Late last week, Queens College announced that they were allowing staff and faculty migrate away from Lotus Notes to a new system, based on Microsoft Exchange, known as MyMail. When I saw the announcement, I signed up as quickly as I could for the migration, even if it meant depending on Exchange for yet another account. As of Friday, I am now free of Lotus Notes, and I could not be happier.
Since I work only as an adjunct instructor, I do not actually work on campus nor collaborate with any staff. Much of Lotus Notes is bloatware for me: I only use the email service and none of it through a Lotus Notes client. Again, I work mostly off-campus and use my own computer, tablet, and smartphone and don’t have a Lotus client.
Even with my limited needs for Lotus Notes, the experience of using email was simply too painful for me. As I wrote of my experience at Fordham, I had lots of problems using Lotus Notes with my own devices. None of my web browsers were “certified” to work with Lotus Notes and thus certain features, such as logging off, were unavailable to me. Also, whenever I checked email on one device, any changes to my messages would not sync across devices. It was like I was using POP, an email protocol I abandoned back in 1998. The old QC email would also be slow. It would take me several minutes to receive an email, either through IMAP or Exchange.
After a weekend of usage, I am happy to report that my QC email works like one would expect email to work. Migration was pretty painless, although that might have to do with the extremely limited use I made of Lotus Notes over the years. After following some very detailed instructions from our IT staff, I was completely migrated from Lotus to MyMail within a day.
If you are considering the migration, do it. I especially encourage you to do so if you currently access your QC email, contacts, and calendars through open standards, such as IMAP, CalDAV, etc. instead of the Lotus Notes clients. And hey, at least it’s not GMail.