If you are anything like me, you find that your NYMC email account fills up faster than you can manage all of the email you receive. Part of that is due to the sending of large attachments like PowerPoint presentations, image files, and other documents. Sometimes the same document is sent repeatedly by multiple people making small edits. Or you want to email yourself a file so you can work on it at home. One solution I have come up with is to create an additional gmail account specifically to receive any emails with attachments sent to my NYMC Outlook account. To accomplish this I have set up a rule. This way when I need to clean up my inbox I can do it quickly knowing that all of those messages with attachments are safely tucked away in gmail.
Another way to deal with this is to utilize non-email strategies for sending and sharing files. I’ve long been a supporter of collaborative tools like Google Docs for team editing documents. This helps avoid multiple attachment-laden messages and duplicate copies of documents. We teach a class on using Google Docs and Zoho as part of our “Topics in Web 2.0” series. To register for an April 23 (1PM) “Web Collaboration Tools” class: http://library.nymc.edu/calendar/index.cfm?calendar_id=387 These tools are powerful for their editorial features but can’t necessarily handle the largest files and require setting up an account in order to use.
So this brings us to file transfer tools. These tools allow you to transfer large files without the file size restrictions of email. There are several of these tools. Notably, New York Medical College contracted with SendThisFile to provide easy file transfer service for the NYMC community. You can access this service at http://www.sendthisfile.com/nymc . It is entirely free to anyone with a valid NYMC email address, does not require a login or an install, handles very large files (“unlimited” they say but your browser might have restrictions), and keeps your file for pickup for 14 days.
There are other free file transfer tools you can use, most of which have premium options (see table below) as well. These include Dropsend.com, FileXpressit, Sizable Send, and WeTransfer, plus the free version of SendThisFile. These all basically work the same. Some require login, or have different maximum upload limitations and expiry times. The usual maximum file size is 2GB which is generally the same limitation that your browser might impose.
There are two other types of tools which could be used for this purpose: one I will refer to as web “drops” and the other are “cloud drives.”
Web “drops” – tools like Drop.io and FileDropper are file hosting sites allow you to create a web home for your document for download by anyone who has the URL that is generated. FileDropper in particular provides generous storage space and no expiration on files (forever, as long as it continues to be downloaded, they say).
Cloud drives allow you to house files and folders in storage space on the web. Additionally, they allow you to share files, and in some cases entire folders which whomever you choose. And in many cases they allow you to install a utility which allows you to synchronize with your desktop or multiple computers or devices. These “virtual drives” are provided by ADrive, DropBox, and Humyo and also, not listed in the table Windows Live Synch.
Take the time to decide which option works for you. And stop crashing your inbox.
Further reading: Josh Lowensohn. How to save and share ridiculously large files. http://bit.ly/aP7NPv