Stumbling over email attachments

Microsoft (and other email providers, though Microsoft has done it best) has brought a lot of the "office productivity applications" into email. You can include a lot in an email today that would have been impossible years ago (and still is if you're sen

A friend sent me an email last week asking me to answer a few questions for him. He mentioned that they were brief and would require little time on my part. Unfortunately, he included the questions as an attachment, and I've been avoiding that email ever since.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I associate attachments with "heavy lifting." Involved analysis. Lots of time. Real work.

He called me today to ask if I'd taken a look. Sheepishly, I admitted my attachment phobia and promised to answer by tonight. I'm in the middle of doing that now and, guess what? He's right. The questions aren't difficult to answer. He shouldn't have sent them as an attachment.

Microsoft (and other email providers, though Microsoft has done it best) has brought a lot of the "office productivity applications" into email. You can include a lot in an email today that would have been impossible years ago (and still is if you're sending the email to an ASCII bigot :-). My question: why don't all email providers recognize that email, not Word (or even Excel, for simple spreadsheets), is the production and delivery mechanism of choice? Stop forcing people to go to two applications to get one job done.

Because then I can banish my attachment phobia. :-)

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