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Staff inductions

Did you know that according to The Salvation Army's Year Book, our territory has close on 3,000 people employed.  That does not count the hundreds of volunteers.  Trying to stay on top of what needs to be done when replacing a staff member, or training a new volunteer can be exhausting, and there are ways a manager can minimise all the 'added extras' that come up as you train a new person at your centre.

For example, most managers know what access a user requires on their servers, and all the applications of Lotus Notes.

From an ISG perspective, completing the EDP3 form (found under ISG forms on the intranet) gives us all the information we need to ensure users have the right access, but you as the manager can make the process easier during the induction by creating an "Induction email" template.  (Lotus Notes 8.5 Series - part 1: Mail (Stationery)).  In this induction email you could add the links to the various mail files they need access to, and the databases as well (Giving access to your Lotus Notes Mail and/or Calendar to others).

You might even want to provide them a link to this blog ( so they can search the various tips and tricks available here, and suggest they subscribe.  

And when you have a new staff member or volunteer arrive, once their account has been created, you simply need to go to your saved stationery and send them a copy.  In one quick method, you can inform them of a bunch of links, which they can study at their leisure and the various links provided will add them to their workspace ready for future use.

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Adjusting font size in Lotus Notes

Adjusting font size in Lotus Notes

Depending on your monitor screen size and preference adjusting your font size in Lotus Notes can be something consider.

To do so (while lotus notes is open) simply click “File – Preferences” then select “Fonts and Colors “. By default the size it set to normal, you can change between Large and Extra Large. Have a go at each setting and see what works best.

Bonus Tip: You can also change the unread mail marks to “red” if you prefer the old school look of Lotus Notes 7.

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Personal Backups

A conversation I had over the weekend left me surprised at the lapse attitude of some people to backups, particularly backups of personal data. So today we share a tip for backups that is the basis of how we approach backups for centre servers. It is the 3 - 2 - 1 method:

3 copies of your data (1 can be the data you work with everyday)

2 different types of backup media (1 HDD, 1 cloud, or maybe 1 on a USB stick, or a friends computer)

1 backup offsite (that is somewhere other than in your house)!

As to the frequency of backups? The key factor with backups is to think about how much data you're willing to lose. If you backup once a week then you stand to lose 1 weeks of data. This may not be too much of an issue, unless you're working on an assignment that is due tomorrow and you started 5 days ago ....

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Yes we know you have lots of passwords, and they're hard to remember but we've got a couple of tips today thanks to an NZ Herald article. Click here to see the article and start thinking about that lie you're going to tell ...

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A tip on mobile phone Contacts

If you have ever had your phone lost, stolen, or damaged only to find you have to re-enter all your contacts onto a new phone, then today's blog is short, simple and very effective.

When entering contacts onto your phone, store these either using your Gmail account, or using Lotus Notes Traveler.  Don't save it on the phone or the SIM!

This means, that if you have to replace your handset, all you will need to is sync it to your Gmail or Lotus Notes account and all your contacts will automatically synchronise to your phone.


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Is it smart that people check their phones 150 times a day? (That figure is from a Nokia survey). Nokia break that down to every 6.5 minutes ... Is it smart that your phone pings with every alert? Email, Facebook, calendar appointments, Twitter, SMS, phone calls, alarms, etc? Maybe ... Is it smart to turn it off (or down) for periods of time to concentrate on specific tasks? Absolutely! Here are a few tips to help minimise the intrusiveness of your smart, but often pesky phone.

  1. Turn off alerts on non-essential apps (e.g. games, social applications, etc). 
  2. Organise your home screen so the important apps are the first you find and quick and easy to access - Android supports making folders for shortcuts.
  3. Using flight mode during meetings prevents interruptions and saves your battery life

All the best for getting your smart phone working smartly for you.

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Save Bandwidth (on your mobile)!

Bandwidth isn't necessarily an issue for us on our mobile phones. With 1.5GB of data each month, and the My Vodafone tool to help you manage your usage you shouldn't be running out. However there are lots of little steps you can take to reduce your bandwidth consumption (and maybe squeeze a few extra minutes battery life everyday).

