- Controlling Office Interruptions
- Faxing Without Paper Saves Time
- Reduce Interruptions
- Time Tactics for the Office
- Organizing Phone Calls 1-2-3
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Time ClockFaxing Without Paper Saves Time
The fax threatened overnight delivery. Email threatened the fax. Now the fax is back - with paperless precision and online capabilities designed to perfect the process without taxing your budget.
E-mail has largely replaced the fax machine. But there are times when a fax machine is indispensable -- such as when you must fax something that doesn't exist in your computer.
But why not just use e-mail? E-mail is fine for text, but if you're sending a file that contains charts, graphics, or your logo, e-mail won't do. Faxing -- whether via a standalone fax machine or a fax-modem -- sends a graphic image rather than a text file.
WinFaxPro works with your contact management software, such as Act! Or Goldmine, so once you've added a fax number to the contact's record, you never need to type it in again. You can even set it up so your contact manager automatically adds the fax event to the contact's history.
Receiving faxes via fax modem and WinFaxPro software, while it can be done, is a little more complicated. You can't get incoming faxes unless your computer is on, when you're downloading E-mail people trying to fax you can't get through, and you'll need a powerful computer to be able to use the fax software in the background while you're using other computer applications. So you shouldn't rely on this exclusively for receiving faxes.
But there's one major advantage to receiving faxes in your computer -- it's great for sharing faxes with others you work with. It's far easier to send it off again via WinFaxPro than to stuff the paper back into the fax machine, punch in the recipient's fax number, then wait to make sure it goes through.
The second fax option is receiving faxes via the Internet, via a service such as eFax. The only software required is a free, easy-to-use program that you download from efax.com. This allows you to retrieve your faxes anywhere you have access to e-mail -- incoming faxes arrive as e-mail attachments. This is essential when you're traveling or working from more than one office. It's invisible to the sender, who doesn't know that you're not receiving their fax on an actual fax machine.
If you only use eFax to receive faxes and don't use their other features, it's free. I started using eFax so I could get by on 2 phone lines without having to continually switch the phone cord between the fax machine and the modem. It also saves me money on fax paper -- I no longer go through rolls of fax paper for incoming junk faxes. An added benefit is that I can easily get faxes while traveling -- a tremendous convenience.
Just like with WinFaxPro, receiving your faxes through eFax makes it easier to share them with others in your workgroup. You simply forward the e-mail, which is much faster than stuffing the paper back into the fax machine, getting the usual busy signals, then waiting to make sure your fax goes through.
A more subtle benefit of paperless faxing is the ongoing time-savings of electronic storage. Storing faxes in your computer instead of printing them out will save you hours normally spent filing, retrieving, then re-filing. It reduces office clutter. Still another plus is that it makes travel easier - -most of the files you'd normally lug with you are already stored in your laptop!
About the Author: Jan Jasper has been training busy people to work smarter, not harder since 1988. She helps clients streamline their systems and procedures, form optimum work habits, use technology efficiently, and manage information overload. Her specialty is helping people who've already worked with professional organizers and coaches and are still not able to get it all done. Jan is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press). She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions, Inc. In 2001, Jan was the office productivity expert for staples.com. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print. Jan is currently on the board of the Tri-State Chapter (NY, NJ, & CT) of the National Speakers Association.