Someone asked me recently if I have a fax machine. Yeah, I said: It’s sitting right next to my VHS machine and my tape re-winder.
I understand that most modern offices still have fax machines -- and I’m sure we have them at Fox. But I wouldn’t know where they are. You see, I want the fax machine to die.
My success rate at sending and receiving a fax is, at best, about 1 in 10. So I vowed it would be the one technology that would no longer get the best of me.
My home office is gleefully fax-free. In the off-chance that someone dares ask me to send or receive something over fax, I have modern-day tools to sidestep this task so that I don’t actually have to dial a phone number and feed a document through a machine. If you're just as frustrated by the existence of the fax machine in the year 2011, use these tools and join my crusade to make this obnoxious machine obsolete.
Sign My Pad: I now use my iPad for signing important PDF documents, and this app makes it incredibly simple. If someone sends me a PDF over email I can load the document right into Sign My Pad, sign the document using my finger as the pen, and send it back to the person. It’s really that simple. It also lets me upload right to Dropbox, my virtual office in the cloud (more on Dropbox in a moment).
Zosh: This app has saved me countless times: Zosh takes documents that require your signature and lets you sign the documents right in the app. No more printing, signing, and then trying to find a fax machie. While on vacation I was even able to receive, sign and send important realtor documents on my iPhone.
Zosh is free for iPhone and iPad users. And like Sign My Pad, it will export your finished document as a standard PDF file.
iFax Pro: iFax Pro is the perfect solution for those of us who have to receive faxes without a fax machine or a physical phone number. This app gives you a toll free phone number. Once the other party sends you a fax to it, you’ll receive a push notification letting you know -- you’ve got email.
You can also send faxes to any physical phone number in the world. The first 5 pages are just $.99. The tools in this app are just too numerous to list here so take it for a spin, it’s free!
Dropbox: No piece of software has more dramatically changed my entire way of working. Dropbox is like my virtual filing cabinet -- or sometimes junk drawer -- in the cloud. I store important documents, photos, videos, MP3s, you name it, all in Dropbox in case I need them on another computer, iPhone, iPad, etc.
Let’s say I want to share my tax return with my accountant. I simply drag it into dropbox (now it’s living in the cloud) and then I share that folder with him. This eliminates the need to share documents over fax, or even email, since we all know how tedious it can be to email documents back and forth, never knowing which version is the most current.
These are just a few tools that you can use to deal with those people who conduct business via fax. Eventually we won’t rely on physical signatures or facsimiles of physical signatures, I hope. After all, your electronic footprint can be just as binding. But for now, there are still some businesses that require your John Hancock -- and want it over fax. And in this day and age, I obstinately refuse to fax. At least in the traditional sense.