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 are uncovered over the course of 5 weeks. Today, we continue the series with Symptom #5 – memory lapses when revisiting an old email thread and trying to mentally rebuild the final document set”.

Already when you are present in real time in the heat of a complex email conversation with many parties and many attachment versions, it may be difficult to keep track of things, but coming back to the battlefield 6 months later likely will be a serious challenge. And even worse a year after that, should it prove necessary.

Luckily, the best practices we’ve discussed in use cases #02, #03 and #04 are exactly what you need to do to stay out of this kind of quagmire in the first place. As usual, it’s always possible to play catch up on a conversation in full swing, but things work better when applied from the onset:

1. Go to , create a digital paper bag and add any content that you might want to put there yourself, possibly an instruction note for participants – in that case, give the file a meaningful name before uploading, such as “Read me first.pdf”.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 select both “Download files” and “Upload files”, then “Copy link to clipboard”.

3. Now simply paste this link into your email with some basic instructions for the participants. Maybe something like “bookmark this link for easy reference”, or “keep this link on the first line of every mail, together with the court case number”. When the recipients click the link, they will see the bag and its current contents. They can browse, preview and download the files, but importantly, they can upload, too. During an upload session, a contributor can delete (only) the files being uploaded. Afterwards, no more deletions are possible by contributors, only by the owner.

4. Contributors can keep the bag up to date over time. When new documents or new versions are created, they can add them to the bag, and everyone will have access to them instantly.

5. In the case as described, only the owner has delete rights to files, so if the content set needs to be curated (e.g. the deletion of non-current versions) then the owner will need to do so. However, if deemed useful and appropriate, you can share the owner link with some or all other participants, for a more distributed curation role.

6. In any case, your bag will act as the 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. Aside from totally streamlining your content collection process, that should take ample care of any 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. 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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