It’s Widget Wonderland!

One of the most-touted features of the new Lotus Notes client is the capability to add “widgets”. These are similar to the types of things you can add to your home page in Google or Yahoo, for example – you can add stock tickers or weather watchers or any number of other useful (and sometimes not-quite-as-useful-but-a-lot-of-fun) widgets to your client.

The Notes client shown below has had the Weather Widget installed:

The nice thing about this is you’re already spending a tremendous amount of time working in your Notes client as it is – here’s a chance to bring even more personal productivity to your client.

It’s pretty simple to add a widget.

First, open the “My Widgets” box on the right sidebar of Notes. You may or may not find anything in there:

Incidentally, if you don’t find the “My Widgets” box available to you, check your preferences. Go to File > Preferences > Widgets, and make sure that the option “Show Widget Toolbar …” is checked:

You may noticed that mine is greyed out. That means that mine is turned on by a policy that the administrator set – it’s possible that yours is TURNED OFF by policy, in which case, you can’t play with widgets … so go have a chat with your Note Administrator … (Lee and I always recommend being nice to your admins – take them to lunch, bring them candy [especially chocolate])

Anyway, back to the point.

Open your “My Widgets” sidebar panel by clicking on it.

If it’s empty, you’ll need to fill it.

So, in the upper right hand corner of the panel is a menu icon (highlighted below), and if you click it, you get a substantial menu of the things you can do:

If you click “Catalog”, it brings up another menu, and you can choose “Browse” from here:

It will bring up a copy of the Widget Catalog available to you through your organization. You can select one that looks interesting and simply drag it over and drop it in the “My Widgets” panel:

Once you’ve put it there, some widgets may open up automatically.

If yours doesn’t, you can right click on the icon for your widget in the My Widgets panel. You have a number of possible configuration options, not the least of which is the ability to tell the widget how and where to display (open in tab, open in sidebar, etc.):

And, that’s all there is to it!

In addition to items you may find in your organization’s widget catalog, you can also add Google Gadgets.

If you choose “Configure a Widget from …” on the menu, you can select to add a widget from a Google Gadget, a web page, an RSS feed or from Notes itself:

So, campers, go widget yourself!

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