Despite having moved mostly to the cloud over the last few years, e-mail attachments remain a core fixture of my daily work. Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, and pictures continue to stream steadily into my inbox hour after hour throughout the day. If I didn’t have a way to know whether the attachments I receive are the most recent versions, I’d be at the mercy of my overworked colleagues to make sure I don’t sink an hour or two into editing some outdated version of an important document, only to have to redo it later with the right version. To help keep my attachments straight, I use a Gmail plugin called DokDok.
With DokDok enabled on your Gmail account, every message will have a small box at the bottom where you can track attachments. Even if the message you’re looking at doesn’t have any attachments of its own, you’ll still have the option to view your entire attachment history with the sender. Where it says ‘Latest files exchanged with”, click the person’s e-mail address to call up a list of file attachments you’ve sent to or received from them.
The attachment history list will give you the option to either open the original e-mail for each attachment or launch a preview of the attachment in a new tab. DokDok can surface every version of a given file that you’ve exchanged with your contact, and compare multiple versions to identify what’s changed between them.
In my line of work, the differences between two different Word documents can be massive or subtle, depending on how far along a given project may be, so it’s great to have a quick way to view revision histories without necessarily having to open a document.
For sales people in the field, who frequently repurpose the same slide deck in a variety of iterations for different clients, DokDok can offer a huge time savings. You can pull up the history of files you’ve exchanged with a sales assistant back at the office, and compare them quickly to select the one best suited to your next meeting without having to open each of them in turn.
DokDok can also save time when you’re trying to recall past attachments you’ve exchanged with a given contact. Rather than wasting time searching for a past e-mail that contained an important attachment, you can just find the latest e-mail from that person, pull your attachment history with them, and select the one you need in a second.
DokDok is built on an API called Context.IO, which the company recently released to the development community for a broader range of uses in cloud mail applications. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what else the dev world can do with this code.