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How does lotus notes work

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CT74YNAtp.qxd 2/12/99 4:24 PM Page 1 A A B Be eg gi in nn ne er r’ ’s s G Gu ui id de e t to o L Lo ot tu us s N No ot te es sSo, what's this book about? 1 Funny you should ask. I was just about to tell you. This book shows you how to complete common Lotus Notes® tasks without making you read a lot of tedious details. Once you've learned the basics of a task, you'll be able to learn more about it as you use it. Why would I want to read this book? Who knows? Maybe you have nothing better to do. Maybe you like to learn new things. Maybe your boss gave you Notes™ and said you'd better learn it fast or you'll be in trouble. Or maybe you just like to have fun. How does the book work? The book shows you the steps involved in basic Notes tasks. You follow our mascot, Sherman, as he walks you through each task. The tasks are short and easy to complete. They do not contain a lot of boring details. This is good if you don't like to be bored. If you like to be bored, read a different book about computers. Do you really expect me to follow Sherman? Yes. Say hello to Sherman. Sherman will guide you through each task. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask Sherman. (But first be sure that your office door is closed so people won't think you're crazy for talking to a shoe in a book.) 1What is Notes anyway? People have been asking that question since the beginning of time (or at least since Notes first came onto the market). It has been hard for people to define Notes because you can use it to do so many things. For example, you can: Send and receive electronic mail messages, even from Internet mail accounts. Read about the latest industry news or find information about a particular subject. Track inventory and automatically create new orders when supplies are low. Access the Internet and Internet newsgroups to read and post articles. Customize your Headlines page by adding links to your most frequently used tasks, such as mail, calendar entries, databases, and updates from the Internet (stock quotes, weather, or travel reservations). Use bookmarks to create links to information both on the Internet and in Notes, including databases, views, documents, Web pages, and newsgroups. Plan and track progress on complicated projects. Collaborate on a project with people in different locations. You can work together to plan your work, create reports and databases, and discuss changes you want to make without leaving your office, even if each person is in a different country. 2Automatically route company forms to the people who need to see them and approve them. For example, you can create a purchase order and have Notes route it automatically to your manager, then to the Purchasing department, and then to the supplier. This can all take place without your leaving your office or trying to find your manager (who is probably out having a three-martini lunch anyway). Discuss and share information that is important for doing your job. This can significantly decrease the number of meetings you'll have to attend. (Of course, this means you'll have to catch up on your sleep somewhere else.) Keep track of your schedule and your "To Do" list. Take your computer with you and access Notes information from wherever you are. Do all of this and more. The uses of Notes are limited only by people's imaginations. It truly changes the way people work. That's nice. So, what is Notes? See, I told you it's hard to define. Basically, Notes gives you a way to find and share information, to make many tasks easier to accomplish, and to work easily with other people. These people can be at your company or outside your company. They can be in your country or outside your country. They can be anyplace in the world. (So far, we haven't figured out a way to communicate with people on other planets, but stay tuned.) 3Getting the hard part out of the way first: 2 Some important Notes concepts This chapter describes the basic building blocks of Notes. Unlike subsequent chapters, this chapter doesn't tell you how to do anything. It just explains things you should know before using Notes. (Actually, this is probably the most boring chapter in the book, but it's important to read anyway.) Great. So tell me something already. Anxious, aren't you? Okay... Notes stores information in databases.  Application   Each database contains information about Name A A WA WA R R D DC C ER ER TI TI FI FI C C A A TE TE          Address "   % & ' &  & a particular subject such as "Company State            %     Policies" or "Product Information." The     Type company name Click here to add clip art Type company address person who creates the database decides Type persons name and position  Type phone number Type fax number the type of information the database will contain. Databases can even contain reports for you to complete, such as attendance reports or expense reports. A database usually contains many documents. Each of these documents is about a particular topic. In a Company Policies database, for example, there may be a topic about parking, one about sick days, and one about donating to charity through the company. Some databases only let you read information, while others let you create documents of your own. You create a document by filling in information on a form the database contains. The form has spaces for you to fill in. These spaces are called fields. Some forms also have buttons for you to click to perform particular actions. Sound easy so far? Great. Let me recap this stuff anyway. To add information to a database, you fill in a form and store your completed document in the database. Anyone who has adequate access to the database can read the information you wrote and create additional documents. To read what someone else has written, you just look at the documents in the database. 