminder. Remind yourself of something at a particular time.
Event Announcement. Schedule a meeting with others and send broadcast email invitations they can add to their calendars without having to respond to you.
To create a new Meeting, click the New button and select Meeting. The other types of calendar entries are similar in nature, but there are a differences with respect to contents, as explained above. If you need more information about the forms for the other types, consult the Notes Help or press the F1 key.
Let's now discuss the Meeting form (the most complex). When you click the option to create a Meeting, you should see a window similar to that in figure 3.
Figure 3. Meeting form
The options and fields of this form are defined as follows:
Return receipt, Sign, and Encrypt.
These three options have the same functionality as explained in the mail section, if you need more information please visit topic “5.6- Delivery Options”.
Calendar Entry Type
. This gives you the option to change the type of calendar entry you are creating without leaving this form, as shown in figure 4. If you change the type of entry, the form will change automatically.
Figure 4. Entry type options
Note that, once you create a meeting, you cannot change the original meeting into a different type of Calendar entry (for example, a meeting into an appointment), except for meetings that are saved as a draft and appointments that are created directly in the Day view of the Calendar.
To change an existing meeting into another Calendar entry type, select the meeting in the Calendar view and choose Actions --- Copy Into New --- New Calendar Entry. All of the original information, including invitees, is copied into a new form where you can change the properties.
Here you type the subject of the meeting; try to keep the subject meaningful for you and all other participants.
When Starts and Ends
. Set the date, time, and time zone when the meeting starts and ends. If you click the button below, a calendar displays, to make it easier to select the appropriate start and end dates for the meeting:
If you click the button below, a timetable displays, to make it easier to select the appropriate start and end times for the meeting:
If you click the button below, a time zone list displays, to make it easier to select the appropriate time zone for the meeting:
When you create a Calendar entry and select “Repeats”, the Repeat Options window displays (see figure 5).
Figure 5. Repeat Options window
Table 1 describes the details of the options in the above figure.
Table 1. Description of repeat options
Specify how long the Meeting repeats.
You can change the time frame for the repeating entry by doing the following:
- Specifying its start date in the Starting field.
- Selecting "to" and specifying an end date for the repeat entry.
- Selecting "continuing for" and designating a period of time (in days, weeks, months, or years) for the repeat entry to appear in the Calendar.
You can click the "If a Meeting date occurs on a weekend" button to see the options of what Lotus Notes should do if the entry falls on a weekend day.
Do not receive responses from invitees, Prevent counter-proposals, and Prevent delegation:
- Do not receive responses from invitees. Select this to send the invitation as a broadcast message. This gives recipients the option of adding it to their Calendars without prompting them to send an answer back to you.
- Prevent counter-proposals. Select this to prevent recipients from proposing different start or due dates for the invitation.
Who: Required, Optional and FYI.
- Prevent delegation. Select this to prevent recipients from sending the invitation to someone else to answer.
You should add the addresses of the people to whom you wish send an invitation in the appropriate box as shown in figure 6.
Figure 6. Who field
- Required. These people receive a meeting invitation that includes response options (Accept, Decline, Delegate, Propose new time, Tentatively Accept). They are counted as definite attendees for the purposes of scheduling rooms and resources and for suggested meeting times.
- Optional. These people are considered optional participants but do receive a meeting invitation that includes the same response options that required participants receive. The free time of Optional invitees is prioritized lower than Required invitees when Lotus Notes suggests meeting times.
- FYI. These people receive an information-only notice of the meeting. They do not have the typical response options that Required and Optional invitees have, but they are able to add the meeting to their Calendar. Other invitees cannot see the names of people you enter in this field on their invitations.
Enter text in the Location field to describe the general location of the meeting (for example, the name of the city where the meeting will take place).
In the Rooms field, enter the name of the room you want to reserve for the meeting. To add a room from an address book, click the icon to open the Rooms window. The room will be available if your Domino Administrator set up the Resources and register the rooms.
