The Lotus Notes mail database is much more than a mail client. It provides a To Do list and Calendar as well. The Calendar allows users to plan and manage their schedules. And by teaching users how to take advantage of this feature, you'll give them one more tool to help manage their daily activities.
Let's explore the basics of accessing the Calendar and creating appointments. Use this how-to information to educate your Lotus Notes users.
Viewing the Calendar
Most users access the Calendar from the Welcome page. Figure A shows the standard Welcome page presented when Lotus Notes is opened.
|Lotus Notes welcome page|
Selecting the Calendar option opens the Calendar (displayed in Figure B). The Calendar also shows a mini-Calendar in the left pane for easy navigation. Lotus calls this feature, new to Lotus Notes 6, the MiniView.
To return to the Calendar after navigating to your Inbox or other area, users can select the Calendar icon on the left side of the Lotus Notes client window, as shown in Figures A and B.
|Calendar opened from welcome page|
The Calendar is part of the mail database, so it is also easily accessed from the mail interface. When working with mail, the Calendar may be accessed via the View drop-down menu by selecting Go To. The Go To window is shown in Figure C.
|Opening Calendar from mail database|
From here, the user can choose Calendar to open the Calendar displayed in Figure D (without the MiniView). Once users have accessed the Calendar, they can manage their daily activities.
|Calendar opened from mail database|
Making an entry
Users have five Calendar entry types at their disposal. This includes the following options:
- Meeting—A gathering of multiple individuals
- Appointment—Personal engagement
- All Day Event—An occasion scheduled to consume the whole day
- Anniversary—Special day commemorating an event
- Reminder—Personal event reminder
Meeting is the default Calendar entry, but I find myself using Appointment most often. A Meeting entry allows one or more people to be invited with invitations sent by way of Lotus Notes mail. I deal with many non-Lotus Notes mail personnel, so I stick with Appointment entries. The default entry type may be chosen in the mail preferences (covered in a previous article) as displayed in Figure E.
|Accessing Calendar preferences|
Creating a new Calendar entry is as simple as clicking a button. The Schedule A Meeting and New buttons, shown in Figure D, provide a quick way to create new Calendar entries. Clicking the Schedule A Meeting button opens the window shown in Figure F.
|Creating a new meeting entry|
The New Meeting entry allows the user to specify the following information:
- Meeting attendees (both Required and Optional)
- Start date and time
- End date and time
- Signal if the meeting repeats (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, yearly)
- Meeting location
- Insert attachments, such as meeting agendas, etc.
- Meeting description
The meeting in Figure F has one Required and one Optional attendee. It is repeating, lasts one hour, and includes a brief description. Selecting the Schedule A Meeting button doesn't limit the user to only meeting creation. The Calendar entry type may be changed via the Calendar entry section shown in Figure F. The down arrow next to the chosen type (Figure G) may be selected to change it.
|Changing Calendar entry type|
Figure H shows the Meeting entry changed to an Appointment entry. An Appointment entry resembles a Meeting, but it has no attendees beyond the user.
|Creating a new appointment entry|
Figure I shows the new appointment saved and appearing in the Calendar (monthly view). The appointment subject appears in the Calendar day. The sample subject was too long to appear in the small box, but the full subject appears when you mouse over the entry.
|Appointment appearing in Calendar|
The Notify Me option, shown in both Figures H and F, allows users to designate whether they should be notified of upcoming or due schedule entries. The notification options include receiving an e-mail, a visual alarm (popup window), or an audible signal.
Organization fosters productivity
A knowledgeable worker is better trained to take advantage of the tools at their disposal, such as Lotus Notes Calendar. By providing users with the proper information about these tools, you can reduce the number of support calls. Users can find answers to their own questions and share that information with coworkers when similar questions arise.