Doesn’t anybody use Lotus Notes anymore? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Doesn’t anybody use Lotus Notes anymore?

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Question: "This time of year everyone is resolving to get a handle on their calendars—and make sure managers  know about competing priorities. My question: Doesn’t anybody use Lotus Notes anymore?  All the calendar planning/time management advice seems geared toward Outlook? What about Lotus Notes users? Any new tips for us?" —Diane

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian May 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm

For those who don’t use Notes, or think it is a horrible email platform, it is only because IBM has marketed it poorly. Granted, as a Notes Admin since 2000 (R5), I see the power of Notes in one comprehensive package. Mail, Calendar, Contacts, To Do, Apps, Webmail, Traveler provide a full suite of productivity tools, provided you have a well-versed Admin, and excellent developers.

At my previous job, we had an excellent IT staff and developed many in-house apps that coordinated every department, and provided each department with efficient functionality.

Of course, the real power is that you can build ONE Domino server, which services many functions (mail, calendar, apps, etc), whereas in the Microsoft world, you have to build multiple servers to offer similar, comparable functionality.


Jon Willey September 16, 2013 at 5:53 am

Due to flexible features and easy installation of MS Outlook, organizations are moving into Outlook from Lotus Notes platform. Existing data saved into Lotus Notes repository is also needed to move into MS Outlook. For that, almost all organizations used SysTools Export Notes application that is completely able to migrate lotus nsf data into MS outlook pst with 100% accuracy. The application also manages recurrence calendars entries, internet header, meta data and so on.


Jon Willey September 16, 2013 at 5:48 am



Julie August 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Are you able to mention any company names on here? I have recently been made redundant from a lotus notes support role and am looking to find a company that still uses it to send my cv. Thank you in advance to anyone that can help


Pedro Marcano April 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

My name is Pedro Marcano. I;m from Venezuela. I’ve been working with Lotus Notes for 10 years. I love Lotus Notes. It,s a powerfull tool and I use it in my work. I develop applications using Lotus Designer and the results are outstanding. Now, you have the chance to develop web applications, blogs and so on. I think companies dont know the power of this tools. You can integrate databases with the workflow of the organizations easily and quickly. Also, the ACL gives you a higher level of security in your databases.


Diane January 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Per a couple of the older comments: Lotus Notes is still used in a lot of banks and hospitals as well as other business where email may be regulated by law, privacy regulations, or government restrictions because it is one, if not the most, un-hackable.

Thank you for the links to courses and blogs. I look forward to checking them out. You can always learn something new!


Diane January 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hi Greg, Re: REMINDERS… go into your Calendar, menu buttons just above the calendar click the drop down for More…, Preferences…. Click the “Calendar & To Do” tab AND the “Alarms” tab. In the Alarms you can click all the boxes for which you want reminders. This will be your new default setting. If you don’t want a reminder (ie: a meeting you set up for someone else that you are not attending) you must go in and shut that off at the top of the that specific meeting.


Sherry January 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

File / Preferences / Calendar and To Do / Alarms tab


Greg January 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm

How do I turn on reminders for ALL calendar events?


Sherry October 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

To find out who last touched a calendar entry in Lotus Notes while in the calendar view go to File / Application / Properties / and a gray box will appear. Then click one time on the calendar entry and in the gray box you will see when the entry was created, last time it was modified and who modified it. You can then keep clicking on other entries and the information in the gray box will change accordingly.


Laura A October 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

How do I find out who last touched a calendar entry?


Mike October 4, 2012 at 9:11 am

The funny thing is that Outlook suffers the same incompatibility that LN did. When you look at it from a LN perspective, Outlook comes off as the product behind the times. Plus, you guys just mention Mail and Calendar. These are commodities. Both products have them but with LN you can build an entire suite of client or web based applications. With Outlook, you have mail and calendar. Comparing the two is like looking at a Cessna and a 747. Notes is a development platform that also has mail and calendar. Outlook is simply mail and calendar.


Jane June 26, 2012 at 1:23 am

I wish there was a list of companies that use Lotus Notes (I know has most of the user licences in their stats), in this way I could know which companies to avoid. They clearly couldn’t be bothered replacing their system with something that is actually productive for users (rather than frustrating them). It’s no longer the mid-90’s IBM.


