Currently, we are on the verge of two eras. The one which ended with the beginning of the new century and the one that started with it. The way office workers and different firms have communicated over the course of the last 40 years has changed drastically with the invention of email and its widespread use. Literally, everyone has an email address nowadays but at the same time, there are still people using faxes for communication or distribution of documents. To be able to combine these two communication methods one must be able to receive fax by email and send fax through that same email address.
You can learn how to send faxes from your Gmail on our article on the topic. What we will discuss now, is how can you receive faxes in your Gmail inbox.
The options available when it comes to sending or receiving faxes have been expanding recently. The most modern and cheap way is to get all of your faxes in your email inbox. That way you will save on the huge phone bill which comes with the use of the good old fax machines. Paper is another thing you will be saving from but most importantly, getting your faxes in your email client will save on time. You will be able to instantly get any fax and send any fax right back without having to wait in line for the fax machine at the office. All you will need is internet connection – that means that you will be able to check faxes out from all your devices (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.).
Why Receive Your Faxes On Your Computer?
Before we move on to showing you how to get all your faxes in your inbox, let’s quickly go through some of the major advantages you will enjoy when doing that:
- Anytime. Anywhere. Getting faxes will only require an internet connection. Having that, you will be able to check your faxes from any device that has your email client on it.
- No More “You Ran Out Of Paper”. You might as well forget about this notification, as you will be able to use cloud printing or any other printer to get your faxes.
- Waiting In Line? No more waiting in line for the fax machine at your office. Everything happens whenever and wherever you want it to.
- Easy Organizing. Your incoming faxes can be all moved into a separate label in your inbox, making it super easy for you to organize them and access them at any time.
- Re-sending Faxes. When receiving faxes in your inbox, you will be able to forward them (as an email) to any of your colleagues in a matter of seconds.
There are literally no downsides to substituting your fax machine with your Gmail client. You will save time, money and energy once you get used to this more modern approach to this less modern tradition.
Let’s Get You Started
There are two things you will need to do before being able to fully use your Gmail as a virtual fax machine:
- Create a Gmail account (assuming you don’t already have one).
- Get your hands on a good email fax service.
Even if you already have a Gmail account we suggest creating a separate one just for your faxes. We found out that this makes things so much easier in terms of keeping things organized.
The other solution to this is using your current Gmail, but creating a label inside it just for the faxes. Click here to learn more about Gmail labels.
Pro Tip: Once you have a label done for your faxes, create a Gmail filter and attach the label to it. After that, all the emails with the created filter (faxes, for example) will go in there.
Second thing, after you’re done with that, is to get a decent email fax service. This service will provide you with a connection which will make it possible for you to send/receive faxes. All it does is basically create an online fax number for you. This number will be instantly ready to use and any incoming fax to this number will be converted into digital format and then sent to your Gmail inbox. You don’t have to configure anything further than that. Just register and get your number and that’s it.
You can see which are the best three online fax services out there on our review of them. Providers like eFax and RingCentral give you a free trial of 30 days if you want to test things out at first.
Getting Your Online Fax Number To Work With Gmail
What you need to keep in mind here is that there are no configurations you have to do within your Google account. Everything is done on the side of your online fax provider. Most of them have pretty similar dashboards, to which you go right from signing up. We suggesting getting one with a trial period to first see if this fits your needs.
Now, if you want to get faxes all you need is a fax number. If you already got one, contact the online fax provider and tell them to transfer it to their services. If you don’t have one, they will give you one. Most numbers are free of charge and are also toll-free.
Once you get your hands on a number, just give this to anyone who wants to send you a fax. Once they do, you will get the fax as an attachment to an email in your Gmail inbox. Some fax providers give you the option to use the fax number with other email clients but we suggest sticking to the classics.
When getting a fax, the document will be converted into a digital file which will be downloadable from your inbox. The email will be empty but there will be an attachment (the actual document). Most often the incoming documents are PDF. files. You can find more about faxes and pdf files on our dedicated article here.
In order to stay ahead of your competition, you need to adapt to new technologies and what better way to do that than to combine the best of both worlds – emails and faxes. Using Gmail for your incoming taxes will surely save you precious time and resources and make your workplace a far more organized environment. Within a few minutes your time you can set up this feature and enjoy the paperless life!