Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Mat Newman  October 25 2011 10:08:22
That the proliferation of 'Smart' mobile devices - phones, tablets, etc - within the general consumer space has lead to a revolution in the expectations of users is undeniable.

Take the iOS experience as an example. The Mail interface has but 4 (four) buttons. "Back", "Edit", "New" and "Refresh". It doesn't take a genius to work out which button to press.

Unfortunately, it has also lead to a perception that anything with a plethora of features and options is 'un-intuitive', that the extra features lead to confusion and a lack of comprehension as to their value.

Lotus Notes has surely suffered as a result of this 'simplification' of IT.

While the acceptance of technology into the lives of many users who would previously not have considered it is a positive step, recognising that there is still a place for powerful desktop applications - especially for knowledge workers - draws a line in the sand between those who need such applications and those who do not.

A recent tweet highlighted this concept:

#Thought4TheDay Give a user Windows Paint, they're an Artist. Give them Photoshop, they're Confused. Sound Familiar? Email v Notes

For those who require 'more power', the misconception that Lotus Notes is an Email application is always the starting point of a users 'frustrations'.

But it's not that hard to turn around.

It begins with the acknowledgement that Lotus Notes is a Database application (or a client framework within which to run databases) and the software interface itself, the Menu's and tools available, are optimised for managing ANY database that is currently open within the Notes client.  Demonstrate to users that the "Tool-bars" are the same whether Mail, Calendar, To-Dos, Contacts, Notebook, Blog, Forum or any Custom application that is open in Notes, and they begin to understand the consistency of the interface.  Demonstrate that the "Action Bar" contains the options specific to the current application, and users stop looking within Menu's and Tool-bars for commands to perform tasks specific to the current database.

Then demonstrate the integration options available via the Eclipse framework (which I wrote about the other day) and users begin to understand how much more productive and efficient they can be using the Notes client which can bring everything they need together in one place.

Finally, demonstrate the operation of the core PIM databases. Note: I always do this as the last step, once the users gain an understanding of the power of the application in front of them.

Many power users find comfort within the Notes client and recognise how productive they are with 'all the bells and whistles'.  They are also the users who understand the framework, the flexibility and many of the options available to them within Notes. Again, from Twitter:

I thought I'd like going from Lotus Notes to Outlook, but I don't

A little education can have powerful results.  Changing perceptions and raising understanding is part of this process.

There are always going to be users who need education to help raise their level of understanding of the power of Notes, lest they suffer from: the intuitive misconception.

1Pete McPhedran  10/25/2011 11:45:17  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I was speaking with a former Lotus Executive last week and he said after 12 years of using Outlook he still can't get used to an email application that can't full text index his inbox.


2Mat Newman

10/25/2011 12:39:17  Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@1, Pete: There are many reasons to LOVE Lotus Notes, search is one of them. Ctrl+F in 'every' program except Outlook is 'Find'. go figure ;-)

Mat Newman IBM Champion

3Patrick Kwinten  10/26/2011 7:25:53  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I have no idea what the usability team of IBM/Lotus have been smoking but from a human point of view I see plenty of room for improvement.

Just open the help.nsf and you are lost.

4Duco Bergsma  10/26/2011 18:15:10  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I sometimes explain Notes using the web-browser analogy. I explain new users that the Notes client is much like a web-browser, able to show databases on remote servers (websites). You can can have several tabs open to different databases (websites). And just like web-mail you expect options to be on the webmail site (the mail-db) and not somewhere in the browser application. That's much like Notes mail/applications; the user should expect the options/preferences to be in the database; not somewhere in the client application. The beauty of Notes is you can take that website offline securely and keep it up-to-date.

5Pauly  10/27/2011 5:55:29  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

The UI (8.5.1) for the end user is horrible. Period. I don't care if you can integrate 7e+8 databases and travel time with the effing thing.

Step-by-step: try simple tasks for the normal user such as mail archiving, out of office, email signatures, or using the GD help file. Completely unintuitive for sentient beings.

Try sending emails (or worse, calendar entries) back and forth with non-Notes users and see how gobbled up they become.

The number of icons and (misleading) menu options != success.

6Mat Newman

10/28/2011 5:35:50  Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@4, Duco: Great analyogy, it's stories such as these that enable users to more easily understand many concepts. The better the analogy, and the more relevant to their experience, the more likely they are to grasp the concept. Great job!

Mat Newman IBM Champion

7Mat Newman

10/28/2011 5:38:38  Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@5, Pauly: I disagree with you on a number of points. Especially since every item you raise is not a difficult task to achieve in Lotus Notes, regardless of whether the steps are different to Outlook. Even if the processes are different, who said that the way Outlook does things is either a) easy, or b) perfect. Thanks for providing a good list of items for future blog posts.

One item I will raise now: from any screen (mail interface, open message, etc) Press F1 for help (this is a standard short-cut for software) and see what's presented on screen. Help is one of the things that is VASTLY improved in the latest releases of Lotus Notes, especialy the context-sensitivity of the the help content presented.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

8Maria Helm  11/04/2011 6:00:01  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Totally agree with your approach. When we would do Notes client upgrades, one of the things I always insisted on was doing demos and providing training.

Another option - the direction I thought you might head with this article - would be to provide a dumbed-down interface. While IBM doesn't like us to mod the mail template, I'm pretty sure we've all done it. If you have users who really believe that 4 buttons are all they need - hey, we can accomodate you.

9Angry Jon  11/15/2011 6:55:10  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Maria, are you on crack ? training for a damn email client ? Lotus notes is the biggest pile of shit I ever had the opportunity to see in my 30 years of life, 10 days boot time, biggest resource hog, 30 years of close time. Please tell my why do I have to get the damn hour glass when writing an email and client getting disconnected from the mail server ? 2 minutes of my time wasted there. Please tell me why this pile of shit requires tons or RAM but fails to cache my latest emails and takes 2 days for whatever action if connection to server is lost? quad core+4 gb of ram here..

10Angry Jon  11/15/2011 7:00:41  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

how about IBM Change Synergy/IBM crap notes integration ? Why do I have cu copy a PR/CR number in notepad and from notepad copy it in notes ? Answer is because crap notes has shitty OLE implementation.

11Angry Jon  11/15/2011 7:14:40  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

another one, replying to some emails sent from outside of notes.. Arrow keys/ctrl+arrow keys DONT work. Actually they do work, instead of navigating through the content of the email, the content itself moves as if I would move a bitmap (this is what I always wanted when I replied some email, instead of correcting typos, I move the damn content window all together)

12Joe  11/24/2011 22:06:39  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Notes sucks. Period.

13Mat Newman

12/01/2011 17:32:44  Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@9, @10, @11 Angry John: re, "training for an email client", you appear to be the perfect candidate for this post. Lotus Notes is NOT an email client. If users approach Notes from this perspective then the power inherant in the application is always lost.

Have you got a local replica of your mail database? Each item you describe in your comments will dissapear once you implement this feature. Caveat: As long as your "Lotus Notes Data" isn't stored on a network share.

