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GW Cabinet: The Tour

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Mark Talbot

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Posted: 16 Jun 1999
 

The GroupWise Cabinet comes in a beautiful oak or maple finish. You can also specify two or three drawers as well as legal or letter size. Okay, you can't. Your GroupWise Cabinet is, well, not a real cabinet. It's better.

How many real cabinets can expand or contract to fit what's inside? How many real cabinets can automatically file stuff? How many so-called real cabinets can be shared with co-workers without them traipsing in and out of your office all day? The GroupWise Cabinet has nothing to be ashamed of. It does everything your other filing cabinet can do, and more. And perhaps best of all: it doesn't take up any floor space.

The GroupWise Cabinet is your own private filing area. You can create folders and subfolders to keep track of all your important stuff. You can create rules to automatically file your stuff. You can even create shared folders to share your stuff with others. And finding your stuff has never been easier. Come along, the Cabinet tour is just leaving.

The Cabinet is not a Substitute for Archive
Let me get one thing off my chest. Putting stuff in the Cabinet is not a substitute for archiving. Ok, having said that, I feel better. If your system administrator has an auto-cleanup rule (that deletes stuff older than 120 days, for example), he or she can reach into your drawers and mess with your stuff?without your consent. How can this happen? Easy.

If users don't clean house once in a while, the system will buckle under its own weight. That being so, the administrator has been given the right to control all information stored in the system and has complete control over expiring it. It has always been that way, and always will be.

First, you have to understand how messages are stored to fully appreciate just how quickly they can accumulate. All items you create are stored in a message database on your post office, and when you send them to someone on another post office, they are copied to the message database on that post office. Through the magic of forwarding and delegating, there's no telling how many times your message will be replicated in its life. And even though some folks are conscientious about cleaning out their Mailboxes, the message will nevertheless remain in a post office's message database until every single person on that post office who ever received it has likewise deleted it.

Next, you have to understand that from the database's point of view, it doesn't matter how carefully you organize your stuff. To the database, stuff in a folder in your Cabinet is the same as stuff in your Mailbox. (The Cabinet and folders are just organizational devices that help you manage your information: underneath all the icons, all your messages, tasks, appointments, notes, and telephone messages are just items in the database, taking up disk space.)

And last you need to know the bottom line: disk space costs money, so there's never enough. Given the extraordinary ease with which GroupWise items can be sent, replicated, stored, retracted, resent, attached, saved, and undeleted, it's easy to see how a system can be brought to its knees within a few days unless there is a vigilant administrator standing watch. So what can you do? Memorize this: Archiving puts your stuff out of the control of the system administrator. So get in the habit of archiving all your important stuff and deleting the rest. Archiving is very simple and saves network space by saving your items to a designated database on a local drive.  To archive items, you first need to specify a default directory for your files. This is the spot where you want to store your archived items. Just do this:
1.  Click Tools, Options.
2.  Double-click Environment, click the File Location tab. 
3.  Specify a path in the text box labeled Archive Directory. Click the folder button to choose from a list of directories.
4.  Click OK.

Now that you've specified where you want everything stored, here's how to archive your stuff:
1.  Select the items in your Mailbox you want to archive. Remember that you can Shift+click or Ctrl+click to select multiple items.
2.  Click Actions, Archive.

Once archived, your items are easy to view (click File, Open Archive) and you can unarchive them anytime you feel like it and restore them to life completely.

With that said, let's continue with the tour. Please keep your hands and legs inside at all times.

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Creating Folders in Your Cabinet
Just like with your filing cabinet in your office, you can add new folders to your GroupWise Cabinet. Let's say you're working on a special project. We'll call it Project X. With all the correspondence you'll be getting, you'll need a place to store everything. Here's how to create a folder in your Cabinet:
1.  Right-click your Cabinet, click New Folder.
2. Type a name for the new folder.
3.  Click the Up, Down, Right, or Left button to position the folder.
4. Click Next.
5.  Type a description for the folder, then click Finish.

Creating subfolders for folders in your Cabinet is just as easy. In Step 1, right-click a folder in your Cabinet. The rest of the steps should work just fine.

