By Tony Patton
The days of tracking basic information like name and telephone number are over. Nowadays, people have e-mail addresses plus pager, mobile phone, work, fax, and home telephone numbers. Luckily, Lotus Notes provides an Address Book database so users can easily track this information for all of their most important contacts. Teaching users to properly take advantage of it is imperative to realizing the power of Lotus Notes
Two Address Books are better than one
One aspect of a Lotus Notes environment that may confuse users is the existence of two Address Books. First, there is a corporate-wide Address Book that contains all corporate users. This is essential for providing corporate e-mail. This Address Book is maintained by the corporate IT department, but each user also has his or her own personal Address Book.
|Lotus Notes client welcome page|
Figure A shows the standard Lotus Notes client welcome page. For those users familiar with the older Lotus Notes workspace, Figure B shows the database icon for the personal Address Book.
Figure C shows the personal Address Book opened.
The default interface, as shown in Figure C, lists Address Book entries by last name. Notice that there are two entries in the sample screen. The toolbar across the top of the view in Figure C provides one-click access to the following tasks:
- Create a new entry
- Edit an existing entry
- Delete an entry
- Access directories (This provides a search interface for the current directory and corporate Address Books as well as Internet directories (providing Internet access is available), such as Bigfoot.)
- Write a memo to highlighted entries
- Schedule a meeting with highlighted entries
- Address Book tools
Working with Address Book entries
Users need to add, edit, and delete entries to realize the power of the Address Book. Selecting the New menu button allows users to create new Address Book records.
The form in Figure D is presented when a user selects this option. This allows the user to enter name information, e-mail, and business contact information (e.g., address, telephone numbers, Web address, etc.).
Figure E, Figure F, and Figure G provide a peek at the other tabs available in Figure D (Personal, Briefcase, and Advanced).
A few fields on the form in Figure D allow the user to specify the information stored. For example, the E-mail field allows the user to select the e-mail system used by the user by selecting the icon to the right of the field label. The available e-mail system selections appear in Figure H. After selecting the e-mail system, you must supply the information required for the e-mail field. For example, Internet Mail system requires the Internet mail address while Lotus Notes requires the username and domain. In addition, the company field in Figure D allows company names to be reused. It is a keyword field that allows a company name to be selected from values already entered in the system or you can enter a completely new value.
|E-mail system selection|
The result of creating a new entry appears in Figure C. This shows two Address Book entries.
Take advantage of using a personal Address Book
Users will appreciate using their personal Address Books to centrally manage their contacts. These entries will also be available when creating e-mail messages. Lotus Notes allows the user to choose an Address Book when composing a memo. Figure I shows this feature in action. It allows the user to choose a corporate Address Book, a personal Address Book, and Internet directories.
|Composing new memo using personal Address Book|
Taking advantage of the Address Book feature ensures consistency when sending e-mail. It is a time saver; the user no longer has to remember e-mail addresses and the spelling of names. Besides, some Internet domains can be difficult to remember. In addition, the dialog box in Figure I provides type-ahead functionality. That is, you can type a portion of a user's name and the system will find the best match or matches. It scrolls to the matching entries in the Address Book.
Automatically adding new entries
Receiving e-mails from a new user or acquaintance often means you need to add them to an Address Book. Thankfully, the Lotus Notes mailbox automates this functionally by way of the Tools menu that's available when reading a mail message. Figure J demonstrates accessing this option.
Take advantage of every option
Lotus Notes is no different than any other software; it has countless options and features that put the power in the hands of a well-trained user. Teaching users to utilize the features of the personal Address Book makes it easier for them to track their important contact information.