WO2001027718A2 - Reminding e-mail writer to attach file - Google Patents

Reminding e-mail writer to attach file Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001027718A2
WO2001027718A2 PCT/US2000/028417 US0028417W WO0127718A2 WO 2001027718 A2 WO2001027718 A2 WO 2001027718A2 US 0028417 W US0028417 W US 0028417W WO 0127718 A2 WO0127718 A2 WO 0127718A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
attach
file
message
word
dialog box
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2000/028417
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2001027718A3 (en
Inventor
Dennis C. Lee
Original Assignee
Qualcomm Incorporated
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US41970999A priority Critical
Priority to US09/419,709 priority
Application filed by Qualcomm Incorporated filed Critical Qualcomm Incorporated
Publication of WO2001027718A2 publication Critical patent/WO2001027718A2/en
Publication of WO2001027718A3 publication Critical patent/WO2001027718A3/en

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting
    • G06Q10/107Computer aided management of electronic mail

Abstract

An e-mail system determines whether a file is already attached to a message (104). If it is not, the system scans the message for the word 'attach' (or some variant thereon) (202). If the word is present, the system opens a conventional 'Attach File?' dialog box (108). If not, it proceeds directly to further processing (106).

Description

REMINDING E-MAIL WRITER TO ATTACH FILE

I. Technical Field

This invention relates to electronic mail ("e-mail"), and has particular relation to attachments to e-mail messages.

II. Background Art

Electronic mail ("e-mail") emulates, as its name implies, the function of conventional, paper-based mail ("snail mail"). As the derogatory epithet "snail mail" implies, paper-based mail is much slower than e-mail.

An important feature of snail mail is the ability to send attachments. A single letter may describe, in very general terms, a number of important documents which are attached to the letter and enclosed in the same envelope.

It often happens that the person who prepares and signs a snail mail letter, with multiple attachments, is an executive and not a secretary. It is the secretary, and not the executive, who photocopies the letter after signature, addresses the envelope, places the letter and attachments in the envelope, places the envelope in the mail box, places the photocopies in the file, and places the file in the filing cabinet. It sometimes happens that the secretary is inadequately trained (or alert), and mails only the letter — without mailing the attachments. It is disconcerting to receive such a letter and to be forced to complain to the executive who signed it. If the executive receives enough complaints, he is forced to reassign his secretary to duties which require less training and alertness. A trained, alert secretary has long been regarded as the only effective defense to this business malfunction.

With the rise of e-mail, the executive must assume these duties himself. He must be trained on how to make an electronic attachment, and he must be alert to actually attach the attachment whenever there is one to be attached. The consequences of not making an electronic attachment can be just as devastating as not making a paper attachment, or even worse. With an executive sending e-mail — as with a secretary sending snail mail — training and alertness have long been regarded as the only effective defense to this business malfunction. BRIEF DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Applicant has noticed that this does not have to be so. While a secretary must always remind herself to check whether an attachment needs to be enclosed, the executive can configure his e-mail system to generate the reminder for him. Indeed, he can even have his system display some initiative by having it first scan the e-mail message for the word "attach" (or some variant thereof), and issue a reminder only when the word is present.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is flow chart of a general method of reminding the writer of an e- mail message to attach a file. FIG. 2 is a flow chart showing how the reminder can be conditioned on the presence of the word "attach" in the message.

FIG. 3 is a flow chart showing how this presence can be scanned for after every keystroke.

FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing how this presence can be scanned for after a "Send" or "Queue" command.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart showing how the methods of FIGS. 1-4 may be toggled on or off.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram of a preferred apparatus for implementing the processes of FIGS. 1-5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED

EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 is 1 is flow chart (100) of a general method of reminding the writer of an e-mail message to attach a file. We start (102) and determine (104) if a file is already attached. If it is, then the present invention need not be invoked, and the system may proceed directly to further processing (106). If a file has not already been attached, however, then the system opens a reminder dialog box (108), asking the user, "Do you want to attach file?", or words of similar import. The user then clicks (110) "Yes" or "No". If "Yes", then the system opens (112) a conventional "Attach File" box. This box determines the file to be attached and attaches it, as is known in the art.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart (200) showing how the reminder can be conditioned on the presence of the word "attach" in the message. In FIG. 1, the "No" branch from the File-already-attached? step (104) proceeded directly to the Open-" Attach-File? "-box step (108). Here, however, the "No" branch leads to a scanning (202) of the e-mail message for the word "attach" (or some variant thereof). If the word is present (204), then the system proceeds to the Open- " Attach-File? "-box step (108), and then to further processing (106). If the word is not present, then the system proceeds directly to further processing (106).

