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Volunteer Today is looking for one or more authors to write about technical issues, computer or otherwise, in the volunteer management world. If you are interested in contributing or know someone who is, please contact our managing editor Nancy Macduff at: editor@volunteertoday.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

This month's articles are provided by Laura Bunt.

~ May 2007 ~ Topics

What is MIME?
How to Send Attachments
Quick Tips


What is MIME?

computer imageDo you know what MIME is? MIME is Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension. Did you know that it is helpful tool for email users? It allows users to send “formatted” documents, sound, video and photo files as attachments in their email. It allows the sender, without even realizing it, to encode their email. This invisible protocol converts files to text and then backs to their original form. Most users have an email program that works with this unique protocol. Basically your email program will automatically “detect” the attachment, decode it and either open the attachment or prompt you to save the file. For example, if you were sending a word document created in Word, the sender would need to have that specific software program. Just remember that encoding a file is not the same as encrypting. These encoded files have NO security. Which means anyone can view it, so beware what you send.


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How to Send Attachments

Depending on the type of email program you have, Outlook, Entourage, GroupWise, Web Based Email, etc., the procedure is basically the same for all. If this procedure doesn't work, please reference the “Help” section of your email program.

  1. Complete and save the document you want to attach (Remember, attachments are not secure so be careful with what you send)
  2. Next, start a new email message
  3. Address the email
  4. Write your message
  5. Next, attach your file. To attach your file, look for the following:
    • The “paperclip” icon
    • Add Attachment
    • Tool bar items that list “Add Attachment”
  6. After you pick one, you will be prompted to select the file you want to attach
  7. You will now “browse” out to locate the file or files you wish to send
  8. Once you find the file you need, select it
  9. Once selected the name of the file or an icon will appear within the email showing you that you have “attached” the file
  10. Once you have attached your files, send the email

Remember, attaching files will differ from program to program so make sure to check the specifications of your specific email program. There are some programs out there that will even scan your email for viruses before you send it. Just make sure to follow the directions of your specific program.


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bullet image Quick Tips bullet image
    1. Create a Positive Impression – When sending a voice mail message, try to talk for one minute or less.horns image If you are going to need more time that that, it is better that you send an email outlining your points or speak with that individual in person.
    2. Email Privacy - Treat email as "personal communication." Do not forward email unless you have been given permission by the sender. This will help you to create trust with those around you.

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