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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Forward Lotus Notes Email and Consolidate Your Accounts

If you are like me, then you’ve probably have multiple email accounts spread across several different vendors.

There is one for managing your customers at work and another for managing clients for your consulting gig. You have one email account to manage your career contacts on Monster and Dice, another to manage your financial contacts, and one more for those really interesting online offers that typically results in a parade of spam.

Regardless of why you have them, we know it can be a pain to login and manage all of these accounts on a regular basis. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could reroute all of the messages coming to your work and your consulting project email inbox and have them forwarded to one central account? How much confusion could you eliminate? How much time could you save?

If you are using Lotus Notes, it is possible to reroute your incoming mail to reach another location. That way, your customers can continue to send messages to your Lotus Notes email domain, but you will be able to login to another email account and see what they have sent you.

Say, for example, you are working with several customers and you communicate with them over a Lotus Notes based system using the address clientkeeper@corpemail.com. You also have several clients and prospects that you are doing work for as a consultant. You correspond with them using that ubiquitous and all-powerful web application, Gmail with the address, consultant@gmail.com.

So several times during the day, you have a browser window opened up for your Gmail account and you have the Lotus Notes client software running on your laptop. You’re constantly switching between the two and your system has slowed down to a crawl. Keeping these two applications running, along with others that you may need, eats up precious memory on your laptop causing it to slow down.

Want to reduce the number of applications running on your system, make it a little more responsive yet still have access to all email going to both accounts? Then do the following:

In your Lotus Notes application, open the mail tab. I use I-notes (the web version for Lotus Notes access) but you can do this in your Lotus Notes client application as well. Scroll down the file system tree to the “Tools” branch. Click on the “Rules” sub branch as shown:

Configuring Lotus Notes for Forward Email

When you get to the rules pane, at the top of the pane you will see the menu bar at the top. You will create a new rule so click on new and scroll down to “Main Rule”:

Configuring Lotus Notes to send email to another web client.

When clicked, a new window will appear. We will now configure a new rule. Under the Rule Name section, enter the name of the rule in the text box. Here I have called it “Redirect”:

Configure Lotus Notes to forward email to another mail client.

Then move down to the “Specify Conditions” section and under the “Create Conditions” area, click on the drop down box and highlight the “All documents” entry and click it. When the entry is highlighted, hit the “add” button to put the entry into the rule:

Configure Lotus Notes to foward email

Then move down the “specify Action” section and under the “Create Actions” area, click on the drop down box and scroll down to “send copy to” and click it:



Some additional options will appear. The second box is the new address where you will forward all of your email. Enter in the target email address. The third box will contain the word “full”. Leave that at “full” and you will get the full text and attachments forwarded to your new email address. When done, hit the “add” button:



Then go back to the “create actions” section, hit the drop down box and scroll down to the “delete” entry. Select and click the entry. Then hit the “add” button:



You will see an additional action that the system will take after it forwards the email off to its new location. This step is optional if you don’t want to leave email on the home server. If you want to maintain a copy of the email on the Lotus Notes server for reference or backup purposes, skip this stage:



When all of the entries are in place as shown hit the “OK button.

And you will see the new rule in place in the rule pane:



Now that the new rule is in place, your target email address, consultant@gmail.com will not only receive all of the mail from your consulting clients, but it will also get all of your customer messages directed towards clientkeeper@corpemail.com. And if you put the second rule in, the system will clean off the duplicate email on your Lotus Notes server. Very convenient if you have limited storage on your Notes server and you are concerned about filling up your Lotus Notes email box. I’m told, however, that if you are performing this in the actual Lotus Notes software client, it won’t let you perform multiple actions on incoming email like this.

Gmail allows you to forward your email as well. We’ll outline that process in a different post. But for now, know that you can begin to consolidate your email access, be more organized and get more done with less confusion.

12 comments:

Bradley Corp said...

after i make the changes, how do i go back to the old settings.

Anonymous said...

I followed the steps and everything works great. how do I go back to the old settings now?

Larry Prevost, Sales IT Tech said...

Just in case you are still wondering about reversing this process, simply deleting the newly created rule will stop Lotus Notes from forwarding your email.

By the way, I think Northern NV along RT 50 has NM beat hands down as the lonliest piece of real estate in the continental US. In case you are thinking of traveling along that road, make sure you gas up at all of the stops (all 3 of them) and carry plenty of water.

This is not a road you would want to take in the winter.

Anonymous said...

You should disable a rule before deleting it in Notes. There are times when a rule will continue to run after it is deleted if it does not get disabled first.

Philip said...

I want to forward my entire existing lotus notes email in-box and sent box to gmail, and I want to keep the messages separate.

How can I do this.

Larry Prevost, Sales IT Tech said...

Philip,

See the post on how to Transfer Lotus Notes Email to Gmail through imap configuration. You should be able to get everything over, provided that you have enough bandwidth and time.

And to the Anonymous dude who recommended disabling a rule before deleting it... Thanks for the heads up. I've never had an opportunity to try this out for extended periods of time. It's always good to get fresh ideas from someone else out there in the trenches making it happen.

Good Selling, guys. Keep it real.

Anonymous said...

After abovementioned steps I am getting an error: 'error logging into server imap.gmail.com: SSL IO error. Remote session no longer responding.'

Anonymous said...

If you forward or reply to an email that was forwarded to your gmail account - what will it look like? Look like its coming from gmail or Lotus Notes?

Intersting piece of software I found that makes your forwards / replies look like they are coming from Lotus Notes... I have not tried this yet... Says for iPhone - but should be able to work on any cell.

http://www.martinscott.com/struturo.nsf/id/wm_guide_iphone

Anyone used this?

Jon said...

The forward only worked with the first email and after replication, the new emails show they were forwarded but never did.

David Leedy said...

Forwarding company email to a personal email account would violate our corporate policy. So anyone who wants to do this might want to check their own companies policies.
An alternative would be managing the multiple email accounts inside Notes itself be adding Aliases and using multiple locations to change the sending name. But while I'm a big fan of Notes, I would agree that this isn't the easiest thing to do.

David Leedy said...

Oh - absolutely you would need to disable the rule first before deleting it. The rule controls the agent but if it's running and you delete it you won't be able to turn it off. You'll need your admin then.

David Leedy said...

To the person asking about the martinscott software..

http://www.martinscott.com/struturo.nsf/id/wm_guide_iphone

I've NOT used the product but I know the people who created it. I would expect it to work extremely well. I think it's geared for your phone but could probably work for any foreign non notes email client.