Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Friday, September 8th, 2006
Why are people so passionate about their e-mail platform of choice? And, if they had the choice - as opposed to Management/IT choosing for them what would they choose, and why?

I can see it now...  I'm MS Outlook and I'm Lotus Notes...  I'm not trying to start another Mac vs PC type battle, but I am interested to know what people prefer and why.

Rod Boothby's asking three questions about preferences in e-mail tools, specifically, Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook.
  • Do you use Notes? If so, how do you like (or hate) it?
  • Do you use Outlook? If so, same love/hate question.
  • If you got to choose, what would you have your company use? Notes? Outlook? Web mail?
One commenter on Rod's blog, Gary Petersen, had this to say:
I've used both. From the perspective of email, I'm somewhat split as both clients work well. Lotus Notes has a clear strength, however, in its use of message databases that can easily be programmed to build in workflow tasks, like routing a document for approval and revision control. I much prefer it for that reason.

This is in stark contrast to last night's podcast in which I shared that my Union Bank CSR told me that she hates Lotus Notes. (However, she did tell me that she prefers MS Word. That's like saying "I don't need an adding machine, I have a typewriter.") But I digress.

It's no secret that Lotus Notes is my preferred e-mail client. Not because it's the prettiest e-mail client - I think Outlook has some great views - but because it is flexible and can be readily adapted to my GTD work style. I really like the way that the Notes client easily integrates with all of my Notes databases and personal knowledge management repositories. In fact,many years ago, I chose to build my eProductivity suite using Lotus Notes in order to tap the power of Lotus Notes as a tool for getting things done.

You may have a different opinion/experience, and I hope you'll share it here.

Be sure to visit Rod's innovation Creators blog to answer his questions and view the results.

via. Marc Orchant

Discussion/Comments (28):

Mark (): 9/9/2006 8:40:52 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I've used Notes for a long time and I really like the replication and database capabilities. That said, I recently jumped at the chance to change over to Outlook 2003 when I found out it was possible. Why? I think the biggest reason is that I work at a remote design center where about 40 engineers share a T1 link and the Notes server is located at our main office 1000 miles away. The latency made Notes the application I loved to hate. Since Outlook is a little more independent (via IMAP) it seems to run faster. Sending mail is instant (unless I have to do an address lookup) since it goes in the background. Notes just locks up for the duration (which can be a while when sending a 1MB+ file). Our Notes client was v4.5 so Outlook offers a lot more functionality (drag email to calendar or task list), multiple message flags, sync with my phone for no extra cost, integration with OneNote on my tablet, multiple window interface and I don't have to convince my manager to pay for a designer license and learn how Notes works internally to customize the views. Perhaps the latest version of Notes addresses some of these (and other) issues but I'll never try it since our entire company is switching to Outlook this year.

Eric Mack (www.ericmackonline.com): 9/9/2006 8:55:01 PM
Lotus Notes 4.5 vs Outlook 2003. Not apples & apples.


Notes 4.5! Wow. Although it runs well, I've not come across that version in production in many years. Indeed, background services are more limited in that very old version. I have many clients that work remotely from their Notes servers over very slow links. In these instances, I advise them to select "On LOCAL" for their databases. This way, they do not notice any delay and replications can happen in the background. I agree that IBM has a missed opportunity buy not providing a designer-lite client as part of Notes to encourage more folks to explore the power of Notes. Notes 7.x is definitely worth a look. Many features have been added since the 4.x days. The next time I hear someone complain about Notes in comparison to another product (e.g. Outlook) , I'll remember to ask what version. Even MS Outlook 2000 is substantially different from the current Outlook offerings.

Alan (): 9/21/2006 6:29:12 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I used Lotus Notes for several years when I started at Accenture in the late 90s. It was a welcome relief when we switched to Outlook in 2003. For me Outlook just works better. Easier interface, easier syncing with mobile devices, more widely used. Maybe I'm missing something, but I have a hard time understanding how Notes survives; even the newer versions still have a clunky interface, complicated menus, and just can't do certain things. For example - ever tried to forward a meeting invitation from someone else to someone you want include in the meeting (a common occurence in Outlook) - can't be done in Notes. Just ask them to add it manually and hope the time doesn't change. As for databases, I don't get the advantage. It was great when we finally migrated all of our thousands of Notes knowledgebases onto an intranet. Who wants to search through databases then go through the process of adding it to your workspace, replicating it, etc. Much easier to use a browser.

