#11 Forming Attachments
We fixed attachments this week by building live attachments.
Plum mail generates rich previews when you add a link to your images or documents on Google Drive. Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud coming soon.
Earlier, Gmail told me I have used 15GB of storage and it was time to upgrade. 15Gig! Your average plain text email is ~40kb so this heavy-weight emailing was all attachments.
On closer inspection, it is many versions of one document. For context, I used to run a design agency before Plum Mail. We would send PDF documents back and forth showing small design changes until the client was happy. 15GB of design changes infact.
The problem is that once you've uploaded an attachment and sent it off into the world, you'll never see it again. You can't get it back to make changes, you're stuck with v1,v2,v3 and v7829 floating around like space debris clogging up your cloud storage.
What we actually need is live attachments. I started trialling this with Google Drive links. Much better. You can continue editing the document and update it so every time the client clicks the link, they get the latest version.
Where these links fall down is the client lose them (or worse have no clue how to use them). You have a conversation that starts with 'where is the link to this document again?'. Well, it's 6 emails ago in this thread but I'll copy and paste here into a new email just for you...
Plum Mail's Attachment Solution
To send an attachment, upload your document to Google Drive or your photos to Google Photos.
Copy the link and paste it into the body of your email.
Plum Mail will generate a link preview in the body of your message.
If the email thread is a long one, pin the link so it doesn't get lost.
- Your attachment link is presented inline rather than at the bottom of the email.
- In a long email thread, the attachment doesn't get lost
- You have one source for the document rather than uploading new versions all the time.
- It's easy to retract an attachment by deleting the original document.
At the moment, public links are supported. In Google Drive, these are described as 'anyone with the link can view'. However, we are working on a seamless way to share private documents in Drive with specific users via Plum Mail as a live attachment.
This brings me to the final benefit, private attachments can be accidentally (or deliberately) forwarded. Private live attachments can have specific user access rights defined and retracted if necessary making them a safer way to share private information.
Cheers, Peter & Richard
p.s. If you have a friend who you think would be interested in our journey, please do forward this email to them! Thank you. :-)