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I'm often in a situation where I spend quick exchanges with some coleagues - small files in size - goes to them, comes back to me 2 minutes later - then 5 minutes after, again, off it goes.

What would be the easiest way (firefox/explorer plugin?/something) to automate it to some degree ? The perfect answer would enable to right click on a file "Send via GMail", a new compose mail windows opens, I add some few words and off it goes ?

Anything like that exists ?


Edit: Unfortunatelly, Dropbox & co. won't help me here. I know of them, and use them, but to solve this problem everyone else would need to use them as well ... and that creates a problem, for even if I could persuade them to use it (very difficult, border next to impossible) some of them could have problems installing it (being on company workstations where they don't always control the software installed).

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It sounds like a proper solution to the problem would be to use something like Dropbox, or perhaps even hosting a version control system (which would allow you to add comments to any changes). As you point out, installing software on your colleagues' machines is not ideal. But if improving this awkward-sounding file-sharing process could save time in the long run, then it's worth sitting down with your team and picking the right tool for the job. –  sblair Dec 23 '09 at 15:50
    
Yes, but the problem is not everyone in here are computer oriented users (and none, or maybe one of them (I'm not sure) is a programmer). The files in question are not source files, but results of some measurements. Installing software is a problem since I have no juridistiction over their computers ... –  ldigas Dec 23 '09 at 16:29

7 Answers 7

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Doing for Gmail what the MailTo link does for Outlook, the wonderfully simple gAttach is a small utility that reassigns Gmail as the default mail account from Windows documents. With gAttach installed, selecting Send from Windows Explorer, Firefox, and Microsoft Office automatically attaches the files to a Gmail composition.

alt text

gAttach is freeware.

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Molly, you're a lifesaver ! :-) –  ldigas Dec 23 '09 at 17:18

This sounds like a job for dropbox - you can set up accounts on either box,and share a folder and it'll keep changes revertable for up to a week. I have a referral link for extra space which you could use while signing up if you wish. Just add the new file, and let the other person know ;)

2GB free, but you can get a bit of extra space through referrals

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I have upvoted the Dropbox and Google Wave answers, but perhaps the dragdropupload addon for Firefox would suit you? Not quite automated, but will save a bunch of time. Simply drag the file(s) into the gmail message instead of selecting "attach a file" and routing through folders.

Drop files into attachment boxes instead of browse for them or type in the filename. Drop multiple files

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I think it depends on if they are sending different files back to each other, or sending edits to each other. There's no one 'best' solution, but that looks useful to me, as a gmail user –  Journeyman Geek Dec 23 '09 at 7:33
    
Totally agree. I reckon that Google Wave is the way to go for collaboration, but not available to all yet. –  outsideblasts Dec 23 '09 at 8:11
    
@outsideblasts - drgdropupload ... will check :) –  ldigas Dec 23 '09 at 14:21

If this exchange is simple text words, you should consider using **google wave** (since you are already working over gmail). It should be quite fast and not require full file movement either.

lookup the google-wave tag; some references:

  1. In 5 sentences or less, what is the purpose of Google Wave? and What are ways to use Google Wave?
  2. Should I be excited about Google Wave? Why?
  3. Is there any “How To” for Google Wave?


ldigas,
I am suggesting the use of a google wave rather than a file in the first place.
The real-time communication aspect makes it quite suitable as a growing document.
On second thoughts, you could also use collaboration with Google Docs.

Jared,
I get your point on invitations, I got one quite a while back and missed that part.

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I don't see how wave could help me with exchange of files (I saw the podcasts, but I'm still having trouble understanding what that thing is for :) –  ldigas Dec 23 '09 at 14:20
    
@Idigas: you're not the only one! Plus, then there's the process of getting invites for Wave - no one has received the ones I sent about a month ago... –  Jared Harley Dec 23 '09 at 15:00
    
@Jared Harley - Oh, I didn't have that problem. I sended a few and everyone got them ... the problem is no one was interested in using Wave. Personally, I don't blame them ... I find a much more confusing interface than regular mail, or (some other tools) ... as much as I like google, I think they missed it on this one. –  ldigas Dec 23 '09 at 17:18
    
@nik - comment on edit - oh, sorry. didn't quite get your point at first. In any case, not really suitable - as I said, not everyone in question is computer oriented, and many at that, aren't even considering switching to gmail. GMail&co. may be a nice thing in here (cs people, open, free world and whatnot) but it is often not an option to many people. Nor do they want to switch. –  ldigas Dec 23 '09 at 17:44

There is an application named Affixa that I found through a Lifehacker article

Affixa is a free download for personal use, Windows only. If you want the full, unlimited functionality, you can upgrade to Affixa's subscription version for rougly[sic] $3 per year.

There are some other links in the aforementioned Lifehacker article.

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+1 deserves an upvote since gAttach is now part of Affixa :) –  Molly7244 Dec 23 '09 at 17:28

It may be worth it for you to check out Drop.io - While it doesn't have a lot of FREE file space, it still has some and it does realtime collaboration. It's very groovy if you ask me.

100 mb limit, so great for small file transfers, and has hidden url or public url and other features. For $20 a month you can get the HUGE storage version. I'm not really into paying for software though unless there is no free alternative. However drop.io does let you create as many free accounts as you want, infact they encourage it.

It's very cool technology and pretty tough to explain, check out the vid in the link.

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Use a mail client like Thunderbird 3. Since installing is a problem, you can also use Portable Thunderbird. Configure Thunderbird to use GMail. Then goto the folder, select all and click on send to -> Email client. The pics will be sent to Thunderbird 3, provided its the default client and you can send the mails.

send to mail

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