Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Get wise with Wisdom for Notes

PRODUCT REVIEW

By Janine Sutphen

There was a chill in the air as my hands gripped the car's steering wheel. I knew I could no longer dawdle. I must leave the safety of my car and wend my way to my office. Today was different from other days; today was the day I'd begin using Lotus Notes for my mail. Seated at my desk, I gingerly selected the Notes icon and offered a tentative double click with my right-mouse button. A box popped up asking me for my user name and password. Notes opened. I entered my password, and a few moments later another window popped up. It was Wisdom for Notes.

Wisdom for Notes (at http://www.neuralsolutions.com) is an interactive help program for the Lotus Notes client. You can be guided through the steps necessary to learn the 170 basic tasks that are part of the program; you can do this without ever leaving the comfort of your own desk. Even better, you don't even have to leave the Notes program. Although the program comes with approximately 20 modules and 170 tasks, the demo version I was given to review listed only seven modules, of which only four of the modules had associated. [It is normally DominoPower's editorial policy to require fully-functioning unrestricted products for review. Because this was a demo we can't really guarantee that any product you purchase from this company will function as tested. --DG]

Trolling for help with Wisdom for Notes

Once installed, Wisdom for Notes automatically opens each time your Notes program is started. Within a few moments after you enter your password, the main dialog box, shown in Figure A, appears.

FIGURE A

Wisdom For Notes dialog box used to select modules and tasks. (click for larger image)

However, there were instances when the demo version I had stopped working. Usually I was able to close Notes and restart the program; sometimes I had to restart my computer.

The Wizard is the first tab on the Wisdom for Notes dialog box. The Start radio button is selected, and the instructions prompt you to select the Module radio button. When you do that, a list of tasks for the module you selected appears. I selected the Mail module. Normally there are 37 tasks associated with this module, but for the purpose of the demo, only three of the tasks were displayed. I selected the task of creating an email. I was prompted through the 16 steps of creating an email. It was a clearly guided lesson, and the end result was the sending of the email I had created.

I found it refreshing to learn how to do something at my own pace. If there was something I didn't understand, I could select the Previous button on the Wisdom for Notes navigation bar as illustrated in Figure B.

FIGURE B

A Wisdom for Notes navigator allows you to easily move through the steps of each task. (click for larger image)