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Summary:

In 1986 Roger Smith, then chairman of General Motors said, “by the end of this century, we will live in a paperless society.” He didn’t get that quite right. If you’re like me, you probably still deal with paper regularly. You need to fax something with […]

In 1986 Roger Smith, then chairman of General Motors said, “by the end of this century, we will live in a paperless society.” He didn’t get that quite right. If you’re like me, you probably still deal with paper regularly. You need to fax something with a signature. You need to digitize a receipt or a photo. You need to receive a fax.

So what do you do? Here are a few services and tools that could help get you across the paper-digital divide. Share your own ideas in the comments.

Online faxing: eFax and FaxZero

eFax lets you send and receive faxes by email. With a pro account at $19.95 a month, you get a local or toll-free fax number, 130 free incoming fax pages a month, and a year of online fax storage.

FaxZero will send a one-page fax for free and you don’t even have to sign up for an account, or you can send up to a 15-page fax for $1.99.

FaxZero online faxing

Web-based contract management: EchoSign

EchoSign automates the contract signing and tracking process. Unfortunately, it only makes paper obsolete if the business issuing the contract uses it. You might find that many contracts you have to deal with aren’t provided electronically, with option for electronic signature. In that case, you’ll have to look to some other solution.

EchoSign

If you are dealing with a business that doesn’t use EchoSign and you don’t want to or can’t use paper (you’re working out of a cafe, for example), you can still handle contracts entirely electronically. Web Worker Daily readers suggest you use a scanned copy of your signature and paste it into documents that you receive and send using an online fax service.

Easy scan-to-PDF: Fujitsu ScanSnap

Fujitsu ScanSnapThe Fujitsu ScanSnap only takes a little bit of space on your desk compared to a flatbed scanner, digitizes straight to PDF, and gets good reviews from users. It will scan both sides of a piece of paper in one pass, provides OCR via Acrobat Standard, and scans up to 15 pages per minute.

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  1. I’ve used http://faxzero.com to send a fax but I don’t use it often so I can’t really say how well it works.

    Here’s the specs from their site:

    Free!
    Ad on the cover page
    Fax 1 document—maximum 3 page
    Maximum 2 faxes per day

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  2. For printed mail, I’m quite fond of Postful. But then, that’s to be expected…

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  3. I’ve had very good success with http://www.faxage.com for faxing. Their Lite plan is 3.49/month + 0.05/min.

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  4. Hi – I work with scanR – great solution for copying and faxing right from your camera phone. http://www.scanr.com

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  5. [...] from coming into the office. But you don’t have to hang on to most of it: scanners like the Fujitsu ScanSnap can quickly turn just about any paper into searchable PDF files. My own daily workflow now includes [...]

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  6. [...] most of these reasons, getting an e-fax account with an attached fax number will be sufficient. Let’s face it – until the whole world bends [...]

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  7. I use fax1.com for my outbound faxing. Very low cost, no contract.

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  8. [...] top of things and not getting distracted. After six months with it, I’m still loving my $430 Fujitsu ScanSnap. Coupled with a copy of EagleFiler and a cheap shredder, it gets me as close to the paperless [...]

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  9. GotFreeFax.com is another website that lets user send free fax online to the US and Canada. User can either upload a PDF/Word file or enter text to fax. Plus, it does not add Ads to the fax, which makes it more suitable for faxing formal documents.

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  10. [...] Web Worker Daily has a list of several services (most with free and paid options) that help you avoid paper and still get your documents. There are online faxing solutions that let you view faxes online rather than have to print them, [...]

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