My thoughts on Lotus Notes

Expanding and collapsing folders

Notes lets you create folders within other folders. It displays a little + sign next to those folders that have subfolders. As you'd expect, clicking on the + expands (or collapses) the folder list. Notes also tries to be helpful and expand the folder list when you click on the parent folder's name itself. This is great as the name is a bigger target to click on than the little + sign. (Windows Explorer does something similar).

Unfortunately, from this point on, Notes gets it horribly wrong. Clicking on a folder name acts as a toggle! So, if you click on the name again, it collapses the folder list. Aside from me preferring all my folders to be expanded and remain expanded, this behaviour makes it incredibly annoying to quickly flip between a couple folders to hunt for an email. Imagine the following folder structure:

Folder A
--> Folder B
--> Folder C

Moving from Folder A to B is fine, but then if I jump back to Folder A, then decided to jump to Folder C, I have to click Folder A again to reopen the folder list so that I can go to Folder C. There is no way to select Folder A without opening or closing the folder tree. The net effect is that folders are constantly being expanded and collapsed and it feels like everything is "jumping around".

This is so frustrating that I've resorted to removing all hierarchies from my folders and adopting a flat folder structure. I've resorted to adding numbers at the beginning of folder names to keep things grouped.

There are two ways to fix this:
  1. Change the behaviour to only expand folder trees when clicking on a name and use the + icon to close the tree
  2. Stop expanding/collapsing folder trees when the user clicks on a folder name and instead rely entirely on the + icons