Notes Tip #3: Folders vs Views

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After a break of several years, I’m gonna start up my Notes tips again. I will post tips as often as I can, so that you can educate yourself, your colleagues and your users. Today: Views vs Folders!

In Notes you can view documents organised by either views or folders. Many people have through the years asked me during Notes classes what the difference is between the two. And it can basically be summarised like this:

A view

  • Shows a selection of documents
  • This selection is a pre-defined view selection criteria
  • A document matching the criteria can‘t be removed from the view without either deleting the document or by changing field values so that it no longer matches the view selection criteria
  • The document can be displayed in many views as long as it fits the selection criteria
  • A document copied from another application or view can be pasted in the view, but it will only be displayed if it matches the view selection criteria

A folder

  • Shows all documents that are „physically“ put there
  • There is no search criteria for the folder. It will display all documents put into it
  • A document can be removed from a folder without being deleted
  • A document can be copied into many folders, but will not show up in a folder it hasn’t been moved or copied to

When you should use a folder or a view depends on what you want to achieve, but the lists above should give you some clear indications on when to use each of them.

In one of my Notes applications I have views displaying documents based on a status field. In these views, I have an action button that searches an online system to find out if the company in the document still exists. If it doesn’t I’ll put the document into a folder called “Not found.”

I put them into this folder because it doesn’t matter what status or form type they have, so it should display all company documents.

You can see all Notes tips here

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