Improving your HTML emails in Lotus Notes

Lotus Notes continues to be the bane of all existence for email designers worldwide, but here are a few tips you can follow to ease the pain:

  • Borders – If you don’t want them on your tables, don’t mention them….at all. Even if you specify a border of zero width, Notes will place a big ugly border around the table. Think of Notes as a disturbed mental patient that gets upset when you mention the word “borders”. Borders? Borders! Borders! BOOOOOOOOOOORDERS!!
  • Cascading Style Sheets – In Notes, not all of your stylesheet properties are going to cascade. So, design your emails such that every style necessary for an element is specified within it’s own tag (it’s a safe bet to code all of your styles inline).
  • No Unordered List Navs – Using an unordered list as your navigation element works for a lot of email clients, but not Notes. If you try this, you’ll quickly find your horizontal navigation has suddenly gone vertical. (Although, the actual bullets will still be removed. 🙂 )
  • Divs – You’re probably not going to be using divs in emails designed specifically for Notes. Why? Well, it doesn’t support the float property, among other things.
  • Don’t rely on padding – If you want your links to have a space in between them, use a   tag or an actual space. Notes will completely ignore padding.

Got any of your own tips? Please add them as a comment to this post. Starting out in email design, I had very few guides to go by, so the tips above are from my own trials & errors.

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