And can you explain what "Object Linking and Embedding" (OLE) has to do with a text copy-paste operation? Clearly something is not right with either your comment or the process you are using.

@12, Joe: I'm happy to engage with you. Comments such as 'Lotus Notes Sucks' litter the internet. I am always happy to address any concerns you have with the application, but I need to know what the issues that lead to your assessment actually are before I can help.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

14kam  01/11/2012 8:19:35  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

"Lotus Notes is NOT an email client." Mat you got that right. Now can IBM please strip email and calendar out of Notes so they can stop pretending and selling it as a viable Outlook, etc alternative. If you think that Notes is such a good product, then remove it's biggest weakness and maybe the users remaining who actually use it for more than email will not hate it so much.

15Bill  06/07/2012 4:44:29  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

You can go on and on about how "Notes isn't an email client", but why do corporations give it to their employees to use for email?

Notes is the single worst software product I've ever been forced to use. I am disgusted at the amount of money my company throws away on this garbage.

It's unintuitive, not user-friendly in any way, and is just aggravating and annoying to use in almost every way.

16Mat Newman

06/07/2012 15:29:22  Bill, ping me...

@15, Bill: Would love to know what irks you about Lotus Notes mate, ping me: mat at matnewman dot com

Mat Newman IBM Champion

17Simon  12/20/2013 12:12:28  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Mat, you are living in dream world buddy,

Microsoft is hand over fist taking the Lotus Notes business off corporations and replacing with Outlook.

I have used outlook all my life and am forced to use Lotus notes as I work for the company that owns Lotus.

It is unfriendly, lacks any sort of intuitiveness, for a remote user constantly freezes up and crashes.

The number of times I have also had to call IT support and be told I need to delete and rebuild my lotus notes shows it is a broken application.

It is the worst application I have ever used for an enterprise and I hope one day soon I can get back to a thing that just works, Microsoft Outlook.

18Simon  12/20/2013 12:17:58  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

To all except Mat (who is living in a bubble)

IBMers themselves all bitch about using Lotus notes, its a topic consistently brought up at IBM about how shit the application is; an more importantly about how much time is wasted trying to get it to work and calling IT help desk and getting nowhere fast.

If you can't eat your own dog food you shouldn't be selling the shit to someone else. IBMers are forced to use it and I personally waste many many hours battling with Lotus notes and waiting for it to work when I should have an email platform that just works so I can get on with my job

19Simon  12/20/2013 12:19:09  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Funnily enough

I have spent the last hour trying to get Lotus notes to sync and deliver some mail….

What a F***ING Joke, crawl back into the little hole you popped your head out of Mat

20Simon  12/20/2013 12:23:53  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

IBM themselves have Lotus Notes as the number one Issue to log a trouble ticket with apart from password resets….

This in itself demonstrates the number of issues and what the issue is for IBM staff: Lotus Notes!


21Wayne  12/24/2013 3:01:55  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@Simon, a lot of whining and trash talk, but nothing definitive. What version of the software are you using ?

In fact, none of the detractors have said which version of the software they are using, nor been specific in the actual issues they face.

If your company is only using notes for mail, then both you and they are losing out. If you have trouble with sending mail it sounds like your entire setup is messed up. That's the fault of installation and admin, not the software.

@Matt, I see great strides in Domino and Notes, but there is one item I would like you to bring up with the current product manager.

Entering numbers and dates is needlessly tiresome because you can't use the enter key for field exit.

I want you to try this; build a form, put three date fields and three numeric fields on it and try some data entry. See that enter key on the numeric keypad? We can't use it and it's really annoying to have to switch hands to hit that tab key or move your right hand across the keyboard, again, to hit the tab key. That is a productivity killer and a goodwill loser.

I can make an application look better, and behave better, but this enter key thing is the pebble in the users shoe that sours the experience of an otherwise reasonably good application.

22James Anderson  01/14/2014 12:31:07  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

If I wanted a database application I would have asked for one. But I wanted an e-mail application.

I think the major mis-conception is on the part of Lotus developers that anyone wants or uses thier "database" application for anything other than e-mail.

23James Anderson  01/14/2014 12:43:25  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

As an example of exactly how piss poor notes is for anything. The reason I am surfed to this forum is I am trying to find the menu item to change the friggin password..

I am not a dumb user, I write payments systems for a living, I am fluent in twelve programing languages and competent in another twenty or so. I get paid a lot of money for being an IT expert.

Yet I cannot work out how to change a stupid password in lotus notes.

You guys have had over twenty years being criticized for having the worse UI ever, yet, over and over again all we hear is "its a database not an e-mail client". As a database client the UI is just plain horrible, as, an e-mail client its abominable.

Look at how simple and painless g-mail is compared with Notes. How effective the search is, how much you can do with it. Oh and by the way gmail is not just a mail client its part of a fully fledged database system which is far more powerful than any notes db.

24Andy  01/22/2014 0:02:54  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@James - though you have experience in building payment systems , you just dont have knowledge for Lotus Notes. You are just blaming it for sake of proving your comments. You dont have proper supporting data.

25Wayne  01/22/2014 12:21:36  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@James - What version of Notes? funny how NO-ONE ever mentions the version they are using...

A google of "How to change lotus Notes password" got multiple page hits, the first three entries including links to youtube videos.

Try Menu, "File|User Security"

I guess some people just need to rant.

26Chewy  02/11/2014 19:19:32  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

As I read from another forum, any program that requires a separate program to zap the processes in order to restart is basically not a very well written program.

27RD  03/11/2014 22:25:57  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I find the e-mail functionality of Lotus Notes to be beyond horrible. The text editor for e-mail has about the same level of functionaltiy as what Wordpad had in Windows 95. Except that I think that version of Wordpad had less bugs and worked better.

I have experienced so many quirks and buggy things that they are just too numerous to list. Which I imagine is the same experience many of the irate commenters here are having. I know people keep saying "Well if there is really a problem list specific examples", but there are just simply too many odd problems to keep track of and list.

The underlying architecture and concept may be well designed Mat, but the interface seems to be 10-15 years old. I can understand you defending misconceptions about what it can conceptually do, etc., but I have never experienced more errors, crashes, quirks, things that working intuitively in every application except this one. It crashes so frequenctly that our IT team has scripts to clean up the crashes when it won't start again.

Even if the problem is configuration and installation method by the IT department, maybe it is just too difficult to get right then? Virtually any software that I have ever used just smoothly installs and I rarely have problems. A quick search on Google turns up endless troves of seemingly valid complaints about Notes.

I know you don't like it when people call it an e-mail client, but it seems to be what the majority of people use it for. So why such clunky out dated text editing?

I can't comment on all the features of the Notes underlying architecture, but for the interface ...IMHO ...IBM needs to completely scrap it and start from scratch to at least make it look like '05 instead of '95 (yes, I am exagerating slightly). They don't need to tweak or improve the existing UI at all ...they need to COMPLETELY SCRAP all existing code and begin from nothing.

