Editing documents anywhere using Outlook free documents

Buck Hodges

About a month ago, I wrote about using Outlook with RPC over HTTP.  I recently stumbled across an old blog post by Jeremy Kelly called Using your Mailbox to Store Work-in-Progress documents.  He mentions a feature called “free docs.”  Combining this with Outlook over HTTP is really very useful.  Here’s how it works.

  1. Create a Word document, write something, and save it.
  2. Go to Windows Explorer and drag and drop the Word file into one of your folders in Outlook.
  3. Double click on the file in Outlook, modify it, and save it.
  4. Go to another machine running Outlook over HTTP.  You can double click the file and edit it some more (notice that your changes from step 3 are there).

What’s so cool about that?  It’s a secure way to be able to work on your documents wherever you have Outlook over HTTP (office desktop, laptop elsewhere), the file is updated in place, automatically synchronized (no more searching for the latest version), and backed up for free on the Exchange server.  By secure I mean that the documents are stored on the corporate exchange server, the communications with the Exchange server over the Internet are encrypted, and the documents only exist on machines under my control.

That’s a lot more convenient than a thumb drive or emailing document attachments to yourself.

The part I’d like to be able to do is to combine steps 1 and 2 by being able to directly create the document in the Outlook folder without having to go through the intermediate step of creating a file to be dragged into Outlook.  If anyone out there knows how to do that, please let me know.


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