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Lesson 15. Streamlining Business-Specifi... > Internet and E-mail - Pg. 65

Streamlining Business-Specific Processes 65 Common sense will go a long way in creating an e-mail policy and will keep the level of unwanted, negative e-mail under control. Caution Be careful not to use e-mail to the point that face-to-face contact is compromised. Not all messages can be adequately communicated by the written word. Office Help Free fax and voicemail services can help you get organized by reducing the amount of equipment that you have in your office. They can also act as your electronic office secretary. With these types of online messaging services, you not only minimize the extra appliances, phone lines, and electrical outlets that you need, but you also gain communications flexibility: · You can maximize your time spent online because you won't have to stop for calls or faxes. · Confidential documents won't wind up in the company fax bin. · All outside messages can be accessed at one time. You pick up your faxes and voicemail mes- sages when you check your e-mail. The following list presents services that offer fax receiving and voicemail. Some can send messages to your cell phone, and some have online calendars for organizing your online office. Choose the one with the best options for your work style and needs. Most of these companies also offer addi- tional services and upgrades for small monthly fees: · CallWave (www.callwave.com) [http://www.callwave.com] offers FaxWave and the Internet An- swering Machine. With FaxWave, you eliminate the need for a dedicated fax line--great news for home offices. Sign up for a private fax number, and faxes are automatically routed to your email inbox. They arrive as e-mail attachments, and you can view them without any extra ap- plications or software. Free faxes have an area code that you may not be familiar with, but CallWave plans to offer fax numbers within a chosen area code or with toll-free calling in the future for an additional fee. Internet answering machines such as the one offered by Call-Wave allow you to be online with a single phone line without missing important calls. These answering machines work with the "Call Forward On Busy" feature provided by your local phone service, and they also make it possible for you to hear the caller while you're online doing other work. You can order the call- forwarding feature from your local phone company. Callers won't hear a busy signal when you are online; instead, they will have the opportunity to leave a message--and you can hear that message instantly. · eFax (www.efax.com) [http://www.efax.com] provides access to your faxes and messages when you're on the road or at the office. eFax Free service offers messages by e-mail or wireless notification of incoming e-mail. eFax Free numbers are assigned at random, but for a minimal monthly fee, you can upgrade to eFax Plus, which provides a local fax number and the ability to send faxes. You use the same eFax number for voicemail. Your messages can be received as voicemail or as voice-to-e-mail, and you can re-ceive them by phone or computer. · Onebox (www.onebox.com) [http://www.onebox.com] offers free faxing and voicemail in num- bers from more than 40 area codes serving metropolitan areas. You simply choose the fax number in an area code close to you. With Onebox, you can also stop typing and start talking with the voice e-mail service. Other features include a calendar, an address book, and a distinct Onebox e-mail address. Wireless Onebox can also send messages to wireless Web-enabled phones.