eProductivity Weekly Tip: February 26, 2010   

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Weekly Tip: Speeding up your Lotus Notes (Part 2)

In part 1 from last week, we shared tips on configuring your Lotus Notes for performance. Speed boosts make you more productive and keep you sane.

In part 2, we'll discuss how being a data packrat could be causing you a lot of headaches and making you less productive. Are you ready to fix the clutter?

Remember that because eProductivity runs on Lotus Notes, these tips will also improve your eProductivity experience...

5 Things Slowing Down your Lotus Notes

Buried in paperwork

Mail File Size - In Lotus Notes, all of your mail data is stored in a file that is often known as an .NSF file.

The first thing to know is that your Lotus Notes mail file doesn't just contain emails. It also contains your calendar and tasks, and it may also contain contacts and journal entries if you sync these to your mail file. The point is, there's a lot going on in your mail file and you're constantly accessing it during the course of the day. The smaller you keep your mail file size, the faster everything will go.

We recommend keeping current information in your mail file and archiving old information when possible. This helps to keep your mail file size down and your system running as fast as possible.
Number of Documents - Building on the information about mail file size, it almost goes without saying that the more documents (emails/calendar/tasks/attachments, etc) that you have in your mail file, the slower everything will be. People frequently like to be document pack rats and keep lots of history. That's usually fine, but just don't keep it all in your mail file - that's what archives are for.

Also, don't be afraid to use the delete key.
Number of Email Folders - Folders are a powerful feature of Lotus Notes that allow you to organize and view your data in different ways. A folder is a collection of documents in a Notes database. Each time you open a folder, Notes has to review and collect the documents it needs to show you. The more folders and documents to process, the longer it can take.

Used appropriately, using folders can boost your productivity. At the same time, it's important to create only the folders that you need.

Sidenote: if you sync your mail file to a smartphone, some of these devices may have limits on the number of folders that will sync. For example, some BlackBerry devices/software will not sync more than 255 folders.
Heavy Tasks or Calendar user? - - The inbox view in your Lotus Notes mail file shows all newly received email. There's no processing for Notes to do. On the other hand, if you're someone that actually processes your email into calendar items or tasks (and we hope you do!), you'll need to switch between the inbox and other views.

These other views make use of a SELECT statement in Notes to filter the information that you see. The benefit is that you see only what you need; however, there's a small performance hit for that SELECT statement. If you have a Notes mail file on a system that is already slow and you suddenly start using Calendar, tasks, or even eProductivity in a big way, it may feel like Notes has suddenly slowed down. It probably hasn't. Rather, your usage pattern has shifted from living in your inbox to using other views.

The good news is that if you apply the tips in the this mini-series, you can really speed things up.
File Attachments - Email is an easy way to exchange files with others, but it's not the best place to store them because large file attachments will slow down your system. For most Notes databases, this is barely noticeable. But in your mail file where performance is important, we recommend deleting or archiving any file attachments that you don't need to have in your mail file.
Ok, that was Part 2 in our mini-series on speeding up your Lotus Notes and helping you to stay more sane! The tips were adapted from Eric Mack's Notes on Productivity blog. You can read the full version here.

Until next week...