page dedicated to Lotus Notes
Compiled by Dave Wilson
- If you want to keep all your
deleted mail then you have to drag the individual messages to a folder
Trash (don’t "delete" the message). Simply marking it as deleted
and hitting F9 zaps all the marked messages AND empties your trash folder
in one swoop. (My Trash folder is permanently empty)
- And why do we have to MARK messages
as deleted? Why not have them just pop out of your Inbox when you hit the
reading a short email, Notes still insists on putting a scroll bar to the
right when it's not needed!
- Notes fails to provide horizontal
scroll bars when necessary. I suppose many users don't care what's on the
right side of their screens.
The screenshot shows an instance where 2 horizontal scroll
bars are needed. To add a horizontal scroll bar the user has to (instinctively?)
click on View > Show > Horizontal Scroll Bar.
- Sometimes Notes simply doesn’t
do what you want. This screenshot clearly shows messages which I wanted
in Date order but aren’t (hence the blue arrow in the Date column) but Notes
simply refuses to sort it. Clicking on the date multiple times has no effect
- Searching for contacts doesn’t
work. See these screenshots – a name exists in the address book “Shirley, Sheena” yet when you search for “sheena”
or “shirley” the search results don’t turn anything up.
- When you reply "with history",
the original note you're replying to ends up first being copied into the
clipboard and is then pasted into your new e-mail. Any information you had
earlier copied to the clipboard and wanted to paste into your message will
be wiped out.
- In most Windows applications the
distance you are able to scroll down is reflected by the size of the scroll
bar slider. Not in Notes it's not.
- While on the subject of scrolling,
when you open an email (memo, whatever), if your mouse has a middle wheel
you can use it to scroll up and down. However if you try to use this standard
Windows feature while viewing the contents of Inbox or your Address book
for example, the middle mouse button doesn’t work. Nothing like uniformity!
- Rescheduling meetings – if you
want to reschedule a meeting where you have invited other people, the other
people’s calendars are not updated and also they are not given an opportunity
to respond to your reschedule request.
- Keyboard shortcuts – All Windows
mail apps generally have standard shortcut keys? (eg. CTRL-S = Send). Notes
doesn’t use these, it uses ALT-1 for New Memo (and also rather confusingly
that action changes when forwarding an email for example).
- You are limited to having only
8 windows open at a time.
- When you look in your Sent Items
folder, for messages which you sent to multiple people, it only shows the
first recipient – you have to open the message to see who it was sent to.
- Windows supports Drag & Drop.
Windows applications support Drag & Drop... oh hang on, Notes doesn't.
- You can attach files to emails.
However the Attach command (or icon) only works when the cursor is in the
Body of the email. If the cursor is in any other area, the Attach File function,
while not disabled, will not work, but will instead cause the generic Notes
error message to be displayed.
- When attaching files, you’ve clicked
the Paper Clip icon and found your file. The button to click should be “Add”
shouldn’t it? In Notes it’s called “Create” – something which is misleading.
Another example of Notes trying too hard to be different.
- Need to save an attachment from
an email? I don't seem to be able to drag the attachment to the Desktop...
Now, where is the "Save Attachment" option ... oh yes it's called
"Detach" (even though the button to save it is called "Save"!).
- Shortcuts – try sending one in
Notes. Say for example you have a shortcut on your desktop and you want
to email it to someone. Click the Paper Clip icon and then choose the shortcut.
As soon as you try to attach it Notes “executes” the shortcut instead of
attaching it and instead takes you to where the shortcut is pointing.
- Notes will change the sorting
order of my messages sporadically even after quitting and reloading.
You will note in the “Date” field above that it is highlighted in blue and
pointing down. Quite clearly this indicates that the messages as sorted
with most recent at the top. Except this is not the case as you can see.
You have to click the arrow again to take off the sorting and then click
it once more to re-apply.
- On my Lotus Notes I like the Preview
pane displayed. I activate it by clicking the “View Show/Hide Preview Pane”
which is excellent… except when I close and re-open my Inbox, it hasn’t
remembered that I want it left open.
- When deleting a message from (for
example) the Sent Items folder Notes asks you if you want to delete the
item or remove them from the view. As with all Windows applications Notes
shows the “default” choice as a highlighted button (as below). You can even
move the default choice by pressing the cursor keys. However when you hit
Return you just get the error beep and nothing happens. You can’t even press
ALT and the first letter – you HAVE to use the mouse to select the button.
