The Lotus Notes mail file (database) is much more than a collection of mail folders for receiving and storing e-mail messages. It also provides a To Do list and Calendar as well. The Calendar and associated scheduling & workflow features allow users of Lotus Notes and Domino Web Access (webmail interface) to plan and manage their schedules. Calendar and Scheduling (C&S) is one of the most popular and widely used features in Lotus Notes besides e-mail.
The built-in calendar allows you to see a daily, weekly, or monthly view of your schedule, and see a day-at-a- glance view through the always-available sidebar. Elect to also display rescheduled and unprocessed meeting invitations, as well as those confirmed, on the calendar. You can also delegate access to your calendar to others, or allow them to only see your availability without seeing any other details.
The workflow processes in C&S are primarily designed for scheduling meetings. Meetings can be broadly classified into two types: single-instance (non-repeating) meetings and multiple-instance (repeating) meetings. When the chair creates the meeting in her calendar, he/she can make it a repeating meeting by checking the Repeats option. This brings up a dialog box where the chair can choose the start date, end date, and frequency of the meeting. If the proposed meeting needs to repeat on specific dates rather than on a regular pattern (such as weekly or monthly), the chair can create a custom repeating meeting and choose the specific dates.
For a single-instance meeting, Lotus Notes creates a document in the chair’s calendar and emails a notice document to each invitee, room, or resource (if the chair has reserved any). For a repeating meeting, there are two documents created in the chair’s mail file: a parent document (which is not visible on the calendar) and a response document (which is visible on the calendar for all the dates that the meeting has been scheduled).
An invitee to a meeting has the choice of accepting it, declining it, delegating it to another person, proposing a new time, accepting or declining tentatively, or requesting more information about the meeting. If the chair has requested a room or a resource, the request can be accepted or declined by the resource owner (if there is one) or by the autoprocessor. All responses from the invitees and rooms are emailed back to the chair and appear as response documents to the original meeting document (or parent document in the case of repeating meetings) in the chair’s mail file. The figure below illustrates this process.