  1. Set Traveler to only update every 15 minutes (or longer)
  2. Only update apps when you're connected to WiFi
  3. Turn on Chrome bandwidth management (in Chrome on your mobile, go to settings, bandwidth management


We hope this tip is helpful for you.

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Wanting staff to have a lotus notes application/database on their workspace

If you are wanting someone to have access for the first time to any database that you may use at your centre, then this is a very easy process and may not require you to contact ISG for action.

It pays to note that some of TSA Lotus Notes applications/databases are open to any staff member, and some are set up with security access that requires prior approval by the relevant line managers, so you will need to ensure that the person has access to this and if not, a request is sent through to ISG.  

However, giving them the link to the application is a simple process and you can do this yourself by emailing them a link for their workspace. 

Go to your workspace and select the required application.  Then right click on it, and highlight 'Application' , then 'Copy as Link'.

You can now paste the copied link into an email and send it to the appropriate person. The link will look like a small book icon.

They simply need to click on the icon and the link will be automatically added to their workspace.  If they have not been granted access, then when they click on the link Notes will give them an error message stating they are not authorised access.  If this happens, then get the centre manager to send through a request for access to ISG.

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Power Protection

If your centre is anything like ours you're probably reliant on systems that need power. Not just computers, but telephones, alarms, etc so any power cut can be disastrous for productivity. Sometimes it gets even worse though ...

Imagine if there was a power cut or fluctuation that caused your phone system or computer equipment to go BANG! And then it didn't start ...

That wouldn't be a great situation. However there are a couple of steps you can take to reduce the risk of this happening. Surge protectors are great at protecting your equipment. We use Belkin power boards here in ISG to protect equipment from a surge of power.

Of course when the power is out you may need something to still be operational. A UPS (interruptible power supply) is basically a big battery that will keep your computer powered in the event of mains power failure. There is a limit to how long it will last though so be prepared to switch things off. It is a good method for keeping things going for 10-15 minutes though.

Maybe you already know all of this and have surge protectors and UPS's in place. Make sure they get checked! A UPS is only as good as the batteries so have an electrician test them every year. Same thing goes for your surge protector. If it has malfunctioned you don't really want to find that out when the lights go out and you hear something go BANG!

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Lotus Notes 8.5 Series - part 4: Mail (Out of office)

We all know about the "Out of Office" function in Lotus Notes, and how useful a function it is to use when you are away either on holiday, at a conference, on sick leave etc.  It helps those who have sent you an email to know when to expect a response from you.

But did you know that you can send different messages to different people with this functionality? For example, you may be away at a course or conference, and you want the generic emails to simply be told you are out of the office, and that you are unable to check on emails, but you want those in your team to know in urgent cases they can text you.  Or you are on holiday and again generic users just need to be notified when you will be back, but you can send a response to your team that says "Haha I'm on holiday and you're not" :-) or maybe something a little more professional.

To do this is very simple.  Simply follow these steps:

1. Go to your Inbox, and select 'More' > 'Out of Office..'

2.  The window that opens allows you to set your out of office for all incoming emails.  Set the date you are 'Leaving', 'Returning' and the 'Additional Body text:' is for what you want the reply email to say.  If you don't want to set a separate message to a select few, then just click on 'Enable and Close' and your out of office is now set.

3.  However, if you do need to have a separate message for the select few, then before "Enabling" select the 'Alternate Notification' tab, and in 'To' field enter the group, or individual email address to whom the message will relate to, and under  'Additional Body text' type the relevant information necessary. then 'Enable and Close'.

4.  A third option is to stop the out of office email being sent to specific groups or emails. This would be used for the likes of ISG Job Track notifications etc.  In the 'Sent by' field, enter the email address(es) which you do not want notified of your leave, as shown below.  Once done 'Enable and Close'.


Hope you have found this useful, and remember its common courtesy to let people know you are away and give them options of who to contact while you are away, or that you will respond to them on your return.



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Webmail problems?

If your computer has recently upgraded itself to the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE11) then the webmail page may not display correctly.

If it looks similar to below - fear not there is an easy fix!

We need to tell Internet Explorer to "pretend" to be an older version of itself for this website to display properly.  This function is known as Compatibility View.

To do this, you need to go into the Tools menu (cog icon in the top right-hand corner, or ALT>Tools), then choose Compatibility View settings

You should see a screen like this:

Note how that window already has "" in the "Add this website" box.

