I stopped by my local post office the other day to return some boxes I’d ordered and didn’t need. I was talking to a colleague while we waited in line, and he was unaware that you could order products from their Website for free. This prompted me to re-publish a previous post from last year.
The U.S. Postal Service can indeed help you be more productive.
Order free packaging from their Web site. I keep a supply of Priority Flat Rate envelopes and Flat Rate boxes with postage already applied. And their regular envelopes with the postage already on them come in handy too.
Keep various denominations of stamps on hand. I always have Priority Mail and other denominations of stamps with me when I travel. I keep them in a pouch with each type separated. When I’m in my office, I use my LabelWriter(TM) DYMO to print my own stamps in any denomination. I also use it to print shipping labels. It’s much simpler for me to do this than go to the USPS Web site, complete all the information, pay for the postage, print the label, then affix.
You can buy stamps at local businesses such as Office Depot, Staples, Wal-Mart, and more. Just look for the “USPS Buy Stamps Here” logo.
Have your letter carrier pick up your mail. If you’re shipping at least one overnight guaranteed, priority 2-3 day, international, or a return, the letter carrier will pick up your shipment for free. I use Federal Express and UPS drop-off, but I don’t ship enough to justify paying extra for pickup. With the US Postal Service, I schedule the pickup on their Web site, and leave the package on my front porch. That’s it.
Mail it when you can’t fax or email. I have fax capability on my combo printer/fax/scanner/copier, but sometimes faxing is not practical (too many pages). So when I can’t email it or fax it and it doesn’t make sense to use Fedex or UPS, I mail it. It’s funny how people have forgotten about that option. (I receive faxes in my email using a free service from efax (http://home.efax.com/s/r/efaxprint).
There is one thing I wish the US Postal Service would offer: I’d like to be able to get self-adhesive, coded labels that track and bill my account. Then all I’d have to do is affix my shipping label to my package, and their computers would track the cost of the postage and bill me later.
The next time you’re standing in line at the post office, ask yourself why. I hope these ideas will help you increase your productivity and get the most out of your day.
Let me know what you think.
Peggy Duncan Personal Productivity Expert