Collaboration Technology 2.0

Jan 5 2009   3:00PM GMT

3 months on: The key difference between Outlook and Notes email

iwhite Profile: iwhite


thumb_white.gifHaving used Notes as a mail client for more years than I care to remember I think I am well placed to judge the end user perception of the key differences between using Outlook and Notes as mail client.

Joining Microsoft after so many years as a Lotus partner was always going to be a shock to the system and in particular having to ‘let go’ of Notes mail.
First of all let me say that I am only speaking of email, for pure collaboration I am using Groove extensively and for on-line collaborative, SharePoint is my daily tool. 
But what of the email. For 99% of the world messaing breaksdown into the following key tasks
  • Composing
  • Addressing
  • Reading
  • Filing 
  • Managing Appointments
  • Managing Meetings
  • Managing Contacts
  • Accessing the Corporate Directory
I am sure individuals have other tasks that are more important to them than those I have listed here but I suspect the above are the key components that most users care about.
The Key Difference
I have observed myself using Outlook for a short while looking for the things I get wrong when using the UI and frankly there has only been one issue that had cause me any grief.
The semi-colon (;), yes that it, when addressing names the default separator of a ‘;’ used to be a ‘,’ in Notes. My typeing (rubbish as it is) has an automatic desire to 

7  Comments on this Post

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  • Dave
    I too have switched to Outlook from Notes about 5 months ago. The most painful part of the switch for me has been finding stuff. I found Notes to be much better/quicker at finding email, calendar entries and chat transcripts. I miss my "All Documents" view and searching is way slower in Outlook.
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  • Carl Tyler
    There were three things I found irritating when I switched to Outlook The ; as the separator Finding stuff, I use All documents as my main entry into mail, not the inbox. But the thing I most found irritating was not being able to do a Reply to All if I had selected Reply To initially.
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  • Julian Woodward
    Carl - as somebody who uses Outlook on an occasional basis, but mainly Notes, I'm with you on the reply-to vs reply-to-all issue. Others for me are: - inability to reply with attachments (sometimes it's useful) - the fact that Outlook seems to download attachments from the server before rendering the email. Makes it very slow, and can't be good for network traffic. Other than that, and the fact that it's impossible to find anything in Outlook once you've filed it, it does what it does pretty well... it's just that it doesn't do nearly as much as a veteran Notes user would want it to do.
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  • Tim Bennett
    You can change the seperator to "," though it is well hidden: Tools | Options | Preferences | Email Options | Advanced Email Options - it is down the bottom there somewhere. I too miss some of the Notes email client functionality - tables is one and also permanent pen and highlighters.
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  • Nathan T. Freeman
    "Joining Microsoft after so many years as a Lotus partner..." You're a MSFT employee for the last 3 months? You should update you bio, then.
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  • Ian White
    You are right Nathan, I updated it everywhere else (linkedin, etc) but forgot the original bio on this blog. I did announce the change here and let Ed and Yancy know privately.
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  • David Vasta
    Seems to me Ian you can't be a fair and partial judge of Collaboration while, as Nathan has pointed out, you are in bed with one of the major companies who provide this servers. In my opinion they do a poor job, but none the less the still offer it. I would, if I were in your position, step down since you can't be impartial or be even considered fair at this point. Microsoft has done it again and I for one think what you are doing now is sleazy. Sorry I think we are all thinking it and I just needed to say it. -David
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