Gmail is quite generous in terms of the amount of storage space you are provided free of charge, but while you might think that 15GB will last you forever, as soon as you start to receive attachments this space is very quickly eaten into. By using Attachments.me you can automatically back up your Gmail attachments so you are protected in case emails are accidentally deleted, or you need to free up a little space.
By signing up for a free account, it is possible to have all of your email attachments uploaded from Gmail to one of several cloud storage services, such as Dropbox, Skydrive and Google Drive. This is useful enough, but there is scope to take things further.
Filters can be configured so that emails are handled differently and to send different types of attachment to different online folders. This gives you a great way to automatically sort your Gmail attachments in a variety of ways so that files sent from particular people are backed up in one folder, while images are saved to another.
Head over to the Attachments.me website and click the Sign up with Google button.
Use your Google credentials to create a new account with the site. You’ll have to grant permission for Attachments.me to access your Google account so that the service is able to work with your emails — just click the Accept button.
The next thing you will need to do is to connect any of the cloud services you use to Attachments.me. At the moment, there is support for Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and SkyDrive. You need to click the Connect button beneath each in order to sign into the associated accounts.
When you have chosen all of the cloud storage services you’re going to be using, click OK, done!.
Attachments.me will automatically create a couple of rules for you so that any images sent to you as attachments will be automatically backed up to one cloud storage service, while other documents will go to another. Click OK, Done! to accept the default rules or untick the check boxes before continuing.
Starting with no automatic rules in place puts you in a better position for ensuring that your files are filtered exactly as you want.
At the main Attachments.me page, click the Attachments tab at the top followed by the Automatic Filtering Rules link to the left.
Click the Add New Rule button and then enter a label for the rule you’re creating. If you want to keep things simple, click in the Send all field and use the menu that appears to select the type of attachment you would like to filter with this particular rule — images, documents, music, movies, code or archives.
You can then click the Browse button to choose which cloud service these files should be backed up to before clicking Add Rule to complete the process.
But you can also make things slightly more complicated by introducing conditions. You may not want to treat all image attachments in the same way, for instance. You could opt to save files that have been sent to you by people from work to one folder and those that have been sent to you by friends to another.
Click the Add a condition field and use the first drop-down menu to choose Sender’s email, Subject or Filename. You can then use the second menu to choose between contains or does not contain, while the final field can be used to specify your filtering criteria.
It is possible to include numerous conditions within each rule so that attachments can be very finely filtered.
You should bear in mind that the free account only allows for up to seventy-five files per month to be filtered, and if you find that you need more you can sign up for a paid account.
Mobile users will be pleased to find that there is an iOS app available in the App Store, but sadly Android users do not have access to anything similar.
The web service itself is impressive enough, even if you decide to stick with the free account. Despite the fact there are limits on the number of rules you can create and the number of attachments that can be processed in a month, the chances are that two rules and a 75-attachment limit will be sufficient for most people.
To keep things simple you might want to create one rule that creates a backup of all of your attachments, and a second one to save backup copy of any PDFs or other documents that are sent to you. There are lots of options, and I’m sure you’ll find a way to reap the benefits of the service.
If you have a particularly great use for Attachments.me, why not share it below?
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