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Understanding the Notes User Interface

Take a comprehensive walk through the functions and features of Lotus Notes so that you can maximize your efficiency with the latest verson of the application.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • The Welcome Page

  • Standard Databases

  • Your Personal Address Book Database

  • Your Mail and Calendar Database

  • Reviewing the Domino Directory

  • The Personal Web Navigator Database

  • Bookmarks

  • Subscriptions

  • Changing Your User Preferences

  • Changing Your Security Preferences

The Welcome Page

Previous releases of Lotus Notes used a concept called the workspace. This workspace was a large area containing square button icons that represented databases. Although the workspace is still available, mainly to ease transition and training, Notes 6 has improved the Web browser-type user interface. Release 6 has merged the concepts of the traditional Notes workspace and bookmarks, now allowing any folder of bookmarks to be opened in a grid.

The workspace user interface will not be discussed much here because users upgrading from earlier releases are already familiar with it, and users new to Notes with Release 6 don't really need to learn it. However, understanding how to open bookmarks in a grid brings together the best of the workspace and bookmarks.

In Figure 3.1, you see the Basics Welcome Page, also sometimes called a headline page.

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 The Basics Welcome Page, with Quick Notes opened, enables you to quickly access common applications.

The Basics Welcome Page

On the left side of the screen you see the four most common Notes applications: mail, calendar, address book, and To Do list. An overview of each of these topics is presented within this chapter, but each is covered in detail later in the book. Mail is covered in Chapter 4, "Getting Started with Electronic Mail." The calendar and the To Do list are covered in Chapter 7, "Getting Organized with the Calendaring and Scheduling Features." The address book is discussed in Chapter 6, "Getting Started with Contact Management."

On the right side of the screen you see a set of icons called Quick Notes. You can use Quick Notes, a window within the Basics Welcome Page, to create and send an email message, add a contact to your list of contacts, make a journal entry, or schedule reminders. To display the Quick Notes frame, simply click the arrow on the right-hand side of the Notes window.

Customizing the Welcome Page

In the first two chapters, you saw several different welcome pages, but you haven't been shown how to modify or create your own. As with previous releases, you can choose a style from the built-in welcome styles, or you can create your own page style.

To modify your welcome page style, click the black arrow located underneath the toolbar named Click Here for Welcome Page Options (see Figure 3.2). A frame appears enabling you to configure the welcome page. If you choose Headlines with Lycos, for example, you will see a three-pane welcome page containing your mail, your calendar, and a Lycos news page.

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2 You can show your mail, your calendar, and news on your welcome page.

Figure 3.2 demonstrates the Headlines with My Lycos welcome page containing useful information. However, what if you want different information? No problem. Follow the steps here to customize your welcome page:

  1. Click the black arrow next to the words Click Here for Welcome Page Options.

  2. Click the Create a New Welcome Page button to display the New Page Wizard.

  3. Give your welcome page a name and click Next.

  4. You'll be asked whether you want a welcome page with resizable regions using frames or a personal page using customizable rich text. Frames use only one content type per frame and provide the capability for you to resize the content within the Notes environment. In contrast, the personal page enables you to choose from a variety of layouts that can include personal pictures, Web links, and a background graphic. For the following steps, you'll use frames; verify that the I Want Frames radio button is selected and click Next.

  5. The next step in the wizard asks you to pick and choose the content to include within your welcome page (see Figure 3.3). Content can include your inbox, your calendar, your To Do list, a Web page, content from other Notes databases, and local files. Some content areas such as Notes databases, files from the local workstation, and Web pages can include multiple frames of each content type. Additionally, you can choose to include a preview pane. The preview pane lets you display a selected document from any of the Notes database-driven content types, including your inbox, calendar, and task list.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 You can personalize the welcome page by selecting the content areas that are of interest to you.

  1. Choose the desired content areas and click Next.

  2. After you select the content types, you'll be asked to select the desired frame layout. Depending on the number of content types that you selected, the frame layout might vary, but the dialog box that you see should be similar to Figure 3.4. If you find that the frame layout is too crowded, click Back and reduce the number of content types. After you choose your layout, click Next.

Figure 3.4Figure 3.4 Select your desired frame layout.

  1. Each frame in the dialog box enables you to choose from your preselected content types. Content types can include content from internal Notes databases, extranet content provided by your organization's business partners, or your favorite Web site (see Figure 3.5).

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 You can choose and set properties for each frame of your welcome page.

  1. After you have finalized each frame's properties and location, click Next.

  2. Your welcome page is almost complete. The final choice is to decide whether to include action buttons or the launch pad (see Figure 3.6). Action buttons are graphical shortcuts that appear at the top of each view within the inbox, calendar, and To Do list. The launch pad, a new feature of Release 6, provides an easy-to-use interface to launch a variety of commonly used Notes shortcuts.

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 The final step in customizing your welcome page is to choose to display the new launchpad or action bar buttons.

  1. Click Next to complete the wizard to finish your customized welcome page. Figure 3.7 demonstrates the result of customizing content from the both the Web and Notes.

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7 A welcome page can contain various types of content with an optional launch pad.

After you create a custom welcome page, it appears in the list of welcome pages. You can have several different welcome pages; if you are working on several different projects, you can conveniently switch back and forth among the various different welcome pages you set up.

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