In general, when faced with a logistic problem, due to a combination of laziness and intransigent gear-headedness, I look for a tech solution. Like many in the tech community, I assume that just because something is possible in theory, it is possible in fact. This is, of course, a logical fallacy – but I am sticking with it. I just can’t accept that I should have to devote weeks - even months, grinding away at a task a computer could complete in minutes.
Software developers, I am afraid, are no different. Absent optimism and willingness to challenge the status quo, there would be no technology industry. Marketers are even worse, since they are rarely attuned to the small-but-deadly factors that can render the plausible impossible (think: misplaced commas in a csv file of customer addresses).
Unfortunately, too many of my searches verge on the quixotic – just as my victories verge on the Pyrrhic. In short, by the time I have found and that elusive tech solution, I could have finished the job five times over.
The dilemma that has faced me for the past week is this: I have to upload nearly 500 emails, with attachments, to a client’s proprietary file sharing space. Knowing how to upload files is not a problem, but converting all those email threads into PDF’s, with attachments properly collated, had me completely stumped. I spent several days trying to figure it all out on my own, then another day or so searching the Web for instructions about how to implement a DIY solution. Laboring under a tight deadline, with plenty of other work to do, I was increasingly concerned that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Then, this afternoon, I discovered a company called cloudHQ, which – among other things – offers what they call “Gmail productivity tools” that are easy to use and free-to-reasonably priced.
I simply added the company’s file extension (Save E-mails to PDF) to Google Chrome, and to my relieved amazement, it worked as intended. Then, I went back and looked at the rest of the cloudHQ’s product line – and added about 4 more to my roster. Every once in a while, I discover that there are people just as devoted as I am to making the plausible possible – and just in the nick of time, I have discovered cloudHQ. Victory is mine.