Telegraph machine

Living a smartlife doesn’t just mean making things easier for yourself — it means learning how to deal with all the cavemen who refuse to join the future. Or as you might have to call them: “co-workers.” Even when you understand that technology is in an incredibly labor-saving array of options, you’ll be working with people who think a “YouTube” is something perverted you have to pay for in red light districts.

How can you keep your business connected without sacrificing your slick systems?

1. FaxZERO

The Tyrannosaurus Rex of old technology is the fax machine — gigantic, stupid, and if you don’t have one when your collaborator does, you could be in serious trouble. The modern worker understands that buying a single, antiquated machine with a dedicated phone line just to transmit documents makes as much sense as starting a donkey farm so you have something to pull carts of product to the stores. Your desktop can do everything you could ever need — and that includes sending documents to the huge established base of people who have just “always used fax.”

FaxZERO lets you send docs or PDF files as faxes to any number, taking care of all the conversion stuff and letting you send without standing up — while the people who own all the dedicated hardware still have to get up to go check it.

2. K7

Always sending information without receiving is a great way to evangelize, apparently, but a bad business idea. K7 compliments FaxZERO by setting up a receiving “number” which converts all incoming files to email attachments. You know, the things those denizens of the Dark Ages should be sending you instead of faxes in the first place — but this way you’re the one smoothly sorting things out, instead of being the “awkward one” who keeps asking them to change their ways.

3. FreeConferenceCall

Conference calls are a necessary evil of distributed business — the Internet allows people to work while spread all over the world, but people still feel the need to stay in personal touch. The conference call is the telephone equivalent of the office meeting, but with far more fiddling with buttons and odd etiquette on who can speak when.

You can straighten out some of the hassle with FreeConferenceCall, a service which sorts out all the setup. Instead of bashing at buttons like a trainee computer coder, the web-service provides a simple access number to dial into the conference call from wherever you are. (At least until you convince them to start using entirely free phone VoIP services like Skype!)

4.  DabbleBoard

One of the best online assistants is one of the simplest — the whiteboard. The problem with phone communications is that, despite decades of practice, you still can’t tell what somebody is trying to say. A picture is worth a thousand words, and DabbleBoard lets everyone see what you’re saying. A simple webpage allows anyone involved to sign-in and see what’s up while you talk, without any download or installation.

This sort of entirely-online service is extremely useful when trying to organize a group — even the smallest install will lead to hours of “I can’t!” and errors, while a web address is a one-step solution.

Image credit: claylib / iStockphoto