Victoria Semmel April 26, 2012 at 2:59 am

Hi Folks. Our company has developed a Building Efficiency with Lotus Notes course – all versions from Notes 6.5 up to 8.5.1 (currently modifying for 8.5.3). There are so many tips to help users be more productive at work. We can provide printed manuals or soft copy for individual use (eg ipad) or intranet. We also run instructor-led courses and presentations online. If you are interested, email


Sandy March 15, 2012 at 11:27 am

We’re using Lotus 8.5 – I manage 5 different calendars for staff located across several time zones. Setting Lotus to show 2 timezones in calendar view is a great tool for syncing schedules but I can not find a
way to have different timezones for different staff. For example, I would like John’s to show CST & EST, Bill’s to show PST & EST, etc. Is there a way to do this?

Thank you in advance!


Sherry February 23, 2012 at 8:35 am

Assurant uses Lotus Notes


Al May 10, 2016 at 10:00 am

Not anymore. They migrated to Outlook/Exchange in 2015/2016.


nihar February 23, 2012 at 1:57 am

Dear Madam,
we are a lotus notes application development company.
can i know the name of your company, so that i can approach for work related to lotus?

nihar pradhan


Sherry January 13, 2012 at 7:59 am

I have done some Lotus Notes training as well. Some of the tips I find helpful are: to see who responded to a calendar entry and when go to file / application / properties; insert key changes email from read to unread and is a toggle; escape key closes out of a tab; to pull up an invite that has been declined go to Lists and Entries and Notices, change the name of an email by double clicking on it and change subject line; unprocessed invitations show in calendar; can put another time zone on the left of the calendar (go to preferences / calendar / regional setting). Hope this helps.


Diane January 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Appreciate all the comments…However… I’m very familiar with LN. Been using for well over 10 years and typically companies use it because it is SAFE… very unhackable so banks and companies with proprietary info prefer Notes. What I was looking for was an article from BMD about tips and tricks on Notes… maybe something I’ve forgotten. I train a lot of people on Notes and I do really like it but the ‘hype’ seems to be all about Outlook… that’s the only articles I see.


Mat Newman January 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Since Lotus Notes 5 (that’s 14 years ago folks) two simple settings have been available to ensure that the messages you send from Lotus Notes aren’t sent in ‘Plan Text’. This is important from a calendaring perspective, as ‘plain text’ email messages (including calendar invites) do not contain any special information or formatting like the data required for a Meeting invitation.

I am never surprised any more when I read of comments like those in this blog that indicate an IT department in desperate need of some BASIC Lotus Notes training.

My blog post here: shows how to ensure Lotus Notes sends all messages formatted appropriately for the Internet, including Calendar invitations. No admin intervention required, any user can do this, all the way back to Notes 5.

Hope this helps.


John Stephenson January 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Lisa – What version of Lotus Notes are you running? The problems you are describing sound like you may 1) be running Lotus Notes on an unsupported version of Windows (like running Version 8.01 on Windows 7) or 2) you have a poor IT department.

I used to curse Lotus Notes myself working in a call center at a company that had a terrible IT department. I have since moved to be tech support at a different company. Both used Notes….but where I am now, it is up-to-date, easy to use, hardly every crashes. My users like it too – there are a few issues at times, but they are either dealt with by the IT department promptly, or are user issues where the user needs education about how it works.


Lisa B. January 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I have used both Outlook and Lotus Notes for many years, managing multiple calendars and email accounts for management. As I write this, my Lotus Notes has crashed (it happens more frequently than I care to admit) and the program is writing yet another ‘report’ regarding the incident. I have discovered several glitches, including a doozy that enables meetings to disappear from calendars and the “All Documents” folder (like it never existed). My company is migrating to Outlook in less than a month and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve had enough of LN.


Mary January 6, 2012 at 11:15 am

This past year I was able to attend TheEffectiveEdge class for Lotus Notes and learned a lot of great tips. You can contact them via their website and check out what they offer. Course can be found at


Gloria January 6, 2012 at 10:43 am

All the firms I worked in, and with from outside these firms, for many years only used Outlook. Lotus Notes was considered more of an outdated program. Can’t really offer any assistance in this area, except try to research some tips on Google if you don’t find what you’re looking for here.


SJB January 6, 2012 at 9:38 am

I work at a very large heavy equipment/earthmoving corporation and we use Lotus Notes. I manage several calendars/emails and it is so easy to toggle back and forth between them. I don’t find it difficult at all.


Dave Harris January 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

Corr: 80 countries on 6 continents


Dave Harris January 6, 2012 at 9:23 am

Quite simply, I don’t know how I’d function without Notes. My personal mail, including Traveler, are on my own server running ND, while my work email is ND as well.