28Milind  06/13/2014 5:36:05  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I hope Mat Newman looks at this and comments. These are some of the problems I face with Notes (only a few, there are many other similar problems)

My version of the client: 8.5 Release 8.5.1FP5, September 29, 2010

1. Unavailable Basic expected functionality: Right clicking on a out-of-company email address to add the email address to contact book - Not possible. Option doesn't exist. Options on right click are Create Message to, Invite to Meeting, Show Name Details (address not in book), Find Available Time, Copy

2. Inconsistent Interface: Two emails, opened in two separate windows. One from an actual person, the other from a (2-way)mail box (which can send and receive mails). I double click on a word I want to copy in the email from the mail box, I can select the word. I double click on a word in the email from my friend, the read mail window becomes an Reply window.

3. Difficult basic functionality: I want to send an attachment in an email without writing anything. I fill in the recipient name, tab to the subject, type in a subject, then click on the Attachment button (with the paper click icon). A message box title "Tip" pops up with the message saying "Click the body of the message to add an attachment". Why?

4. Unintuitive Data Input: Trying to create a new Meeting request. Window opens with the Subject field pre-selected for entry. I enter a subject, click on the text box in front of required, enter the email address, and then I use the scroll wheel on the mouse to scroll down to get to the Description. Nothing happens. Keep scrolling, nothing happens. To actually scroll down, click on an empty area of the header region, and not just any empty region, an empty region on the right side of the box. Clicking to the left of where the text boxes for Required, Location, etc. start doesn't work. In fact, any time, the cursor in on any of the text boxes in the header, you can't scroll.

5. Unintuitive Window Element selection: In the create meeting window, I scroll down to see the description, and see the Attach button followed by "<Enter the description of this event>(new line)-" in light letters. Click on an area below the hypen to enter some description. Nothing gets selected. You can see the mouse pointer inside the text box for description, you click again, nothing happens, until you move the mouse pointer over the dimmed text, and click again. Once you click on the text, move the mouse pointer down below the hyphen again and click, the cursor disappears, and the text to enter the description doesn't come back either.

6. Extra steps to read emails: I'm in the mail application, looking at my inbox, with a quick view window at the bottom. I select a mail in the top listing, and after a few seconds the mail is available to read at the bottom. I move the mouse over the reading window and scroll, the mail listing scrolls instead. Very well, I click on the mail body. Immediately I notice the box around the selected mail in the listing above has thinned - encouraging. Then I scroll. This time nothing scrolls, not the mail, not the listing above, nothing. I need to click again on the mail body before I can scroll it.

These are fairly simple operations, for getting some really simple, basic tasks done. All of these are fairly easily achievable in Outlook or Apple Mail (not a big user of Outlook off late, but still have used it). Now Notes may be a far better software compared to either Outlook, or Mail, or even perhaps the two of them put together. It may be a database application, and not just mail, despite the official Notes website calling it one, but infact classifying it under Enterprise Email section ({ Link } the point is that basic functionality doesn't work as expected, or, as in the case of adding new contacts to the personal contact book, doesn't work at all.

Now I uinderstand that the client was released in September 2010, and my softaware standards it's ancient history, but these tasks were still very posisble long before 2010 rolled around. I remember doing all these activities on Outlook, as far back as 2005, on XP.

Why is the interface so unintuitive?

29Mat Newman

06/16/2014 15:19:42  Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@28: Milind,

Thanks for your input.

1. Adding an address to the Contacts Database:

Choose any email, from the MORE Action on the Action Bar, choose "Add Sender to Contacts". This has been in Notes since version 4, almost 20 years ago.

In newer versions of IBM Notes this feature is available from the Right-Click menu as well.

2. Double-clicking Notes Documents:

In Lotus/IBM Notes, double-clicking any document is a standard action to put the document into "Edit" mode. This is a feature that has been available in Lotus Notes since it's first release in 1989. This applies to every document in every Lotus Notes Database. The effect that you have observed is double-clicking on a word for a document in Read mode, expecting to highlight that word, but Notes puts the document into Edit mode, which is standard for Notes. Notes WILL actually highlight a word by double-clicking, but only if the document is in "Edit" Mode.

3. Attachments while not in the "Body" or content of a message:

In versions of Notes before version 8.5.2 (Released in August 2010), clicking on the Attach Icon when not in the content of a New message would provide you with the tip you described, informing you that you need to click in the content of a message before adding an attachment.

From 8.5.2 onwards, clicking on the Attach Icon automatically changes the focus from the message header fields into the message content and allows you at add an attachment.

4. Scrolling when the focus is on Form "Headers":

Agree, this is slightly strange behaviour, I will raise it with product management for you.

5. Entering Descriptions for Calendar entries:

The "Hyphen" you describe is there to indicate where the end of the Rich-Text description entry field is within a calendar entry. You are correct, clicking on the 'Enter the Description of this event" help text will remove that tip the first time you click on it (as it will for any Help text set as the default for a field in any Notes document). If you then click below the "Hyphen" you are moving the focus OUT of the description field. However, you can move the focus back into the description field by clicking above the Hyphen again.

6. Scrolling focus for window elements:

This has been an issue with Windows for years. Scrolling based on cursor focus is not just a Notes issue, it occurs with other applications as well. I run Linux (Ubuntu), and am sitting next to a colleague running a Mac, both of us are able to scroll screen elements based on our cursor location, rather than "Focus" (the problem you described by having to click in the content of a message before you can scroll within the details to read it).

Sorry I can't help with this one, it does work on different versions of Windows, but we can't pin down why it only works in some versions of Notes on some versions of Windows.

Always happy to help with any Notes requests you may have, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Mat Newman IBM Champion

30mojo  07/26/2014 12:25:26  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


I have used outlook all my life. Unfortunately my company is on notes and I'm having a hard time adjusting. I need help with two features:

1) I love the outlook feature where I can store small notes for easy retrieval can I do that on notes? How?

2) I want to be able to do a reply all to an invite that I did not create. Seems easy but I can't do it.

Would appreciate your help. Please remember I'm very new to notes (1 week) .... outlook power user for 15 years. So please be descriptive in your response. Thanks in advance.

31L. Delgado  08/04/2014 6:32:25  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Why does running soooooo SLOW when you open your mail....geez

32L. Delgado  08/04/2014 6:34:59  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

i dont sync my contacts in my email server to my phone..but I do want to use the look up feature in the Contact tool. Every time I launch Contacts, it says "Contacts sync is disabled" Is there a way to use the tool without syncing.

33R. Sarmiento  10/03/2014 18:32:14  
Lotus notes as an enterprise email application

My version: (on Mac OS X Mavericks)

IBM Lotus Notes 8.5

Release 8.5.1 FP2

Revision 20100318.1445-FP2 (Release 8.5.1FP2)

Standard Configuration

My issues:

1. clicking (to select it) and then right clickling (contextual menu) on an attachment will crash the mail tab. In order to open the contextual menu on an attachment I have to click somewhere else in the email body and then right click on the attachment. Just one of many bugs found during my two years of use of that sorry software.

2. I select an email in the list of emails, and the email body appears below the list. I scroll using any method, and the email text becomes garbled. To solve this I have to click on the email body to refresh the view. this is a redraw issue, apparently.

