Since the first email was sent 40 years ago email use has grown to around 294 billion emails sent every day (in 2010). Even if most of that is spam, it still leaves the inescapable fact that email is pretty important. One of the great things you can do when sending an email is attach a file, but what are the downsides?

  • Attachment file size limits are often relatively low – not great for big files
  • Potential for viruses
  • Not great for mobile devices / low bandwidth connections
  • Often requires file compression to ‘fit’, resulting in ambiguity over content of the attachment

Those are just a few of the reasons why I think email attachments are bad – even if I’m guilty of sending them myself…

Introducing SkyDrive

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Windows Live SkyDrive is something that every single user of Live@edu gets for free. Many might not even know they’ve got it – but trust me, it’s there! Just browse to http://skydrive.live.com.

With SkyDrive you get access to 25GB of file storage space along with the Microsoft Office Web Apps including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote – all through the browser, anywhere, anytime. By using SkyDrive as a place to store files, you can share and collaborate on documents really easily.

 

Instead of attaching a file to an email in the traditional way, include a link to the file shared in SkyDrive instead. These are some of the benefits:

  • Reduced email size
  • Version control when using the Microsoft Office Web Apps
  • Collaboration in real time using the Word or Excel Web Apps
  • Share more, bigger, files with greater ease and control
  • Kinder to mobile workers – when people use a mail client to synchronise their inbox on the go they don’t have to download big attachments (other methods are available!)

So next time you need to send a file to some people, think: SkyDrive!