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How to manage a Shared mailbox in Lotus Notes?

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    Summary: Shared mailboxes in Lotus Notes are a convenient option for organizations that want multiple employees to monitor and use a single mailbox. However, monitoring and managing them is not easy. Read on to know how you can manage a shared mailbox on Lotus Notes.

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    Shared mailboxes in Lotus Notes are a convenient option for organizations that want multiple employees to monitor and use a single mailbox. Typically, customer care and support executives use shared mailboxes for responding to queries from customers, employees, and more.

    Read on as we talk about how you can manage shared mailboxes in Lotus Notes. 

    Regular vs. Shared vs. Linked Mailboxes

    Before heading into the operations, it’s important to know the differences between a regular, shared, and linked mailbox. A regular mailbox, as the name suggests, is a mailbox assigned to a single user. This can be converted into a shared or linked mailbox. When you link a regular mailbox to a shared mailbox, it allows the user to access all the data of a shared mailbox in real-time.

    This is a linked mailbox and it enables you to view data in a shared mailbox. Any changes made to the shared mailbox can be seen in the linked one.

    Finally, a shared mailbox is one that’s used by multiple employees, unlike the other two that are assigned to a single user only.

    With this difference in mind, let’s proceed to the creation and management of shared mailboxes in Lotus Notes. 

    Creating a Shared Mailbox in Notes

    To create a shared mailbox in Notes, follow the below steps.

    • Go to the Deployment menu, and select Mailboxes > Configuration.
    • Navigate to the Create section and click Go.
    • On the next page, select the parent mailbox to which you want to connect the shared mailbox. If you don’t want to connect to an existing user mailbox, simply connect it to the root, denoted by a slash.
    • In the Name field, give a meaningful name for your shared mailbox.
    • Similarly, in the Description field, provide a detailed note on what the mailbox is going to be used for. This will avoid confusion when you have similar shared mailboxes.
    • Look for the Mailbox Type. In that, select the Shared option and click Next.
    • Navigate to the Assign Groups page. Add all the groups you want to the Selected Groups list. Note that all these added groups will have permission to use the mailbox.
    • Likewise, select the users who can access this shared mailbox.
    • Finally, verify the details and click Confirm.

    This should create a shared mailbox for you with all the permissions you want. 

    Managing a Shared Mailbox

    Managing a shared mailbox is a daunting task in Lotus Notes. This is mainly because, with each new data, the size of the NSF file increases. For context, NSF is the file that stores all your data and is unique for each mailbox. When the NSF file’s size increases beyond a threshold, there’s a chance for it to become corrupted. As a result, you will get errors and can’t access your data. Worse, this can even lead to permanent data loss due to corruption.

    Due to these difficulties, many people prefer to migrate their data to Outlook, as it is more streamlined and user-friendly. Outlook also supports the use of shared mailboxes and is a convenient option for customer-interfacing teams.

    However, migrating your data from Lotus Notes to Outlook is not easy. This is because Notes stores data in the NSF format while Outlook stores all data in Outlook PST format. Unfortunately, both these formats are not compatible, so you can’t simply move your data from one application to another. Here are some ways to migrate your data.

    Manual Method

    The manual method entails that you export NSF mailbox data to a CSV file and then import the data from the CSV file to Outlook using Outlook Import/Export wizard. Often, such multiple steps increase the chances of data loss and mishandling. Also, this is a cumbersome process that would require advanced technical knowledge and expertise.

    MONTI (Microsoft Online Notes Inspector application)

    You can use the Microsoft Online Notes Inspector (MONTI) application to move your specific data in regards to their Lotus Notes Domino mailbox storage data. Download this tool and run it. Simply follow the instructions to upload the NSF file. It will automatically migrate the data from NSF to Microsoft 365 and Office 365. However, this tool may not work if the NSF file is corrupted or inaccessible.

    Use 3rd Party tool – Stellar Converter for NSF

    An easier option is to use third-party tools, such as Stellar Converter for NSF that automatically converts data from NSF to Outlook’s PST file. This way, you can simply open the PST file in Outlook to access the contents of a shared mailbox. Such tools also work well to recover data from orphaned and inaccessible NSF files to PST and other file formats, such as MSG, EML, RTF, PDF, and HTML The simple and intuitive interface of these tools masks the complex processes involved in the conversion of your mailbox data from one format to another. 


    To conclude, shared mailboxes are a convenient way for many members of a customer support team to respond to customer emails. However, there can be many problems with shared mailboxes in Lotus Notes. In particular, if the size of the mailbox expands beyond a certain level, it can cause data corruption. A better option is to migrate to Outlook, but that’s not easy either due to the differences in file formats between Notes and Outlook. The manual method of migration is cumbersome and error-prone. Instead, you can leverage the capabilities of advanced NSF to PST Converter tools such as Stellar Converter for NSF to migrate your data from Notes to Outlook.

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    About The Author

    Eric Simson linkdin

    Eric Simson is an Email Platform Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 6 years. He writes about the latest technology tips and provides custom solutions related to MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, and many other Email Clients & Servers.

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