- I've had Notes crash a few times
on Win2k so I've terminated the application. When trying to re-load Notes
it tells me that I must log off or reboot my PC. It's damned right because
nothing else works either!
- The big square buttons in the
Workspace are unlike all other command buttons as they require a double-click
to operate. The new user, of course, is unaware of this "feature",
and clicks on the desired button and then waits for something to happen.
The only thing that happens unfortunately is that the button takes on a
The user will wait some period of time believing perhaps that the application
is processing his or her request, then likely conclude that the button doesn't
work, and clicks a different button. It is only after a considerable amount
of time, clicking all of the buttons, and some divine insight that the user
attempts a double-click.
- Once the user has figured out
the operating characteristics of the main Workspace buttons, they are then
presented a new set of buttons with a different set of operating characteristics.
The command buttons shown here operate with a single click, do not take
on a depressed appearance, and display a highlighted line to indicate which
button has been clicked.
While many users would at first glance conclude that the "arrow"
on the topmost button is an indicator that this is the currently selected
button, it is used to indicate that this is a "special" (a.k.a.
inconsistent and undesirable) type of button. Clicking on the arrow causes
the button to "open" (downward) to reveal a variety of folders.
Why the designers chose to use an arrow pointing to the right to indicate
downward movement is one of the many mysteries of this program.
- The status bar at the bottom of
the screen has tiny arrows that act as "drop-up" menus. But, they
all look greyed-out and disabled even when they aren't. You will never know
that the first 3 status menus are disabled, and the last 3 are enabled.
- You can set up Notes to automatically
display an alert when a mail comes in. Choosing "OK" will clear
the alert and do nothing else (well, you wanted to be notified, so, notified
you are). However, if you choose "OK," complete what you were
doing, and then switch to Notes a few minutes later you'll find - no mail.
The new mail is only actually collected if you choose "Open Mail".
On the other hand, if you've got the "drafts" folder of your inbox
open at the time you choose "Open Mail," nothing will happen and
the new mail will not be retrieved.
- You can not drag-and-drop recipients
from the list to the message headers. Double-clicking on a name has no effect
at all (since the difference between "to" and "cc" in
practical terms is nil and "bcc" is used only in special circumstances
the software wouldn't have to be particularly intelligent to guess at what
you want to do). Selecting a name and pressing enter not only does not put
that name into any header field, it also (through the default "OK"
button) clears away the whole dialogue box. So you have to dance in a zig-zag
between the name list and the to/cc/bcc buttons. Of course the same shortcuts
all do not work in the addresses field either, it's click on a recipient,
down to click on remove, up to click on a recipient, down to...
- The process of copying messages
is perhaps its worst interface "feature". Apparently, when mail
messages are copied from one folder to another, the message itself is not
creates a "reference" to the message. Unbeknownst to the user,
if you delete the reference, Notes will in turn delete
the message itself. Similarly, deleting the message will cause all references
to it to also be deleted.
- Setting text font properties is
another nightmare - Select the text and bring up Edit Text Properties. Change
font, color or whatever. Now look for the OK, Apply and Cancel buttons you
always find in this kind of dialog. There are none! Have the changes been
applied? Turns out yes. There is no way to undo the changes.
Jan 2004 - Cameron Hart emailed
me with his Lotus Notes pet hates;
This may be
because of the silly footer that I'm forced to put on the bottom of every
page, but when I'm editing a message and decide to select the text down
to the bottom of the page, as soon as I select past where the footer starts,
it decides to select everything on the page, including above where I started
my selection. I can't think of any reason why you would want this to happen.
This means I have to be very careful if I want to reply and edit out the
majority of the quoted message. And of course if I do accidentally make
a mistake and want to start again, I try to hit escape to cancel and then
press enter , and I've accidentally sent a blank message!
How do you tell if you've replied to
an email in your inbox and then find those messages? Outlook has a little
icon indicating if you replied, forwarded etc... and you could click to find
A. You don't.
Q. How do you get Notes to launch Internet
Explorer (or another external browser) when clicking a link instead of using
its own internal browser?
A. It’s in the “Edit current location” settings (of course) - simply
go to “Edit Current” in the bottom right.
How do I create a folder under my "Mail"
pane (along with Inbox, Trash etc...)?
From your Inbox click the Folder button
on tool bar and then Create Folder
In Outlook there was a "Notes"
facility which you could scribble stuff on little yellow post-it style things
which is VERY useful while on the phone etc. Where is it in Lotus Notes?
A. The closest you'll get is the "To Do" list.