Enabling calendar ghosting in IBM Lotus Notes V8

This tip introduces the calendar ghosting feature in IBM Lotus Notes V8 and provides instructions for enabling it. Calendar ghosting allows users to interact with unprocessed entries right on their calendars.

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Bill Le (billle@us.ibm.com), QE Software Engineer, IBM

Bill Le is a QE Software Engineer for the IBM Lotus Notes client team in Westford, Massachusetts. He joined IBM in 2003 as an intern for the Domino Access for Microsoft Outlook team. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Northeastern University.



12 June 2007

Calendar ghosting is an exciting new feature that extends a user’s ability to manage unprocessed meeting notices in IBM Lotus Notes V8. In version 7.0.x and prior releases of Lotus Notes, users needed to open unprocessed calendar notices such as meeting invitations or reschedule notices from their inbox in order to respond. The inbox can be flooded with hundreds of email messages daily, and as a result, users may miss some meeting invitations or reschedule notices. To solve this problem and to provide more flexibility, Lotus Notes V8 allows unprocessed meeting invitations and reschedule notices to show up directly on a user’s calendar. Users conveniently can act on these invitations and reschedule notices as if they are in the inbox. Because the notices are not processed, but show up on the calendar, they are called ghosts. Ghosts do not book busy time.

How to set up and configure calendar ghosting

Calendar ghosting requires a Lotus Domino V8 server, a Lotus Notes V8 client, and the Lotus Notes V8 mail template.

After the server, client, and mail template are installed, follow these steps to enable calendar ghosting:

  1. Launch the Lotus Notes V8 client.
  2. From either the Inbox or Calendar view, click the More action button from the view's action bar, and then select Preferences from the drop-down menu. The Preference dialog box opens.
  3. In the Preferences dialog box, click the Calendar & To Do tab, click the Display tab, and then click the Views tab.
  4. Select "Display new (unprocessed) notices" to enable calendar ghosting (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Select "Display new (unprocessed) notices" in the Preferences dialog box
Select Display new (unprocessed) notices in the Preferences dialog box

By default, ghosted entries show up on the calendar with a light gray background and dark gray text. You can, however, change the color by following these steps:

  1. From either the Inbox or Calendar view, click the More action button from the view's action bar, and then select Preferences from the drop-down menu. The Preference dialog box opens.
  2. In the Preferences dialog box, click the Calendar & To Do tab, and then click the Colors tab.
  3. Click the drop-down menu of the Background setting for "New (unprocessed) meetings," and then select a color you prefer.
  4. Click the drop-down menu of the Text setting for "New (unprocessed) meetings," and then select a color you prefer (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Picking colors for ghost entries
Picking colors for ghost entries

Using calendar ghosting

After you configure calendar ghosting, any future unprocessed meeting invitations or reschedule notices show up on your Calendar view. To determine whether or not an entry is a ghost entry, look for these clues:

  1. It has a dark gray envelope icon.
  2. If you mouse over the icon, the tool tip displays Unprocessed Meeting Notice.
  3. It has the "Invitation: " or "Rescheduled: " prefix in the meeting’s subject, depending upon the type of notice.
  4. It has a light gray background and dark gray text (or the colors you selected in the previous steps).

For example, Bill Mars sends a meeting invitation to Sarah Mars. Sarah Mars has calendar ghosting configured, and the unprocessed meeting invitation shows up on her calendar (see figure 3).

Figure 3. Unprocessed meeting invitation on a Calendar view
Unprocessed meeting invitation on a Calendar view

After the unprocessed meeting invitation is ghosted on the Calendar view, users can select it and click Respond Actions from the view’s action bar. Users can also open the ghost from this view and respond to it. When the user accepts the ghost, it is then added to the calendar (see figure 4).

Figure 4. Accepted ghost entry
Accepted ghost entry

If a user wants to decline the invitations, he or she can select the ghost and click Decline on the view's action bar. The ghost is then removed from the calendar.

In this example, assume Bill Mars reschedules the meeting. The reschedule notice is ghosted on Sarah's calendar (see figure 5). Sarah cannot attend this meeting and decides to decline it. She selects the ghost reschedule notice and clicks Decline in the view’s action bar (see figure 6). Both the accepted entry and the ghost reschedule notice are removed from Sarah’s calendar (see figure 7).

Figure 5. Unprocessed reschedule notice on the Calendar view
Unprocessed reschedule notice on the Calendar view
Figure 6. Use the Calendar’s action buttons to respond easily to ghosts
Use the Calendar’s action buttons to respond easily to ghosts
Figure 7. The Calendar view after the unprocessed reschedule notice is declined
The Calendar view after the unprocessed reschedule notice is declined

Which calendar documents are not ghosts?

Confirmation notices and update notices do not appear as ghosts because they contain only additional information regarding an existing meeting.

Who else benefits?

In addition to the average Lotus Notes user, calendar ghosting provides additional benefits for a calendar delegate. Assume that Sarah Mars gives calendar access to Connie Mars. After calendar ghosting is enabled on Sarah’s calendar, Connie can manage and respond to Sarah’s future invitations and reschedule notices right on Sarah’s calendar without having to monitor Sarah’s inbox.


Conclusion

This introduction explains the calendar ghosting feature in IBM Lotus Notes V8 and shows how to configure and use it. This feature provides not only more flexibility but also more extensibility on users’ Calendar view, thereby making it easier for users to manage meetings.

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