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Why didn't file sharing replace email attachments?

At Every Turn TakeTurns Blog
|  by
Christophe Barriolade
Christophe Barriolade
Co-founder & CEO
Why didn't file sharing replace email attachments?

Everybody knows that email attachments are a big security and privacy hole. Files often travel encrypted on the network. Emails are sent (or forwarded) to the wrong recipients. Documents live forever in inboxes without archiving.  But then again we all do it. Even lawyers who have very serious attorney/client privilege and privacy rules are still sending sensitive documents by email.

Replacing email attachments with a secure way to transfer files has been the promise of file sharing solutions for years. But when we look at actual file sharing statistics, 64% of files in file sharing solutions aren’t being shared with anyone. And for the files that are shared, the vast majority 71.4% are shared with other employees in the same organization.

“WE” isn’t the only ones experiencing attachment issues!

Why hasn’t file sharing replaced email attachments? 

We think the explanation is simple. File sharing is a fundamentally “one-way” solution. You share a file using a secure link (or URL) and your recipient clicks to download. That’s perfect if all they needed was the file.  But what if your counterparty needs to send back a change, update, or revision with comments and edits?  

Well, they could figure out how to use your solution. Or they could use their own solution and send you a link via email. Someone could call a meeting and discuss this over Zoom. Or they could do the easy thing and send you an email with the changes attached.   And that’s how people end up still using email for sending attachments back and forth despite the obvious security issues, the productivity drain, and the fact that it’s bad for the planet.

At TakeTurns, we decided to tackle this issue, by developing a collaboration app that delivers the best of both worlds, it’s kinda as if email and file sharing had a beautiful baby.

  • It’s as easy as email: List your recipient, subject line, and message to provide context. TakeTurns will authenticate everyone to ensure you’re working with the right people. 
  • It’s as secure as file sharing: Upload the documents and TakeTurns takes care of the encryption and security.
  • It’s easy for collaboration: If your recipient has a change they want to make, they drag their update into TakeTurns and send an update. TakeTurns takes care of all the versioning and history so you don’t have to.  

Beyond that, TakeTurns has a whole host of cool features that make it a true collaboration platform. In fact, you can share your own updates and back and forth (or turn-by-turn) with your participants until everyone agrees you’ve achieved your objectives. 

Some of the cool features include:

  • Verified invitations: Users you invite need to verify their email, so there’s no risk of sending an attachment to a wrong address
  • Structured collaboration: TakeTurns coordinates between the parties, so you always know what work needs to be done next, and by which team.
  • Full history: See who did what and when, track document versions
  • Built-in chat: During a collaboration, all participants can chat, eliminating long email threads
  • One-click archiving: When you’re done, all the file versions and messages are automatically archived for all participants
  • Ephemeral storage: Files shared with TakeTurns don’t live forever. They’re removed 30 days after the collaboration ends. 

Does this mean that our ambition is to replace email? No, email is still a great messaging tool for asynchronous work. But it’s just not the right solution for document collaboration.

Try TakeTurns: The Safer, Easier Way to Work with People Outside of Your Organization

TakeTurns is your one place to share, collect, and collaborate on business-critical documents and files with your clients, vendors, partners—or any external organization. It turns that clutter of emails, attachments, shared folders, and messages into a structured, secure, and transparent TakeTurns Flow.  Ready to improve how you collaborate externally? Try TakeTurns for free.

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