Click the [Add] button.

(if by chance that box is empty, then manually type '' into the top box then click the [Add] button).

Now that the website "" is in the larger middle box in that window click the [Close] button.  That will make Internet Explorer automatically refresh the webmail page, and presto! Your webmail should now display correctly.

Note that this list of websites to display in "Compatibility View" is a per user & per computer setting.

SO you may well have to repeat these steps for YOURSELF if you use other computers.

And other people who use the same computer as you may also have to repeat this procedure.

Or you could use Google's Chrome as an alternative web browser to Internet Explorer.

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Need Space?

Passwords seem to come up now and again as a topic of discussion (to some they are a bone of contention). So our tip today is to put a space in your password. Why? It makes it more secure, a LOT more secure. 

For example the password williambooth would take around 276 days for a desktop computer to crack* - not bad. But by adding capitals (WilliamBooth) 3 thousand years is required by that desktop computer trying to crack your password. However william booth (no capitals BUT a space between the words) takes 24 thousand years to crack (and William Booth 9 million years).

So our tip today is put a space and capital letters in your password (but don't ever change your password on a Friday)!

*All crack times are provided by the website

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Lotus Notes 8.5 Series - part 3: Mail (Quick Rules)

Does your Inbox fill up with emails that you don't want to see (junk) or that you file in a specific folder to be read later (i.e. newsletters etc).  Then Quick Rule is what you need.

Create rules more quickly by basing them on the characteristics of a selected message.  Use them to trap junk mail or to assign high importance to messages.

The following steps will help you create it.  First go to your Inbox, then:

  1. Select a message that has the characteristics you wish to use in the rule (eg. sender, subject, etc)
  2. [Click] 'More' and choose 'Create QuickRule...'
  3. Select and set the conditions for the rule. Choose whether one or all conditions must be met.
  4. Choose the action to perform, such as 'Move to folder','Change importance to High' or 'Do not accept message'. Complete information as per screen request then [Click] Ok.

These rules are visible in the Tools > Rules view.  This is found on the left hand side of the Inbox screen, below the list of folders. To modify any rule, simply double click on the rule and make the necessary changes.

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Lotus Notes 8.5 Series - part 2: Mail (Searching & Flagging)

If your Inbox is anything like mine, its is constantly full  and I will often file emails into various folders I have created as I work through the various requests.

The problem with this is that occasionally I want to go back and find that one particular email that has some information I often refer to, or that I need to regularly get the information in it to pass on to others, or I need to find the email that I needed to follow up on and it can take me a while to remember who sent it, where I stored it or how to go about finding it.

There are two options:

Option 1 is DO A SEARCH.

In Folders pane, you will see listed "All Documents".  Select this, then on the top toolbar select 'View', then 'Search this view'.  A search field will appear at the top of your email listing.  Simply type in the name of the person, the subject, or any other keyword that you believe the email contains, and Lotus Notes will then present you with its findings.  The All Documents view, is really helpful as it will search through your Inbox, Sent, Draft, and any other folders you may have created.  If you were to run the search just in the Inbox, this would limit the search capability.



Select the email(s) you wish to flag.  Click on the Flag icon  and choose 'Quick Flag' to set a default flag based on your existing preferences.  To set custom flag options, choose 'Add or Edit Flag...' then set options and click OK.

The selected flagged items will now appear in the follow up View, which is usually located on bottom left hand corner of LN window in either the Inbox or Calendar view.

To view the email message simply double click on this list.

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Lotus Notes 8.5 Series - part 1: Mail (Stationery)

Over the next few weeks, the blog will be focusing on a few pointers on how to best use Lotus Notes. If you have been using Lotus Notes for a while, you may already know some of the aspects shown. Refreshers are never a bad thing though.  So we hope this series is helpful to you.

During the first part of this series we will be focusing on Lotus Notes Mail.

Today's tip and trick is on creating 'Stationery'.

As part of your role, do you have certain emails that need to be sent out on a regular basis, where only some minor changes are required, or where you constantly look for the one email you sent out last week, and then copy and paste into the new email to save you typing it all over again?

Well, Lotus Notes has the ability for you to create what they call 'stationery' which is basically a template for any email you send out regularly, ie. a monthly report, Team meeting minutes, etc.