3. Delete email. I deleted an email by mistake, so obviously went to the trash folder to retrieve it. no sign of it.

4. In Inbox, to sort emails by date or by subject click on the column title. Now, search on inbox for a document, get a list of the emails. Now try to sort by Subject or date by clicking on the respective column. You can't. Expand the search box (more), the sort by options include two options to sort by date, but not by subject.

5. move the lotus window to a second screen, now click on a web link on an email. The browser won't open. Move Lotus back to the main screen, click on the web link. It will now open the browser as expected.

6. received an email with a security certificate. Lotus notes shows me a huge dialog saying that the certificate may be invalid, do you want to accept it this time?, reject it?, accept it for ever?. If I don't select accept for ever, it will keep showing the dialog again and again until (by clicking really fast with the mouse) I can select a different email.

7. What does the Edit/Undo option do?, it is never active. when I am typing it is replaced with an option called "Undo Typing" but I don't recall it being active at any other time. How come almost all of the functionality is not undoable?, not even deleting an email, or moving it to a different folder?. I am human, I make mistakes. Come on!!

Mat, on @milind's email, point 3. the question was: why?. Why would Lotus require us to do this?, I also am mystified by this behaviour, but given that this is an enterprise email solution, we are not going to move to a newer version anytime soon. Why does Lotus need to be so uncomfortable to use, so user unfriendly?

I might misunderstand how great a database engine Lotus is. But I don't think it crashing on me is a sign of greatness.

34Ole Irgens  10/24/2014 22:23:29  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I returned to Lotus Notes last year after a nearly 10 year long hiatus. Mail clients used in the meantime were Outlook for work and (mostly) Thunderbird for private mail, since I used to be slightly addicted to Linux. I currently use Airmail for OsX, which is a great mail client IMHO.

I think the user approach of Lotus/IBM is wrong. It's like: You have a great piece of software sitting in front of you, but you don't understand its greatness. I think this is an misunderstood attitude towards the end user. The GUI should be intuitive and lead the user gently into the appliaction. This goes especially for applications like email clients. Most people use a program for private email reading, unless they read them in a web browser, and the corporate mail clients should broadly follow the same conventions, I think.

I don't say that Lotus Notes is useless. It works, but seems old fashioned and the GUI is outdated (my version being 8.5.1). And yes, it might be a great database handler, but most end users don't care about that. They want a robust, user friendly and nice looking email client, preferrably paired with a good scheduler, something which resembles the other clients they use, Outlook or Gmail/Google calendar to mention a few.

35Subbu  10/25/2014 7:38:08  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I hate creating connection document for every new application we need to open through Lotus notes. Notes cannot query a DNS server for resolving an IP address if a new application needs to be open. Notes appears to be using age old techniques and have never embraced the newer techniques / features.

36Aman  10/31/2014 0:32:35  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Well, I'd beg to differ with *any*one who thinks Lotus Notes is anywhere close to useful.

Case in point #1. The single most important function of an email client, imho, is to be able to *send* email.

Enter LN. Begin end of intuitiveness or logic.

The moment I press 'Send' (not 'Send and File'), the email goes into my Sent folder. However, should I take LN at face value? Duh, NO!

So naively, I go and check the Outbox, which doesn't show any emails listed. By now, I should be satisfied, (if not apologetic to the guardian deity guarding LN for doubting its worth) that the email is well and truly on its way to the intended recipient.

But experience has taught me better - the Outbox does not refresh by itself. I click F9, and lo and behold! The email I supposedly 'sent', is still sitting pretty.

And then I realise the need to constantly monitor the replication box. Seriously?

The pain doesn't end there. In case I do not, for some undiscernible reason such as *having better things to do in life than to monitor the frickin' replication status bar*, AND if the replication fails, I wouldn't get any other message other than the momentary 'Replication error' in the status bar.

By the way, all this is while when Lotus Notes shows itself as 'Online', but may not be.

37Ian  11/13/2014 20:20:31  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I've spent the last hour trying to figure out how to get notes to stop using it's awful default web brower when I click a link from an email and how to get it to use my default web brower. And no I can't go to "File-preferences" as I have "file-user preferences, toolbar preferences and status bar preferences" None of which give me the option I am looking for!! I'm an IT admin and I can't figure this out. I also have no idea how to mark all my emails as read. I can't believe how utterly rubbish Notes is

38jp  11/14/2014 10:33:38  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


really????? and your IT admin

Click File-Prefereces.

Once the preferences box is open click on Web Browser.

39Bentley Whitman  12/21/2014 12:17:42  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I didn't think the shortcomings of the "database" program my company forces me to use for email/contacts/calendar could get any worse...until they foisted the unbelievably even crappier Lotus iNotes on me. What a steaming pile of garbage--totally unfit for business use.

I am not a programmer. I am not a database builder. I don't care how secure or stable it is for IT people to deploy and manage. As a mobile professional, I just want a program that reliably fetches my mail, syncs my calendar (with something besides itself) and provides access to my contacts in a standard format. And do it reliably in an offline environment and through a VPN connection that doesn't require Internet Explorer to use.

I can only assume that IBM got its hooks into my company far too long and far too many dollars ago for us to invest in a workable business-class alternative. Our IT people are suckers and our users suffer with this horrible pile of crap day in and day out.

Matt, your attempts to put lipstick on a pig are amusing, but not nearly as much so as the comments from people like me know better.

40Michael  01/12/2015 8:48:15  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Hi Matt,

I write as a basic user, not technical by any stretch of the imagination. You are correct to say people can google to find out how to do things like change passwords. The people who have raised issues here that you have responded to, such as when right clicking on a non notes senders address and you cant add to the address book but hey you say if you click on MOREyou can, are very helpful however I don't have to seek help or google solutions to such basic tasks in gmail, outlook etc.

If I have to take time out of my day to google solutions for what most people would consider are basic tasks then I am wasting my time and my companies time.

I have worked at several companies whom have used notes. One was a company that took full advantage of the database capabilities however they employed several highly paid and skilled people to build and manage notes. Notes at that company was great. Another company simply used it for email and in that case it really was crap for basic everyday tasks. It not always viable for companies to employ highly paid notes developers simply to deal with email related issues.

There is Help either with things such as f1, google or pages like yours however it quickly becomes a costly and stressful exercise when so much time and energy has to be spent in order to effectively use it. This is the underlying feeling I get when I read the masses of complaints that a simple google search brings up on Notes.

If you are using it for basic everyday email it really is useless unless you have a team of highly paid developers and specialists who can deal with the issues.

I have seen notes used to its full ability, I was impressed and it was great but as I said that came with large overheads of employing LN developers or contractors which most companies simply do not do when using it mainly for email.

My current employer uses Notes and I have yet to meet anyone at this company who likes it, in fact they all detest it. It is the number one issue that is raised at every company meeting and the feeling is so strong that there was a special company announcement recently with much fanfare to tell the employees that we would be moving off notes this year.

