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MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Mat Newman  February 28 2012 23:09:59
A client informed me the other day that Outlook was better than Lotus Notes because one can colour-code their Calendar entries in Outlook by Category.

Challenge AK...Septed!

Admittedly, this feature is NOT in native Lotus Notes, but - as you know - Lotus Notes can do anything, so a couple of modifications to the standard Calendar and ... voila!:

Image:MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Colour Coded Calendar entries in Lotus Notes, By Category.  Easy.

As you may have guessed from the above image, I was planning the AusLUG agenda the other evening, and found this feature to be particularly useful.  Having the ability to have so many Calendar entries displayed on the screen at one time and identified by a Calendar Category, rather than by entry type certainly made them easy to identify.  Let's hope this feature makes it into the core product some time soon.

In the meantime, this tip shows you how to implement Colour Coded Calendar Entries inside Lotus Notes. Enjoy :-)



(BTW - this works all the way back to Lotus Notes 7)


The ability to customise Lotus Notes so easily is definitely one of the things that makes Lotus Notes BETTER than Outlook!
Comments

1David Schaffer  02/29/2012 0:33:42  
Really cool but...

Matt:

That's great and it's a feature that's been asked for by former Outlook users.

But -- IBM recommends against modifying the calendar design and I'm concerned about having to redo this each time the mail template changes.

How about pushing IBM to include this in the template?

David

2Keith Brooks  02/29/2012 3:53:22  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Matt, David brings up a valid point.

Customizing Notes to look/act like something else, when those customizations could be wiped out on an upgrade or template refresh is not a perfect solution.

However, the almost anything is possible options in Notes make it very flexible, if someone is along to keep the updates working in the future.

David, you are a customer, raise it to them

3Gwen Jenkins  02/29/2012 6:04:27  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

If you're creating a custom installation, you'd use a modified copy of the standard template with a different name (thisco.mail855.custom.ntf), and tie the database designs to the customized template rather than the standard one. Then the design wouldn't be overwritten during an upgrade, and you'd still have the standard design if your changes turned out to be incompatible with other mail functionality.

Of course, the databases wouldn't automatically receive the benefits of any upgrade to the standard mail template, but unless that's why the server was being upgraded in the first place, most customers probably wouldn't care or would want the designs merged and the rollout coordinated with end-user training.

You'd want to put some thought into it, provide documentation, and make it abundantly clear to future admin & designers that this is a CUSTOM installation, but there's no reason to be tied down to the standard templates unless the customer plans to do everything on autopilot once they send you on your way.

4Wayne Sobers  02/29/2012 10:53:41  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

@David, go to wissel.net and search for "Customizing system templates".

*VERY* good explanation of how to implement your own templates based on system templates and make sure they get updated as well.

@Matt -

this is excellent, thanks much.

5David Schaffer  02/29/2012 13:06:22  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

I've been creating a new custom template at each major Notes upgrade, reapplying our vendor customizations (CRM, voice mail, etc.) for some time. But it all affects email. I heard specific warnings against modifying the calendar portion of the mail template at this past Lotusphere.

@2 Keith -- good idea but I've not found IBM too interested in the suggestions of small customers.

@4 Thanks for the link.

6Stephan H. Wissel  03/02/2012 2:06:39  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

@David:

What you are looking for is this article:

{ Link }

7Shean McManus  03/10/2012 7:56:44  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Hey Mat,

Trying to implement this in a test template. What does the (CalendarCategoryRefresh) agent do that you are calling on each categorize button? Didn't see that agent in the standard template.

Thanks! I'm going to make a few exec admins happy with this.

Shean

8Mat Newman

03/13/2012 14:03:01  MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

@7, Shean: It just does a refresh view properly, which doesn't really work using Formula:

Dim ws As New NotesUIWorkspace

Dim vw As NotesView

Set vw = ws.Currentview.View

Call vw.Refresh()

Mat Newman IBM Champion

9Shean McMAnus  03/14/2012 1:54:35  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

I figured it was something simple like that. Thanks!

