Lotus Notes Sucks


I’m working with a company that uses Lotus Notes. It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve had to use Notes and it’s as bad as ever. It’s probably the worst piece of software ever released by a major company.

The worst feature — well, it’s hard to pick a worst feature, but one of the worst features — because I have to deal with it dozens of times a day — is the way Notes makes me reply to email. I can’t just click Reply and start typing. When I click Reply, I get a dropdown list of options and have to select one:

– Reply
– Reply with History
– Reply without Attachment(s)
– Reply with Internet-Style History

The godawful thing about this is that default options for email work 100 percent of the time. I always want to reply with history and without attachments, so why give me a bunch of options that I don’t want and make me explicitly select one every time?

Why would I not want to reply with history? If I’m sending replies without including the original email for context, most people send and get way too much email to remember what the heck I’m responding to.

And why would I send an attachment back to someone with my reply? They already have the document. They sent it to me. They don’t need another copy of it. But every day I see emails going back and forth across the network with multi-megabyte attachments because people have to explicitly select an option to remove it.

  6 comments for “Lotus Notes Sucks

  1. 24 Feb 2008 at 3:38 am

    Your mail is just an application that runs within Lotus Notes. You (or your admin depending on access rights) can choose to use a different application (template) for mail. I suggest to use the OpenNTF.org OpenSource mail template which allows to configure the default action for a reply. This way Lotus Notes does not suck anymore. 🙂

  2. PE
    24 Feb 2008 at 8:37 am

    Hi Chris –

    Thanks for the tip. I can’t wait to try it out.

  3. Ozone
    8 Mar 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Well, I agree… Lotus Notes is awful. The fact that you have to go to a template (rather than an easy-to-find user configuration menu) is an example.

    I hear constantly that Lotus Notes is “secure” and the best for corporate wide deployments. This may be, but I loathe the interface, the unobvious commands, and the rather pathetic help function. Sure, there are some aspects that work well, but on the whole, I think I rather eat broken glass. Lotus is the one program I use everyday because I have no choice, and after 7 years, I still ask our IT department when we’re going to get rid of it.

  4. Ryan
    20 Sep 2008 at 9:51 am


    Are you serious? If you need a 3rd party template to modify an application’s behaviour to make the experience for an end user bearable… it does not make the application itself suck any less.

    I’d like someone to explain how lotus nots is more ‘secure’ and better for corporate wide deployments. I haven’t seen any evidence to support that.

  5. randy
    30 Sep 2008 at 1:32 pm

    What a nightmare Lotus Notes is. Just as bad as cc:Mail was 15 years ago. I got this “OpenNTF.org OpenSource mail template” but can’t figure out how to install it. I can double-click the .ntf file and it loads into notes, but I have to click OK to 10 security warnings, then it makes a new tab that looks less sucky than the default but doesn’t show any of my inbox emails.

    I’m seriously thinking of quitting my job if they don’t relent and allow thunderbird.

  6. Scott
    7 Jan 2009 at 1:16 am

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