Well, I thought I had left all that behind - Imagine my horror when I changed jobs earlier this year only to find my new company uses Notes v6. Not only did I have to go back all the inconveniences of Notes, but I suddenly lost the ability to wirelessly sync my email and calendar on my Treo to an Exchange server. Long story short, I've gone back to Outlook/Exchange on my own. After much searching, I found a low cost Exchange server solution where I forward my email from Notes. I put up with a minor amount of dual calendar maintenance. At least I can work primarily in Outlook and get mail on my Treo.

Maybe I'm missing something with Notes. I love David Allen and GTD; but Notes is one thing I can't agree with him on (has he never seen Outlook? ;) On that topic though, I find it odd that David and company use Notes, but there's no Notes add-in similar to the Outlook product. I don't find the Outlook add-in necessary. It's Notes users that could really benefit - Eric - I've read about your Notes template - any plans to market it to individuals?

Marc Rolan Manansala (): 9/30/2006 12:23:13 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook ( Mobile Sync )

Well about all lotus notes, actually its really sucks when you are very used to MS Outlook.

Like you Alan i have a problem as same as yours, but i have a solution to sync your mobile device without an extra cost.

All you need to have is an License Version of MS Outlook 2002 or 2003, ( Because it doesnt work on MS 2000 )

And then the dreaded Lotus Notes Client.

Must have an ID file or you have to be a client user first.

find on microsoft website.or on google.

go find Outlook connector for Domino Servers.

Its a genuwine download so your copy must be a licensed one.

Whoa after that , What a relief...

but you've always have to compact your mailfile using your lotus notes client.

Right now im using MS Outlook 2003 while im connected to a Domino server, Mobile device is all sync, i only use my lotus notes client when i need to use an Instant Messenger,

but theres already a goodnews for us outlook users that needs to access IM without going to Lotus Notes Client.

Outlook Users Can Access Lotus IM With New TeamMessenger 2.0. But its not for free.

try to find it on google and see for your self, it has 15 day trial version.

Good Luck ! Mabuhay Pilipinas ! NOYPI ASTIG.

Radu Cadariu (http://cadariu.blogspot.com): 9/30/2006 2:34:09 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Do NOT compare apples with oranges. If you want only mail (calendaring and contacts), then go for Outlook. If you want document management, workflow and quite complicated stuff, then ... have a look at Lotus/Domino.

btw, this comparison you're making should be done between Lotus/Domino and Sharepoint, though I'm not quite sure what it takes for an enterprise to have mail (Exchange servers) AND Sharepoint, just to be able to start comparing with Domino on all functionalities.

As for 4.5 Lotus comparing with Outlook 2003 ... LOL. No wonder Lotus is being seen as bad messaging client by users. Here's why:

Microsoft's strategy is to demand new hardware when software is upgraded (see the Exchange 5.5 vs Exchange 2000/Active Directory, and recently Exchange 2003). IBM does not require new hardware. Your old linux machine can run an old Lotus 4.5 server for decades. Upgrading to Domino 6/7 can be done on the same old hardware. So, admins and IT management prefers to let it run as they are, no upgrading no nothing, since it does not require new hardware. It only requires human resources (planning, learning) and nothing else.

What that fellow experienced switching from Lotus 4.5 to Outlook 2003 is not his fault, it's the fault of his enterprise, not being "forced" to purchase new hardware in order to run Domino 5, 6 and the later 7.



Martin (): 11/17/2006 9:24:27 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I have time to surf on the net and write comments because I am trying to have this famous replication to work...

I had to switch to Lotus Notes 3 years ago as it is the standard in my new company. Without any a priori because I never heard about LN before.

Sorry to say that I immediatly regretted Outlook. LN is probably very powerful but for a normal engineer who only wants to read emails in diferent places and exchange documents it's a nightmare!!!

I am seriously thinking in redirecting emails and using a "normal" email software.

We are using LN 6.5 with a Nokia VPN link.

First of all, the menus are incredibly unfriendly, I never remember how to do simple thinks, the magic "click-right" is useless. The last very bad surprise is that I am now working in a diferent country with a bad internet access. Working directly with server is so slow... The replication is almost impossible.