I understand your need to defend the product but as a non technical user who just wants some basic email functionality it is obvious to me that it was designed purely by technical people without much thought to usability. This is where companies such as apple, google etc excel they understand that ease of use make for happier customers even if that means that additional functionality is lacking. Having all the functionality in the world is useless if you cant use the product.

41Kevin St. Clair  01/20/2015 9:09:23  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I was recently forced back onto Notes by a client and had forgotten who horrible the user interface really is.

When notes was first created it was admittedly a product leader in lightweight database solutions. However the internal browser and email clients have always been substandard.

Everybody in this industry has had to become an apologist for crappy software at some point, but Notes elevates this to a whole new level. The product in its current form tries to masquerade as lightweight database, email, and browser and manages to be significantly substandard in all three. I wouldn't mind except that the email search functionality is a joke, so I spend many wasted cycles filing important email because I know I won't be able to find it again. I'm doing this in the age of search!

42CuriousCorn  02/02/2015 18:58:13  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Well, well, interesting. I stumbled upon this thread, after a quick search inspired by seeing a "highly educated IT professional" friend of mine post some derogatory comments elsewhere about Lotus Notes.

Anyway, for the highly experienced programmer who commented above somewhere about how he couldn't work out how to change his password. Well, I just tried, out of interest (I have never done this in 15 years). Hmm, let's see. Menu - File. Oh, look, Security - User Security. That could be intuitively correct. And so it was. Took 20 seconds.

I've been an end user of LN for some 15 years (we now are on V7; bit antiquated). We moved to Outlook/Exchange three years ago. Good, so our company now has two separate systems to maintain (Does anybody have a solution for the 2000 or so databases we have? Well, no, so we still need LN/Domino)

As always, here too, everyone whinged and whined about LN and looked forward to the introduction of Outlook. And now they moan and complain about Outlook. But of course when Outlook crashes and dies, that's just accepted and kept quiet; brushed under the rug, as if it's just an accepted feature. When LN crashed, it was the opposite - fire and flames.

For me, I am fine with LN; I use it almost every day - never had any major issues. Of course, nothing is perfect (and we are on V7, don't forget)

Funny, I tried to open a PowerPoint file from 1997 the other day with PP2010. No chance.

Naturally, not a very common thing to do, I must admit, but how about LN databases? AFAIK, it is possible to open one from V1.0

Other likes? Maybe not so relevant now, but the text formatting properties box that remains on the screen, preferable to being modal like other apps.

Search - nice to be able to fill out an example form

For this whole topic, it's interesting. Reminds me somewhat of the furiously-fuelled VHS/Betamax fans.. Oh look, Betamax has a slightly better signal-noise ratio that VHS. (Ha, beat that VHS. Oh, hang on, unless you have 20K$ worth of test equipment, you won't notice, but we won't mention that).

Oh, and it's the same rubbish with Apple/Microsoft...

And it's the same rubbish with iOS/Android.. I read last year about a pro-Android journalist who got death threats—death threats—from die hard Android fans as he had claimed that a small feature of iOS was 'OK'.. C'mon; it's an operating system for a telephone.

For (most of) the negative 'professionals' above, you remind me of arrogant electronics engineers tasked with repairing a broken TV, jumping around, blasting the design/poor quality of the TV.. Only to succumb to the passing cleaning lady, who suggests you to plug a lamp into the socket, see of there is power available..

I have never yet seen anyone produce an absolutely compelling reason to suggest that IBM Notes is useless, it's all just minor gripes, fuelled by internal rage. For a piece of software.

I do wish IBM Notes a good future.

43Seb  02/02/2015 20:21:37  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

As a user, I am sure that Lotus Notes is a wonderful piece of software that can "manage database", and that users are wrong thinking it is a email client like outlook... but he fact is most of the user just need an email client, and when compared to email clients Notes sucks.

The worst part is it could be greatly improved with a more friendly user interface, like one acknowledging that people want an email client and do not care about database and stuff...

44JP  02/04/2015 2:02:09  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


VERY well said.

Users like to complain instead of learning.

Yes you can open older version of PPT in Notes. Funny, IBM supports apps that MS created that their own product can't.

45IT Guy  02/06/2015 7:33:52  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Domino's replication and clustering technologies are still very pertinent to today's corporate/government clients whom leverage this for stability, speed, and reliability on the back end.

As an engineer supporting Domino products and the positives already said, yes the Lotus Email Client needs a major overhaul if it is going to stay competitive. Just like previous comments, every user is always asking when we are switching, new employees are suprised to learn we still have Notes.

Massive CPU utilization at times, hung nsd.exe's, hung rcplauncher.exe etc... can take up to a 1GB of RAM, relies heavily on Java, any changes in software on the machine can impact Notes. Sometimes requires a reboot for no reason when the Eclipse based files will not load properly. Workspace folder contstantly has to be reset as it tends to corrupt itself frequenly. Framework folder constantly has to be reset as it tends to corrupt itself frequently. We re-install the client on a regular basis.

We have several thousand users in a Notes environment, keeping the Domino in place for apps and cutting over to exchange/cloud soon.

46gvanbeek  02/19/2015 8:56:10  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

It just sucks. Lotus-Notes-free for 42 months!

Have they finally fixed the "sort" feature in the email? It would drive me to apoplectic fits when I tried to sort emails by subject line, only to have 1,000 emails from different threads that started with RE: or FW:

47Dave  02/24/2015 3:23:28  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Hi we moved against the trend by moving away from exchange 2013 to notes 9. I have been an MS exchange for over ten year and was horrified about the prospect of moving. When we first moved it was a bit of a nightmare but now I know I using a vastly superior product. Exchange is at best user friendly, Notes 9 if so much more. The backend is solid, upgrades are also solo much easier, the product is lighter no need to cache local unlike exchange, iNotes it great, traveller is getting better. Value for money Notes wins hands down. I could go on all day calendar is so much more powerful search is far better and faster. DAOS is also great and it has the added bonus of not only being limited to email. MS exchange is expensive, heavy on the network, crashes, the upgrade path it tedious and expensive, plus you are tied into the MS model with limited options. I could go on all day.. ……. I have seen the light 

48Greg V  03/20/2015 2:24:17  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@Mat I've got a usability issue that I can't solve in Notes 9 Social Edition running against SmartCloud.The exact version is:

Release 9.0

Revision 20130309.0942 (Release 9.0)

Standard Configuration

I cannot get the desktop client runing on Win 7 SP1 to keep the sort order of my inbox the way I want it. Any time I switch back to my inbox, The sort order is date DESCENDING, and a specific message about 30% of the way down the page is selected. I have set the preference for the views to preserve sort order in the Notes client, and gone into the web client and configured it to sort in that order as well.

I want my mail to sort in date ASCENDING order and for the view to position itself on the first (oldest) unread message, or at the bottom of the mailbox.