More than that, though, all the applications I use, whether config/estate management, project management, helpdesk, timesheets, you name it, it’s all ND.

And my job? I run a very resilient Exchange 2003 network of 30k+ users in 80 plus countries on continents.


John Turnbow January 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

The current version of Lotus Notes R8.5.3 (latest release)is far superior to that of Outlook with features that Outlook users would be amazed. Try LiveText for example, has been in the client for 3 years now, much like the embedded links you see in stories in Google and Yahoo. Now this feature is in Notes mail and applications, all your email with Livetext links to data inside and outside (if allowed) in your organization. The user no longer has to hunt for information about their client or product for example, then links take them there automatically. There are so many new features that I can’t list them all here. If you are thinking of changing, believe me, the last few years IBM/Lotus has changed. The client itself looks similar to Outlook, but the content is much different. Applications can be embedded now in the sidebar. Anyone that says get away from Lotus has not see the new client and they don’t understand what they would lose!!


Jason Hook January 6, 2012 at 8:13 am

I think it’s worth saying to people that read the advice on this page: beware those offering outdated advice.

Anyone claiming to have used Notes years ago isn’t going to be able to tell you how much it has improved. We inter-operate Exchange 2010/Outlook 2010 and Notes 8.5.3 just fine. I use Outlook 2010 and Notes every day with now problems.



Sherry January 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm

My company is global with over 10,000 employees and uses Lotus Notes and although 3 or 4 years ago it wasn’t as compatible with Outlook it seems to have gotten better. I can now send meeting invites to outside parties and I receive a response. Using the preference settings can help save time. I have been away from Outlook for 5 years now so am not sure of the difference but in Lotus Notes you can set preferences to automatically correct spelling (while creating an email), automatically add a call in number to an invitation by ticking a box, automatically have meetings default to 30 minutes (we try to get in as many meetings in as possible and having 30 minute meetings when possible is very helpful), pulling up a meeting that has been declined, changing the name of an email and searching the calendar view are some of the things I find helpful. I can also now see my manager’s (or anyone whose calendar I have access to if I wish) in my calendar in a greyed out box.


Anita January 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hi Diane, we are a major manufacturer distributing throughout the US and globally and yes, we still use Lotus Notes. The new employees we hire mention the benefit of Outlook but we have many applications that are dependent on Notes, so are still looking into the ramifications to them before making the move.


Admin 123 January 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Same here, that sounds so yesterday…maybe the hospital will keep up with the rest of the world.


Toni January 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I handle many individual calendars at one time. We only use Outlook and I’ve really never had issues with it. I don’t know of any assocoiates who use lotus notes any longer.


Teresa January 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

My company still used Lotus Notes (for now) and we’ve made it mandatory for everyone to have their calendars online with that system. I’ve learned to use my calendar for task reminders and that’s really opened the eyes of my bosses as to how much work I handle. (And that’s just the planned stuff they can see.) Having everyone on Lotus Notes makes it easier to set up meetings with multiple team members because we can just check the online calendar rather than calling everyone several times to compare availability. I also make sure to check my bosses’ calendars at the beginning of each week to see what meetings they have scheduled. That way, when they come to me with last minute work requests to prepare for those meetings, I’m not completely caught off guard. It also helps me know where they are since they’re not always very good about telling me when they’ll be in late or gone for the day. The key things I’ve had to teach my bosses: privacy settings (I can read/edit their mail & calendars but other people can’t) and using the different types of calendar entries (something that’s on the calendar as a reminder doesn’t have to be entered as a meeting – which books your available time even though you’re still free). We also use Lotus Notes to reserve conference rooms, so it’s handy to use when we want to see if a room is available for a quick internal meeting. I’d be lost without my Lotus Notes reminders & calendar entries!


Dianne January 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I work at a large hospital in SC and we use Lotus Notes. Until I had worked here, I had only ever used Outlook. It is different but you get used to it. I like Lotus Notes ability to set a calendar event & invite other attendees. I keep up with three different calendars on a daily basis & it wasn’t as hard to learn as I had originally thought.


Lilly January 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

WOW! I thought Lotus Notes went under years ago. I’m not aware of many people/businesses that use this anymore mainly because it is so incompatible (at least in my experience) with the rest of the world and Outlook (meeting information just doesn’t transmit well to Lotus from Outlook). When I had to do meetings for attendees that had Lotus, I ended up having to send separate emails to each of those people because Lotus Notes wasn’t compatible with Outlook calendaring. My advice, get away from Lotus if you can!


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