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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. Mail is one of the major features of Lotus Notes; it's the most popular way to communicate within your corporation and with other companies via the Internet.
This is the second part of a five-part article series, describing the IBM Lotus Notes mail features of archive, attention indicators, follow up, spell checking, and delivery options. The remainder of Notes mail features are covered in Part 3 of the series.
New mail, reply, forward, and draft
1. First, we need to start the Lotus Notes client. By default, Lotus Notes is located in Programs > Lotus Applications; look for “Lotus Notes 8.5” and click on it (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Lotus Notes in Applications menu
You also can look for the Notes icon on your desktop (Microsoft® Windows® version) and double-click it (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Desktop icon
2. After your Notes client is started, a window like that shown in figure 3 displays, prompting for the password of your user ID (provided one was set by your Lotus Notes/Domino administrator). Type in your password and click the Log In button, or press Enter.
Figure 3. Password prompt
3. After authenticating, you should see the Notes Home page as shown in figure 4. Click the Mail button (highlighted in red).
Figure 4. Mail button on Home page
You should see the mail Inbox, an example of which is shown in figure 5.
Figure 5. Mail Inbox example
Figure 6 shows the major email components of Lotus Notes.
Figure 6. Major Notes mail components
(highlighted in red above). Creates a new message. If you click this button you'll see the new message form (see figure 7).
Figure 7. New message form
To create an email message:
Reply and Reply to All
- Address the message by typing at least one name or email address in one of the address fields: To, Cc (carbon copy), or Bcc (blind carbon copy).
- Type a subject in the Subject field, click the message body, and type your message.
- To attach one or more files, click the paperclip icon above the message list.
- Click Send, to send the message; click Send and File, to send the message and save it in a folder; or click Save as Draft, to save a copy of the message in your Drafts view without sending it.
(highlighted in red in figure 6). You can reply to only the person who sends you a message or reply to all the recipients of the message. If you click the little black down arrow of this button, you see the options below:
- Reply with History or Reply to All with History. Sends a reply that includes the original message and all previous messages.
- Reply without Attachment(s) or Reply to All without Attachment(s). Sends a reply that includes the original message and all previous messages, except for file attachments.
- Reply or Reply to All. Sends a reply that does not include any previous messages.
- Reply with Internet-Style History or Reply to All with Internet-Style History. Sends a reply that includes the text of the original message formatted in the line length and marked with the left-margin character (> is the default) specified in your Internet mail preferences. This style of reply includes no pictures, attachments, OLE objects, or collapsible sections.
You can forward a message from your Notes mail application or a document from another application. If you click in the black down-arrow of this button, you see these options:
- Forward. Forwards the entire original message.
- Forward without Attachments. Forwards the entire original message, except for any file attachments it contains.
- Internet-Style Forward. Forwards the text of the original message formatted in the line length and marked with the left-margin character (> is the default) specified in your Internet mail preferences. This style of forwarding includes no pictures, attachments, OLE objects, or collapsible sections.
(highlighted in green in figure 6). The Inbox is the folder in which you can see all messages that arrive for you. You can sort the messages by Sender, Subject, Date and Size by clicking the respective buttons highlighted in red in figure 8.
Figure 8. Sort messages by Who, Subject, Date, and Size
(highlighted in green in figure 6). This view contains all messages saved with the option “Save as Draft”. This option is used to save any message you worked on but are not done yet, so you can save your work to finish later.
(highlighted in green in figure 6). This view contains all the messages you have sent; a copy of the message is automatically saved here. If you use the option “Send only”, Notes mail will not save copy of the message.
(highlighted in yellow in figure 6). This view contains all documents or mail, so if you don't know where you placed a message or document (folders or view), you can use this view to search for it.
Users or server administrators can copy documents in a database that meet specified criteria to an archive database, and then delete the documents from the database or reduce the sizes of the documents. When documents that meet the specified criteria are deleted from the database, replica stubs remain so that deletions can replicate if there are replicas of the database.
Users or administrators can archive documents based on days since the documents were last read, last modified, last accessed, and/or marked as expired. From the Notes client, you enable archiving and specify settings that control what happens when a database is archived.
