Discover the power of Calendar Delegation in Lotus Notes

Learn how to setup and use the Calendar Delegation feature in the Lotus Notes client to grant another Notes user access to your mail file and act on your behalf.

Lisa Chase, Software Engineer, IBM Corporation

Lisa Chase is an engineer in the Lotus Software division of the IBM Software Group. She has been part of the IBM Messaging and Collaborative Software group for the past four years, has been a member of the Lotus Notes Client team, and is currently part of the team engineering the Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook client. Drawing on her knowledge of the Notes Client Calendar and Scheduling functionality and of Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, she is responsible for the current incarnation of the Domino Migration Tool.



27 February 2006

Also available in Russian Japanese

Editor's notes: While the Calendar Delegation feature described in this article exists in all currently supported versions of Lotus Notes, the instructions and screenshots show the Lotus Notes 7 client.

One of the most powerful tools in the IBM Lotus Notes client is the Calendar Delegation feature. Calendar Delegation allows you to grant another Notes user access to your mail file, enabling the delegated user to view and edit your calendar data, send email messages on your behalf, and act as a manager of your mail and calendar data. This scenario is typical in the case of an executive who employs an administrative assistant to schedule his meetings and appointments and to respond to non-confidential email messages. To allow the administrative assistant to manage his Notes mail file, the executive specifies the assistant as a delegate for the mail file. In turn, the administrative assistant may be responsible for managing several users' calendars, particularly if he supports several executives.

For the busy executive, delegating mail and calendar tasks to an assistant is an enormous time saver. After off-loading basic tasks such as scheduling meetings, responding to meeting invitations, and answering low-security correspondence, the executive can focus on other business tasks. For the administrative assistant, who typically provides administrative support to more than one executive, managing one or more executives' calendars may consume a significant portion of his time. So it's crucial that the assistant access and manipulate others users' calendars quickly and easily. The Lotus Notes Calendar Delegation feature provides efficient and easy-to-use functionality for both the executive and the assistant. This article shows you how to set up a Lotus Notes calendar to be managed by another user and how to access and manage other users' mail and calendar data.

Setting up Calendar Delegation

The first step in configuring the Calendar Delegation feature is to set the access rights for the Lotus Notes calendar that will be managed by another user. The executive who delegates access to his calendar needs to specify who has access to it and what level of access the delegate will have before the delegate can perform calendar and mail tasks on his behalf.

Follow these steps to specify, to delegate, and to set up access rights to a user's mail and calendar data:

  1. In the Lotus Notes client, open the executive's mail file. From the Calendar view, click the Tools action bar button, and then select Preferences to display the Preferences screen. Click the Access & Delegation tab to display the "Access to Your Mail & Calendar" tab (see figure 1).
    Figure 1. "Access to Your Mail & Calendar" tab displayed
    Access to Your Mail & Calendar tab displayed
  2. Click the "Add Person or Group" button to display the Add People/Groups dialog box (see figure 2).
    Figure 2. Add People/Groups dialog box
    Add People/Groups dialog box
  3. Select the "Enter or choose a user/group" option and then click the scroll bar in the text box under section 1 to display the Select Name dialog box.
  4. Select the person who will manage this user's calendar and then click the OK button. You'll be returned to the Add People/Groups dialog box, with the selected user's name displayed in the text box below section 1.
  5. After you have selected your calendar manager, you must specify how much access he'll have. If you select the "Only Calendar and To Do" option under section 2 and then click the scroll bar under section 3, two options will display in the drop-down list: "Read any Calendar Entry or To Do" and "Read, create, edit, and delete any Calendar Entry or To Do."
  6. If, however, you select the "All Mail, Calendar and To Do" option under section 2, then click the scroll bar under section 3, five levels of access will display:
    • Read any document
    • Read and create any document, send mail on your behalf
    • Read, edit and create any document, send mail on your behalf
    • Read, edit, create and delete any document, send mail on your behalf
    • Read and create any document, delete any document they created, send mail on your behalf
  7. Select which type and level of access to grant the mail file delegate. Under section 4 you can specify whether notices related to your calendar entries will be forwarded to the delegate. Click the scroll bar under section 4 to display the forwarding options:
    • Do not forward
    • Forward without private details
    • Forward with full details
  8. Select the desired forwarding option, and then click OK to return to the "Access to Your Mail & Calendar" tab. The designated calendar manager and his access rights will display (see figure 3).
    Figure 3. Access rights displayed for designated calendar manager
    Access rights displayed for designated calendar manager

