Monday, March 10, 2008

Don't Forget the Attachment with AttachmentReminder

I'm notorious for forgetting to actually attach files that I promised to send in the email itself. Searching my Sent Mail folder revealed at least 10 messages with subjects and messages something like "I'm an idiot... here's the file" inside.

AttachmentReminder is a Thunderbird extension that tries to save you from yourself by checking your message before it's sent, and reminding you that you might have meant to attach a file to it.

The screenshot above shows the preference box for the attachment. Note that you have to actually hit the checkbox enabling the feature before it starts working, which is annoying because shouldn't it work once you've installed it? I went through two weeks before I realized it wasn't doing its job (I noticed because, of course, I forgot to send an attachment and I didn't get a warning).

The extension works by searching the message for loaded words like "attach" and its various iterations, and then checks if there's a file attached when you try to send it. If there isn't, a dialogue box asks you if you meant to attach a file.

I'd originally left the word bank blank in hopes that AttachmentReminder would be smart enough to know without me coaching it, something like the adaptive intelligence of Thunderbird's spam filter. Alas, without me telling it what words to look out for (in my case, the word attach which includes attached, attachment, etc), it assumed any and all messages I tried to send without an attachment were done in error. Giving it the words to look out for solved that problem, but now if I don't use the word attach but still meant to attach a file (maybe I'd say, "here's the file..."), I wouldn't get the warning.

In my case, for now I'd rather it warn me some of the time, instead of wasting my time warning me all of the time. Either way, it's a worthy addition to your Thunderbird.

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