Use this functionality specially to avoid reaching the mail database quota that was set by the Domino server Administrators and/or, if the quota is reached, you can archive messages and documents to free up space in your database.
1. If your Administrator did not set an “archive criteria” for you, select Actions --- Archive --- Create Criteria, as highlighted in red in figure 9.
Figure 9. Set archive criteria
You should see a window similar to that shown in figure 10.Figure 10. Create Archive Criteria window
Descriptive name of these archive criteria. In this field you define any name for the criteria you wish to create. We recommend choosing a name that reminds you of what criteria you set.Figure 11. Archive Selection Criteria window
Enable this criteria. This option enables the criteria you are defining. Make sure you select this option for the archive to work.
Selection Criteria. When you click this button, you should see a window like that in figure 11. Normally you use the option “not modified in more than” 60 days. If you do not have any activity in the document or message for 60 days, it's usually a good indication that you should archive it.
Here are more details on the four options in the drop-down list in figure 11 above:
- Not modified in more than. Documents that have not been edited (and then saved) for more than the length of time you specify become available for archiving.
- With expiration date older than. Documents marked as expired for longer than the length of time you specify become available for archiving. For example, you can mark a mail message for expiration from the Actions --- More menu in a mail view, or mark any document in a discussion application for expiration from the Actions menu.
- Selected by user. Documents that you manually select in the current view become available for archiving. When this option is enabled, the date settings are disabled, as is the option to select a view or folder from the list box.
NOTE: This setting applies only when Archive Selected Documents is chosen from the Actions --- Archive menu (not when Archive Now is selected). Also, when archiving selected documents, the Advanced archive setting, “Delete a document only when the criteria can delete all responses,” does not apply either.
- Older than. Documents that were created before the length of time you specify become available for archiving. Note that, in order for this option to take effect, the application you are archiving must reside on a local computer with at least a Lotus Notes 7 client or on a Domino 7 server.
2. In the same window, also select the option “In all views or folders”, so that the criteria will apply for all Notes views and folders (see figure 12).
Figure 12. In all views and folders option
3. After you set your criteria, click the OK button.
Now, let's return to the settings back in figure 10:
Copy documents into my archive application specified here, then clean up this application.
Here you define the path and the name of the archive database; we recommend using the default name provided by the Notes client.
Remove archived documents from this application.
Here you have two options; we recommend selecting the default, “Remove archived documents from this application.”
Remove archived documents from this application.
This setting deletes entire documents without changing the content of any documents.
Reduce the size of documents in this application.
This setting streamlines the content of documents instead of deleting them. You can either (1) Remove attachments, leave summary. The summary preserves certain basic fields, for example, in mail, the subject of the message. (2) Remove attachments, leave summary and 40KB. Most mail messages contain less than 40KB of rich text, so this option reduces as few documents as possible.
1. After selecting your preferred options, click OK; a window like that in figure 13 will display.
Figure 13. “Do you want to enable new criteria now” window
2. Click the Yes button; you'll then see a window like that shown in figure 14.
Figure 14. “Do you want to create an archiving schedule now” window
3. Click Yes; you'll then see an window like that shown in figure 15, in which you can customize archive settings to specify when your documents are archived and where the archive schedule is run. For example, you may want to archive only at the office on a desktop computer that has more memory than a laptop you use outside the office.
Figure 15. Archive Settings window
When your mail is set to use client-based archiving through criteria you create yourself, you have control over the schedule for archiving. Even if an administration policy has specified client-based archiving for your mail, you may still have control over the schedule, depending on how the administrator created the policy.
When your mail is set to use server-based archiving, you have no control over the schedule; archiving is performed nightly by the Domino server., and you are able to turn off your own computer without interfering with archiving.
If you use a local archive, we recommend selecting a frequency of twice a week and to run at a time when you use the Notes client the least, because it could lower the Notes performance considerably. We also recommend your running the archive schedule.
4. After you set your schedule, click OK; if you expand the Archive view, you can see the criteria you just defined, named “Archive mail database” (highlighted in red in figure 16).
Figure 16. Archive mail database
To open the archive database, just click “Archive mail database”. You can then identify the archive database by the symbol highlighted in red in figure 17.