Using Calendar Delegation

After the executive specifies a delegate to manage his Notes mail and calendar data, the delegate can use the executive's mail file just as he would his own mail file. In this example, because William Chase has designated Tigger Chase as the manager of his calendar and given him full access rights, Tigger can open William's calendar and create meeting invitations and updates, send and respond to emails, and so on. The only difference between calendar entries and email messages that William creates himself and those created by Tigger on his behalf is that Tigger's will indicate they were sent by Tigger rather than by William.

Follow these instructions to open and manage the Notes calendar and mail file data for which you've been designated the delegate:

  1. Open the delegate's mail file in the Lotus Notes client and click the Mail icon to display the "Open Another Person's Mail" option (see figure 4).
    Figure 4. Mail scroll bar with "Open Another Person's Mail" option displayed
    Mail scroll bar with Open Another Person's Mail option displayed
  2. The Open Mail File dialog box displays. From the address book list, select the user whose calendar the delegate will be managing (see figure 5).
    Figure 5. Open Mail File dialog box with William Chase selected
    Open Mail File dialog box with William Chase selected
  3. Click OK; the executive's mail file will open in the Lotus Notes client.

Creating a shortcut to another mail file

An even quicker way to access the executive's mail file, if you are the delegate, is to create a shortcut to the executive's Lotus Notes mail file in your own mail file.

  1. To do this, from the Calendar view, click the Tools action bar button, and then select Preferences to display the Preferences dialog box. Click the Access & Delegation tab, and then click the "Shortcuts to Others' Mail" tab (see figure 6).
    Figure 6. "Shortcuts to Others' Mail" tab
    Shortcuts to Others' Mail tab
  2. Click the down arrow under the "Provide shortcuts to the following users' Mail, Calendar and To Do" text box. When the Select Names dialog box displays, select the executive's name from the address book, and then click the Add button to create a shortcut.
  3. Click OK to return to the "Shortcuts to Others' Mail" tab. The executive's name will be displayed in the text box under the "Provide shortcuts to the following users' Mail, Calendar and To Do" text box.
  4. Click OK to return to the Calendar view. Now click the Calendar icon in the upper left corner of the screen. In the list of menu options you see a new item, Open Calendar for William Chase. Select this menu option to open William Chase's mail file in the Lotus Notes client (see figure 7).
    Figure 7. New menu option "Open Calendar for William Chase"
    New menu option Open Calendar for William Chase

Sending an email or invitation as a delegate

To send an email message on behalf of William, click the New Memo button to create a new mail message. Although the message indicates its originator is William Chase, it also indicates the message was sent by Tigger Chase (see figure 8).

Figure 8. New mail message with Tigger Chase displayed as sender
New mail message with Tigger Chase displayed as sender

Like the mail message created on William's behalf, if Tigger Chase creates a meeting on William's behalf, the calendar entry will display William Chase as the chair, but will indicate the meeting was created and sent by Tigger Chase (see figure 9).

Figure 9. New meeting with Tigger Chase displayed as sender
New meeting with Tigger Chase displayed as sender

Including the sender's name on email messages and meeting invitations lets the recipient know the meeting invitation was sent by a calendar manager rather than the chair of the meeting himself. This is important because it lets the recipient know that he's probably corresponding directly with an administrative assistant rather than with the executive himself.


Conclusion

After you know how to configure and use the IBM Lotus Notes Calendar Delegation feature, you can maximize the efficiency of both the executives who need assistance with mail and calendar scheduling tasks and their assistants who provide administrative support. And in today's hectic business world, anything that improves efficiency is a welcome and valuable asset.

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