For the next 30 days, I’m going on a diet: I will deprive myself of email attachments entirely. We can call it the 30-Day Detach.
Email attachments are the worst. The worst! They are not far behind fax machines in terms of value. Sure, they were a neat feature in the year 1998, but we are so much better than that now – we’re so much better at collaborating online, now – that it’s time to move on.
What are you talking about: I, Becky Webster, will be 100% attachment free for 30 days straight. If all goes well, that streak may indeed continue, but in case something goes unexpectedly awry I’m going to publicly commit to a campaign of 30 days.
Why do you hate attachments/Freedom: Because attachments are like loose-leaf pieces of paper that we xerox, hand out to each other, scribble on, fax to a bunch of people, get innumerable versions back, have a hard time keeping track of, and generally just cause unnecessary chaos. They’re complete time wasters – especially given our options in today’s gifts of collaborative technology – and this madness must end. I’ve tried thinking of a legitimate use case for sending an attachment, but I haven’t found any yet. None.
How on earth will you accomplish this: Luckily, there is only one rule I need to follow and it’s quite simple:
I cannot send any attachment via email – personal or work – ever. If anyone gets an email with an attachment from me, I start over at day 0.
The only exception I’ll make are email signature logos, which would be a waste of time to manage in this way. I’ll do my best to remove them, but for the most part I’m not going to worry about them. [Incidentally, if you have graphics or logos in your email signatures and have the option of removing them, you probably should. They translate as attachments which is misleading, makes it hard to find emails with actual attachments, and gives my thumb too much work to do when I’m reading on my phone. 8^) ]
How on earth will you accomplish this part deux:
- “But, how will you send documents to other people?
- I’ll use one of my nifty tools like Google Drive and/or Salesforce Chatter and/or Salesforce CRM Content to send my documents. I’ll do this by uploading the documents to one of these environments, generate a unique URL address for the document, and send them the link. For example:
- “But… what if someone sends you an attachment and asks for your feedback?”
- Then I’ll read it and email them my feedback. (I’d prefer to do this on Chatter, but if email is the only option, then email will have to do.)
- “But what if they send you a document and ask you to make edits on the document itself and send it back?”
- Incidentally, my friend & fellow Salesforce MVP Matt Lamb wrote a fantastic post on how to maximize the value of Chatter Files – definitely worth checking out if you are a Salesforce user.
- “But what if it’s a confidential document?”
- I’ll be sure to adjust the security settings of the document to meet the confidentiality requirements…kind of like magic:
- “But what if you want to send pictures to your family?”
- Easy breezy with Google+ and/or Facebook.
So, that’s it! Today – February 22nd, 2013 is my first day on this journey. It almost feels like a cleanse diet, of sorts…but perhaps even better! I’ll keep this updated with my progress & happily share any challenges or surprises that come my way.
Going on a diet by yourself is hard to do, right? So…. who’s with me that also wants to be #AttachmentFree?!