I have been told that my box is full so I am now trying to delete big files attached to emails. I did it locally but they came back after synchronisation!!! Horrified, I discovered that the username.nsf is a 300Mo file!!! How is it possible to handle such a big file efficiently?

I will, again, delete attached files, create a new replica when I will have a good connection at home.

Thank you for your initiative.

Eric Mack (www.ericmackonline.com): 11/20/2006 11:55:14 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Martin, sorry to hear of your challenges with Lotus Notes. Seems that folks have a love/hate perspective of the product. My experience is that the negative views of Notes most often come from people who have the unfortunate experience of:

A) working for a company that does not provide adequate training in how to use Notes for maximum efficiency, and/or

B) working for a company that imposes restrictions on the use of the system that destroy a user's trust (e.g. purging everything in the email DB after 90 days, including tasks and calendar)

Thanks for your comment. Eric

Martin (): 11/21/2006 10:32:46 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

For sure, I would hate a car which I can't drive without an user manual:-) I think I never needed any training for using office tools. I'm not looking for sophisticated features, I just need a friendly email tool.

Finally, I solved my problem by creating a new replica, it took 4h at home. By the way, another irritating feature of LN: it’s quite often frozen, empty window, when downloading or playing with replica. Never saw that with

Outlook (and I’m not a fan of MS).


RodT (): 11/21/2006 2:53:08 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

My organisation has just converted from Notes 5 to Outlook. My desktop was refreshed a week ago.

Notes mail is fully functional, and does just about everything you need. It's easy to use, but has some of the strangest UI quirks of any product I've ever used. It was an old version, but I think newer ones are similar.

In the main I prefer Outlook mail, but to my surprise there's a couple of small useability things that are better in Notes.

The big issue for us is NOTES APPLICATIONS. We have a gazillion, and Outlook on its own cannot replace this functionality.

Ergo we also acquired MS Sharepoint. In our situation there is no way you could consider moving to Outlook without the means to build those little office workflow applications that are so easy in Notes.

We're not very far in at this stage, so I don't know how this decision will bite.

Eric Mack (www.ericmackonline.com): 11/21/2006 3:32:01 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Rod, I agree that the Notes UI has some quirks. Like you, my clients and I see the tremendous power that Notes offers with Notes Applications. In the past 20 years, I've yet to find an app that can match this functionality. (For non-Notes users who may be reading, I know this is hard to believe; you have to see it...) Even with the quirks in the Notes UI, I still find Notes more efficient for me. Of course, since Notes can be easily customized, I can add anything I want, which is how I came to create my eProductivity Template for Lotus Notes several years ago. (http://www.eproductivity.com) this grew out of my work with several clients who wanted to implement GTD in Lotus Notes.

Best of success to you!

Mike Brown (): 12/8/2006 9:40:49 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I've used both Notes and Outlook (and MCI Mail and Vax Mail and PROFS and a few others over the years....)

I must admit I haven't found the best mail client for myself. I use Yahoo Mail and Gmail, but the former's UI is aging (I don't like the beta Yahoo Mail) and I don't get the tagging in the latter. Ah me.

Outlook was a tremendously powerful product that, if you worked in a Msft shop, made the connections between UI and OS pretty seamless, which was welcome. But Outlook had *so many* options that I loved David Allens' guide to dumbing down the interface.

Notes doesn't have the bewildering options of Outlook but it tends to be an enterprise solution and, at least in the places I've worked (4 so far) that used Notes, they've all locked the UI down so I can't create custom views of my email or alter the views I am allowed to use. I'd love to create a custom view so I could see all emails from a specific person, but no can do. They've also turned off indexing on our mail files, perhaps for good reason, but there goes any type of flexible searching.

Notes users are at the mercy of their administrators.

I loved Outlook's threaded conversation view that could be applied to folders. I can't do that in Notes and it's damn annoying. All I have is a view of threaded mails for **all the mails in my nsf file**, which is not helpful at all. That email thread from last year is down there, somewhere.

I still get confused about whether I'm in a view or a document and what commands or buttons are enabled. (I always have to remember that email for Notes is a database application, not a true and flexible email client like Eudora or Thunderbird.)

Why have a magnifying glass *and* binoculars next to each other on the toolbar? I always click the wrong one.

