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Tips for mail
The tips differ depending on whether you are coming from Outlook 2003 and 2007 or Outlook 2010. Here is an overview of what we'll cover, with detailed instructions following:
- Change the Inbox sorting order to have most recent on top
- Set key mail preferences
- Automatically close the original mail when you reply or forward
- Allow others to automatically recall mail they send to you
- Choose to always see the images in emails sent over the internet (remote images), which is less secure than reading the messages without the images.
- Set a preference so that dragging a message to the desktop saves it as an .eml file
- Move mail to folders
- Keep your mail on the server, or make a local copy
- Use the All Documents view
- Refining the results when you address mail and get a type-ahead list (see the Contacts section for this information)
Change the Inbox sorting order to have most recent on top
Open the inbox; by default the Preview pane is on the side. Find the "Sort by " label above the inbox, click it, and choose "Sort by Date". This choice should be retained between sessions.
Set key mail preferences
Your administrator has the option of pushing certain preferences to you by using a policy. Thus, some of the preferences in this section might already be set. Also, the administrator can "lock" the policy, which means that you cannot change it. IF a policy is locked, then you either do not see the option at all, or you see it and it is disabled (greyed out) and there is nothing you can do to enable it.
Automatically close the original email when you reply or forward
To do this, follow these steps:
- Select File --- Preferences, and click Mail in the preferences tree.
- Ensure that the Mail tab, Basics subtab is showing.
- Under Message Options, check the option, Automatically close original e-mail when replying/forwarding (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Message Options section of Mail Preferences window
Allow others to automatically recall mail they send to you
You may not have had the option to recall mail when you used Outlook, but as a Lotus Notes user you can recall mail if you administrator has turned on the capability at the server.
You may want to enable the ability for others to recall mail they sent to you, so that you do not waste time reading mail that is obsolete. To do so, in the Mail tab, Basics subtab, in the View and Folder Management section, check the option, Allow others to recall mail sent to me (see figure 2).
Figure 2. View and Folder Management section of Mail Preferences window
Choose whether to show remote images in emails
Pictures contained in Internet mail are called remote images. The default for this preference is off; that is, remote images are not shown without your permission (though your system administrator might have changed the default, or even "locked" the preference so that you must always grant permission.)
If the preference is not locked, you can choose to always show remote images by selecting File -- Preferences -- Mail -- Internet, and under the Image Security section, checking OFF the checkbox labeled "To ensure privacy, do not show remote images without my permission" (see figure 3).
Figure 3. Internet preferences window
Set a preference to save dragged and dropped messages as .eml files
You can either set a preference, or, the first time you drag a message to the desktop, you will be prompted whether you want "drag and drop" to save the message as an .eml file or simply as a shortcut to the message.
If you are not prompted, then your administrator has set a policy to do one or the other. If the administrator has not locked the preference, you can set it by using these steps:
- Select File -- Preferences -- Basic Notes Client Configuration.
- In the Additional options section, scroll to the bottom, and check "Drag and drop saves as eml file" (see figure 4).
Figure 4. Basic Notes Client Configuration window
Moving mail to folders
Lotus Notes does not have the concept of "Favorite folders" directly under the Inbox; instead, folders are always put in alphabetical order (with numbers coming before letters). Thus, if you want to keep a folder at the top of your folder list, consider putting a 1 or other number in front of it. If the folder becomes less important, remove the number, or put a Z in front of it to have it go to the bottom of the folder list.
Keeping your mail on the server, or making a local copy
Your administrator might have made an organization-wide decision about whether you always keep all your mail on the server, whether you are allowed to make it available offline (Notes calls this making a “local replica”), or whether a local replica is created automatically for you.
If you are using Notes 8.5.2, and if your administrator is using "Managed replicas," then sending and receiving your Notes mail should feel pretty much the same as it did with Outlook (the only way to tell if you are using a managed replica is to ask your Help desk).
If you are not using a managed replica, and if your organization allows it, you can make your mail available offline by choosing File -- Application -- Make Available Offline, and completing the dialog box (see figure 5).
Figure 5. Make Available Offline window
If you want to work from your offline copy (local replica), make sure you set up a Replication/Sync schedule so that mail is sent from the server to your local computer at a regular interval (see figure 6).
Figure 6. Replication/Sync schedule window
Using the All Documents view for searches
Notes mail has a choice for an All Documents view in the left-hand navigator. Select this view if you want to find or search for anything in your Inbox or Sent views, or in any folder (see figure 7). You can also use the "Search all Mail" toolbar option choice in the upper right-hand corner to do the same thing.
Figure 7. Notes mail left-hand navigator
Tips for Calendar
You can either set some preferences or email your calendar to someone (that is, send them a snapshot of your calendar).
Here are the key preferences you should set:
- Your working hours so that the Find Available Time feature (called "Scheduling assistant," in Outlook) is accurate.
- Display preferences.
- Enable Display new (unprocessed) notices (this allows unaccepted meeting invitations to appear in the proper time slot in your calendar).
