Attaching emails to apps

Our users occasionally save an email from Outlook and attach it to a project in our Glideapp as either a .eml or .msg file. They’re doing this as a quick way to provide context about a project to our field staff.

This doesn’t seem to be a good way to go about it as we are noticing issues opening the files on mobile devices and when using email clients other than Outlook.

Wondering if there’s a best practice for getting this sort of information across and whether there is a better file type to be attaching, e.g. save the email as HTML? There’s also the issue of attachments within the email, which is one of the perks of .eml and .msg

It crossed my mind to create a new field that they can copy/paste the email chain into and then use Glide AI to summarise it for the field staff, though I’m cautious about reliability at this stage.

I believe .msg is typically a Windows format and .eml is typically a MacOS format (or vice versa) when it comes to Outlook. Why Microsoft can’t keep that consistent, we’ll never know, but I believe some blame is on Apple as well.

We’ve ran into the the same issue with our project tracking system where I work. Windows users can’t open an email file uploaded from a Mac and vice versa. We have mixed Windows and Mac employees in our company, but 95% of the employees use Windows. The other MacOS users have a Windows VM to cover those things that can’t be done on a Mac.

The general rule for our tracking system (not Glide) is to save the Windows version of the email into the tracking system, but most of what I upload is actually a PDF if at all possible. I will convert Outlook Emails, Word and Excel files to a PDF by printing to PDF and just keep the originals on my local machine. That way, anything I upload into our tracking system can be viewed easily within the browser without having to download the file, since it’s a PDF.

Now that doesn’t solve all cases where attachments are included in the email, which I can understand is very convenient and a good reason to upload the original email file instead of a PDF. I don’t have a good solution for that. Where I work, we still do upload email files, but we typically aren’t accessing the tracking system on a mobile device…everybody has access to a Windows machine or their own Windows VM…and everybody uses Outlook as the email client. So, we have a little more control over consistency within the company to avoid issues like this. Most of the time nobody has issues opening email files.

I guess one thought is to upload the email as a PDF and upload the attachments individually. Still not great, but an alternative.

Sorry, this is more of a ramble than it is a solution. Only chiming in because I know what you are experiencing and have seen it first hand.

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Cheers Jeff. PDF may be the way to go.

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