Both clients have problems with mail files that grow too large. I can only do a single-level search, nothing too sophisticated in Notes, so I tend to use brute force searching when I need to find something (or maybe it's in my archive file -- so now I have 2 places I need to search for stuff).

The last company I was at did try to use Notes databases for projects, shared documents, etc. which lent a little more order than the shared folders of the Msft shop. Shared folders did get real messy. But then, so did the Notes databases after a while; and in an international company, how do you know where to locate a database that might have information you need? And then you need to find the database's owner and get access to it...Oy.

I was at Glaxo (Outlook) when it was taken over by SmithKline (Notes), and Notes was imposed with howls of pain and disgust on the Glaxo folks. We hated it mainly because we had finally figured out how to get Outlook to do (or not do) what we wanted. It was comfortable. Then with Notes we were on track for another years-long slog of learning a new essential app. Most people just stuck with the basics, and Notes is probably OK for that. But I never saw what I considered to be sophisticated usage of Notes by the rank and file.

At my current job, also a Notes shop, I've startled people by creating some document databases, including links to those documents in emails, and doing very basic stuff I learned from my time at Glaxo that's proven to be useful here. But I still am restricted by the Notes administrators so I can't customize the database the way I think it would work best. And Notes is really seen only as an email client by the rank and file, who still send out dozens of emails instead of clustering their messages around a single database. There's no sense of a document flow.

That's not Notes' fault, of course, but, for whatever reason, Notes doesn't inspire ideas in people. They see a mail client, a decent calendar, a to do list that I've never known anyone to use, a journal that I only started using based on David Allen's Notes guide but that I have to consciously remember that I have, and so on.

Sorry for the long post. Short answer: they're both complicated and it depends on what you imprinted on first, probably, and what makes sense to you. I actually used Notes back in the mid-90s, but no one at Ziff-Davis really liked using it. I used Outlook for the first time a few years later and it made a little more sense to me (maybe its resemblance to the other Office products made it feel more familiar).

Outlook, as administered when I used it, was so wide open and customizable I felt like I was dropped in a big field and had to find my way out on my own. with Notes, I feel like I'm in a very confined room where I can barely stand up straight and, if I hold my breath, I can turn around.

Neither option is much fun; email clients are necessary evils.

Tim Berman (http://www.bwsolutions.net.au): 12/6/2006 4:05:22 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I have worked with Lotus Notes for almost 2 years now and still think it is arcaic compared to Outlook. I have gotten over the "learning curve", but the thing is why is there a learning curve? Why do people put up with it?

The argument that it provides a great overall environment for collaboration/workflow/complicated tasks is ridiculous. It feels like trying to hack a Nintendo Entertainment System to do professional work. It can do it but the results are never polished, streamlined or intuitive.

I think Lotus Notes is something that appeals to people that like to work in one piece of software. That is an arcaic way of working nowadays. You should use an email client for email, and other professional tools for the tasks they are designed for. The results will be far superior. And you will actually be able to share your work with others who aren't stuck in your own personal insane working environment!

Eric Mack (www.ericmackonline.com): 12/7/2006 3:27:27 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I suppose it's all a matter of perspective, Tim.

Either way, I thank you for your comments, which are welcome.


Bill Birt Sr. (): 2/14/2007 2:29:46 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I too used Notes for two years and went to several developer classes as we were challenged with design of a internal Intranet. My previous company was a total Microsoft shop so the change was painful to say the least. Notes appears to be an acceptable tool for email, but lacks from a developers perspective. Trying to design WEB applications using Domino compared to Visual Studio.net ... well that should suffice.

We have issues with the Microsoft family of products as anyone who really uses them does, but we had limitations with the Lotus products where we reached a ceiling and could do nothing about it. Java had to be written in the middle tier, the database had to be full text index for searches, Active X controls could not be used, Javascript only was the page language.

Nothing is perfect in this life and notes has it's place, but I prefer to use Outlook and SQL Server as it seems to meet the needs we currently embrace.

