Gmail: How to automate / filter an email response with an attachment?
July 13, 2010 2:48 AM   Subscribe

Calling Gmail Ninjas: How to automate / filter an email response with an attachment?

At least three times a week my boss emails me with a request to send him a PDF of the latest price list. or the latest brochure. I then reply to the email with the price list attached. Is there a way to automate this? I work part-time and so usually have to come in from the garden or beach just to send this one email. I know I could send him the price list and then he could save it and then use it when he needed it but i cannot retrain him. I am looking at gmail "filters" and "canned response" but I don't see a way of automatically replying with an attachment. I am thinking there must be a way of setting up a filter If from BOSS and containing words SEND PRICE LIST then canned response is...
posted by priorpark17 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Can you put the price list file on the company FTP or network, and then have an automated reply that says something like

Click here to see the price list:

I'm pretty sure the lack of ability to do an auto-reply with an attachment is by design - there are more situations where this would be a really bad idea than a really good one, I think.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:21 AM on July 13, 2010

Is there any way to put those files online, so that your automated email response simply has links to those files?

Does your boss always access it from inside the company network? The files could be on a shared drive there, and your email could have links to the files there? (eg. \\servername\d$\pricelist.pdf)
posted by inigo2 at 3:23 AM on July 13, 2010

Response by poster: He cant be retrained to click a link, he wants the attachment 'in the email' so he can forward it.
posted by priorpark17 at 3:52 AM on July 13, 2010

Best answer: You can do this with Thunderbird: create a Thunderbird account using gmail's POP/IMAP and STMP settings. Write the email with attachment and save it as a Template. Then under Message Filters you can define the search terms for BOSS and SEND PRICE LIST and set the action to Reply with Template. You'll probably want to configure gmail such that messages retrieved with POP aren't automatically marked as read, and configure Thunderbird not to delete messages after retrieving them. The only downside of this is that it will only work when Thunderbird is running, so either you'd have to leave it open all the time or launch it when you suspect that your boss has sent one of his emails.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:44 AM on July 13, 2010

Hmm. Been trying to figure out how to streamline the process. I guess at the moment, every time he emails you, you're doing the following:
Click Reply
Click Add Attachment
Find file, and attach
Click Send

A slightly smoother way (i.e. without having to locate the attachment on your computer) is like this:
Next time he asks you for the price list, send the mail as usual, but CC yourself.
Add a new label to that incoming mail from yourself ("PriceList" or whatever).
The following time he emails you, you click the [PriceList] label to find the previous email with attachment.
Open the email, click Reply To All, and the Include Original Attachments link.

This saves you from having to find and attach the message but is not exactly an automated system. I think you'd have to use something other than Gmail for that. Looking at Outlook 2007, it looks like you can set up your Out-Of-Office reply to include an attachment, but I am not 100% certain.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:48 AM on July 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

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