In the Resources field, enter the name of the resource you want to reserve for the meeting. To add a resource from an address book, click the icon to open the Resources dialog box. The Resources will be available if your Domino Administrator set up the Resources and registered it.
Note that, depending on how your application is set up, you may be notified automatically about the resources you have reserved. Reservations that are no longer needed can be canceled at that time.
When you click the “Category” link, you should a window similar to that in figure 7, in which you can select a category or add a custom one in the Add category field. Then click OK.
Figure 7. Categories window
Enter detailed meeting information (including text, document links, file attachments, objects, and pictures) in the Description field at the bottom of the meeting form.
Mark Private, Notify me and Mark Available.
Depending on which option you choose, it may affect how your calendar entry is displayed to others. Below we define what each of these does:
- Mark Private (Optional). Prevents people who can read your Calendar from reading the entry. People who can manage your Calendar can see the date and time, but not the contents of the entries.
- Notify me (Optional). For more information about this option, refer to the section, “6.3-Alarms/Notifications”
- Mark Available (Optional). The meeting will be marked as free time in your schedule so you will be available during this time.
After you fill out all the required fields and select all the option you wish, click the “Save and Send Invitations” button
, after which the entry displays in you calendar as shown in figure 8.
Figure 8. Meeting calendar entry
The user(s) you added in the meeting invitation should receive a message in their Notes Inbox (see figure 9).
Figure 9. Meeting invitation in user's Inbox
When users open their meeting invitation, they see a window like that shown in figure 10.
Figure 10. Meeting invitation
Let's discuss the buttons at the top of the message:
When an invitee chooses to accept an invitation to a single-instance meeting, the invitation is converted to a meeting document. This document is displayed both in the Calendar view and in the Inbox, unless the invitee has checked the preference “Remove meeting invitations from your Inbox after you have responded to them”.
After you click the Accept button, you should see the message (figure 11), the calendar entry ( figure 12), and how the chair will see your answer (figure 13).
Figure 11. Message in the Inbox after invitation is accepted
Figure 12. Entry in the Calendar after invitation is accepted
Figure 13. Message in the chair's Inbox after invitee accepts invitation
If you decline a meeting invitation, a notice is sent to the chair’s mail file, and the meeting invitation gets a thumbs-down sign in your mail file. You can opt to receive further updates about the declined meeting by checking the “Keep me informed of updates" option.
Figure 14 shows the document when a user declines a meeting invitation, and figure 15 shows how the chair will see the answer.
Figure 14. Message in the Inbox after declining the invitation
Figure 15. Answer in the chair's Inbox after invitee declines invitation
You have the following options when responding to an invitation: Tentatively Accept or Tentatively Accept with Comments, Propose New Time or Propose New Time with Comments, Delegate or Delegate with Comments, Accept with Comments, and Decline with Comments.
- Tentatively Accept or Tentatively Accept with Comments. The meeting time is kept free in your free-time schedule so others can see that you are available for meetings at the scheduled time.
- Propose New Time or Propose New Time with Comments. If Propose New Time options do not display, then the meeting chair has disabled counter-proposals for this invitation:
- Specify new start or end dates, times, or time zones.
- Click Check Schedules to check the free-time schedules of meeting participants and see if they are available at the proposed time.
- Click OK.
NOTE: To propose a new time for a repeating meeting, you must first accept the meeting, then open your calendar, open an instance of the repeating meeting, and propose a new time for it.
- Delegate or Delegate with Comments. If the delegate options do not display, then the meeting chair has disabled delegation for this invitation:
- Specify the person to whom you want to send the invitation. To select the person's name from a directory, click the down arrow in the “Who would you like to delegate this request to?” field
- Click Check Schedules to check the delegate's free-time schedule and see if the delegate is available at the meeting's time.
- Select “Keep me informed of updates,” to receive any further notices about the meeting.
- Click OK.
