Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fax Without A Machine

This is a quick post about a technology/ service that I've found indispensible while I was working (far far) away from the office. Email fax is something every attorney should check out. The service I've used is called eFax but I've also looked into a few others. With email fax you are assigned a phone number which dials into the service's fax machine bank. The service then receives the document in digital form and sends it to your email.

eFax provides its basic services for free but the file you are sent is in their proprietary format that needs their reader to open (with some of the tools we have mentioned on this blog you can figure out how to convert to PDF). Another down side of the free service is that you are issued a long distance phone number. The paid service gets you PDF files in your email and a local fax number. eFax will also let you send an electronic document to someone's fax machine and, of course, this is limited in the free version. Check out their product overview.

I've also poked around on the eFax developer site and it appears that if your firm really wanted to get into it, eFax can scan barcodes on faxes so they can be routed sorted etc.

Finally, the last cool thing I've used eFax for is as a ghetto feed scanner. You put your pleading or whatever in the fax machine, hit go, and then check your e-mail for your PDF version.

[Edit: eFax also has an extension for which allows you to create a document and send a fax without ever leaving your word processing screen. -- Bill]

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