Figure 17. Archive database symbol
You can manipulate messages and documents in the archive database like you do in the mail database, forwarding messages, replying, etc. Also, you can restore documents to the application from which they were archived, or delete the documents permanently.
To restore archived documents:
- In the application's navigation pane, click Archive, and then any set of criteria. The archive application associated with that set opens.
- Select the documents to retrieve and click Edit --- Copy or Edit --- Cut.
- Open the application and the view or folder to which you want to restore the archived documents.
- Click Edit --- Paste, to restore the archived documents.
To delete archived documents:
- Repeat Step 1 above.
- Select the documents to delete and click Delete.
- To see the deletions take effect, click View --- Refresh.
To set the archive to delete documents after an interval you select, create a set of archive criteria for the archive application, and select “Just clean up this application without archiving” in the archive criteria for the archive application.
The attention indicators feature of Lotus Notes lets you specify foreground and background colors, to easily identify messages from specific senders in your Inbox folder.
You can also display icons in your Inbox that identify messages in which you are the only recipient, a primary recipient, or a secondary recipient, based on the number of message recipients and whether your name is in the To or Cc field.
For example, you can configure the attention indicators to quickly browse through your Inbox and identify messages from your manager, from a special project you are working on, or from some other important sender that you do not want to miss.
Figure 18 shows a typical message list in your Inbox without any configured attention indicators, in which all the messages blend in and nothing stands out.
Figure 18. Typical message list
To specify colors to associate with different senders:
1. With your mail file open, click the More button above the message list and select Preferences (see figure 19).
Figure 19. More --- Preferences
2. Now select the Sender Colors tab (see figure 20). From the figure we can see how the association will work: In the Sender names field we can type a name or click the down arrow to its right, to choose a sender name from the address book and then pick background and text colors for this sender.
Figure 20. Sender Colors tab
Figure 21 shows an example of the Sender Colors configured for two different users (Jane Doe and Austin ND01). Note that you can insert one or more names for any given color combination, but you cannot enter group names.
Figure 21. Example of two Sender Colors configured
3. After clicking OK, you can see our new configuration in effect (see figure 22). The color combinations you specify for senders are displayed in your Inbox, the All Documents view, and any folders you create based on the Inbox design.
Figure 22. Sender Colors in effect
Now let's display icons that identify your recipient level:
1. With your mail file open, click again on More, select Preferences, and select the Recipient Icons tab (see figure 23).
Figure 23. Recipient Icons tab
2. In the above figure, you can select one or more recipient indicators to be displayed in your inbox according to your personal preference:
Mail sent to me only. With this option, a full circle will display, indicating that the message was addressed only to you.
Mail sent to no more than this number of recipients in the To field. With this option, a semi-circle will display, indicating that the message was addressed to, at most, X recipients in the To field, where X is the number you enter directly below it.
Mail sent to me as cc. With this option, an empty circle will display, indicating that the message was addressed to you in the Cc field.
3. To display the selected icons above when mail is addressed to you with an alternate email address or group name, specify one or more alternate addresses or group names in the field below the Display fields (the last field in figure 23).
Note that, if you:
- are the only recipient, but your name is in the Bcc field, the full circle does not display.
- change the number in the semi-circle field, the number in the empty-circle field changes to match it.
You can mark a mail message with a flag icon to indicate that the message requires follow-up action. Flagging messages places them in the Follow Up view and in the Follow Up mini-view, which you can keep open in the mail navigation pane so you can maintain awareness of those messages.
This can be quite useful when you receive a message in which you need to act but for whatever reason you may not do so right away. For example, suppose you receive an email from your manager asking you to contact someone in Accounting to get more details about a project and to get back to him, but when you call Accounting, there's no answer. In this case you can set a follow up flag on this message for a future date, to make sure you do not forget about it.
There are three follow-up preferences (via More --- Preferences) you can set (see figure 24):
Figure 24. Follow Up tab
- Default priority flag
- Default follow-up date and time
- Default alarm for flagged messages
To flag messages for follow-up with a Quick Flag:
Figure 25. Flag icon
- Select at least one message in a folder or view (other than Trash or Junk).
- Click the flag icon above the message list (see figure 25).
