I wanted to sign up for one of those services that gives you a physical address, but then allows you to scan whatever it gets for you. My situation was that:
- I was moving offices, and while I could have changed the address to the new office, it somehow felt better to move the address to an address that theoretically would never change.
- 80% percent of physical mail I get becomes a little chore in which I need to scan the contents and file it in a Dropbox folder. If the mail was already scanned, that saves a step.
- I could hand over control over this service to someone else someday if I needed to.
I had never used a service like this before. After asking around, I landed on Anytime Mailbox. People seemed to like it. There was a good amount of hoop-jumping to activate the account, including a virtual video call with a notary. One reason I picked Anytime Mailbox is that they had physical locations in my small town (Bend, Oregon). That’s good because if I get a package or something, I could still go get it. (Most packages, like from Amazon, I still have come right to the new office.)
Turns out the physical location is one of those “ship whatever” stores that isn’t like an official USPS, FedEx, or UPS store, but is an affiliate or something and can still ship stuff, as well as sell greeting cards, empty boxes, and Mountain Dew. So Anytime Mailbox probably accounts for 1% of their overall business (I don’t know, it just feels like that), which does worry me a smidge about the longevity of that physical address. I imagine they have have boxes for all these type of services.
Now that I’ve been using the service for a bit, I think I like it. As soon as I’m completely out of the old office, it means I’ll never have to physically go check the mail again just to see if something has come. Now, every single item that comes generates an email. I didn’t quite realize that until now, but it makes sense. So far I’m not annoyed by it as it seems like the time saved is higher than the time spent. Although the fact that I can’t “unsubscribe” from physical mail very easily is slightly concerning.
When I get a new bit of physical mail, I choose to…
- Open & Scan it
- Shred it
- Recycle it
- Save it for pickup
Already twice I’ve had to save something for pickup and go get it (a physical check, and some confirmation letter I wanted to really see). That’s nice that I can do it, but I have to get in my truck and drive over there, which is definitely a net loss on time, not to mention not terribly pandemic friendly. But I suspect I’ll have to do that pretty rarely going forward.
Ideally I’d like to set up some kind of automation so that if I choose “Open & Scan”, it just ends up in the Dropbox Folder I want it to, rather than me manually doing that step. I don’t know if it’s even possible, but hey, baby steps.