Steve (): 11/1/2007 6:34:35 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I Think it us not a fair comparison when talking about Notes e-mail and Outlook. Lotus Notes in NOT an e-mail application. It is a productivity solution designed for enterprise organizations. This is why none of us go to CompUSA or Staples and buy Lotus Notes for e-mail. The messaging part of Notes is one percent of the application. When your company buys Lotus Notes with Domino (the server side component), they are looking for a collabrative productivity tool. Collaboration is not just e-mail, and productivy is not just attaching an Excel sheet to an e-mail, or forwarding someone else's meeting invitation. Lotus Notes has the capability to rapidly deploy custom applications, which seemlessly integrate with messaging (e-mail). You can't do that with Outlook. (You would need MS SQL and Access).

So if we're strictly talking e-mail, then Outlook is a superior product because well, that's all it does. So everything in Outlook makes sense to users who only do e-mail. The interface of Notes is not intuitive to many because for one, all they ever used was Outlook, so they expect the rest of the computing world to work the same way (This is a testimony to the Microsoft monster), and the other is they don't realize they are not using an e-mail program, they are using a database workflow application with messaging capabilities.

There are of course things that Notes doesn't do well. It's database structure is document based, not tabular (like SQL). This makes searching more cumbersome, because all of the documents need to be indexed first. In an SQL environment, the SELECT method of retreiving data is a breeze because of it's tabular structure. Anyway, just remember when we're talking about Lotus Notes, we're not really talking about an e-mail program.

Greg Edwards (http://gregsedwards.spaces.live.com): 1/23/2008 7:44:28 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I'm a corporate trainer. As an email/calendar/contacts client (and I've used quite a few), I have to say that Lotus Notes is among the worst. And that's counting GroupWise.

I'm sure it's an amazing database application, but most folks just want a standardized, efficient, and user-friendly email application that integrates nicely with their other office productivity software (which, for the vast majority of us, is Microsoft Office).

I keep hearing about these miraculous workflow applications that Notes supports, but to add insult to injury, I don't think we use any of them anymore. Most people at my organization have moved to our intranet portal for discussions and document sharing.

Besides, most people want something that's simple to use. A complex tool is wasted on an office where the majority of people think workflow is a network share full of spreadsheets.

The email interface is just a nightmare. Granted, I haven't seen the wonderous new Hannover version, but release 7 leaves a lot to be desired. A big selling point of our upgrade from release 5 was support for the scroll wheel; no joke. There must've been 3 different engineers who worked on the interface, because there are at least as many different places you have to remember to look for various settings and options (File > Preferences, File > Security, and let's not forget Actions > Tools > Preferences).

Commands are replicated in the most bizzare places. For instance, to create a new memo, you can click File > New > Memo, or Create > Mail > Memo, the New Memo button in your inbox, the New Memo button in the memo, or there's that toolbar button that looks like dogs playing poker... But how about Ctrl + N? No, that gives you a new database.

Try explaining that to a new user: well, you see, Lotus Notes is actually a relational database management system that just thinks it's an email application. The program's motto should be "I just want to be your everything."

In most places, the right-click menu looks like someone swept up the floor and just threw everything into a pile (except the one command you really need). No organization is present (why is forward way up there, but reply is way down here?)

The simplest things, like inserting an image or adding a table, take forever. Case in point, consider how complicated it is to create a hyperlink in a Notes "memo." In most apps, you just type the URL, and it's automatically converted to a hyperlink. In Notes, I have to type the address, select the address, copy it to the clipboard, manually insert a hotspot (Create > Hotspot > Link Hotspot), paste the address in the properties window, and then add an underline to make it resemble like a hyperlink. What, what was I doing?

Finally, there's the issue of compatibility (in that Notes is not particularly comptible with the rest of the world).

Ever send a fancy, HTML-based email to a Lotus Notes user? If so, you wasted a lot of time on formatting and probably frustrated the hell out of your recipient, 'cause it'll look like crap when viewed in Notes. External linked images? Forget about it. I think LN was the sole reason that "having trouble reading this message? Click here" was invented.

Ever get an email from a Notes user? It looks like someone emailed you a text file. That clever signature card that looked so good in Notes? Converted to an attachment and stuck to the bottom of the message, after the disclaimer that you adminstrator automatically appended (you know, the one that's appended every time you forward a message, so there are 12 of them at the bottom of the message by the time it gets to you).

When I get a Notes-based email from somebody, I want to send them a care package, or make a donation to a fund somewhere. I just feel bad for them.

And that's just the email client. Little stuff, granted, but it adds up. It's like death by a thousand paper cuts.

