Skip to main content
HCL Notes

HCL Notes
Formerly from IBM


What is HCL Notes?

Notes from HCL (formerly from IBM, acquired by HCL in late 2018) is a collaboration platform based on the Lotus platform.

Read more
Recent Reviews

TrustRadius Insights

HCL Notes, used by users worldwide, has a wide range of use cases that cater to various functions within an organization. Users rely on …
Continue reading


7 out of 10
December 19, 2022
HCL Notes provides business collaboration functions, such as email, calendars, to-do lists, contact management, discussion forums, file …
Continue reading

Lotus Notes Insights

8 out of 10
June 11, 2019
Lotus Notes is used by most of the departments in our organization. It is used as documentary storage for all the requirements at a single …
Continue reading

IBM Notes & RAD

10 out of 10
February 25, 2015
We use IBM Notes/Domino as a development platform, no email. Most of the Apps are for Departmental and some are for multiple departments …
Continue reading

What is IBM Notes doing?

5 out of 10
February 06, 2014
I have worked with Lotus Notes and Domino since 1996 from Version 4, 5, 6.5, 8.0 and 8.5, but my last couple of projects all are …
Continue reading

Notes basics

10 out of 10
February 05, 2014
One of the few reliable and industry standards that are present in Information Technology for more than 20 years. Security, offline …
Continue reading
Read all reviews

Popular Features

View all 23 features
  • Notifications (10)
  • Mobile Access (10)
  • Task Management (9)
  • Chat (10)
Return to navigation


View all pricing

What is HCL Notes?

Notes from HCL (formerly from IBM, acquired by HCL in late 2018) is a collaboration platform based on the Lotus platform.

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Would you like us to let the vendor know that you want pricing?

110 people also want pricing

Alternatives Pricing

What is SharePoint?

Microsoft's SharePoint is an Intranet solution that enables users to share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information, and collaborate across the organization.

What is Miro?

Miro provides a visual workspace for innovation that enables distributed teams of any size to dream, design, and build the future together. Today, Miro counts more than 60 million users in 200,000 organizations who use Miro to improve product development collaboration, to speed up time to market,…

Return to navigation

Product Demos

How To View Emails as Conversations and Original Message in HCL Notes


05 NCUG Spring Seminar 2021 - DOMI: Create meetings in HCL Notes for Teams, Zoom, WebEx and Sametime

Return to navigation


Project Management

Project management software provides capabilities to streamline management of complex projects through task management, team collaboration and workflow automation

Avg 7.8


Features that allow team members to communicate about collaborative projects and keep each other informed of their opinions and progress.

Avg 8.0

File Sharing & Management

Features that allow collaborators to view, work on, and organize files.

Avg 8.1
Return to navigation

Product Details

What is HCL Notes?

HCL Notes Technical Details

Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Notes from HCL (formerly from IBM, acquired by HCL in late 2018) is a collaboration platform based on the Lotus platform.

Atlassian Confluence, Axero, and Jive are common alternatives for HCL Notes.

Reviewers rate Internal knowledgebase and Integrates with GoToMeeting and Integrates with Outlook highest, with a score of 10.

The most common users of HCL Notes are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
Return to navigation


View all alternatives
Return to navigation

Reviews and Ratings


Community Insights

TrustRadius Insights are summaries of user sentiment data from TrustRadius reviews and, when necessary, 3rd-party data sources. Have feedback on this content? Let us know!

HCL Notes, used by users worldwide, has a wide range of use cases that cater to various functions within an organization. Users rely on HCL Notes for essential tasks such as managing emails, sending meeting invites, booking meeting rooms, accessing the company intranet, and sharing templates. The platform also serves as a reliable tool for leave management, notebook entry, creating to-do lists, and raising IT issues. With these diverse functionalities, HCL Notes standardizes processes across regions, facilitating fast and efficient global communication within the company.

Internally developed Lotus Notes databases are widely utilized for storing infrastructure inventory, workflows, work queue for builds and audits. These databases are often integrated with ERP and ticketing systems, providing seamless integration with existing tools. Moreover, the robust workflow capabilities of HCL Notes have allowed organizations to replace paper-based approval systems with secure digital workflows that offer an audit trail and enhanced security.

Furthermore, HCL Notes is increasingly being used on mobile devices, with about a third of the organization utilizing its mail, calendar, and contacts features on their smartphones or tablets. It serves as a central hub for collaboration with its sidebar app for Sametime providing chat functionality, presence awareness, web meetings, audio/video conferencing. In addition to its collaborative features, HCL Notes also functions as a development platform where users can create departmental and multi-departmental apps that integrate seamlessly with various databases and platforms.