To create stationery, simply create a new email message (shortcut key Ctrl+M).  Type up the regular information into the email body, including recipients, i.e. Leadership team members, subject line and body text information.  As much or as little information as you want.

Note that this can be either the full email you would normally send, or just the 'bones' of the email for you to add information to when you are ready to send it, i.e. attach the Minutes as a document to the email once they have been completed.

Once you are happy with this, click on More and select "Save as Stationery..."

You will be asked to name the stationery, so just give it a name that makes sense to you what its for.


To use the Stationery, you go to your Inbox, select 'More' and choose "New Message with Stationery..."

Choose the desired stationery (should you have a number of them) and click 'OK'.

Complete your message and send in the usual way.  The original Stationery will stay in the list of Stationery.


To view all created stationery, go to the Folder pane and click on "Tools" then "Stationery".  This will show all the stationery you have created, where you can manage these, and delete them if no longer necessary.




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FujiXerox nationwide (NZ) printer contract

We have had a few requests recently from some of our users asking for various printers to be connected to their machines.

Did you know the Salvation Army currently has a nationwide Service and Rental Agreement with FujiXerox for all our printing needs?

We understand that a $100 printer from the local IT store can look attractively cheap while on the shelf, but when you calculate all the ongoing costs of such a machine plus take into consideration the quality of printing etc, you will find it very hard to beat the competitiveness of a FujiXerox machine.

All you need to do is complete the FujiXerox - Printer Request form found on the intranet under ISG Forms, and then submit this through your relevant Divisional or Nationally Managed Management Board.  We will then submit to FX who will find the 'best fit' machine according to your need and volume.  There is no cost to getting the machine, and the agreement is for payment on a per copy/print basis.

This is 3 cents ($0.0345) per A4 black, and 15 cents ($0.15) per A4 colour copy.  This includes the service agreement which means when your machine needs to be looked at, it just involves a call from you direct to FX to send their technician out to you.  The only other cost is the cost of the paper you use.

It couldn't be simpler, so next time you are needing a new printer for your Corps/Centre... think FujiXerox !!

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Passwords seem to be in the news again at the moment as Xtra / Yahoo email has been compromised again. This time it is a little more complicated than being able to simply point the finger at Xtra. The problem isn't a result of Xtra systems being hacked. Rather it was a different system NOT owned / operated / managed by Xtra. 

So why the problem? By gaining access to a different system hackers have obtained email addresses and passwords. When people use the same password for different accounts then they can easily obtain access (after all the have the password)!

So try and use unique passwords. is a good tool that can help you manage and enter passwords. It will generate complex passwords then interact with websites so you don't have to remember or type them. There are some other dangers with a system like this but it is significantly better than having one password across all of your accounts.

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Change of Appointments

It is the time of year when lots of people are changing appointments. We know this is challenging as so many things change and when things don't work it becomes very frustrating very quickly. So to help us help you are are a few tips:

  1. Schedule time with us to work on your connectivity
  2. Make sure you're going to be in the place you need to be connected and have at least half an hour spare (we will need to connect to your machine and talk to you)
  3. Run through a check list of tasks you will be undertaking so you know everything is operational before finishing your appointment with us

These 3 steps make it easier for you and faster for us.

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A friendly reminder for officers in new appointments about what you need to know

Congratulations to all officers who have recently moved to new appointments.  We pray God's richest blessings on you as you prepare to serve Him in a new appointment.

We thought it appropriate to bring your attention to some things that would be good to be told or reminded of, specially, but not specifically, as you move to a new Corps/centre.  So here's a condensed list below:

Access to Lotus Notes Applications and Server Drives

ISG don't have a list of how every appointment works, so unfortunately we don't always know what access you need. After you've familiarised yourself with your brief (where it should say what you need) if you don't know how to access things, or don't seem to have permission simply contact ISG. We'd like to be able to do this automatically as part of the COA (change of appointment) process, so a project is in place to gather this information.  However it's a long process!

Contacting ISG

ISG can be contacted in a variety of ways. You can either log a job using MyDetails, email ISG or phone the help desk on (04) 802 6262.  If you use these methods then you can be sure the ISG team will see your job.  If you email a service desk member direct, you may not get the prompt action required as they may be away, and only the individual will look into their Inbox.  Following the above process ensures a job is logged and anyone in the ISG team can see and action your request.

