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Help! I’m in Lotus Notes email jail! July 18, 2008

Posted by dreanotes in Work-Related.
Tags: ,

Admit it – you’ve all faced it.

Email jail.

Your Lotus Notes mail file is approaching astronomical size and you keep getting nasty-grams from your system administrator. “Delete messages or you will no longer be able to send or receive mail”. Or something like that, right? And even though you feel like you NEED that whole, 1GB mail file (or smaller, depending on the kindness of your system admin), you have GOT to get rid of things.

So, how do you know the size of your mail file? How do you find the big stuff – you know – those messages with the 20MB attachment? And more importantly, once you get rid of the big stuff, why doesn’t your mail file size show smaller?

Dah Dah Dah Daaaaahh….Never fear, Drea is here!! 😉 (sorry – couldn’t resist)

Ok – first step – just how big is that mail file of yours? And, since you think you deleted a bunch of stuff but your quota isn’t changing – why not?

Finding the size of your mail file is pretty easy. From Notes8, in your mail file, just select “File, Application, Properties” (or, File, Database, Properties in Notes6 or 7). That will bring up a dialog box with the details of your mail file. Then, click on the little “i” tab…like the picture below.

In this picture, my mail file is showing it is 890MB in size. WOW! Also, notice I have a percentage next to my disk space information. I clicked on the “% used” button to get that indicator of how much of my mail file is “white space”. As you can see here, I have about 77% white space in my mail file – that’s not great. It’s telling me that while I have deleted a bunch of messages, the system still sees my mail file as bigger than it really is because there is a bunch of white space in there. So, if I then click on the “Compact” button, it will clean up that white space and tell me how big my mail file REALLY is! As a rule of thumb, you want to keep your white space percentage at around 95% or higher.

So…now that you’ve validated the size of your mail file, and you know you don’t have a lot of white space, you might still need to get it smaller! Let’s talk about how to do that.

One of the easiest ways to know where those big messages are is to go to your “All Documents” view in your mail file. When you’re in that view, you will see a column for “File Size”. When you click on the column header for file size, it will sort all the messages in your mail file by size. (see picture below.

If you sort it in descending order, your biggest messages will be at the top (or vice versa for ascending order). As you can see in the picture here, I have several mail messages that have large attachments or are fairly large in size (who sent me that crazy 15MB message??!!). So, I could delete these right from this view. Or, I could open them, detach the attachment to my hard drive (or Quickr or other location) and re-save the message.

You get the point.

Some other ways you can stay out of email jail:

  • Use the calendar cleanup tool in Notes7 or higher to delete old calendar entries.
  • Change your preferences to not automatically save a copy of all sent messages – make it prompt you.
  • Use archiving – it’s a great tool and is VERY easy to use!
  • Use Quickr or Activities plug-ins to Notes8!

So, good luck with those mail files! Hopefully these little tips will help keep you out of jail!