I also have to say that as a user coming to Notes from using several other mail clients, and a person who has done UI design since the VT100 was mildly antiquated, I found the Notes UI to be counterintuitive in several ways. @Milind's post raised a bunch of sore spots for me too, and while I understand that Notes had it's own UI conventions for nearly as long as Windows could be said to have them, (v3.11 or so IMHO) it might be nice to offer the Windows power users a few more ways to customize the behavior of some mouse controls. Notes may be a powerful database application, but if it is going to serve as an email client for many/most of its users as well, it should make concessions to that mode of use.

I'd also like to note that the issue raised a by @milind (#3) regarding the add attachment requiring the user to be in the message body persists into V9. I have encountered that issue several times, but I cannot reproduce it since we moved from the old internal server (v7.?) to the SmartCloud version. My memory says it happened after entering the recipients and tabbing into the subject field, typing the subject and then clicking the icon.

Oddly, while trying to fix my main problem today, I just noticed that some change to my preferences did not apply cleanly and wiped out my complex (company mandated) signature. I originally set the signature block in the Notes desktop client, and it did transfer to the SmartCloud at that time. After changing my preferences for sort order on the web site today, my signature was missing on the web site and the Notes client. I'll raise a PMR if I can reproduce the issue cleanly.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

49George P  04/30/2015 10:00:55  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I'm the IT Admin / Notes Admin / Notes Developer / Everything for a small company of 50 employees in 5 countries and 6 locations.

We have travelling sales reps. We have many in-house developed Notes databases for things like CRM, Order Entry, Travel Expense recording, etc.

Everything is done on a shoestring - second-hand servers, for example.

But the Domino server does NOT crash. Applications are available 24/7 worldwide. Encrypted. Traveller works like a charm. And our users - most of whom have a high-school educations from third-world countries - don't have any issues with the e-mail functions. Do they use all the features? No - but neither do I. I don't use the ToDo, for example - I prefer the Calendar, but that's just me.

Notes has some great features - like Copy as Document Link for example - that we use all the time to go from an e-mail to a document in a completely different database, make a change, and come back and annotate/reply to the e-mail.

And Notes is very inexpensive relative to Outlook: We run the server on OpenSUSE vs having first of all to buy Windows server with all that entails.

We've been on Notes since 1997 - and won't willingly give it up for anything else.

50Jay Bryant  05/19/2015 0:33:51  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I'll tell you exactly why I hate notes. I pressed Ctrl-F to find a message. Fine. I found the message. When I was done, my inbox had rearranged itself, I like the categorized view (it took me an hour of searching to find that it's called a categorized view), and that was gone. My meetings were now mixed with my messages. I finally asked a co-worker how to fix it. He told me to press the down arrow on the date column. I had already tried sorting by every possible column, up and down. He explained that I had to press the down arrow when the mail was already sorted most recent first.

How would I ever figure that out? This idiot program may be able to do everything in the world, but if it can't keep my inbox in the same order I had it after I press Ctrl-F, it's got serious enough problems for me join the "I HATE THIS POS" camp.

51Raghu  07/09/2015 10:17:11  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


I find it searching the email history for a user or a key word in the email does not fetch the desired emails that I want, it shows other emails which has no match of the key words or the users that I have selected.

Can someone advise me, what mistake I am making?


52CJ  07/10/2015 14:50:12  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Wow, takes a looong time to get all the way to the comments section through all the complaints.

I, like most people, find LN utterly useless. Why? Because my work insists that it is our email client. That's all I use it for.

So, without digressing and repeating everyone else's whinges about the program that I too Hate, I recently had to go on leave from work for a few days (for not-fun reasons unfortunately)

So, I thought I'd be "proactive" and set up an out of message reply so people who sent me stuff knew I wasn't ignoring them.

I followed the instructions on the booklet that I was provided with when I started with the company (4 months ago). Set up the out of office, set the dates, turned it on. Or so I thought.

When I came back to work, I received a helpful summary. Although I had received ~100 emails, LN advised me that 0 out of office messages were sent. WTF?

53ged  07/17/2015 18:56:04  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Using 8.5.3. Biggest gripe; limited backward compatibility with windows keyboard shortcuts, for example, a lack of ctrl-tab functionality or other way to navigate between tabs without using the mouse. Also, attachments moving around in the middle of text - wtf?

54Let us Note serious frustration  10/06/2015 9:22:24  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Tried to use highlighter while editing an e-mail.

Couldn't figure out how to get out of highlighter mode. Intuitive? I wound up saving the draft and re-opening. Maybe there should be a dumbed-down version which only supports and is optimized for being an e-mail client (since this is NOT what LN is, but is used by many for just that purpose)

55pfm  10/14/2015 2:05:07  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Using Lotus Notes for an e-mail application, as my company does. is like buying a backhoe to plant a daisy. Totally impractical.

56JP  10/14/2015 10:08:27  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@54Let us Note serious frustration

I guess pressing the highlighter button again to get out of highlighter mode makes too much sense.

57JP  10/14/2015 10:15:17  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

@55 pfm

if your company is so simplistic they should have gone with gmail, but maybe they are smarter than the average bear by thinking of the future and going with IBM Notes.

58An anonymous IBMer   10/22/2015 2:50:18  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I'm an IBMer, and I really really hate Notes. I really don't care how good of a Database system it is as I only use it for email, and it is terrible. Before I highlight the reasons for my disbelieve on the product, let me just say that I'm a very technical user. Linux, networking, storage systems and hypervisors have been my bread-and-butter for over 10 years, and I have solid desktop experience too. So it is not that I'm not willing to learn or that I don't know how things work, it is just the tool that doesn't do the job properly (past experiences with Zimbra and Exchange do tell me that for email and collaboration, all of these are more efficient tools on that than Notes). As someone before mentioned, just remove the email functionality and leave it as a database, there, Lotus will be great again, but until it continues to fail at being a decent email client, this is the feedback users will give out.

- It is sloooooooowwww

It just is, period. It doesn't adapt whenever the user connects over a low bandwidth connection, it's refresh and replication cycles are medieval, it just drags itself over and over. Try scrolling for instance, not only the scroll bars won't properly adapt, but it takes ages to update the view.

- It doesn't deal well with connection failures

The amount of times I had to kill the whole just jut because my VPN or wireless dropped is amazing. How hard it is to deal with a connection failure?

- Zap application, really?

When a vendor ships a product whose toolset include an application to "kill it when it goes unresponsive" that says it all. Literally, that's the description of this Zap application that comes with the Notes suite

- Reply to all from Sent items

Now, on other email clients, when you do a reply to all on a sent item, it maintains the To and Cc structure (handy for those times that you didn't got feedback to an email and wish to send it again). But on Notes, it puts me in To and all the other addresses in Cc. Really?!

- Strange refresh behaviour

So I see the system tray icon popping up for new email, I raise the Notes window and at that point still need to wait by the hourglass for the view to refresh and the new email to show up (even after the new email icon is there).

- switch between locations (online and replicated offline)

Now this one really puzzles me. Whenever I switch locations, I actually need to close the email view tab and open it again for the system to show me as connected to a server rather than local!

- View customisation

What's with the difficulty of getting conversation views to group all the messages? And why does the application get so slow when conversation view is enabled?