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Rearranging Folders in Your Cabinet
Here at Cool Solutions, we've had many readers write to us and ask what's the best way to rearrange folders. Our standard answer used to be to just drag the folders where you want them to be. Well, you can certainly do it that way. But we have a better way. Right-click the folder and then drag it to its new location. When you release the folder, a QuickMenu displays that lets you decide where you want the folder moved to: into, below, or above. Using the right-click method is much more precise than simply dragging a folder to its new location using the left mouse button. Give it a try. Here's a right-click bonus tip: when you see the available actions on the QuickMenu, look for the action that is bolded. That's what developer-types like to call the default action. That's just fancy talk to explain that if you were to just drag the folder to its new location using the left mouse button, that's the action that would happen. Using the right mouse button, you still get the choice of using that action, along with others. Left or right button; it's your choice.

We've also had readers ask if it is possible to sort the folders alphabetically. Yes, it is. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to sort folders automatically. We've passed the requests on to the folder developers, so you never know. For now, just right-click and drag them, making any small adjustments with the QuickMenu. Unless you're like us (you should see the list of folders in the Cool Solutions Mailbox), this shouldn't take too long. Sorry.

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Getting Stuff Into Your Folders
Using Move and Link To
to Move Stuff into Your Folders
To move stuff into your new Project X folder, just drag it from the Item List onto the folder. It's that easy.

If you were following along in the previous paragraphs you might be asking yourself, ?What would happen if I use the right mouse button to drag the item onto the folder?? Good comprehension skills. In addition to the Move Into action, you'd get another choice: Link To.

Link To (not to be confused with Link, my second favorite MOD Squad character) is a cool, yet seldom used feature. Suppose a mail message contains information about Project X and Project Y. How do you decide which folder you should put the message into? How about both? First, move the message into the Project X folder. Now, using the right mouse button, drag the message to the Project Y folder. When the QuickMenu displays, click Link To. The message is now in both folders and if you later delete the message in one folder, it will remain in the other.

Using Rules to
Move Stuff into Your Folders
Now that your Project X folder has been created and positioned correctly, you may want to automate the process of putting stuff into the Project X folder. The easiest way in the long run is to use a rule. Sure, you could manually drag stuff into the folder but there's a better way. Basically, a rule consists of a set of conditions and actions to be performed when an item meets those conditions. Let's say that the conditions specify all new items (mail, appointments, notes, tasks, and phone messages) that hit your GroupWise Mailbox with Project X in the Subject box. The action moves all these items into the Project X folder. Do this:
1.  Click Tools, Rules, New.
2.  Type a name in the Rule Name box (call it Move Stuff to Project X Folder).
3.  Make sure the Event pop-up list says New Item.
4.  See where it says ?And items are?? Go nuts. Click them all.
5. See where it says ?If conditions are?? Again, click them all. Or, click none of them. Go ahead. See that it says ?Act on all items? to the right side?  It'll do the same thing. Go figure.

Now you need to trigger the rule on items with Project X in the Subject box.

6.   Click Define Conditions.
7.  In the first drop-down list, click Subject. (If you don't see Subject listed, click All Fields, thenSubject.)
8.  In the second drop-down list, click Contains.
9.  In the third box, type Project X.
10. Make sure the fourth drop-down list says End. (If you wanted to specify further conditions, you would click And. Another row would appear to let you specify more conditions. For this example, the first row should do just fine.)
11. Click OK.

Now you need to specify that items meeting the previous conditions get moved to the Project X folder.

12.  Click Add Action, Move to Folder.
13. Click the check box next to the Project X folder, click Move.
14.  Click Save.
15. Make sure that a check mark displays next to your new rule. That means that the rule is enabled.
16. Click Close.

That wasn't so bad. Remember, you only need to do this once. Now tell everyone who will send you anything about Project X to list ?Project X? in the Subject box of all mail, appointments, and so forth. Stuff will get filed automatically as it comes into your Mailbox. Cool, huh? A real cabinet could never do that. For more information about rules, read our past feature article Rules Solutions and Rules Q&A.

