The solution? Earth Class Mail. I believe it was 1992, 15 years ago by now, that I obtained my first fax board for my PC, along with version 1.0 of Winfax software. In fact, that was my first "fax machine," period. In fact, I’ve never, as a matter of routine, sent or received faxes by means of physical paper and moreover have always seen the facsimile as a rather unfortunate invention which likely slowed the development of email technology and electronic signatures. (That last link, DocuSign, is a vendor for my company and we’ve been very happy with them over several years now.)
We have a couple of high-end copy machines at the office, machines that are also high-speed fax machines, network scanners, and network printers with a finishing module for double-sided printing, collating, and stapling. One nice thing about being out of the office is that if something comes via "Earth Class Mail" that’s important and time sensitive, they can just dump it in the scanner and email the PDF to me wherever. But just as I’ve always dealt with faxes electronically, I’ve longed for a good solution for snail mail for my personal affairs and business matters not tied to my company (and I get lots of mail, as you can see — that’s a couple week’s worth). I just hate it. It’s not that I don’t have time; I do. It’s just that I hate it. I bring the mail in and I just hate the physical aspect of opening it. It’s probably because I’m not the kind of person who is going to actually deal with any of the matters at hand on the spot, so I’ve got to somehow organize it so I can shuffle and riffle through and deal with it at a later time. Yuk.
Perhaps that’s a mystery to you. Oh, well. That’s me. There are things I can dive into with non-stop gusto for days on end. But others, like snail mail, I’m the world’s biggest procrastinator.
Now get this, because it’s one of the weirdest coincidences ever. Last night, on total whim, I decided to go searching for a service where you could forward all your mail (like a Mailboxes Etc.), but rather than have to go pick it up, they scan it and either upload it to your account on their web server, or email it to you. This gives you two principal advantages: you get your mail wherever, and you can dump it into electronic folders very quickly for later processing, or just junk it on the spot.
Back to the coincidence. I quickly found Earth Class Mail, did some quick research, and signed up for a year of service at about $250 that includes 100 pieces of mail per month (they have a $150 per year service too). Once finished with the sign up, I cracked open Tim Ferris’ book for a bit, then decided to catch a little TV and ended up surfing right into Mojo HD where Start-Up Junkies was on, and what start-up do you suppose they were profiling?
Is that weird, or what? Honestly, I had never heard about that company or that TV show before in my life, and in the space of two hours set against nearly a half-million hours lived so far, they come together.