- Accept with Comments. The meeting time is marked busy in your free-time schedule so others can see that you are not available for meetings at the scheduled time.
NOTE: To accept some but not all instances of a repeating meeting, you must first accept the invitation. Then open your calendar, open the instances of the meeting you don't want to accept, and decline those instances.
Figure 16. Respond button options
- Decline with Comments. Select “Keep me informed of updates,” to receive any further notices about the meeting. Click OK.
You can see all the above options in figure 16.
You can send a request for more information about a meeting to the meeting's chair. You can include comments with your request for information, and add attachments and links to your comments:
- Open the meeting invitation in your Inbox or the meeting entry on your calendar.
- Click Request Information.
- Type your request.
- (Optional) Do any of the following:
a) To format comment text, click the T icon and click the format to apply. Check Calendar
b) To add graphics or attachments to your comments, click the drop-down arrow, click Graphics or Attachments, click the icon that displays, and select files to add.
c) To add a document, view, or application link to your comments, copy the link to the clipboard, click the drop-down arrow, click Links, and click the links icon that displays to paste the link.
d) Click OK.
NOTE: Requests for information about a meeting are grouped with the main meeting entry in the Grouped Entries calendar view.
. Use this option to check your schedule before responding to the invitation.
Remove from Folder.
Removes meeting invitations from your Inbox.
Note that, if you delete a meeting invitation from your Inbox rather than respond to it, Lotus Notes sends a Decline notice to the meeting chair.
Below are definitions for the fields in the meeting invitation:
Header. The “Subject of the meeting”, date and time of the meeting, and duration of the meeting.
Chair, Location and Room. The information of the “Chair of the meeting”, location and room.
Required and Optional. Who was invited to attend the meeting, and who was notified about the meeting.
Description. The information about the meeting itself, which may also contain file attachments.
NOTE: If the chair reschedules a meeting, reschedule notices are mailed to all invitees, rooms, and resources.
A calendar view groups and displays documents in a calendar format. Such views are useful for organizing documents that keep track of schedules, meetings, and appointments.
The standard views of the Notes calendar are shown in figure 17:
Open this view to see your calendar entries for the day you selected in the mini calendar (outlined in green in the figure).
Figure 17. One Day view
Open this view to see your calendar entries for the day you selected in the mini calendar and the following day, as outlined in red in figure 18.
Figure 18. Two Days view
One Work Week.
Open this view to see your calendar entries for the work week of the day in the mini calendar. When you click on a day, Lotus Notes will display the entries for the work days during that week (from Monday to Friday), as outlined in red in figure 19.
Figure 19. One Work Week view
Open this view to see your calendar entries for the week of the day you selected in the mini calendar. When you click on any day, Lotus Notes will display the entries for that week (from Monday to Sunday), as outlined in red in figure 20.
Figure 20. One Week view
Open this view to see your calendar entries for the month you selected in the mini calendar, as outlined in green in figure 21. All the entries for the selected month are selected (outlined in red).
Figure 21. One Month view
You can configure alarms and notifications to have Lotus Notes remind you of your appointments, so you never miss anything. In this section we look at the option for alarms and notifications. Next to the Alarm icon on the right-hand side of the Calendar entry is the “Notify Me” option (see figure 22).
Figure 22. Notify Me option
Select this option to see the “Alarm Notification Options” window containing several available options to remind you of the entry (see figure 23). If you wish, you can also open and edit any calendar entry to set the alarms and notifications.
Figure 23. Alarm Notification Options window
Table 2 lists the descriptions of what each option does in the above figure.
Table 2. Alarm notification options
Setting your free-time schedule
Your free-time schedule indicates the days and times that you are available for meetings, so that users scheduling meetings can see when you are available. To set this:
1. Click the More button at the top of the calendar, and then select Preferences (see figure 24).
Figure 24. More --- Preferences
2. Click the Scheduling tab; you should see a window like that shown in figure 25.
Figure 25. Scheduling tab
3. Select the appropriate time zone from the Time zone drop-down list. The default is Local time, which is your default time zone.
