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Summary: Organizations are increasingly migrating from Lotus Notes to Outlook due to the latter’s user-friendliness, robust features, and efficient data management. This blog explores the key reasons behind this transition, highlighting the advantages of Outlook and the importance of a reliable migration solution.

Considerable discussions and literature exist regarding the distinctions between Lotus Notes and Outlook. While many perceive the primary incentive for migrating from Lotus Notes to Outlook as its comparatively higher cost, it is crucial to recognize that workplace demands often extend beyond a simple email client. Lotus Notes encompasses a broader spectrum of features and functionalities, comprising the following key components:

  • Mail electronic communication tool
  • Address books personal and organizational contacts information
  • Calendar electronic diary tool
  • To do List an electronic list of tasks to be completed
  • Quickplace a group storage and work flow management tool
  • Sametime a real time messaging and desktop sharing application

Lotus Notes is accompanied by a suite of complementary products such as Sametime for instant messaging, IBM WebSphere Portal, Tivoli Directory Integrator, and WebSphere Application Server. While this extensive array of features enhances its versatility, it can sometimes appear complex to users, potentially impacting employee efficiency in the workplace.

How MS Outlook is Superior to Lotus Notes?

Given that the primary need is for an email client, Outlook stands out as a more efficient choice in terms of mail management, ease of setup, and overall user-friendliness. With Outlook, you can seamlessly drag emails and tasks directly into the calendar, instantly converting them into appointments. Furthermore, adding notes and activating a tracking journal is a straightforward process, enabling easy calendar comparison for groups and automating document revisions. It’s worth noting that Lotus Notes tends to consume more system space compared to MS Outlook.

“Microsoft Outlook is widely regarded as superior when it comes to searching, finding, referencing, and archiving emails based on date, subject, and keywords. These advanced features empower users to conduct intricate searches, simplifying the process of filtering emails using multiple criteria.

Outlook also excels in functions like forwarding and editing attachments, seamlessly adding email addresses to your address book from received emails, and creating mail rules that can be applied across all sub-folders. The distinction between Outlook and Lotus Notes becomes particularly evident from a user experience perspective, as seen from the standpoint of Lotus Notes users:

Limitations with Lotus Notes Application
  1. Unable to Multi-task –
    When you try sorting a view in NSF file with 100000 documents and read the mail while the sort finished, it can actually become impossible as it cannot be done.
  2. Lotus Notes Email –
    Quite basic as compared to other free web-based offering available.
  3. Lotus Notes Calendar Issues –
    Doesn’t seem to be competent enough and remember not to delete the calendar document or response document as everything will disappear. Don’t forget to create your meeting response folder as when you do not accept a meeting invite, it never shows up in the calendar view. So, if you receive 100 emails a day, you can’t miss one or you will miss the meeting etc.
  4. Need to Refresh to View Emails –
    Though users get a notification for a new email in the Lotus Notes application, to view the email in the Inbox, a Refresh click is needed which can be annoying at times.
  5. Can Create One Account at a Time –
    Lotus Notes does not allow its users to work with more than one account on it whereas it is completely opposite in the Outlook program.
  6. Graphic User Interface –
    Notes client interface is not user-friendly and a bit complex with Domino Server or SmartCloud Notes platforms. On the other hand, the user-interface of the Outlook email client is simple and interactive.
  7. Maintenance Costs –
    Maintaining Lotus Notes client application is expensive when compared to the integrated application (Microsoft Outlook) of the Microsoft Office suite.
  8. Cheaper operational costs –
    IBM Notes is a standalone email management service that focuses mainly on email part only. But, Outlook comes with a complete packs of MS Office Suite that involves MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc. you can purchase MS Office Suite separately or with complete Office 365 subscription plan with more services and benefits. So, it become cheaper for operate MS Outlook.
Method to Migrate from Lotus Notes to Outlook?

Having discussed the motivations behind migrating IBM Notes data to Outlook, let’s now delve into the methods of migration. While there exist free manual methods for converting NSF files to PST, it’s important to note that these manual approaches may not guarantee a seamless and comprehensive data migration. For a more convenient and reliable migration process, we recommend utilizing professional third-party software like Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook.

Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook boasts a user-friendly interface and a range of attractive features that greatly simplify the migration task. To demonstrate the migration process from Notes to Outlook using Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook, let’s follow these steps:

  1. Download the tool from the website, install it and start the application. Click Add Local NSF File(s).Add Local NSF File
  2. Browse the NSF file from the system location and click Open to add it.Browse the NSF file from the system
  3. The NSF file will get added. Select the desired file and click the Preview option.Added NSF files
  4. Click on the mailbox folders to view their items and then select the item to view its Preview. Click Migrate to continue.Click on the mailbox folders to view their
  5. Select Outlook PST as saving option and click OK.Select Outlook PST
  6. Click Back option first and then click Migrate to move both files.

  7. Provide the destination for saving the NSF file data.Select destination for saving the NSF file
  8. Apply filters as per requirements and click OK.Apply filters as per requirements
  9. A confirmation message to close all instances of Outlook appears, click OK to continue further. Select the saving mode, choose the option to mark messages as read or unread and click OK.Saving mode selection
  10. The migration will start and finishes in minimum time. It shows destination folder link on completion of the migration.Lotus Notes to Outlook Migration done

So, a hassle-free migration from Notes to Outlook application is just done with Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook.


While Lotus Notes has its merits due to its database-driven structure, many organizations are considering the transition from Lotus Notes to Outlook (NSF to PST). In this article, we’ve endeavored to shed light on some fundamental reasons why users often perceive Outlook as a superior choice to Lotus Notes. For a seamless and efficient migration from Notes to Outlook, we recommend the use of Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook, a smart and advanced solution.

Kernel for Lotus Notes to Outlook