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New Email/Calendar System: Day One

This morning when I arrived at work, only one email appeared in my inbox. The long-anticipated day had come. All my email had been migrated from our imap server to our bran’-spankin’ new Zimbra system.

Until today, members of our campus have used not one but several email systems. Faculty and academic staff were on one (but could use one of at least three supported access methods, including webmail and two desktop clients). Administrative and other staff were on a completely separate system (GroupWise). I’m not sure what students were on (though I know it wasn’t GroupWise). So as much as we’ve all been dreading the migration headache, clearly we needed a change.

So today I became one of the first groups of people on campus to migrate over to Zimbra, but most of my day was spent in meetings, so I didn’t have a whole lot of time to tinker, play, and futz. So the impressions I have are just that: impressions. And I’m not sure if it’s wishful thinking, the “oooh, shiny” factor, or something more substantial that makes me generally want to like it. But I generally want to like it, and I certainly do anticipate the joys of being able to search for common free time when setting up meetings (this will be the first time our whole campus has had a single calendaring system, too). I also like the tagging and message search functions.

But there are a couple of strangenesses, too. For example, there’s no way to copy a message to a folder; you have to just flat out move it. I can’t customize my view quite the way I’d like. Things seem to take several clicks rather than one or two. I don’t think there are any notifications for new messages, or any indication if you’re in the calendar view that there may be new messages waiting for you if you click over to mail view. But most puzzling (though not Zimbra’s fault), is that I now have three complete calendars, each of which need updating. My palm needs all my information so that it can go with me to meetings. My google calendar needs at least some of my information, but exactly how much will depend on departmental decisions that haven’t yet been made. And I’m strangely fond of my published availability calendar, which wouldn’t be possible if I dropped my google calendar. Then there’s the zimbra calendar, which must be used if people are to be able to easily schedule meetings with me via the new all-campus system. Something’s gotta give, but I have to keep them all up until I figure out what I can drop without hampering my work and that of my colleagues.