I really don't care how good of a DB Notes is, that's not what I'm using it for, I've been given Notes access for email and collaboration purposes, and I'm afraid that it fails miserably at that. It is just not functional as an email client. As my employer is the owner of Notes, I actually doubt there's a bad design or server-side implementation of the platform causing all these, so it is by design a bad email client. Yes, databases, but really not an email client.

And yes, all the talks about IBMers constantly ranting about Notes are indeed true, no one really likes it and feels it is a major productivity bottleneck.

59chas  11/12/2015 23:43:49  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Still waiting after five minutes for it to attach a document to the email.

Also after two minutes (before the circle of forever) the spellchecker gives up. It does this on every email. Like there is a time limit to do a spellcheck.

Had to use Killnotes as it was still stuck after 7 minutes.

Lost the workflow - going for a smoke.

60PFM  11/21/2015 6:21:29  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Just when you think you have figured out all of the reasons why Lotus Notes Sucks, Lotus comes up with more. reasons to suck

I worked on an IBM370 machine years ago. Good machine - state of the art by a reputable company.

IBM was a good company before Lotus Notes, Manuscript and other applications that will go down as total and complete waste of time and effort by those geniuses who wrote and marketed these gems.

IBM must surely stand for Idiots and Bumbling Morons

Mat... if you are standing up for these geniuses, YOU must certainly subscribe to the Flat Earth Society

61outlook SUCKS  12/10/2015 5:11:48  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

12-02-2015, 05:48 PM #14

Here's some feedback that I just left for the Outlook Team:

This is absolutely the WORST mail service I have used. Our corp email account was forced onto the Outlook Mail (Preview) on 10/29 at approx 3:30am PST. This is when everything on my iphone was mail, my calendars and my contacts. Since this update I'm unable to sign in using my corp "primary email" address on my mobile devices....let me say that again...I can not sign in using my primary email address on my mobile devices...but I CAN SIGN in using an email alias. Took me a week to figure that out on my own and your technical support STILL can't resolve the issue over a month later. Let's see what else doesn't work OH the little "?" icon didn't work for two weeks...AND previewing PDF's STILLLLL DOESN'T WORK, plus attaching a document is horribly confusing and not intuitive at all. Way to go on improving our business' productivity and efficiency. You should have saved the time and closed out the email account and had a landing page with Clippy from least HE WAS HELPFUL SOME OF THE TIME!!!!!!!!

62Tomasz Jankowski  01/20/2016 5:36:59  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Users hate Lotus Notes because:

- it is ALWAYS and SOLELY used as an email client and an agenda, all its other "powers" are never leveraged - not even by IBM (because they're crap, and everyone and their dog has done better in the last many years)

- it has medieval ergonomics that simply don't make sense in any absolute, while strictly ignoring most conventions adopted in UI interaction in the last ten years (ok, I agree, it's older than 10 years - but then why is it still here)

- it is painfully slow to use and it does not buffer your keystrokes, when you get mad at its slowness and decide to type anyway - no other piece of software takes their users for an idiot ride more than Notes


63Rand  01/22/2016 9:21:55  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Lotus Notes 9.0 pet peeves (but most have existed since 5.0).

For all your talk about how great and powerful LN is and how ignorant the users of LN are, well HOW ABOUT:

- Every time I cut an attachment out of a message I have to answer the stupid question "This operation can not be undone"... well yes it can, BY SELECTING PASTE. And the fact that I can't select 'undo' hummm maybe not so powerful.

- Every VCF file I import into my contacts shows up without the email address, yes the email address kinda of important don't you think!

- When I search my contacts using CTRL+F it keeps reversing the sort from A-Z to Z-A

- Any time an email arrives the focus changes to the calendar, so if I'm looking at an email and try to delete it, it wants to delete the calendar entry instead.

- When I go to schedule a meeting it sometimes picks a random old date rather than default to the day I'm look at on my Calendar.

- When I copy text from a web page it takes forever to paste with Ctrl+V, instead I have remember to use Ctrl+Shift+V

- The fact you call everything an application when most people think of a repository of information to be DATABASE!

- I put databases in the startup menu so they are ready-to-go when I need them. But all it does is make a place holder and when I select for the first time that day I have to wait a minute for it to open the database. But it's ok right? It tells me "you can work on other windows while this view refreshes" NO YOU CAN'T!! IT has never been true for version from 5-9, LN can only do one thing a time and does that badly.

- How about when the first word of an email is spelt wrong, it doesn't capitalize the replacement word.

- If you close LN and you have a chat window open, the next time you open LN it re-opens the chat window, and it's blank, not sure if anyone would find the behavior helpful.

- If I'm trying to cut a table out of an email and I go 1 character too many it highlights the entire email string!! And no backing up! you have to start over.

- How incredibly weak the 'undo' function is or as I like to say "there is so little that Lotus can do or undo"

- When I'm addressing an email, I need to use a comma to auto complete an email address that is internal to my company, but if it's an email address that is external (i.e ends in .com) then I have to use the Tab key, if I use the comma, it cuts off the email address rather that auto complete it! On what planet does this make sense??

- And last but not leasts, there are so many hits on the web for 'Lotus Notes Sucks' you changed the name to IBM Notes, why are you trying to loose the Lotus Brand for some reason?? Hummm I think I no why, because ....

Fix all the above and then you'll be no better then every other email client on the planet, including the free ones.

64Clive  03/26/2016 12:28:34  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I have been a messaging engineer for 20 years I have supported both Exchange / outlook and Domino / notes and done plenty of migrations from Domino to Exchange. Currently I am supporting Exchange / Outlok 2013 and Domino / notes 9. So my opinion comes from knowledge and not ignorance like most, that Exchange / Outlook in short is limited and an absolute pile of shit the server performance rubbish and is light years behind what Domino can do. The Outlook client is reasonable in features but again lacks in stability and prone corruption if a PA is looking after multiple directors mailboxes. This is when it is set up correctly, however I very rarely see a Note client set-up correctly if the set

-up outlook as badly as I find Notes, it wouldn't even run. I could go on all night on about how Domino kicks Exchange the is just too long.

65Aga  04/09/2016 8:26:09  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

My auto signature is only showing while I am connected to the docking station. When I use VPN connection I have to add the signature manually to every sending e-mail. Can somebody advice if there is a way to change it?

Thank you

66webhead  04/19/2016 1:51:56  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I generally concur with some of the eccentricities listed above e.g reply to all from sent items puts me in to field. Lack of simple drag and drop functionality I enjoyed a lot in Outlook e.g dragging e-mail to contacts to create a contact.

Even worse, if I want to drag an attachment from one e-mail to another, I can't without dumping e-mail headers as well. How does that help?? My workaround is to drag to desktop and then drag back from desktop...what a drag!

Finally, can someone confirm that Notes does not have the useful yello post-it notes functionality in Outlook. You would think after 30 odd years in a productivity suite that IBM would acknowledge the need for ad hoc notes to be saved.....