4. Under Day, select the days of the week you are available, and then specify the hours you are available for each selected day.
5. (Optional) Select “Check for conflicts when adding appointments, scheduling meetings, and accepting meetings,” to automatically check for conflicts when adding appointments and meetings to the calendar.
6. (Optional) If you select conflict checking, select “Note as a conflict if entry occurs outside of your available hours,” to indicate a conflict if an appointment or meeting does not occur during the free- time schedule you have specified. Click OK.
Finding users' free time
When you schedule a meeting, you can check when the availability of invitees, which is based on their free-time schedules and the entries on their calendars. If set by the Administrator, you can also find the free time for rooms and resources.
If you want to check the availability of a room or resource, you should add it to the invite in either the Rooms or Resources field. If the "Rooms/Resources" option is not available to be selected, consult your Help desk and ask if they can add it.
To check users' free time, click the “Find Available Times” tab near the bottom of the invitation (see figure 26).
Figure 26. Find Available Times tab
A window like that shown in figure 27 should display; click the Details radio button.
Figure 27. Find Available Times Details window
Drag the time bar to a desired time. If the time bar is green, then all invitees are available during the highlighted time. If the time bar is pink/red/burgundy, it means that some invitees are not available during the highlighted time.
If the time bar is gray, there is no "free time" information available for anyone. (Those invitees whose free time is not available or is restricted are considered available when computing who can attend the meeting being scheduled.)
You can also select Summary to have the scheduler suggest meeting times (see figure 28).
Figure 28. Summary window
Creating a To Do item
You can organize and prioritize tasks by creating personal To Do items, using these steps:
1. Click the Open button and select To Do (see figure 29).
Figure 29. Open --- To Do
2. Click New and select To Do (see figure 30).
Figure 30. New --- To Do
3. Type a short description in the Subject field (see figure 31).
Figure 31. Subject field
4. Optional: Do any of the following:
- Specify dates in the Due by and Start by fields.
- Select Repeats, to repeat the To Do item, and then specify repeat options.
- Select Notify Me, to set an alarm for the item, and then set alarm options. To use this option, you must first specify a due date.
- If you have given others access to your To Do list but not your mail, select Mark Private, to prevent them from reading the item. Those with access to your To Do list but not your mail can see the dates of private to do items but cannot see details of the items.
- Select a priority in the Priority field, to display a number (High = 1, Medium = 2, Low = 3, None = no number) next to the item in the To Do list.
- Select or type a category name in the Category field. You can view To Do items by category by clicking By Category in the To Do list.
5. Add any additional information about the To Do item, such as text or file attachments, to the Description field; click the Save and Close button in the top left-hand area (see figure 32).
Figure 32. Description field
- Once you save a To Do item, you cannot change whether the item repeats or not. Instead, copy the item into a new To Do item by selecting it in the To Do list and selecting Copy Into New --- To Do. Then you can choose whether or not to repeat the new To Do.
- To create a To Do from an email message, select the message, click More above the message list, and then select Copy Into New --- To Do. To create a to do item from a calendar entry, select the entry, and then select Copy Into New --- To Do.
Displaying To Do items on the calendar
You can display or hide To Do items on the calendar:
1. Select File --- Preferences, click the Calendar and To Do tab, and then click the Display subtab (see figure 33).
Figure 33. Display subtab
2. Click the Views subtab (see figure 34).
Figure 34. Views subtab
3. Select or clear Display To Do Entries in the Calendar Views window (see figure 35).
Figure 35. Display To Do Entries option
4. (Optional) Select “Display overdue To Do items on the current day.” Otherwise, they remain displayed on their due dates; click OK.
5. Once you've configured the To Do entries to be displayed, you can open your calendar and view the entries as shown in figure 36.
Figure 36. To Do item displayed on calendar