In today’s business environment, it isn’t unusual for your contacts to have multiple e-mail addresses as well as multiple phone numbers. Depending on the contact management program you use, maintaining multiple e-mail addresses can be a snap or a real headache. In Microsoft Outlook, managing multiple e-mail addresses only requires using a simple drop-down menu to select the appropriate type of address. Lotus Notes users, on the other hand, are not offered a simple option to add multiple e-mail addresses to a contact. Figure A shows the Notes contact screen, which offers multiple phone number fields but only one e-mail field.

Figure A
Lotus Notes only lets you save one e-mail address per contact.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround for this dilemma: Create a group that represents the individual, assign all the person’s e-mail addresses to the group, and then use the group as the sole e-mail address in the contact. In this article, we’ll show you how to teach your users to take advantage of this handy workaround.

Creative use of groups
As we said, the key to storing multiple e-mail addresses is to use Notes’ Group capability. This feature, often used to create mailing lists, can store multiple addresses under a single heading.

Begin by opening the Notes address book. Select Group from the Create menu, or choose Groups from the left-hand navigation pane, and then click the Add Group button.

In the Group Name field, type the name of the person for whom you want to store multiple e-mail addresses. Next comes the little trick that is the key to using the group as an e-mail address in a Notes Address Book entry: Click the drop-down arrow next to the Group Type field. In the resulting dialog box, shown in Figure B, select Mail Only, indicating you’ll use it to store nothing but e-mail addresses.

Figure B
Create the entry as a mail-only group.

At this point, all you have to do is list the e-mail addresses associated with your contact in the Members field, separated by commas, as shown in Figure C. If you choose, you can enter information in the Description field. When you are finished, click Save and then Close.

Figure C
Add the e-mail addresses.

Using your new group
When you use the name of the group in the address field of an e-mail message, Notes automatically supplies all the addresses associated with that group, which is to say, that person. When creating an e-mail message, you can also click the Address action button to access your personal address book, because the groups and contacts you’ve created also appear there, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D
You can select a group, a contact, or both from your address book when addressing e-mail.

If you like, you can also assign the group name to the e-mail field in a Notes contact entry, which can contain much more information, such as postal addresses and phone numbers. If you’re still in the Groups view, you can choose Contact from the Create menu. If you’re in the Contacts view, you can also click the Add Contact action button. In the E-mail Address field, supply the name of the group you just created. That group name will appear as the contact’s e-mail address after you click Save and then Close.

Now, whenever you select the contact and click New Memo, you’ve once again automatically addressed the mail to multiple addresses, thanks to this simple process.

Notes vs. Outlook

Is Notes’ inability to easily handle multiple e-mail addresses a significant flaw? Which would you rather use: Notes or Microsoft Outlook? Post a comment or write to Gregory Harris and share your thoughts.