Mat Newman 30 June 2012 07:00:00 AMHad a really insightful discussion with some users this week that centred on Calendaring and Scheduling inside Lotus Notes. The focus of the training was Meetings and your Calendar. During the training we discussed almost every preference within your Mail database that affects how the calendar works, and what the options actually mean and do.
Personally, I use the Pencil In (Notes <=7) / Mark Available (Notes 8+) setting in a Lotus Notes Appointment/Meeting/All Day Event entry types because I know when another user invites me to a meeting they will check the 'Find Available Times' and see that according to my schedule I am 'Free' to attend their meeting. Reminders and Anniversaries do not have the option, since those entries aren't supposed to block out any of your time, they are simply there to inform you that something is happening.
Figure 1: Are you free?
The discussion exploded when two of the attendees indicated that they accept most meeting invitations using the "Tentatively Accept" response option. What this option does is to add the entry to your Lotus Notes calendar, but it also activates the 'Pencil in' or 'Mark Available' option for that calendar entry. Subsequently, if another user invites you to a meeting and uses the 'Find Available Times' feature, the meeting invitation the user has 'Tentatively Accepted' will not be blocked out as 'Already Scheduled', and the person inviting you will assume that you will be able to attend their meeting.
The users in question then suggested that the 'Find Available Times' feature in Lotus Notes should actually have a new option that would indicate a calendar entry exists in the other users calendar that was flagged as 'Mark Available', eg:
Figure 2: I might have something else on, should they show up?:
What do you think? If you purposefully use the 'Mark Available' feature in your Lotus Notes calendar entries so others can invite you to a meeting, do you think this option could create confusion?