Thursday, September 15, 2011

Honey Badger Wants YOU to Use Google Collections

It has come to my attention that people (no, I’m clearly not talking about you, but SOME people) are still routinely sending out large numbers of email attachments. In doing this, said people are clogging up in-boxes everywhere, causing users to waste valuable seconds downloading, and generally making of themselves huge menaces to society. Notify your friends, bosses, underlings, and relatives immediately: It’s time to STOP the madness. Only YOU can prevent email attachments, especially excessive ones, and you can do this using Google Collections. Here’s how . . . . First, get yourself a Google account. Seriously, if you don’t already have one, I’m a little worried about you. It’s time. It won’t hurt a bit and it’s free.
Second, sign in to Gmail, or wherever, and look toward the top for the word “Documents.”
If you want this process to be as easy as it possibly can, then use Google Chrome. You can get it here. If you like your life to be difficult so that you feel challenged, keep using Internet Explorer 8; it invokes the feeling daily that the Internet could be so much MORE. For the rest of you who are now using Chrome, you’ll be able to use the option in your Google Docs account to upload a whole FOLDER of files that once upon a time you would have made a jerk out of yourself by attaching.

If you prefer to WATCH rather than READ the steps presented below, check out this screencast by clicking the thumbnail to the right.
Now, upload your massive folder full of attachments, or if you’re an IE8er, upload them one by one, then keep reading the “one by one-er” section below, or if the documents in question are already in your Google Docs account but are just not in a collection, you must also keep reading. Do not try to skip ahead or bad things will probably happen to you soon, like you’ll end up with no friends because you sent out more email attachments.

One-by-One-ers (or, How to Make a Collection):
If you’ve uploaded your massive attachments one-by-one, it’s time to create your Google Collection.  Click Create New>Collection, type a name, hit enter or whatever looks reasonable.  Now, drag and drop your files into that new folder type thing that has appeared over on the left.
You might have to click back on “All items” (top left) to see your files again since you’re now IN the collection you created, which is empty. (If you’d done what I said before and downloaded Google Chrome, this whole process would be a lot easier, but noooooo.) Anyway, get to dragging and dropping those files over.

Everyone together now: let’s click on the collection we just created and see the files within. Violà! Last step, then we’re home free, beloved by all, no longer pariahs of our respective social groups, AND, all our friends, family, and co-workers have all the attachments they need.
Share the Collection:
Right click on the aforementioned collection, and then left click on “Share.”

If you’re one of those difficult types, you might want to change the “Who has access” settings to refine a bit. You’ll find those fairly straightforward.
If you want folks to be able to edit the attachments you’re providing, click “Change” then tick off “Allow anyone to edit (no sign in required).” You might be afraid that Joe Schmo will be in there editing your files if you do that, but seriously, how will Joe figure out this web address to type it in?
My philosophy is that if Joe can type in that bad boy, I’d be honored for him to work on  my documents.  Anyone else who wants to play will have to wait on the attachment-less email.
Copy that link, the big one that Joe will never be able to type. Just click it, then hold down CTRL and press C on your keyboard, or left click it, right click it and click Copy if you’re the difficult type. Either way, get it onto your computer’s magic clipboard.

Now, open up that email with which you were about to ruin your life and PASTE IN THE LINK.  (Hear angels singing, harps playing, and see the heavens open above.) Now, pretend to be your recipients. Click the link, open it up, enjoy the majesty of lots of files being shared with NO ATTACHMENTS.  Everyone has them now; they may even be able to edit them, and nobody got hurt. Here’s an example if you want to see what it will look like to others. I’m sharing this Google Collection with you for only $19.95! But wait, there’s more! It’s FREE for a limited time only!!

You can also use Google Collections to share files with your students. You can put that long “Joe can’t type it link” onto your website so kids can click it, or you cold use to shorted that bad boy so even Aunt Thelma could type it in. Like this:
If you’re a Randall fan, then you know that Honey Badger don’t care about much, but as you can see by the poster, he DOES care about excessive email attachments. (Disclaimer, if you are at all easily offended, do not use this link to investigate Randall’s cleverly narrated videos.)
Aren’t you glad you saved your reputation by reading this article?   Man, I am, and SO IS Honey Badger.


Ashley said...

AMEN! We are outsourcing our mail to the cloud and I am having to have our employees reduce their mailboxes from upwards of 6GB to about 1GB, because most cloud solutions charge more for over 2-3. I have 6 years worth of Google Emails that have only accumulated .5 GB! It's going to be a stressful situation, but SUCH a better experience once we're through! :)

Anonymous said...

I love this post! Thank you for the play-by-play, too. I am going to cover collections with my staff in a development coming soon. I'm tempted to FOWARD a link to this posting to a few individuals who we both know can use this option and choose instead to load us all up with huge picture files weekly.

Amanda Martin said...

That is why there is google docs! I am excited about starting to use this as the teachers in our school collaborate.

Amanda Martin said...

That is why there is google docs! Can't wait to be free of attachments!