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MS Outlook vs Lotus Notes - Which is better?

MS Outlook vs IBM Lotus Notes – Which is better?

Vipul Rajput
by Vipul Rajput — 4 months ago in Review 4 min. read

Outlook vs Lotus Notes which is better? There is always a tough fight between these two email client software. In this article, we have differentiated the outlook and lotus notes on various aspects and in the end, we’ll suggest which email client Outlook or Lotus Notes is better for you, and why you should migrate from IBM Lotus Notes to Outlook.

Using an email client can be a tremendous time-saver, for those who have multiple email accounts. Many users have separate emails for business and personal use, sometimes they also have accounts on several platforms including Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail. Using an email management client not only helps in saving time but it also downloads the emails from all other email platforms hence, you can access all the emails at one platform. 

Outlook or Lotus Notes both are popular enterprise-level email clients known for their unique functionality and high-end security. However the popularity of Lotus Notes is declining since the past few years, it still provides complete security of your business data. 

What are lotus notes and what is Outlook?

Lotus Notes

Lotus notes also known as IBM notes is the client-side of the Lotus Domino server, generally, they are used in corporate environments for sending and receiving emails, to access the databases such as document libraries and custom applications, email integration, calendar integration, address book integration, etc. The notes are installed on the user’s personal computer and used to access both mail and notes applications, the emails are stored in the .nsf file format. They are compatible with several operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac. 

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MS Outlook is an E-mail software program designed by Microsoft and is used to manage emails, it enables users to send and receive email on their computer. The Outlook can be integrated with Microsoft’s SharePoint to share documents, notes, reminders and much more. With advanced features like Bill pay reminders, events locations suggestion, multiple time zones, Bcc warning makes the outlook stand out from other email clients. 

Outlook or Lotus Notes which is better?

We have differentiated between these two clients on several aspects, so you should read all the aspects before choosing an email client.

  1. Data Storage 

The emails on IBM lotus notes are stored in (.NSF format). The notes storage facility is used by IBM Lotus Notes and Domino software to store different kinds of data stored in notes including email messages, documents, appointments, and other documents. The mailbox database consisting of Note types such as email messages, calendars, To-Do as well as other archived data is stored in a single username.NSF file for each individual user. The notes users can store a 64 GB of data in an NSF file. 

The Outlook uses a personal storage table (.PST ) file format to store emails , calendar events , contacts ,attachments and other items on your computer , such as exchange accounts. The storage size of outlook depends upon the version of Outlook typically the PST file format has a storage size of approx 15GB to 50GB. But you can split the PST files and thus creates multiple PST files within 50 GB of storage. The other file format of Outlook i.e, OST can be accessed without an internet connection or can be accessed offline. 

  1. Cost

The IBM Lotus Notes are expensive due to the high purchasing costs. The user has to purchase the Notes separately. 

The Outlook is less expensive in comparison to Notes as it is included in the Microsoft Office suite. It is one time purchased the user has to purchase the outlook version only once. 

  1. Maintenance

The maintenance of Lotus Notes Email is difficult, expensive, and they are more complex to handle. One should have a technical knowledge to handle the Lotus Notes Email client.  

The maintenance of Outlook is much simpler and easier as compared to Lotus notes and the cost of maintenance is not that high as IBM Notes.

  1. Server comparison

Lotus Emailing Application server is IBM Domino

Outlook Server is Microsoft Exchange Server

  1. Operating system

The Lotus Notes is compatible with almost every operating system including Linux, Windows, and Mac. 

The compatibility of Outlook varies on the version, the latest version of Outlook is compatible with Windows, Linus, and Mac. whereas some old versions of outlook are not compatible with Linux. Hence both outlook or lotus notes are compatible on almost all operating system 

  1. User Interface

The user interface of Lotus notes is complex, again a strong technical knowledge is needed to operate the software. Emailing App IBM Notes user interface is complex and the user should have technical knowledge then only he or she will be able to use it. Many users have found it difficult to operate and use the features of Lotus Notes. 

The MS Outlook comes with a very simple user interface which means a non-technical person can easily operate and use the features of this application. 
Also read: HDD Or SSD: Which is Best for Gaming?

  1. Multiple account support

Due to restriction in Lotus Notes regarding multiple accounts, a user can use only one Notes account at a time in Lotus Notes email 

There is no restriction in Outlook regarding multiple accounts, a user can add multiple accounts and use them simultaneously. 

  1. Multitasking

The latest version of Lotus Notes supports the multitasking feature, while notes running in the background you can replicate the design, detach files, copy design, etc. 

The outlook also offers the same multitasking feature. Hence both outlook or lotus notes offer the multitasking feature. 
Also read: A better Customer Experience, You need to know why little Things Matter.


We hope that your confusion between Outlook or Lotus notes is clear by now, the outlook is a clear winner by a long margin.

Outlook has many unique features and it is easy for users to get the best out of Outlook. Lotus Notes not only has fewer features, but the utilization of its existing features is also difficult due to the complexity of the interface. After going through the discussion, users should not have any confusion about which one to choose between Lotus Notes and Outlook.

Vipul Rajput

Vipul is a content writer who loves to write on data migration, data backup, and database niche

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