One of the most common uses for email is to share files. In many circumstances using email to collaborate may not be the most efficient method to work with a group of people on a single document. This is because doing so creates multiple versions of the source document and allows others to forward this on without your knowledge. A better method for collaboration is to store the source file in a single web based location and then only share the link to that file. However, doing so has generally been cumbersome to set up and maintain.
If however you are using Office 365 you can easily share attachments in any way that you choose. Let's say that you have just finished working on a proposal document that is stored in your OneDrive for Business. If you login to the Office 365 web portal and then select Outlook to view your inbox.
You can easily create a new email by selecting the New link in the top left of the window.
When the new email is created, on the right you will see an icon INSERT
Selecting this will reveal a menu with an option for Attachments or OneDrive files.
If you select this option you will have the ability to navigate to either your OneDrive for Business or your local Computer for an attachment
If you now select a file from your OneDrive for Business and then select the Next link in the top left (above the OneDrive icon) you should see:
The Share with OneDrive option will leave the file in your OneDrive for Business but automatically share it out with everyone addressed in the email. This applies to those inside and outside your organization. This means that there is only a single copy of the file so that if changes need to be made they can be made on the one file and everyone will have access to make and view these changes. It also means that, down the track, should you wish to rescind access to this file, you can do that.
The Send as attachment option will send the whole file as an attachment in the traditional manner.
If you select the option to Share with OneDrive you'll be taken back to the email message and you'll see the file listed below the recipients as shown above. You'll see that you have a menu you can access that allows you to control what access they have to the file in your OneDrive for Business. By default they will be able to edit but you can easily change that to read only if you want. Try doing that with a standard attachment!
At the moment this option to Share from OneDrive for Business is only available via Outlook Web Access and not via Outlook on the desktop. Hopefully, Microsoft is not far away from rolling that out on desktops.
Using Office 365 with OneDrive for Business allows you to can take much greater control when collaborating on files with people. You can easily share your OneDrive for Business files directly from Outlook Web Access by sending them a link to the document rather than the document itself as detailed above. This improves collaboration and version control, it reduces the about of space consumed in your inbox and gives you better control of exactly what access other parties can have. So if you have Office 365, consider using the option to Share with OneDrive rather than sending attachments the traditional way. It is the smart way to collaborate.