FIG. 3 is a flow chart (300) showing how this presence can be scanned for after every keystroke. Now the "No" branch leads to the inputting of a keystroke (302). "Keystroke", in this context, includes a command, such as may be initiated by clicking on a soft key on the monitor. If this keystroke is a command to send the message (304) or to queue the message for later sending, the system proceeds directly to further processing (106). If this keystroke is not a command to send or queue the message, then the system scans (202) the message for the word "attach" as before. If it is not present, then the next keystroke is input (302). If it present, then the system takes the Open-"Attach- File?"-box step (108) of FIG. 1, and flow continues as in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a flow chart (400) showing how this presence can be scanned for after a "Send" or "Queue" command. Program flow is as described in FIG. 3 until the Send-or-queue? step (304), but now the branches are reversed. Now the "No" branch cycles back to the input-keystroke step (302), while the "Yes" branch proceeds to the scan-f or-" attach" step (202). Program flow continues as in FIG. 2, except that the "No" branch from the Is-"attach"-present? step (204) goes directly to further processing (106) rather than being cycled back to the next keystroke (302).

FIG. 5 is a flow chart (500) showing how the methods of FIGS. 1-4 may be toggled on or off. Now the first step after the start (102) is the opening of a reminder dialog box (502), "Remind me to attach file every time?". The user clicks "Yes" or "No" (504). If "No", or "Remind me if I use 'attach' in my message", or words of similar import, then a reminder is given only if the word "attach" (or some variant thereof) appears in the message. Thus, it is only when a file is already attached to the message (104) that the system proceeds directly to further processing. If no file is already attached, the system continues (506) as in FIGS 1-4, as appropriate. If the user clicks "Yes" (504), then the system proceeds as in FIG. 4, except that scan-for-"attach" step (202) and present? step (204) are omitted. Once the Send or Queue commands have been given (304), program flow continues directly to the Open-"attach-file?"- box step (108).

FIG. 6 is a block diagram (600) of a preferred apparatus for implementing the processes of FIGS. 1-5. A computer 602 includes a disk drive (604), into which a disk (606) may be inserted. The disk embodies computer code structured to cause the computer to perform any of the above methods.

Firmware, hardware, tape, or any other convenient medium may also be used to embody the computer code.

The preferred wording of the various dialog boxes is as stated above, but may be modified to suit the convenience of the user. Such modifications are included within my invention.

Industrial Application

My invention is capable of exploitation in industry, and can be made and used, whenever is it desired to remind an e-mail writer to attach a file. The individual components of the apparatus and method shown herein, taken separate and apart from one another, may be entirely conventional, it being their combination which I claim as my invention.

While I have described various modes of apparatus and method, the true spirit and scope of my invention are not limited thereto, but are limited only by the following claims and their equivalents, and I claim such as my invention.

What is claimed is:

Claims

1 . A method for interfacing with a writer of an e-mail message, characterized in that the method includes:
(a) if no file has been attached to the message, then opening a reminder dialog box inquiring whether the user wants to attach a file;
(b) if the writer clicks "Yes", then opening an Attach File dialog box.
2. The method of Claim 1, further characterized in that the method further includes:
(a) before opening the reminder dialog box, scanning the message for the word "attach" or some variant thereof; and
(b) opening the reminder dialog box inquiring whether the user wants to attach a file only if the word appears in the message.
3. The method of Claim 2, further characterized in that the scanning takes place after each keystroke.
The method of Claim 2, further characterized in that the scanning takes place when the writer clicks "Send" or "Queue".
The method of Claim 2, further characterized in that the method further includes:
(a) before the message writing takes place, opening a reminder dialog box inquiring whether the user wants to be reminded to attach a file every time; and
(b) scanning the message for the word "attach" or some variant thereof only if the writer clicks on a request to be reminded to attach a file whenever the word "attach" or some variant thereof appears in the message.
6. A medium embodying code for a computer, characterized in that the code is structured to cause the computer to perform any of the above methods.
7. The medium of Claim 6, further characterized in that the medium is a disk.
8. An interface for a writer of an e-mail message, characterized in that the interface includes:
(a) means for opening reminder dialog box inquiring whether the user wants to attach a file if no file has been attached to the message;
(b) means for opening an Attach File dialog box if the writer clicks "Yes".
9. The interface of Claim 8, further characterized in that the interface further includes:
(a) means for scanning the message for the word "attach" or some variant thereof before opening the reminder dialog box; and means for opening the reminder dialog box inquiring whether the user wants to attach a file only if the word appears in the message.
10. The interface of Claim 9, further characterized in that the scanning means is structured to scan after each keystroke.
11. The interface of Claim 9, further characterized in that the scanning means is structured to scan when the writer clicks "Send" or "Queue".
12. The interface of Claim 9, further characterized in that the interface further includes: (a) means for opening a reminder dialog box inquiring whether the user wants to be reminded to attach a file every time before the message writing takes place; and
(b) means for scanning the message for the word "attach" or some variant thereof only if the writer clicks on a request to be reminded to attach a file whenever the word "attach" or some variant thereof appears in the message.
PCT/US2000/028417 1999-10-14 2000-10-13 Reminding e-mail writer to attach file WO2001027718A2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US41970999A true 1999-10-14 1999-10-14
US09/419,709 1999-10-14

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU80208/00A AU8020800A (en) 1999-10-14 2000-10-13 Reminding e-mail writer to attach file

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2001027718A2 true WO2001027718A2 (en) 2001-04-19
WO2001027718A3 WO2001027718A3 (en) 2002-07-25

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WO (1) WO2001027718A2 (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7076466B2 (en) * 2001-12-12 2006-07-11 Pitney Bowes Inc. System for accepting non harming mail at a receptacle
US7080038B2 (en) * 2001-12-12 2006-07-18 Pitney Bowes Inc. Method and system for accepting non-harming mail at a home or office
US7089210B2 (en) * 2001-12-12 2006-08-08 Pitney Bowes Inc. System for a recipient to determine whether or not they received non-life-harming materials

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5900004A (en) * 1995-06-07 1999-05-04 Microsoft Corporation Method and system for interactive formatting of word processing documents with deferred rule evaluation and format editing
US6073133A (en) * 1998-05-15 2000-06-06 Micron Electronics Inc. Electronic mail attachment verifier

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP3575972B2 (en) * 1998-01-20 2004-10-13 シャープ株式会社 Computer readable recording medium storing an information processing apparatus and an information processing program
JP3579240B2 (en) * 1998-02-13 2004-10-20 富士通株式会社 Computer readable recording medium storing an electronic mail apparatus and the electronic mail program

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5900004A (en) * 1995-06-07 1999-05-04 Microsoft Corporation Method and system for interactive formatting of word processing documents with deferred rule evaluation and format editing
US6073133A (en) * 1998-05-15 2000-06-06 Micron Electronics Inc. Electronic mail attachment verifier

Non-Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 1999, no. 12, 29 October 1999 (1999-10-29) & JP 11 203213 A (SHARP CORP), 30 July 1999 (1999-07-30) *
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN vol. 1999, no. 13, 30 November 1999 (1999-11-30) & JP 11 232197 A (FUJITSU LTD), 27 August 1999 (1999-08-27) *

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7076466B2 (en) * 2001-12-12 2006-07-11 Pitney Bowes Inc. System for accepting non harming mail at a receptacle
US7080038B2 (en) * 2001-12-12 2006-07-18 Pitney Bowes Inc. Method and system for accepting non-harming mail at a home or office
US7089210B2 (en) * 2001-12-12 2006-08-08 Pitney Bowes Inc. System for a recipient to determine whether or not they received non-life-harming materials

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2001027718A3 (en) 2002-07-25
AU8020800A (en) 2001-04-23

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