10Erik Schwalb  04/02/2012 19:29:50  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Matt,

a great article. This is exactly what a customer was asking for just a couple of days ago. Is there a chance you could make your modified mail template available for download?

Thanks !

11Christian Petters  04/19/2012 18:55:07  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

@David of course IBM is giving us a warning around template customisations. If not for anything else then for legal reasons.

The point being though is that we are (supposedly) specialists in our area. We do have the knowledge to make customisations happen and the experience to know what item to touch and which ones to leave alone. We are also wise enough to only make necessary changes that have a clear benefit to the organisation/user and we also plan our upgrades in a way that all customisations will roll over into the new template.

We are being paid to enable organisations and their employee to work smarter in choosing the right tools and making them even better!

12Hank  05/04/2012 6:03:08  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Can't find link to download template?

13waterblaze  06/13/2012 23:49:36  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Hi,

this is exactly what I was looking for. Not being a LN expert can this been done directly on the Lotus Mail client? I'm only a basic user and not a Domino server admin.

Thanks.

14Mat Newman

06/15/2012 8:25:45  MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

@13: Do you have Designer access to your Lotus Notes Mail Database?

Mat Newman IBM Champion

15Kon Adams  03/15/2013 15:07:22  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Hi Mat,

Would be nice if we could implement this for mail.

Ive got so many users screaming for it.

Is it possible?

16Charlie Zeaiter  07/24/2013 14:55:27  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Hi there, do you know if it's possible to have an entry that spans across multiple days to show up as one entry on the calendar/month view? This works in Outlook, and my customer wants it to be similar in our Notes calendar view? But the best I can do is to create some kind of all day event... but it shows up multiple times for each day, instead of just the one entry that spans across multiple days. Do you know what I mean?

17Sam  08/13/2015 20:33:13  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Hi Mat,

I don't know if you're still replying to this but, I'll give it a shoot.

I'm trying to convert my outlook calendar to Lotus. I have several events lasting more than 24h that I need to repeat every 4 weeks.

1. it is annoying enough not to be able to create an event that lasts from Friday evening to Monday morning (4 events are needed, of 2 different types - 2 meetings and 2 all day events)

2. in addition I get the chance to choose between "Repeat every 4th Friday of the month" and "Repeat every last Friday of the month". That would meet my requirement if every month had 28 days, but alas this is not the case!

It appears the only way to do it is to manually select the entries from the calendar. Thanks a lot.

3. If a user has to fiddle with code in order to do a simple task as changing colours in calendar entries, then I have no words. But I shouldn't be surprised as the whole programme is the eptiome of anti-userfriendliness.

I'm fully convinced Lotus can be a great tool to do a lot of stuff - but they shouldn't sell it as a mail or calendar programme.

The difference with Outlook? Outlook has just a few functions, but they are ones 99% of the people need; it may fail, and it does from time to time, but when it works normally it just works the way it is supposed to.

18SatC  10/27/2015 15:41:00  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

This is logic more twisted than a Möbius strip made of DNA!

Product A has Feature X that can be selected from an options menu.

Product B has the capability to incorporate Feature X if you engage a developer to modify the product, test it, go through the change control process, and then support, maintain and test it through any future Product B upgrades.

Which product do you think is better? The one that has the feature readily available, or the one that requires effort to implement it?

In this specific domain Outlook is clearly better. To think otherwise is a departure from reality.

19Patty Dlugolinski  08/05/2016 23:49:05  
MYTHBUSTING Outlook IS NOT better than Lotus Notes, pt 7: Colour Coded Calendar Entries

Hi Matt, why can't I see the code or download

?

Thanks

Patty

Mat Newman

THE Lotus Notes Guy. Productivity Guru. Social Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. IBMer. Views are my own.

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