So, I'm forced to use the Lotus Notes client, at least for the forseeable future. I've tried almost everything to escape the oppression: Outlook Connector, email forwarding to a non-Notes service, DAMO, hunger strike...nothing seems to get the job done.

I'm open to any feedback. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

- Greg

Marcell (): 3/9/2008 4:55:53 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I am also amongst those unfortunate who has to use LN daily. Yes, I use LN 7.x. If we compare solely the LN email client to any other email client, I cannot imagine that anything could be worse than Lotus Notes. The things that are most frustrating to me are:

- Simply cannot use it as a text only email editor. It is always rich text, no matter what.

- Following from the above, if I reply to an email and try to embed my comments, many times text formatting is just inherited and no way I can change that.

- Resending an email already sent? Hahaha... I am trying to find that command for 3 years now.

- Flagging an email, for follow up? It might be there, but just could not figure out how.

- Oh, this is a real perl. If you want to copy the sender's email address from a received email, you simply cannot. You can select the text, but the copy does not work.

- Why do I always have to "restore" an email from the Trash folder before being able to work with it? For the life of me I do not understand.

- Oh, another killer lack of feature: Have you ever tried to text search the content of the emails in a folder/view? I got as far as searching the subject, but could not figure out how to search the content. If it is possible, please somebody tell me how!!!

- Can you select a number of emails by clicking on the first, scrolling down to the last, pressing shift and clicking on it? NO! Why should it work the same way as any other app in the Universe?

- Customise your views like adding the time received to the columns? Well, there you send your request to Internal Support. Maybe in a few months time, if ever...

- really cumbersome and hard to maintain filtering rules. Filtering is also lacking a lot of standard features available e.g. in Outlook.

- You can never count 100% on the fact that a meeting updates are handled correctly. You move a meeting, it might just disappear from yours or the other's calendar.

All in all, the most usable features that are standard in any email client nowdays are missing from LN. I never used anything worse than this. I had experience with Outlook, Pegasus, Eudora, Pico, Yahoo, Gmail and some others.

As for synching up with my phone, it also sucks. It appears that meetings that are created by parties extrenal to my organisation are not synched to the phone. And I am not even sure that this is the only exclusion criteria.

As for the database features... Maybe it is just the db designers, but I have never seen any application in LN that would be

- working smoothly without any annoying design flow

- would be easy to maintain

- would be user friendly

- would not lock you out from the LN client for an extended period regularly just watching the hourglass.

And no, this is not a relational database. I have tried to integrate LN to a web application and to pull some reports from it using the NotesSQL client. My God!!!

It is view based, and as such there are humongous tables in it with endless number of fields, replicating several fields depending on which view uses them. Database integrity is not enforced in any way, the concept of unique IDs is fading away... Well, again this might have been the designer's fault, but what I saw from LN on the designer side, I don't think that they are helped at all to create a usable and robust database.

In addition to this, the countless hours I spent only on trying to figure out why the NotesSQL driver does not work, what folder or file does not have the necessary permission, or which woodoo spell I have to cast on my machine when every other option was exhausted... Don't go there unless you have to.

I do not like M$ at all and try to avoid using it whenever I can. Hate to admit that their Outlook is just one of the best email client/PIM app out there.


Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 3/9/2008 5:53:29 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Thanks for your comment, Marcell, you've nailed some of the challenges of Notes mail. Fortunately, Everything in Notes is highly customizable by a developer. I'll take a look and see if we can fix some of these issues. Eric

Bruce Elgort is running an IdeaJam where you can post and rate your feature ideas/wish list items. visit: http://www.ideajam.net

Dominik Reinmund (): 3/10/2008 1:20:13 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

My company got bought and is forced to switch from Outlook to Notes. Well, reading through this page doesn't make me leap with anticipation. :-/

The ONE thing that saved me hours and days in the past was ClearContext for Outlook.

Being able to sort emails that belong to a common thread automatically in assigned subfolders is indispensible for me.

I really can't see how I'm gonna be able to handle all my emails and sort them in a fast way like I was able before.

Is there *anything* for LN that is comparable to ClearContext ?

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 3/10/2008 2:25:54 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook


I agree that, out of the box, Notes is not optimized to productively manage email, projects, and actions (tasks). However, there are several solutions for Notes, just as there are for Outlook.

