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What is the difference between a document, a transmittal, and a mail?

Understand these tools, and when to use each one.

A document is a digital record of information that will be iterated on over time, probably by different people working on the project.

Transmittals and mails are different types of project correspondence.


A document is a digital record of information that’s relevant to the project, and will be amended and updated over time, probably by different people.

Drawings, schedules, and specifications are examples of project documents. Documents are stored in the Aconex Document Register.


A transmittal is used to send updated documents to organizations working on the project.

If you’re working with documents that will be modified over time by different users, send them using a transmittal.

When you use a transmittal, the documents you transmit are updated in the recipients’ document registers as part of the Aconex audit trail. This can happen automatically or manually, depending on the organization's settings.

And all the document details, including revision, revision date, and so on, are included in the transmittal.

An Aconex transmittal

The transmittal includes all the details of the document being sent


A mail is used for day-to-day questions, answers, and discussions about the project.

Mail is used for everyday communications between collaborators on a project.

You can attach documents to a mail, but attaching them won’t upload them into the document register—you (or the recipient) will have to do that separately. None of the document details are captured in mail, either. The file is simply attached and sent.

For stand-alone documents that don’t have any dependencies, or for highly sensitive documents that should be seen by certain users only, sending by mail may be more appropriate than uploading the documents to the register.

An Aconex mail with attachments

In a mail, attached documents appear as files. They won’t appear in the document register unless you upload them to it

Creating documents, transmittals, and mail

You create documents outside of Aconex (for example, using CAD programs, and applications like Word and Excel).

To make the document a part of your project, upload it to the document register.

You can send your document to others using a transmittal you create through the document register.

You create project mail using Aconex’s Mail module.