After the message is flagged you can see it in the Follow Up mini-view (see figure 26).
Figure 26. Follow Up mini view
- If you add a quick flag to a message, the default follow-up preferences are applied.
- To change any of the follow-up settings for a message, select the message, click the down arrow next to the flag icon above the message list, and then click Add or Edit Flag again
To flag messages for follow-up with a regular flag:
1. Select one or more messages in a folder or view (other than Trash or Junk).
2. Click the down arrow next to the flag icon, and then click Add or Edit Flag (see figure 27).
Figure 27. Add or Edit Flag
3. Select the flag priority icon to display, according to table 1.
Table 1. Flag priority options
Figure 28 shows an example in which the priority is set to High and is displayed in the Follow Up mini-view as such (see figure 29).
Figure 28. Flag for Follow Up window
Figure 29. High-priority message in Follow Up mini-view
Note that, if you sort a view or folder by the follow-up flag column, you can see messages requiring follow-up sorted by their priorities.
Another convenient feature available with Notes is the built-in ability to check the spelling for both messages and instant chats, avoiding some common mistakes and typos you may not catch even after reviewing your work. Here we discuss more specifically spell checking when composing an email.
You can check spelling in one message, or you can have Notes automatically spell check all messages for you before sending them.
To check spelling in a message before sending:
Figure 30. Tools --- Spell Check
- (Optional) To check the spelling of specific, selected text in the message, highlight the text in the body of the message.
- Select Tools --- Spell Check (see figure 30).
Let's see what happens when we perform the spell-check procedure above on the message in figure 31.
Figure 31. Example message to spell-check
Notes mail does not recognize the word “friday”, so it prompts you with the Spell Check window shown in figure 32 so you can choose the appropriate course of action.
Figure 32. Spell Check window
Table 2 shows the available options from which to choose for the unrecognized word found above.
Table 2. Available options for unrecognized word
To check spelling in a message as you type:
Select Tools --- Instant Spell Check. When Notes mail does not recognize a word, it displays a wavy red line beneath the word (see figure 33). In this example, we can see that the word “Thusrday” was not recognized.
Figure 33. Unrecognized word as you type
When you right-click on the word for more options, you'll see the option shown in figure 34.
Figure 34. Spell-check options
To spell-check all messages automatically:
When this option is selected, Lotus Notes does not check spelling as you type but checks it when you send the message:
1. Select More --- Preferences --- Spell-check messages before sending, and click OK (see figure 35).
Figure 35. Spell-check messages before sending
If you set this preference from an open message, the setting will not be in effect if you send that message, but will be in effect for future messages you send.
Setting spell-check preferences:
You set spelling preferences to specify a default dictionary language and to add any supplemental dictionaries needed. You can also set defaults for how to handle numbers, words composed of upper-case letters, or words from a language other than the default dictionary language:
1. Select File --- Preferences, and click Spell Check (see figure 36).
Figure 36. Spell Check Preferences window
You can set any of the options shown above as defined in table 3.
Table 3. Definitions of options
Switching to a different spelling dictionary:
You can switch language dictionaries when spell checking a document, but first you must install the language dictionaries from the Lotus Notes CD. The language dictionaries are recognized by the file extension DIC and are located in your Notes/Data directory. The default dictionary within North America is American English (us.dic).
You can also specify a supplemental dictionary that contains terms for a specialty, such as medicine. Lotus Notes will check this dictionary for terms in addition to your primary language dictionary.
To install all language dictionaries:
- Insert the Lotus Notes CD-ROM. If you do not have the CD, contact your administrator to find out how to install the language dictionaries.
- Select Start --- Programs --- Windows Explorer.
- Open the CD-ROM directory, and then open the Client folder.
- In the Client folder, open the Apps\Dictionaries folder and double-click dictionaries.dic.
- Enter the location of your Notes/Data directory (for example, C:\Lotus\Notes\Data), and then click Unzip.
To switch to a spelling dictionary in another language or to a supplemental dictionary:
- Select File --- Preferences ---Spell Check.
- Select the language dictionary you want as your default from the Primary Dictionary list; click Set as Default.
- (Optional) Select a supplemental dictionary.
- Click OK.