February 15, 2010

The End Of Attachments

One of my Dirty Dozen Rules Of Email Etiquette is: "Don't Be So Heavy" 

Simply put, you cannot be sure how fast your email recipient's connection speed is, so don't send something bigger than a few megabytes via an attachment.  In my training program, I recommend using the YouSendIt service to park big files in the sky, notifying your recipient that it's waiting on them to download at their convenience.  

Recently, I realized that regardless of size, most attachments don't need to be sent. Instead, they need to be parked in the cloud.  Last month, I had a professional photog (Lesley Bohm) shoot new photos of me for a new website, new book cover, etc.  She shot massive raw files, which gives me the freedom to use for blow up posters at speaking events or thumbnail size headshots for brochures, FB, etc.  

After doing some photoshop work, she sent me the three top pics 8X12 300DPI (these are 7 - 10 meg files).  I needed to send these to a meeting planner that was setting up promotion for an upcoming event.  So I parked the three files on Typepad, and sent URLs to the meeting planner with "right click to save as or drag to desktop" instructions.  No need for attachments. 

Examples: Picture One, Picture Two, Picture Three

A few days later, I was sending my customized reading recommendations for hair dressers and salon owners to a few dozen people who'd email me for one - and I did the same thing.  Parked the PDF on Typepad, and sent the URL.  It saves me time (no step to attach, no "ooops forgot to send attachment re-sends).  Previously, when sending out PDFs or any type of non-pic attachment, I got the occasional response that they didn't receive the information or the attachment didn't come through.  No more with my new cloud attachment program - It's just a click away. 

Here's another email management advantage to this approach: Reduces the size of your Outlook/Entourage data file. (Video) You see, when you send an attachment, your computer stores an extra copy of it in your data file, and eventually you'll get a bloated file (multiple gigs) that causes your email client to take a long time to launch, run slow or produce the dreaded "broken data base" error message that requires rebuilding your file or using your backup/restore software.  As part of my email training, I've always advised keeping your email data file slim by archiving and permanent delete.  Using a no-attachment approach is another way to keep your file slim and speedy. 

By the way, companies like Kraft Foods and Novell Software have licensed my Email Etiquette Training Program for their employees - it's no brainer training for the information age.  Contact me for information on how you can bring it to your company. 

Posted at 11:11 AM in Email Rules  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)



Agreed, email attachments are not the way to send large files. Most email systems limit attachments to <10MB. Business users should also be concerned about the security of file transfers since they often contain sensitive, confidential information. Corporations and government agencies use Accellion secure file transfer to ensure files and file folders up to 20GB can be sent quickly and securely. For the latest news and commentary on file transfer check out the Managed File Transfer blog.


Also use dropbox.com great for being able to share files publicly if required.

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