Begin shameless plug:

eProductivity for Lotus Notes is a commercial product that will dramatically increase your productivity using Lotus Notes. I designed it to be the ultimate productivity tool for Lotus Notes, and from the feedback we are receiving from our clients and pilot sites it looks like we have accomplished that. (http://www.eProductivity.com).

End shameless plug.

There are also a few third party add-ins for notes, some are even free, that will improve how it works. You may want to Google for these.


Fiona (): 3/12/2008 11:29:00 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

my company is also moving from outlook to notes. And the vast majority of people here are simply using Notes for email, and are NOT Lotus developers - the can only customize at the user level.

What I'm looking for is a document the helps -something like a Lotus Notes for Outlook users.

this document would look at common tasks in Outlook and explain how to accomplish the same task in Notes. I realize that sometimes the answer is "you can't do that in Notes". But at least if I could tell people that, I could save them the hours and frustration of trying to figure out how to do something that can't be done.

Version 7 of Notes is the standard, although Version 8 will be available soon - should I recommend people move to version 8 ASAP - if so, in what ways is it more "Outlook-like"

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 3/18/2008 7:40:29 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Hi Fiona, Notes Version 7 is a solid product - it's what I use, as do most of my clients. I continue to watch the R8 space to see how R8 is coming along. R8 is definitely prettier and I like what I see more each day. What matters most to me, however, is how productively Notes can help me manage my email, calendar, projects and actions. Whatever I use has to be fast and easy and it must support David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) Methodology. For that, I use eProductivity for Notes to implement GTD in Lotus Notes. The David Allen Company sells a document on GTD & Notes that you may find helpful. ($10) I believe I also saw a document like the "Lotus Notes for Outlook users..." document you propose. I'll ping Alan Lepofsky to see what he knows. Either way, I think that Notes R7 and R8 are great products. I hope this helps.

Note: eProductivity is my product; you can learn more, here: http://www.eProductivity.com

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 3/18/2008 11:33:49 PM
Lotus Notes for Outlook users

Fiona, here are two guides that may help, thanks to Alan Lepofsky...

What the admins need to do

How to set up IBM Lotus Notes V8 for Microsoft Outlook users


And then for ther users

developerWorks: Migration station : Lotus track



Mike (): 6/13/2008 1:37:06 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Notes or Outlook?

That's easy. Outlook everytime. Notes is a terrible application that tries to do lots of different things and succeeds at doing them all very badly.

As far as email is concerned, Outlook is about a thousand times easier to use and doesn't have nearly as many downtime issues. All the "other stuff" that Notes does (such as the databases and the workflow) can be done better by using a selection of freeware/opensource programs that are designed specifically for the purpose.

Notes sucks!

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 6/13/2008 11:32:18 AM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Mike, or is it Bob? (Not sure from your email) You appear to bring up three issues:

1. Ease of use. Which versions of Outlook and Notes are you comparing. Hard to make a statement like that as each iteration of the two products have changed and improved features.

2. Downtime? Again, hard to compare. I run many large Notes & Domino deployments and I'm aware of extremely large deployments that experience very little downtime. Obviously hard to make a comparison without some more facts.

3. Databases & Workflow Notes <> Freeware/opensource: I suppose it all depends on the customer's needs and requirements. Notes/Domino is typically sold into the enterprise where the needs may be different than other markets. In any case, I try not to make judgement until I understand the needs of my customers, so I really cannot compare.

Jackson (http://www.techyv.com/article/outlook-vs-lotus-notes): 8/8/2011 5:29:21 AM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

What an excellent blog it is about Lotus note vs ms outlook. I also have found valuable information from the site below:

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William Davis (): 1/10/2012 3:13:08 PM
Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

I want to try lotus notes 8.5 to get away from Bill Gates control. I get Gates would love notes if it was owned my microsoft

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 1/10/2012 3:48:18 PM
re: Lotus Notes Email Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Hi William, you can download a fre 90 day trial here: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/downloads/ls/lsndad/

You can also search for and download the fre Notes Designer client that includes the Lotus Notes client that you can use for free forever (without access to a server). You can use this with your POP3 or IMAP server. (E.g. GMAIL)

I plan to log again soon about how to set up the free Notes client, so stay tuned.

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