We would recommend any password issues be looked at by calling the help desk on (04)802 6262.

ISG Rental Machines

ISG rental machines (laptops, desktops) are replaced before the warranty expires. This means that if you're warranty expires 1/1/2015, your machine will be replaced sometime during 2014. This is done with a number machines around the territory to take advantage of specials and allow us to bulk buy machines where possible. 

If you have a machine on site, and are NOT using this machine, you can send it back to ISG at any time to stop the monthly rental charges! Just email ISG to confirm how to go about this. 

Getting a new rental machine is done through your local DHQ, as they require sign off. However the forms are available on the Intranet, under Departments & Services > ISG Forms.

Data Locations

For those of you in a rental site which has a rental server, the following information ensures everything is backed up in the correct location here is a brief look at what each drive is for. 

Shared Drives

G Drive - Group drive. Anything shared within your department (or specific roles) should be saved in here. Access is limited to the folders. If you require a new folder setup or a report of who has access to a particular folder this can be arranged.

H Drive - Home drive. This is your personal drive for your work files. Everything on your H: is stored on the server. Whilst some personal documents are allowed to be stored here we ask you keep these to a minimum. 

P Drive - Public drive - Everything on this drive is accessible by everyone. Do not store secure or confidential data here. 

M Drive - Media drive.  All media (videos, audio files, large amounts of photos or pictures) should be stored on this drive. 

Local Drives

C Drive - System Drive. Anything stored on this drive is NOT backed up on the server. This drive is primarily for storing application Data. (this is where your programs are installed)

D Drive - Data Drive. This is a local 'data' drive. If you save things here they are NOT backed up on the server. 
* Not all of you will have a D Drive. Also if you have a laptop a copy of your 'H Drive' data is stored here so you can access it off site. 

Remember, the backups can only work as intended if data is stored in the correct drives. 

In regards to personal media (specifically music or videos)...

Due to legal reasons any personal media cannot be stored on Salvation Army infrastructure. You cannot store your personal music or videos on your Home Drive or the Media Drive due to copy right laws. Even though this music has been purchased by you as an individual the Salvation Army cannot risk being seen as partaking in unintentional Piracy.   If you believe you need to (or really want to) have music on your computer for listening to at work this can be placed locally on your machine. 

Other personal media

Personal data can be stored on your machines BUT we'd ask you save them somewhere other then your H: Drive. (ie create a personal folder on the D: drive for best use of this). 

This is basically so personal data doesn't get backed up (causing a bunch of intellectual property dilemmas and possible copyright infringement).

It also stops the servers getting clogged!

 If you have any queries about the backup system, or where you should be saving data please contact ISG on 04 802 6262 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We trust this is useful information for you.  

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Vodafone Drive Safe

DriveSafe is quick, easy and free to use and eliminates the distraction of text messages while you're driving. Follow these 3 easy steps to get DriveSafe

Incoming TXTs will receive this auto-reply: “I’m driving right now. I’ll read your TXT as soon as it is safe to do so."

Vodafone DriveSafe is a free service from Vodafone that eliminates the distractions of text messages while you're driving. It doesn't stop phone calls coming through so you're able to use your headset or hands free kit to legally talk while driving. But it does stop you getting distracted by text messages.

To use it follow these 3 quick steps:

    • Before you start driving, freeTXT ‘Drive on to 760
    • Incoming TXTs will receive this auto-reply: “I’m driving right now. I’ll read your TXT as soon as it is safe to do so. Vodafone DriveSafe.”
    • When you arrive at your destination, freeTXT ‘Drive off’ to 760 then check the TXT messages you received

Remember that if you don't freeTXT Drive off then you won't get any text messages and people will think that you're still driving!

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Mission Opportunities

Check out our latest job vacancies (we also refer to these as 'mission opportunities') and see if there's a possible place for you.

Digital Connect Update

Please see the "Notification Bar" on the Support portal for any updates related to connection issues Digital Connect are aware of and working on.

Latest blog post:

As we all continue to work towards protecting the Salvation Army data and its networks, ISG will be ...
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