Working with Email, Not against It

Recently, I’m reminded of how much people depend on email to GSD. Despite all the flashy (and useful) content management solutions out there, the most common way to share files is still by attaching them to emails.

By now, everyone understands the limitations and issues wrapped up in this practice. We only have 1 GB quotas on our mail server, so large presentations and high resolution images only speed up the need for that monthly email culling. My local store of mail is 4.3 GB, not terribly large for 11 years worth of email, but gargantuan considering our current quotas.

Still, at the end of the day, email works. It’s dependable, and we spend a lot our time using it.

So, I’m coming to the realization that new services, particularly file management ones, must integrate gracefully with email, rather than trying to replace it.

Take Sparrow’s new attachment integration with CloudApp for example; when you attach a file to a message, the file goes up to CloudApp and a link to it is placed in the message. Check out the video:

I love this kind of feature, and it’s smart to concede that email isn’t going anywhere. Email clients should be getting smarter about stuff like attachments and links, doing work for the user, resolving short links, embedding viewers, etc.

What do you think? Should products work around email, or run uphill to replace it? Would you even use this type of smart email client?

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