5 Policies & ProceduresSounds easy, but what if there are hundreds of documents? Often, a database contains so many documents, it can be difficult to find the information you want. Notes solves this problem by letting you create many different ways to view and store the documents. A view is a way for Notes to display documents in a database. A view often shows documents in a particular order and sometimes shows only a portion of the documents in the database. In a database that a company uses to store employee information, for example, there would be a document about each employee. This database could contain the following views: A view that shows all employees listed in alphabetical order by last name A view that shows all employees by first name A view that shows all employees by the departments they work in A view that shows employees who have parking spaces in the company parking garage A view that shows employees who have been at the company less than a year Notice that the first three views include documents for all employees, but the last two views include only some of the documents. You also can create folders in a database. Folders let you organize documents to make them easier to find. In the Employee Information database, for example, you could create a folder to store the documents you use frequently, such as those from your boss, department members, and friends. When you open the folder, you would see only those documents you placed in the folder. You can place a copy of the same document in more than one folder, just as documents can appear in more than one view. The difference between a folder and a view is that you can place any document you want in a folder, but a view has a formula that determines which documents it displays. You can remove a document from a view by deleting that document, but you also delete it from all views that it may be in. However, you can remove a document from one folder without it being deleted or removed from any other folder. When people create databases, they usually include some folders and views to make the databases easy to use. 6What will I see when I start Notes? When you first start Notes, the program displays the default Welcome Page. It looks something like this: Menu SmartIcons Universal navigation buttons Bookmark bar icons Bookmark folders Status bar The Welcome page is customizable so it may look different. The table below describes the items that are labeled in the picture.™ Item Purpose Menu Lets you choose Notes commands. (The commands on the menu sometimes change, depending on what you are doing.) Universal Let you navigate among databases or Web pages, or to go navigation back to where you'eve been. You can also stop certain buttons actions that are in process, refresh the page or view you are looking at, find or search for information, and open a URL. SmartIcons® Let you choose Notes commands by just clicking an icon. (The SmartIcons that Notes displays sometimes change, depending on what you are doing. SmartIcons may not be turned on when you start Notes.) Bookmark bar Let you quickly open the most frequently used components icons in Notes; your mail, calendar, headlines, To Do list, and address book. Bookmark folders Let you store, access, and manage your bookmarks. Status bar Lets you change some settings, open your mail, and see some current information about Notes. 7But it looks different when I open a database When you open a database, Notes might look like this: Window tab Action bar Navigation pane View pane Preview pane The table below describes the items that are labeled in the picture. Item Purpose Action bar Contains buttons you can click to quickly perform some common tasks. The buttons on the action bar sometimes change, depending on what you are doing. Some databases may not have an action bar at all. Window tabs Let you quickly switch from one open window to another. Navigation pane Lets you open different folders and views. View pane Lets you select and open documents. Preview pane Lets you read the document that is highlighted in the view pane without opening the document. Some databases may look different, but how you use the items is the same. So, that's it. If any of that seems hard to understand, don't worry about it. As you use the product, things will become clearer. And you can always look back here for a refresher. 