Chapter 3. Kontact: An E-Mail and Calendar Program


3.1. Kontact Overview
3.2. Mail
3.3. Contacts
3.4. Calendar
3.5. Syncing Data with a Handheld
3.6. Kontact for GroupWise Users
3.7. For More Information


Kontact combines the functionality of a number of KDE applications into a convenient, single interface for personal information management. These applications include KMail for e-mail, KOrganizer for the calendar, KAddressbook for contacts, and KNotes for notes. It is also possible to sync data with external devices, such as a PalmPilot or other handheld device. Kontact integrates easily with the rest of the KDE desktop and connects to a variety of groupware servers. It includes extra features, such as spam and virus filtering and an RSS reader.

Start Kontact from the main menu. Alternatively, enter kontact in a command line or in the Run Command dialog. You can also open the individual components instead of the combined application if you only need partial functionality.

3.1. Kontact Overview

The default window view, which shows the Summary, is shown in Figure 3.1, “The Kontact Window Showing the Summary” (↑Applications). Use the buttons in the left section to access the different components.

The Summary provides basic information, including upcoming birthdays and to-dos and the number of new mail messages. The news section can access RSS feeds to provide updated news of interest to you. Use Settings+Configure Summary View to configure the information displayed.

Figure 3.1. The Kontact Window Showing the Summary

The Kontact Window Showing the Summary

3.1.1. Mail

The folder area to the left contains a list of your mail folders (mail boxes) indicating the total number of messages and how many are still unread. To select a folder, simply click it. The messages in that folder appear in the top right frame. The number of messages in that folder is also shown in the status bar at the bottom of the application window.

The subject, sender, and time of receipt of each message are listed in the header area to the right. Click a message to select it and display it in the message window. Sort the messages by clicking one of the column headers (subject, sender, date, etc.). The contents of the currently selected message are displayed in the message frame of the window. Attachments are depicted as icons at the end of the message, based on the MIME type of the attachment, or they can be displayed inline.

Messages can be marked with different status flags. Change the status with Message+Mark Message. You can use this feature to assign a status to a message, such as important or ignored. For example, you can highlight important messages that you do not want to forget. Display only messages with a certain status using Status in the search bar.

3.1.2. Contacts

The upper left frame of this component shows all addresses in the currently activated address books. The lower left frame lists your address books and shows whether each one is currently active. The right frame shows the currently selected contact. Use the search bar at the top to find a particular contact.

3.1.3. Calendar

The calendar view is divided into a number of frames. By default, view a small calendar of this month and a week view of the current week. Also find a list of to-dos, a detailed view of the current event or to-do, and a list of calendars with the status of each. Select a different view from the toolbar or the View menu.

3.1.4. To-Do List

To-do List shows your list of tasks. Click the field at the top to add a new item to the list. Right-click in a column of an existing item to make changes to the value in that column. An item can be broken into several subitems. Right-click and select New Sub-to-do to create a subitem. You can also assign to-dos to other people.

3.1.5. Journal

The Journal provides a place for your reflections, occurences, or experiences. Choose a date in the calendar frame and click Add Journal Entry to add a new entry. If a journal entry already exists for the chosen date, edit it in the right frame.

3.1.6. Notes

Use the Notes component to keep sticky notes to yourself. If you are using KDE, use the KNote icon in the system tray to make your notes visible on the desktop.

3.1.7. Feeds

The Feeds window is divided into three frames—a tree view with RSS feeds on the left, an article list on the top right, and the article view on the bottom right side. Click a feed in the tree view to display it. Right-click a feed to update, edit, or delete it. Right-click a folder in the tree view to open a menu where you can add a new feed or manipulate existing feeds within this folder.