Only People Of Yesterday Keep Using Fax, Right?
A Brief History Of Fax
It is amazing when you know that the Scottish inventor Alexander Bain already worked on the first version of a fax machine back in 1846.
It certainly took a while until the “modern” fax machines became widely commercially available in the 80s. Until they became more affordable in the 90s and more and more private households adopted the technology before the Internet became the all-dominating technology in everyone’s daily lives.
The Fax Machine Is Dead — Long Live The Online Fax
By now you would think that this outdated old fax machine encountered the kiss of death you would be surprised that is far from dead. In June 2018 it was revealed that The National Health Service in the United Kingdom owned at least 11,620 fax machines making them the world’s largest user of faxes worldwide.
My Personal Usage Of Fax
We are between the years of 2018 and 2019 when I am writing this article and I wanted to share how I still use actually a physical fax machine to stay in touch with my mom who will turn 91 in March 2019.
While older people are often still amazingly good with using new technology (my mom is using a tablet for solving puzzles and to look at shared photos and videos, but is not able to use email or using advanced features) — often when it comes to keeping in touch with your grandparents and parents a real written letters with real printed photos can’t still be beaten.
And while I sometimes struggle to help me mom from thousands of kilometers away from another country to access her tablet via remote-computing — sending a fax and having her a real piece of paper to read that she can physically hold in her hand. It tops every other form of modern communication with her (besides using the phone itself).
Online Fax Technology
Most people and companies have abandoned fax machines for one most obvious reason: unnecessary, excessive print-outs. The amount of paper that can be saved is enormous. While we are all still far away from a “paperless office” — getting rid of physical fax machines made sense for most of us.
The Internet has enabled us using new smart technology to share and send documents easier and faster than ever. However, instead of just sending an email or uploading documents to the cloud, there are still good reasons to use fax instead.
5 Amazing Reasons Why You Still Should Use Fax
- The Power Of Hand-Written Documents
There is magic in documents and notes written by hand. It has been a known long-established fact that for therapy-like and coaching-oriented activities like goal setting, dealing and overcoming challenging problems, handwritten messages to yourself and others serve as powerful cornerstones.
- Legal Requirements: Electronic Signature Bail-Out
Believe it or not, in many countries you are required by law to send documents that can be printed out and archived offline, as not everywhere electronic signatures are valid and legal. There is no way around to sign those papers with a real pen and then send them off via regular post. Sending such documents as a fax speeds things up and can serve as an additional backup while you might consider sending those with regular certified mail as well.
- Real Paper Documents Shortcut: Better Work-Flow
A streamlined work-flow always saves money and time, no matter in business or in your private life routines. So if you have legal documents or other urgent “ready-to-be-printed-out” messages to send fast —use online fax technology.
It helps you to deal with two forms of documents. The ones that you actually just created offline and are lying in front of you on your table. You can easily take a picture of them and fax them off as a fully-printable document in no time.
And the documents that you actually just wrote in the cloud does not need to be printed out and then physically re-scanned with a real fax machine. Instead just click a button, enter a fax phone number and send the document off within a few minutes.
- Get Priority Attention
Fax numbers usually receive priority attention. If a company is using a fax number they usually use very smart systems that digitize those incoming messages and routing them to the correct department and specialist within a company to deal with it.
Emails often take longer as there is often a long back-log of incoming email messages. Phone calls often take longer because the information being discussed needs to be typed in a contact management system instead.
- Get Fast Confirmation Of Delivery
I already mentioned that above. A fax is always confirmed if it reached the recipient or not. You receive a failed or confirmed message and you have a legal record that shows that you have delivered a specific document or message via fax and it was received. Remember: I am not a lawyer. You still might consider sending a physical copy via certified mail as a backup, depending on the laws in your country.
How I Fax In 2019 And Beyond
My personal favorite fax service is HelloFax. I like them because they make it very easy to share documents and media via Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Microsofts OneDrive or with a simple direct upload.
Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for this from HelloFax and wrote this article just because I felt like writing it. (They DO give me a few free pages if I refer a new user - doesn't sound like I have to put a disclaimer that I wrote this in order "to get rich" promoting them.) :-)