8Hold on we go 3 Getting started with Notes Like most computer programs, getting started with Notes can be an exhilarating experience — or a daunting one. There are all those new icons staring you in the face, menu commands beckoning to you, and strange words and drawings scattered around the screen. Luckily, the pictures and words in Notes are often self-explanatory. And if you've used other Lotus programs, you're already familiar with many of them. This chapter gets you started using Notes but doesn't have you do very much — at least not yet. It shows you the basics, like how to start the program and use a few of the features. Starting Notes is pretty simple, but I tell you how to do it anyway. I also tell you a couple of ways to get Help while you're using Notes. In addition, I tell you what to do if you make a mistake while using Notes. (This feature is primarily for other people, not for you.) Then I tell you how to use those icons you will see near the top of the Notes screen. Finally, I explain how to stop Notes. (I could've waited until the end of the book to tell you how to stop Notes, but if you decided to stop reading the book before the end, you'd have to leave Notes running forever.) To recap, This chapter tells you how to do the following: Start Notes Launch Notes Help while working in the program Locate a Help topic on your own Undo your mistakes Use SmartIcons to accomplish tasks faster Stop Notes 9Starting Notes How will this help me? For this topic, that seems like a silly question, doesn't it? But that's the format we're using in this book, so here goes: starting Notes lets you use all of its wonderful features — all those things I convinced you were terrific in the first chapter. (Gee, I hope that clears things up for you.) As you may have noticed, sometimes what appears in the section "How will this help me?" will be pretty obvious. But sometimes, it will be pretty illuminating, maybe even important. So, it's a good idea to browse through the section for each task, just to be sure you don't miss anything. The good thing is that the section is always short. 10Find Lotus Notes on the 1 Start menu and click it. When Notes starts, you 2 see the default Notes Welcome page. Initially, this includes links for: reading and creating mail, viewing your calendar and creating new appointments, viewing your To Do list and creating To Do items, and viewing your contacts and creating new contacts. 11Getting help: Launch Notes Help while working in the program How will this help me? While you're working with Notes, you may occasionally need assistance. You can use the Notes Help system to explain things to you and show you what to do. There are two ways to find information in Notes Help: you can have Notes open directly to a topic, or you can search for the topic yourself. If you don't know a lot about Notes, it is probably better to have Notes open a topic. That's what this procedures discusses. The next procedure shows you how to find a Help topic yourself. 12Press F1, or choose Help and then choose 1 Context Help from the Notes menu. Notes displays a Help topic. Click on any of the 2 blue underlined text to display other topics you want to read. YOU SHOULD KNOW You can click the Index or Search task button to find topics by keywords or phrases. If there are topics 3 displayed in the view pane, you can click the topic you want to read. Notes displays that topic to the right of the view. If there is a triangle icon beside the topic, click on the triangle to read the document and expand the view to see additional topics. 13When you want to close Help, choose File 4 and then choose Close from the Notes menu, or press ESC. 14Getting help: Locating a Help topic on your own How will this help me? When you locate a Help topic on your own, you get to choose from all the Help topics that come with Notes. This may lead you to information you might not know was there otherwise. 15Choose Help and then choose Help Topics from 1 the Notes menu. Notes displays the contents of Help. Click the topic in the 2 Table of Contents that you want to read. Notes displays that topic to the right of the Table of Contents. If there is a triangle icon beside the topic, click on the triangle to read the document and expand the list to see additional topics. Click on any of the 3 blue underlined text to display other topics you want to read. YOU SHOULD KNOW When you click a triangle icon, the list expands to show additional topics. When you click the triangle icon again, the list collapses and the topics will no longer be visible. 16When you want to close Help, choose 4 File and then choose Close from the Notes menu, or press ESC. YOU SHOULD KNOW You can click the Index or Search buttons to find the topic you want. 17 Undoing mistakes How will this help me? Don't you wish there was a way to undo some of the things you do? We all make mistakes. (At least, everyone that I know does.) Well, Notes can't help you with the mistakes you make in your life, but it can help you with mistakes you make in Notes itself. For most things you do in Notes, you can tell Notes to undo them. But you have to tell Notes before you do anything else. Notes only undoes the last thing you did. 18Make a mistake or do 1 something else you want to undo. (You really don't have to do this on purpose. But when you do make a mistake, keep this procedure in mind.) Choose Edit and then choose Undo from the 2 Notes menu. (Notice that the Undo command in this picture actually says "Undo Typing" because the last thing I did was type some text.) YOU SHOULD KNOW The wording of the Undo command changes to tell you what action Notes will undo. Notice what Undo did. 3 Breathe a sigh of relief. YOU SHOULD KNOW If Notes can't undo your last action, the Undo command will be gray. 19Using SmartIcons to accomplish tasks faster How will this help me? SmartIcons are one of the shortcuts in Notes that will save you time and a lot of mouse clicks. You can use SmartIcons to perform multiple actions with a single mouse click. For example, SmartIcons can execute menu commands that might otherwise require several mouse clicks. Notes displays the SmartIcons at the top of the workspace, although you can move them. The SmartIcons that Notes displays change, depending on what you're doing, so you always have access to the SmartIcons you need. 20