It is coming up on one month now that I
have left the comfortable world of IBM Lotus Notes and Domino for a job
where I would be forced to use Outlook 2003 for day-to-day email at work.
While there are some things about Outlook I find that I like a little better,
there are other things driven by comfort factor and policy that have me
seriously going through Notes withdrawal.
To start with, there are a few things I
like about it. One is the fact that I can click on an entry in the global
directory and see what groups an individual is in. That has helped tremendously
as I transition back into my old career and need to track people and information
down. Of course, this "nice feature" would be unnecessary if
I could sort on the organization/office column of an individual and see
what I need in the "view" (or create my own custom view).
Another thing I like, and have had a number of Notes/Domino customers ask for over the years as customizations, is the ability to set a "Reply To" value at the UI level in an individual message. This is really something that IBM/Lotus has missed the boat on over the years.
Another thing I like is getting notified if someone deletes a message "without reading" if I had a return receipt on it. Of course, they may have read it in the preview pane and not just deleted it. But at least I know they have physically touched it in some way, shape, or form.
Now to the not so good things.
Mail search sucks, plain and simple. Now that I have a critical mass of emails in my mail file, search sucks. It is slow, clunky and useless. Did I mention it sucks? Notes/Domino might not always be the best and fastest, but Outlook 2003 is painful.
In Lotus Notes, I can open the Domino directory separately and have access to it as I see fit. This is not so in my current Outlook configuration. (which I have no control over). If I open it from the icon, I cannot do anything else until I close it. This makes any kind of directory resource an unusable toy at best. Maybe someone can tell me the error of my ways.
And finally, one thing I never really thought of because I like to receive plain text SMTP messages, is that being forced into a text only mail environment is a huge productivity drain. Forget about being able to present a list that can be forwarded and replied to. Forget about sections. If I want this, I have to create a Word document and attach it to the email message. That, my friends, is not a very effective use of mail storage space.
So the beat goes on and later I will right how painful it is to have ZERO collaboration tools that anybody uses. I might wax poetic about being teased by a Lotus Sametime icon on my desktop, only to find it has been dumped in favor of the the vast inferior Jabber chat client (that nobody uses).
Disclaimer: These thoughts and opinions are my personal observations and do not reflect the policies or opinions of my employer (written or otherwise).
Footnote: Company Email systems I have used over the years (in order):
WANG (1990-1993) (kinda sorta)
Lotus Notes (1999-2010)
Outlook 2003 (Current)
Comment posted by Richard Schwartz06/07/2010 09:53:49 PM
If you can get away with it, download and install the LookOut plugin and use that for search.
Comment posted by Christopher Byrne06/07/2010 10:35:15 PM
No, one does not attempt to install anything. In fact, even plugging in a USB flash drive can and will lead to severe sanctions. No one can say they do not have IT security down to a science!
Comment posted by Denny Russell06/09/2010 07:20:16 AM
I'll add my 3 to the list. This is from a post I did a while back.
1. I cannot Send and File a message. I must send the message. Then I have to go to my Sent and find it and move it to a folder. Seriously? I know, it's all because of how Outlook stores the messages. It's doesn't add a pointer, it makes a copy of the message. What? More on that some other day.
2. The Escape key does not allow me to send. I can save it or cancel it but not send. Come on, I'm typing along and simply hit 'Esc', I should be prompted to send the mail. You aren't going to give me an option to file it anyhow (see #1) so just let me send it for crying out loud.
3. Delivery Failures = Fail. I can't resend from the Delivery Failure notice. Again, I've got to go thru my Sent and find it and forward it.