As it seems that at least the eBook version is officially available, now seems like a good time to congratulate Karen Hooper on the release of the Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide.  I'm thrilled to have an end-user-focused Notes 8.5 book in market, and Karen has done an excellent job of speaking directly to that end-user in a way that is clear, practical, and sometimes even fun.

Image:The Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide - a book by Karen Hooper

Packt Publishing approached me earlier this year looking for someone to write this book.  About the same time, Karen had sent over her Notes 8.5 end-user training materials and asked me to have a look.  It seemed logical to put two-and-two together, and it just so happened that Karen was interested in writing.  I am not sure how she did it!  She had a baby mid-way through the production, yet persevered to deliver a quality read.

I was honored to be asked to write the forward to the book.  Two excerpts:

You are in possession of a valuable resource -- Karen Hooper's Lotus Notes 8.5 User Guide. Within the chapters of this book, you will find step-by-step instructions, examples, and tips on how to make the best use of your Lotus Notes 8.5 environment.  New Lotus Notes users and old pros alike will find ideas and reinforcements in Karen's careful and detailed examination of Notes from the end-user perspective. ...

In this book, you will find Karen's passion played out on every page.  I have met Karen in person during my annual visits to Australia, and enjoyed sharing perspectives about Notes and collaboration with her for the last several years.  As someone whose firm is named "Dr Notes," Karen clearly has confidence in her abilities and understanding of the best practices around the use of Lotus Notes, and you see them clearly on display in this book.
I participated in the copy review cycle for the book, and read it cover to virtual cover.   The illustrations are excellent, the instructions clear, and the knowledge useful.

Now would be a great time to get a few of these out to your "pacesetters" in your organizations -- the people who provide whack-a-mole support in the trenches, who are seen as "oh she knows how to do that in Notes", and the people who loudly grumble about having to use Notes.  It's a book that will pay for itself very quickly in improving the ins-and-outs of Notes for the typical end-user, and isn't that what we all want?

I would be remiss if I did not mention that two friends have also recently become published Packt authors in Tom "Duffbert" Duff and Marie Scott.  They have published the "Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials", also a user guide.  So in short order, Packt has established two excellent end-user-focused books into market, available broadly, and at a time when your end-users can really benefit from them.  

I encourage you to check both books out.  And congratulations to Karen, you did an amazing job!

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