Are you suffering from MAD (Mail Attachment Disorder)? Chances are that you do. That’s why we created our MAD series: 10 symptoms of Mail Attachment Disorder will be uncovered over the following 5 weeks. Today, we kick off the series with Symptom #1 – “Feelings of helplessness when mail attachments are too large to send or be reliably delivered.”

As you may know, e-mail as such was never designed, it just happened over time as the internet evolved from a pet project shared between academia and the military into an invaluable resource for humanity. Unfortunately, that pedigree shines through in its daily consequences, like the fact that attachments were really an afterthought. A logical one, and a neat one, too, but an afterthought no less.

You’ve probably witnessed yourself how attachment sizes have grown over the years, and some cloud providers like GMail now provide for up to 25 MB. But that is just GMail. Most others are less generous and limit to 10 or 5MB. Many corporate email servers tolerate even less than that, dragged down as they are by the sheer aggregated weight of all the attachments. Additionally, one should keep in mind that email attachments are generally MIME encrypted, which increases their size by about 33%. So 10MB of files on your disk will be about 13MB when they are attached to an email.

All of this puts you before a dilemma, especially when you have a formal document set that needs to go out to a diverse group of people. To play it safe, you may need to stay below 5 or even 3MB, which is simply not enough in many cases.

Now that is exactly where comes in, not just to solve the issue, but to introduce a far superior way to work with content related to an email thread. Here’s the recipe:

1. Go to, create a digital paper bag and add content to your heart’s content (sorry, just couldn’t control myself there 😉 ). Bookmark the bag (hey, it’s just a mini website) and/or consider registering it (under menu on the left) not to lose track of its owner URL.

2. Under the menu on the left, go to “Share bag” and note that “Download files” and the “Link” icon are selected as default, then “Copy link to clipboard”.

3.Now simply paste this link into your email. When the recipients click the link, they will see the bag. Depending on file type, they may see a thumbnail and be able to get a preview or a rendering in the browser. When desirable, they can select one or more files and download them efficiently as a .ZIP file.

4. All-importantly, you can keep the bag up to date as you go along. When new documents or new versions are created, just add them to the bag, and everyone will have access to them instantly. BTW, you can have others contribute to the bag as well, but that is covered in #02.

5. In any case, your bag acts as a digital twin of a king size paper file binder: even the free Quartz Edition of allows for 500 files and 1GB for up to six months. That should take ample care of your attachment size concerns!


We do have a request for you as well. We know MAD is spreading. Should you have encountered any additional symptoms of MAD that haven’t been covered, then please, by all means, create a document (.docx, PDF, .txt) and add it to the following MAD bag. MAD bag. I personally promise to write an extensive answer and update the bag accordingly so it becomes a living collection of pragmatic MAD solutions.

— Paul Carpentier, CEO, Esoptra


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Go to and discover what we mean with ultra-low-friction content sharing.

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