Notes is highly regarded for its quick development capabilities and easy integration with new releases. Its versatility extends beyond email and calendar functions; it serves as a reliable CRM system integrated with back-end accounting systems in some organizations. By leveraging HCL Notes' document management capabilities and internal workflow features, users can maintain an organized repository of client-specific details while saving time navigating through relevant information. The platform's user-friendly experience enables users to access critical data easily while enjoying enhanced security measures.

Overall, HCL Notes has proven to be a vital tool for organizations, offering a wide range of use cases and functionalities. Its seamless integration with existing systems, robust workflow capabilities, and mobile accessibility make it an indispensable asset for efficient communication, collaboration, and data management.

Seamless Integration: Users have found that HCL Notes can be easily integrated with other software platforms, such as Sametime chat, Concur, and Productivity Management System. This integration allows for seamless communication and access to various tools and resources.

Efficient Calendar Management: The calendar management feature in HCL Notes is highly praised by users. Once they accept a meeting invite, their calendar is automatically updated, and they can easily view all their meetings for the day or week. Additionally, users can book meeting rooms, and the availability of these rooms is visible to all employees, making it convenient for planning meetings.

Robust Database and Custom Applications: Users commend the strong database of HCL Notes which is extremely scalable and can handle thousands of users effectively. They also appreciate the enterprise-grade framework for developing custom database applications in HCL Notes. This simplicity of access makes it convenient for users while reducing administrative burdens.

Slow web browsing capabilities: Some users have experienced slow web browsing capabilities in HCL Notes, with extended connection and loading times for web content. Users have mentioned that links shared in HCL Notes emails often fail to connect and sometimes the web content is not visible, requiring them to manually copy and paste the link in another browser.

Unappealing user interface: Less tech-savvy users and new users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the unappealing user interface of HCL Notes. It is suggested that improvements should be made to make it more visually appealing and user-friendly.

Backward compatibility issues: The backward compatibility of HCL Notes can be problematic at times, causing cluttered menus and outdated options that are not commonly used by modern users. Navigating preferences can also be challenging for those transitioning from other email platforms like Gmail or Outlook.

Based on user reviews, there are three common recommendations for IBM Notes:

  1. Consider other software options before committing to IBM Notes. Many users suggest exploring alternatives such as Microsoft Outlook or Google software before deciding on IBM Notes. They believe that these platforms provide better user interfaces, more features, and a more modern experience.

  2. Use IBM Notes only if there is a need for custom databases. Some users recommend using IBM Notes specifically for its ability to build custom databases that integrate with the email system. They believe that this feature sets it apart from other email platforms.

  3. Keep options open and explore different solutions. Several reviewers advise against relying solely on IBM Notes and encourage keeping options open by not getting locked into a single vendor's proprietary software. They suggest considering different platforms and not being hesitant to migrate to a different solution if needed.

Overall, while some users appreciate IBM Notes for its secure email services and custom database capabilities, many recommend looking at other software options with better user interfaces and more features before committing to the platform.

Attribute Ratings


(1-16 of 16)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
December 19, 2022


Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • Helps me with notifying the email status.
  • Helps me with better organization of my time on calendars.
  • With the help of calendars, I am also able to use to-do lists to adjust my time and hence saving me a lot of extra effort.
  • I can also save important notes as well.
  • Could be more user friendly with a better UI.
  • Can add time blocker to be synced with google.
Mogana Tashiani | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • HCL Notes can be integrated with other software platforms such as Sametime chat, Concur (expense management platform), and Productivity Management System (platform for consultants/analyst to access to assigned projects). For example, once the status of my claim expenses is changes by the finance team, I'll receive automatic notification from Concur to IBM Notes.
  • Calendar Management - Once I accepted the meeting invite, it will automatically block my calendar and all I need to do to see all my meetings of the day/week is to simply check my calendar in the HCL Notes. Moreover, I can book any meeting rooms in my company and the booking will be made visible to all other employees so that they can see the availability of the room when planning a meeting.
  • Secured Platform- All email from the external party will be hold by the delivery system of the IBM Notes. User can either allow or block the email or site easily.
  • Global Meeting - Regional or cross-regional global meeting can be easily participated remotely. With HCL Notes installed in my laptop/notebook, I can conveniently join company meeting from my working desk or even when travelling.
  • HCL Notes needs to largely improve the quality online web/internet browsing as HCL Notes takes considerably long time to connect and load of the web content.
  • The links shared in HCL Notes emails won't be connected often and the web content won't be visible sometimes. I need to copy and paste the link in Google Chrome to view the web content.
  • Sometimes, HCL Notes will get jammed and need to restart all over.
Christopher Stark | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • Data sharing via small database format is valuable as they are quickly deployed, easily managed and distributed on backend email servers.
  • Integrated messaging allows quick communications between geographical sites reducing long distance costs.
  • Policy documents for registering new users, setting initial security levels, assigning default database access is managed easily with the admin client.
  • There is room for improvement in the OS compatibility arena. IBM Notes tends to run behind and crash issues exist.
  • I would like the Recent Contacts feature removed, it has caused many issues within our organization, it is activated by default after a local installation.
  • Client misunderstanding of the "All Documents" view. This is a dangerous view, primarily because many users misunderstand it as a "folder".
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • It consists of all the client requirements arranged in a user-friendly manner.
  • We can customize the Workspace as desired.
  • It can hold the contacts of the organization in one database and can be readily accessed.
  • It can incorporate the latest updates as per market standards
  • It lacks behind in the access speed if It contains more data.
  • Migration to a new database takes much time.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • IBM Notes does a great job as a calendar and scheduling tool.
  • The features available on mobile are comparable to that found on a desktop.
  • Very simple user interface keeps distractions to a minimum and makes it easy to use.
  • The simple user experience can be touted as a positive, but it is also a negative in some ways. Compared to other calendars, email and chat tools, IBM Notes looks like it is from the 90s.
  • We have constant issues with chat crashing. This is the main reason so many people in our organization chose to switch away from Notes.
  • There aren't a lot of integrations with IBM Notes and other applications we regularly use. Notes seems to have been left behind by many.
Chris Whisonant | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
  • Calendar and Scheduling are extremely mature and implemented well.
  • In general, email is email. Notes is the frontend just as Outlook would be. The presentation and implementation of the mail system are on par with any other vendor in the market.
  • Although at certain points the integration could be tighter, Notes integrates well with the other IBM Collaboration products like Connections and Sametime. It is a single point of entry for enterprise collaboration.
  • IBM need to solidify their roadmap for IBM Notes and work more on marketing the software.
  • Lately, the fix packs (or feature packs) have had some bugs - more so than ones prior to the 9.0.1 version. This needs a little more attention.
  • Though it is great with newer hardware, especially SSD, the Eclipse-based Notes Client can still be rather slow to load for some users.
Matthew J. Fitzpatrick | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
  • It has a really strong and robust database that's extremely scalable and holds up well to thousands of users and many different environments.
  • It has a really good enterprise-grade framework for development custom database applications
  • All of the custom database applications along with the email all have a nice uniform look and feel so their easy-to-use.
  • I really like how it's developed and supported on every client OS (Windows, OSX, Linux)! The competitors definitely do NOT offer this (M$).
  • I would say the GUI could use some improving to make it more appealing to less saavy and new users
  • I don't really have any other cons
September 15, 2017

