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IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide Paperback – September 3, 2010
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About the Author
Karen Hooper is a member of the Dr Notes Solutions team and is an IBM Certified Instructor and Lotus Notes consultant. Karen has over 13 years experience with Lotus Notes and Domino. In that time Karen has been involved in several major upgrade projects and company wide training initiatives. She is responsible for customizing and producing training material for several organizations. Karen is also a technical trainer in both Domino System Administration and Development. Her passion is to empower people to be more productive and she has seen thousands of people benefit from her style of training. Karen lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Steve. They are blessed with two children Zac and Zoe and two Cavoodles, Jess and Bella.
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Top customer reviews
I always had Outlook for work previously and use Thunderbird for personal use.
That being said, I did manage to fumble around enough to make Lotus work, but this book (and the web) made a capable user in a few weeks. Enough to impress my co-workers who had used Lotus Notes exclusively.
The book could go a bit deeper in some areas, but all in all, if you are stuck with Lotus Notes, it is a good resource.
The book is clearly written, with screenshots and neatly-outlined explanations.
Don't work harder just smarter - with Lotus Notes.
The book begins with an overview of the Lotus Notes client interface. In Chapter One Karen describes the password prompt, the Open button, tabs, the homepage, shortcuts, the sidebar, and how to close Notes. I was struck by the attention to detail -- I cannot recall reading about the password prompt in any other Notes user guide before. It is this level of painstaking detail that will leave even the newest of Lotus Notes users with little to no questions about how to accomplish their day-to-day tasks in Notes.
She moves on in Chapter Two to discuss Sametime. From availability status to multi-way chats and chat history, Sametime will hold little mystery after reading this chapter.
Chapter Three is a short but complete overview of the Feeds feature in Notes. Chapter Four discusses Widgets along with multiple examples of how to add widgets from both the IBM Greenhouse and from the web in general.
And then comes Chapter Five, "Mastering Lotus Notes Mail". This chapter is a must-read for any Notes user. Covered are the very basics of which many users seem to lack a full grasp. Creating and replying to messages, addressing messages, basic formatting, attachments, folders, spell check and more. If taught in a classroom, this is usually a multi-hour course all covered here in amazing detail with plenty of screenshots, all in about 30 pages. This chapter alone could cut down on help desk calls by frustrated users. But it gets better because Chapter Six sticks with this theme by covering slightly more advanced, yet immediately relevant topics such as the follow up feature, stationery, message recall, out of office, junk mail, rules, mail size indicators, archiving, etc. Karen goes to great lengths to point out when features can be affected by administrative policies. For instance, when discussing preferences she alerts the reader when a feature may be locked down or not present if the reader's administrators have set a policy thus easing the user's mind if their settings do not look or work exactly the way she is showing them in the book.
Chapter Seven is all about contacts. From adding, importing, exporting, and printing, to the often confusing topic of recent contacts.
Chapter Eight is another meaty chapter, this time covering calendar and scheduling. She begins with a very well placed tour of the calendar and different filtering options, before moving into creating calendar entries, repeating meetings, the options available to the chair, rooms and resources, group calendars, and to dos. It is all covered here and, again, this is another must-read for any end-user.
Chapter Nine explains what Notes applications are and how to work with them in a very general manner including instructions on how to create an application with a template and application security.
Chapter Ten was another surprising entry for me. Focusing on working remotely, I do not recall seeing such a well written, end-user focused discussion on what replication is and why it is important. Also discussed is how to take an application offline, mobile directories, and connection & location documents.
The book is finished in Chapter Eleven with a nice outline of Lotus Symphony and its components.
When all is said and done, the IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide is a truly amazing book. Never before I seen a user guide for Lotus Notes that covers nearly every aspect of the client in an easy-to-read manner complete with a wide array of screenshots. This is the manual that IBM forgot to give to the end-user. Unlike most technical education books, Karen Hooper somehow manages to squeeze an enormous amount of information into just under 300 pages. This is very important because end-users will not feel daunted by the task of reading it. Ed Brill sums up my feelings about this book best in the forward when he states "you are in possession of a valuable resource - Karen Hoopers IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide."
Disclaimer: Packt Publishing provided a free review copy of the e-book for the purpose of this review.
This isn't a book for techies, though they will probably get a few good tips out of it. It's a book for less technical employees. It explores Lotus Notes in just the right amount of detail an provides some hints of the extended features without getting too bogged down in them.
When reviewing technical books, I always have a goal in mind. In this case, my goal was simply to feel like everything had been covered yet still take away at least one "wow" moment where despite my long history with Notes, I pick up something new.
In this book, there were several wow moments. In fact, several times I had to put it down and go play with my Notes client just to prove to myself that these exciting "new" features really work. I'm impressed!
This is very much a Notes 8.5 book. If you're still using Notes 7, then you've got the wrong book - unless of course, you're trying to make a case to upgrade. This is very much a book about the current Notes product. There have been massive changes in Notes 8 - 8.5 and this book walks through each of them in detail.
There are the usual chapters on mail, calendar and to-do lists but there are also sections dealing with RSS feeds, widgets, the sidebar, sametime and more. Thankfully the book is free of QuickR, Sametime (full version) and Connections references. This is a book which respects its core subject and concentrates its full attention on it.
There are a couple of ambitious chapters near the end which cover more on replication and database creation than I'd usually want my users to know but it's refreshing to see this material dealt with so simply. It's a book that you can hand up to the less technical management band and know that they'll come away with the right concepts.
Finally, the book ends with a chapter dealing with Symphony. I'd have preferred this chapter to have been two chapters earlier (in front of the technical stuff) and I'd have preferred it to go into more detail. It does however point to some very useful online resources - and since it's slightly off-topic, it's probably in the right place and the right length.
Put simply, this book is brilliant. It belongs on the shelf in every IT department running Notes 8 and above. It also belongs in HR and there are whole sections which probably should be presented as part of a staff induction.
In fact, as soon as my print copy arrives, I've got a long list of people I want to circulate it through - and I'll be expecting some pretty massive productivity gains.
Honesty Clause: I was provided an copy of this book at no charge to review. Even so, it was good enough that I really did buy it before I'd finished more than a couple of chapters.