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Auto attach emails to Comments on my Smartsheet
Something that would be very helpful is to have a way to automatically attach an email received in Gmail or Outlook to a Smartsheet row by inserting the email into the comments column. The email could reference the sheet and specific row by searching for an existing primary key or some other field on the sheet.
Yes, but how?
First and most important, the API that integrates Smartsheet within the email environment must be previously installed.
Solution approach: The reference to the Smartsheet and row would be placed on the Subject line of the email perhaps in a [ ] square bracket anywhere on the Subject field to engage this feature. For example: If my Smartsheet name is "College Contacts" and my primary key is the number that was created by the auto-number feature on Smartsheet, let's say "1001" for this example, the reference would be as follows:
[College Contacts:1001] subject information to follow after ...
Then, when I receive the email or send an email with the [College Contacts:1001] on the subject line, the integration feature of my email login ID (in this case Gmail) matching my Smartsheet login ID would be used to automatically authenticate and then the Smartsheet back-end system would be triggered to perform a transaction to attach the email to the comment portion of the row matching the "1001" primary key on the smart sheet name, "College Contacts".
But what about email attachments?
If there are attachments to the email attach the file to the matching row so the user can later reference using the Smartsheet's attachment lookup feature.
Attachment error handling:
This approach can potentially cause some issues if not checked properly. If a Smartsheet or row is not found, an error message can be sent to the user's email saying that the key was not found or unique. I would batch those up nightly so the user doesn't get bombarded with emails.
We could even make it smarter and the Smartsheet could perform a binary compare of the attachment during the row update process and if it matches a previous attachment, a link to the original attachment could be automatically created by the Smartsheet backend system instead of making another copy of the attachment.
If for some reason the user wishes to make another copy of the attachment even though there's a binary match of a previous attachment, the user will have to do it manually. I think this would be a less seldom occurrence and the trade-off would be worth it since we don't want unnecessary attachments.