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Sharing Folders
Suppose your company, seeing the huge financial rewards of Project X, throws more resources your way. Right, like that's going to happen in this world of down-sizing, but let's pretend. Now, suppose you have a team of co-workers to make Project X a reality. They will need access to everything related to Project X. No problem. Get your mouse pointer off of that Forward button. Share the folder with them instead. Here's how:
1.  Right-click the Project X folder, click Sharing.
2.  Click Shared With.
3. Start typing the name of a co-worker in the Name box. Name Completion should kick into action to help you get the name right.
4. When the name appears in the box, click Add User to move the name to the Share List.
5.  Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for each user you want to share the folder with.
6. Grant each user rights to the folder. Depending on your trust level (and your insurance coverage), you can grant Add, Modify, or Delete rights. If you don't specify any rights, they'll have Read rights only. Kind of a lame shared folder, but you be the judge.
7.  Click OK.
8.  If you want to, you can type a perky message to inform your co-workers that you shared the folder with them. Whatever.
9.  Click OK.

The shared folder is now on its way to your co-workers. Although not in the physical sense. For more information about shared folders, read our past feature article Shared Folders: Your Online Conference Room and Shared Folder Q&A.

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Getting Your Folders Just Right
Once you create folders and subfolders in your Cabinet, move stuff into them, and share them, you may want to tweak them a bit to make them truly yours. The GroupWise developers have made some choices for you, namely, which columns display in your Item List, the size and order of the columns, the sorting order of items, and whether the items display by details or by discussion thread. These settings may work for you. If not, change the folder properties of all of your folders or specific folders.

For example, to use a real-world example, every day I receive a mail message with the statistics for Cool Solutions (how many people visited the site, which pages visitors read, which manuals were downloaded, and so forth). I have a rule set up to move these messages into a Stats folder. Because the From and Subject lines of these messages are always the same, it seems silly to have either of those columns show up first in my Item List. So I modified the properties to display the date in the first column. That makes much more sense.

Back to your Project X folder. Because you shared the folder with co-workers, you should change the properties of that folder to display the subject in the first column and to display by discussion thread (so that replies to a message display below and to the right of the original message).  Here's what you need to do:
1.  Right-click the Project X folder, click Properties.
2.  Click the Display tab.
3.  In the View By drop-down list, click Discussion Thread.
4.  Click Received, Sent, Personal, and Draft in the Item Source group box.

Here's a tip Scott, the folder developer, passed on to me: Documents are by nature personal items, so you must click Personal if you want document references to display in your Item List.

5.   Click Edit Columns to display the Select Columns dialog box.

The Select Columns dialog box is where you can add additional columns to your Item List. For example, if you use GroupWise Library (the official name for the document management feature) you will probably want to add a Document Number column to your Item List.

6. Double-click Document# in the Available Columns list to move it to the Selected Columns list.

Now we need to change the order of the columns to display Subject first, Name second, Date third, and Document# fourth.

7.   Click Subject in the Selected Columns list, then click the Up button to move it to the top of the list. Use the Down and Up buttons to move the remaining columns to the proper order.
8.  Click OK, Save As, type a name for your new display settings (perhaps, Project X Folder Display Settings).
9.  Click OK again.

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Making Find Results Folders
If you've ever used the Sent Items folder or the Task List folder, you've used a find results folder. A find results folder is just fancy talk for a folder that uses certain criteria to find matching items and display them. And, you can make all this happens every time you open the folder.

You can make your own find results folders and put them in your Cabinet. One reader wanted to construct a folder that would display every uncompleted and past due task that he had assigned. So, using the Project X example, suppose you regularly assign tasks to your co-workers and you want to make sure that these tasks are completed on time. Make a find results folder, and keeping track will be as easy as opening the folder. Rather than repeating the steps to make this folder, please read this question and answer in the vault. You can also read our past feature article The Searchers for more information about using the Find feature and find results folders. One more reference in closing: Look at the steps needed to restore an accidentally deleted Sent Items folder. If you can grasp the fundamentals of using Find, you can do all sorts of cool stuff with find results folders.

Here's another tip from Scott, the folder developer, passed on to me: You can make the folder find matching items whenever you open the folder or you can take a ?snapshot? of items as they are now. Then every time you open the folder, you will see the ?snapshot.? One word of caution, however, if you or someone else deletes an item, the ?snapshot? will display the title, but you won't be able to open that item. You'll get that dreadful D107 - Record Not Found error. Not even GroupWise can find things that aren't there.

Thank you for taking our Cabinet tour. Please remain seated until the tour comes to a full and complete stop?as opposed to a half stop.


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