- Enable "Process Cancelled meetings automatically" (this means you no longer need to open each cancellation mail message and click it to process the cancellation), and then choose whether to remove them from the calendar or show as cancelled.
- Choose whether to display To Do entries in your calendar.
- Automatic conference call numbers.
Set your working hours
To set your working hours:
- Select Files -- Preferences -- Calendar and To Do, and then select the Scheduling tab.
- Select (place a check mark in) the days of the week you work and specify your working hours (see figure 8).
Figure 8. Scheduling tab of Calendar and To Do window
Set display preferences
As shown in figure 9, from the Views tab, enable preferences for what you want see in your calendar display:
- Display new (unprocessed) notices
- Process cancelled meetings automatically
- Display To Do entries
Figure 9. Display tab of Calendar and To Do window
Figure 10 illustrates what the calendar (in Time Slot view) looks like if you set the above preferences.
Figure 10. Calendar Time Slot view
Set Automatic conference call numbers
Many Outlook users simply add the conference call information to the Location field, but Lotus Notes has a specific preference just for conference call numbers. To set automatic conference call numbers, in the Entries tab of the Calendar and To Do window, enter your conference call number and passcode in the Conference Call Information section (see figure 11).
Figure 11. Entries tab of Calendar and To Do window
After you save the conference call information preference, whenever you schedule a meeting, you'll see a check box in the new meeting form. Simply check it to include the call information in the calendar invitation (see figure 12).
Figure 12. Meeting Invitation form
E-mail your calendar (send someone a snapshot of your calendar)
To send someone a snapshot of your calendar:
- From Calendar, select File -- Print.
- On the Print Calendar window, select "Print calendar to a document"; there are a couple formats from which you can choose (see figure 13).
- Click Preview.
Figure 13. Print Calendar window
3. In the Preview window, click the Forward button (see figure 14). A message opens with the calendar in the body of the mail.
Figure 14. Preview window
Note that, if you added other people's calendars (or Calendar Feeds) to your calendar display, those calendars will not appear.
Tips for Contacts
You can set up Recent Contacts so that you have the most effective type-ahead results when you address mail or calendar entries.
If you open Contacts, you'll see a choice for Recent Contacts. This view contains a list of people who you send mail to, and who send mail to you. Your administrator also has a policy to turn on or off the Recent Contacts, so if you see no choice for Recent Contacts, then the administrator has probably turned it off.
Figure 15. Recent Contacts view
As noted above, Recent Contacts are used to populate the type-ahead (also sometimes called auto-complete) when you address mail and calendar entries (see figure 16).
Figure 16. Type-ahead example
If the administrator has not turned off Recent Contacts, you can set some preferences for whether this list is ONLY people to whom you send mail, or if it includes other options. To do this:
- Select File -- Preferences, and select Contacts from the list on the left-hand side.
- Locate the check box for "Do not automatically add" and check it on.
- Then choose what NOT to add (see figure 17).
Figure 17. Contacts preferences window
General tips for across the Notes Client
Here are some other things you can do:
- Set Mail (the Inbox) as your home page (so that it comes up first when you launch Notes).
- Get to Mail, Calendar, and Contacts in one click.
- Set a preference to open each mail message and calendar entry in its own window (like Outlook does).
Set mail (the inbox) as your home page
Your administrator might have chosen a home page and locked that choice. However, if you are able to set a different page as the home page:
- Click the Open button, find the choice for mail, and then right-click to post the context menu.
- Choose the menu item Set Bookmark as Home Page (see figure 18).
Figure 18. Set Bookmark as Home Page option
Get at Mail, Calendar, Contacts in one click
To create icons, one each for Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, simply right-click the Open button and choose Dock the Open list (see figure 19). Doing this removes the Open button and replaces it with a column of icons. You'll see one for Mail, another for Calendar, another for Contacts, and so on.
Figure 19. Dock the Open List option
Set a preference to open each mail message and calendar entry in its own window
To have each mail message open in its own window (the way Outlook does):
- Select File -- Preferences, and choose Window Management.
- Then in the Window Management section of the preference page, choose the radio button for "Open each document in its own window" (see figure 20).
Figure 20. Windows and Themes window
This article has provided helpful tips to make it easier for former Microsoft Outlook users to transition to using Lotus Notes version 8.5.2. If users–-or their administrators–-take the time to set a few preferences and policies, then former Outlook users can be more productive Lotus Notes users even more quickly.
Read the developerWorks article, “How to set up IBM Lotus Notes V8 for Microsoft Outlook users”
Visit the author's blog, www.NotesDesignBlog.com.
Refer to the Lotus Domino 8 Administrator Help.
Refer to the developerWorks product page for IBM Lotus Notes and Domino.
Refer to the Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, and Lotus Domino Designer Release Notes.
About the author
Mary Beth Raven is passionate about involving users in the design of collaboration tools and using social media to engage as many users as possible. She has worked on the design of Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, and plug-ins for Connections. She is based at IBM's Littleton, MA facility, and loves to travel, especially to visit customers. She holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. You can reach Mary Beth at email@example.com.