IBM Notes Review

Steven Rieger | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • It's a rock solid single server platform that runs every standard protocol you could need.
  • Notes security is top notch. Starting at the network port level down to field level encryption.
  • Rapid development environment using eclipse is fantastic.
  • SSL handling.
  • Dev tools all should be based on the eclipse side.
Umar Qureshi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • Backup and Recovery... even when done manually it is a piece of cake.. granular recovery of individual records (Documents as they call it here) is possible without any third party licensing / software.
  • Replication is such a beauty, you could have a PC configured such that it will receive replicated data for any critical app at scheduled intervals for off site backup when running on dry budgets.
  • Server Clustering - Another 5 second job, just create a cluster group, add member servers, and click save -- you are almost done... click on the notes apps you want on the cluster and create replica.. system does all the rest
  • Field level Encryption -- Don't encrypt the entire document if it is not desired.. even a single field could be encrypted on the form
  • Any user could download the entire app for offline work but would only be able to download data that he/she is authorized to view - Working offline on an online app is possible out of the box. when you connect back to the network (dial-up, dsl, vpn whatever your company supports) only changed are replicated.
  • Marketing -- IBM needs to do more .. they just cant seem to do it better, far worse products are doing better... selling points for notes despite being strong, are overshadowed by the sheer marketing campaigns of others. Notes just doesn't glitter.
  • Front end need total re-engineering - the legacy out of the box templates need updating
  • More determination and commitment from IBM - seems they are abandoning a great product by lack of will
Jeremiah Benjamin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • IBM Notes as a platform -- including the Domino server and administrative policies -- is relatively easy to manage, maintain, and secure once it is set up properly. This makes life easy for users; they just log into Notes and bam! they instantly have access to dozens of Notes applications.
  • Notes Mail is easy to extend to mobile devices via Traveler, a free add-on for Domino that lets just about any smartphone to sync mail, contacts and calendar data securely. Traveler can even be configured for HA (high availability).
  • The IBM Notes client for Windows & Mac maintains backwards compatibility with several (perhaps all) previous generations of Notes. This presents an amazing value proposition. Many of our custom Notes databases were written 15-20 years ago and are still in use -- often unmodified! -- today.
  • Custom Notes applications are relatively easy to develop, providing data storage, search and retrieval, and a solid server architecture for "no SQL" type use cases. For many uses, SQL databases are too costly and Notes is a great fit. We use Notes to produce and consume web services for interoperability with other systems both older and newer.
  • iNotes -- the web-based client -- is very similar to Notes and very easy to deploy to users. We use it internally to let users easily check Mail wherever they are.
  • Notes client upgrades are easily managed with a built-in SmartUpgrade feature. While not flawless, it automates updates even for users operating over very low bandwidth connections.
  • Virtually all Notes databases can be replicated locally for traveling users. Replication is "smart" and secure in that it only replicates data from a server that a user can use. E.g for a 20GB database a user might have a 1GB local replica. This is efficient and secure.
  • Notes security is quite good, giving us options for very strong encryption of data at rest as well as in transmission. Most of those options can be controlled and enforced from a centralized policy.
  • Notes' backwards compatibility sometimes gets in the way. Menus are cluttered with extraneous, outdated options and features that modern users will never use, and Preferences are often difficult to navigate for those coming from Gmail or Outlook. We have greatly simplified this via Policies, but users still find it daunting to go through all the options that are available.
  • The IBM Notes client for Windows & Mac is essentially the Eclipse Java development it is HUGE. Performance initially was very slow but IBM has done a good job of speeding things up. As IBM moves more toward cloud-delivered applications, this will not be as much of a problem.
  • Notes and Domino can be complex to manage for administrators who are more accustomed to ActiveDirectory, Group Policy, etc. Editing a notes.ini file to add a feature, or working with XML files by hand to create a SmartUpgrade kit can be daunting to those coming from more modern administrative roles.
  • Some users claim to "hate" Notes mail. While I have heard this less and less over the past 10 years, we have had 3rd party software offer plugins to Outlook and it's rare to see any for Notes.
  • The client update process should be automated more. I would like to see the Notes client update quietly and quickly more like an Adobe software update. If an update fails it should automatically try again without prompting the user over and over.
  • Notes multiple language spell checking is a downloaded add-on Java-based resource that has to be deployed in a convoluted way that is difficult for users to grasp. Therefore any foreign language spell check updates must be done individually per Notes client by IT, which is unfortunate. I would prefer to see that be a "live download" update option for users to get directly from IBM (don't make me download it and put it on my network).
February 25, 2015

IBM Notes & RAD

Tom Le | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • Time efficiency and faster turn around of development.
  • Workflow Application Design.
  • NOSQL database advantages.
  • Easy Web Services development and deployment. This make it so easy to connect with other databases like Oracle, SQL, etc.
  • Notes Sercurity is (A+++)
  • First: For a smaller/lighter web sites and pages and internet, Notes don't have a lighter version to do so. IBM needs to improve this and come up with better solution, something like JSP or ASP platforms.
  • Second: Notes license that can provide free to users for education/self learning/testing. IBM needs to more Advertise and doing a lot more better in Sale of the product. The product is very good, but still unknown to many people. We need to show that IBM Notes is not just a mail product/platform but it can do more and better in the databases and application development as well.
  • New version of Domino (8.5.3x - 9.0x) have lot of improvement in term of performance and web development (Xpages) but lack of documentation/education/training. Most of the Notes Developers still new or very new to XPages. I have developed a few application in Xpages but it was very difficult to getting help and resources. We need more sample Xpages Application and more available templates for download and learn.
December 22, 2014

Notes then and now

Lynn Sturgis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • It has a good way of allowing permissions to be applied.
  • The Notes Design program is fairly simple to use. Anyone who remembers 'Basic' language should be able to pick it up.
  • All of our modules were in one Workspace for each user.
  • Workspaces were easy to set up and manipulate.
  • Email integration was sometimes difficult. As an example, we periodically had issues where someone with an Apple OS would send an attachment via Mac mail and the attachment did not come through correctly.
  • Domino Server updates sometimes did more harm than good and needed to be rolled back.
  • Every time a Domino server had to be restarted the email, or other database, would go through a 'consistency check.' End-users could not access the databases(s) until these checks completed. When you have a 16 or 17GB database, that's a long time to wait.
February 06, 2014

What is IBM Notes doing?

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
  • Fifteen years ago, IBM Notes was the best email platform in the world, both client side and server side. Even the Server application and email box, can be accessed it from the Lotus Notes client and web browser.
  • IBM Notes is good for user management, database management and server management
  • Server controller, certificate authority, replica and administration process are also strengths.
  • IBM should release new version for Notes with new functionality in every couple of years, instead focus in project and out-sourcing
February 05, 2014

Notes basics

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
  • Security
  • Rapid Application Development
  • Offline Work
  • Steep learning curve
  • Lot of functions unknown to users
Return to navigation