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Introduction

Introduction

What is Lotus Notes? That's the first thing people want to know when they hear about Lotus Notes, and it's one of the most difficult things about the software to define. The difficulty occurs because Lotus Notes can be so many things—and what it is to each person depends on how that person uses the program.

Lotus Notes helps people work together, share information and ideas, and communicate effectively. It provides a set of tools to accomplish that—email, a calendar, To Do lists, address books, Web access, and more!

Lotus Notes is the part of the software that is used by the end user—you! It is the software that is installed on your computer workstation in the office or the laptop you carry with you when you are out of the office.

It is the Lotus Domino server that makes communication and sharing of information possible. Lotus Notes and Domino have a client/server relationship. You, at your workstation using Lotus Notes, are the client. Your software is called the Notes client. With the client, you read your mail, make appointments in your calendar, set up meetings, track your contacts, and assign tasks to yourself and others.

The Domino server (or servers, if your organization has more than one) does the following:

  • Stores your data

  • Holds your mail file and routes mail

  • Maintains the organization address book (called the Domino Directory)

  • Gives you access to the Internet (although you might be set up to do that from your workstation or laptop as well)

  • Publishes your organization's Web site within the organization on an intranet or to the outside world on the Internet

  • Receives calls from users who are away from the office and need to pick up their mail or access other Domino databases

  • Stores customized applications created by or for your organization to perform necessary procedures, tasks, or projects

The purpose of this book is to give you the skills to handle everyday events, such as receiving, creating, and sending email. Plus, we teach you about some of the added features of mail that help you manage your mail and make it more fun. By the time you complete this book, you'll be able to make appointments, set up meetings and invite participants, and manage your own list of tasks plus the tasks you assign to others. You'll learn how to create documents with an appearance and organization that will impress others.

Using the Internet for mail and for surfing the Web is an important part of the business world today, and we tell you how to use Notes for both. Notes is Web-ready—if you have a connection to the Internet.

For those of you who use a computer away from the office, either at home or on the road, we provide instructions to set up your computer to work away from the office. After all, that's one of Notes' strengths. You can still share information and email with your co-workers while sitting at your computer in your bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.

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