Elai asked yesterday about how we stay paperless.
As much as we're promised the paperless office, the fact is that lots of people still send mail. Some insist on receiving things as faxes. That doesn't mean that WE need to use paper, but it does mean that we need to figure out a way to get it virtualized.
The first step is to get a mail account at Earth Class Mail. These guys are one of a kind, and are totally amazing. I used them when I was living in my RV as well.
They accept your mail AND packages, and will allow you to decide what happens to it. The'll scan it, shred it, recycle it, forward it to you (physically) or even archive it for you. Chances are that's more actions than you actually take with your mail now. Their service is totally awesome.
We both use tablet PCs, so we can receive a form in the mail, write on it using the tablet PC, and then send it off without ever having printed it out.
How do we send it off?
One tip is to ask if they'll accept an e-mailed PDF. Photoshop and the new version of Word (which is otherwise terrible, btw) can both output PDF file that you can e-mail.
Once in a while they won't accept PDFs. This usually happens with bigger companies who have lots of red tape and rules (although you might be surprised).
If you need to fax something, I recommend FaxItNice and Fax1. I've used FaxItNice many times before, but today I gave Fax1 a whirl and liked it a lot. Both of them offer free faxes to try them out, so give them both a shot.
One really good tip for those of you who don't have tablet PCs is to scan your license, credit card, and your signature. That's pretty much all people ever require that can't just be typed. In a pinch you can use a digital camera to "scan" a document. I've done that a few times.
Todd also wrote an excelsior post on how to get phone service everywhere, so I won't get into all that.
The ONE issue I haven't totally solved yet is how to get checks deposited while I'm gone. USAA.com offers a service for this, but I can't become a member because I'm not in Army. Earth Class Mail will offer the service eventually... until then I'm having checks sent to my parents' house and they're bringing them to the bank for me.
That picture on top is a picture of me writing this article. One of the most important tools for me is a nice couch or bed that I can lie down on while I work.
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