67Kennie..B  07/14/2016 5:44:44  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Wait... one server that can:

- E-Mail: SMTP. SSL/TLS, POP, IMAP, NRPC, SchduleManager

- WebServer: HTTP, HTTPS

- DB2

- Connect, extract, massage data from various other back-end data warehouses (SQL, SAP, Oracle, etc..)

- Enterprise Mobile Management (Traveler)

- Hold Full Text Indices of several mail files for user document searching

- Document repository (i.e. ShartPoint)

- Workflow applications

..... all while maintaining, the tens of thousands of e-mail distribution lists, generic mail-in databases, etc...... Yeah.. sounds like a real piece of shit to me.

Sorry for sounding condescending, but I'm sick and tired of end users who can not figure out how to change their effing password, or enable their Out of Office agent, or even hit F1 to search HELP. Yes... There is a HELP database!! You all need to go back to pen, paper, the TI handheld calculator and rotary dial telephones.

PS, #64.. spot on....

PSS... oops. should have posted this on a "Domino Sucks" website

68JP  07/27/2016 0:25:24  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


Right on!

I have been in IT for a long time and one thing is for sure. The average users are REALLY lazy, whiny and want to be told what to do and pretend they are power users. They don't want to think or learn when it comes to technology. Its a sad society. Domino is a fantastic product but the average user won't get your post, nor even try to get an understanding of what it can do. exchange is very limited and they don't get that either. Another thing, I see post stating they are admins and complain about Domino and I can only laugh because they are part of that average users group as well. Those "admins" are lazy as well.

69PFM  09/29/2016 1:57:07  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


My company with about 80k employees is finally waking up and getting RID OF THIS PIG. Yay for us and shit on you

70PFM  09/29/2016 4:06:16  
LN Sucks


F$%# You and the horse that you cane in on

71JP  10/05/2016 3:47:40  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


Your an idiot. you an your 80K can now get screwed on what ever garbage program. Enjoy.

Every post you have wrote is useless, no information just whining like a B_TCH.

72Aaron  11/05/2016 8:39:03  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

After 10 years, the government branch I work for is finally dumping LN. YAY!!!! I hate. The users hate it. It has been nothing but a time-sink for us in the IT department. This little box isn't big enough for me to list all the problems we've had over the years. Do yourself a favor... If your company is considering going to LN, DON'T!!! Setup a Linux box instead. Sorry JP, you're nuts!

73PFM  11/17/2016 5:06:00  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Yay, Yay, Yay!!!! My company with 80,000 users has finally realized that Lotus Notes sucks and threw it under the bus. I cannot believe it did not happen earlier. Now opening E-mail, sending E-mail and importing attachments is almost transparent versus what the PIG used to do. Again YAY!!!

74me  12/21/2016 3:09:21  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Hey Mat,

when no one uses Lotus the Pig anymore, what will you do?

75Notes User  08/12/2017 5:55:52  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

I've used Lotus Notes for 15+ years, starting with 4.6. It's improved MUCH over the years (no longer have to use NotesKill, as was so common back in the days).

People certainly have strong feelings about it. Notes is much more than an email client, that's what many people don't realize. In reality, it tries to do too much more than what most people want it for.

It's got a lot of weird quirks, for example not being able to search in Trash... I mean, why would you do that (and not fix it after all these years).

Outlook isn't perfect by any means, but integration with Microsoft Office is much better. And, just like Windows has become the de facto Desktop OS and Office the de faco productivity suite, Outlook has become so for the email client.

76ANM  12/10/2017 6:08:33  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Wow a topic lasting 6 years!!! Users hate LN because it's sucks and we do not have internal developpers to tweak and program the thing we are busy trying to send email and export simple thing from it like todos. End users are not IT developpers, they need end users feature.

77Shanks  01/13/2018 1:17:42  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Oh My...first comment of 2018 !!!

Moved to a new company and they use LN and was wondering if other LN users share the same feeling. LN sucks.

It sucks more than the sucking suckers of Suckville, SK.

MS Outlook forever!

78Magnetilo  04/04/2018 18:40:06  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Some people hate Notes, some people love Notes. What does that tell you?

Notes is not the best product for everybody.

It's like whining because Mommy gave you a football when you wanted to play baseball. Then football sucks, right?

79Wolfgang Vondracek  05/06/2018 18:41:32  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Dear Mat,

I am not even sure if you still read or follow-up on this particular subject yet I would still like to leave a comment.

I had my first experiences with Lotus Notes back then when it was still a Lotus Product. Had setup my own business in 1989 and wanted to concentrate on Network products. Worked until a year ago with both, Lotus Notes/Domino as well as Exchange and needless to say, even now, I would gladly recommend the IBM product instead of the Microsoft product. And this is not only from the support prospect but more so from the user experiences. No crashes, no lost data, multiple add-on options, large database sizes. In fact, I am supporting clients with 30GB mailboxes without hiccups and no slowdown at all. I will give IBM 10 out of 10 any time at any day for this product along with all the newer add-on options!

80Magoya  02/19/2019 0:18:05  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

Hey Mat,

Lotus sucks so much, I'm leaving a 2019 comment.

Mind you, I've seen one productive environment where it worked as a charm. It wasn't email, but some sort of workflow that ran on Notes. And it was at IBM.

However, the GUI, the uncertainty (like 2 people using the same functional mailbox and seeing different number of mails in the shared inbox), the crypting messages, oh my oh my.

But again, IBM is getting rid of it, so I guess this is a moot point. All the people I met who said they loved LN (a very tiny %, compared to all the haters) were involved in some way in the backend, administering Domino or creating "databases". No user, ever. How can an application thrive if users hate it?

81Stuart  07/26/2020 1:53:45  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception


I love Lotus Notes. It has been running my law firm since 1996. I have had paper office using Notes dbs long before it became fashionable. I wrote an integrated double entry general and trust accounting system in Notes. It has been working for about 3 years and is robust. Admittedly I have a small firm, but I have no doubt it would run a firm with a 100 lawyers.

My website is really not for publication. It is way out of date. I gave up the idea of selling it long ago.


82Kelly Gronau  03/26/2021 3:34:25  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

New Job, Big company, Still mucked up using Lotus for email. After living in the Outlook/OneDrive/Sharepoint world for the last 5 years, this is harsh. i waste so much time filing emails in folders for the hope that I can find something important when I need it. I cant print every email and put int in a folder like the old days, but it worked better than this. Also there is so much file attaching to emails, that get saved in folders, then max out the memory allotment. Sharing a onedrive link is so awesome, I miss it so much.

83Gary Lee  04/10/2021 6:43:46  
Why users hate Lotus Notes, Episode 3: The intuitive misconception

The analogy I see to your assertion is that a user friendly client like, say, the Amazon website for purchasing a products, is only for simplistic users, and that "real" power users will prefer to use something more like TOAD to interact with every website that has a database somewhere behind it.

And that, dear friends, is why Apple sells more phones than Microsoft.

Mat Newman

THE Notes (formerly IBM/Lotus Notes) Guy. Productivity Guru. Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. Former IBMer. HCLite. Views are my own.

#GetProductive #GetHCLNotes

Mat Newman

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