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See Your Mail Before It Arrives

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Some time ago, the New York Times had an article talking about how the United States Postal Service started scanning every piece of mail in response to the anthrax attacks back in 2001. This was part of a program called the Mail Isolation and Tracking system.

That infrastructure can now be used by most people to get images of the pieces of mail that are going to be delivered to your mailbox each day. This service is called Informed Delivery and if it is available in your area, you can sign up for it here.

Every day you’ll get an email showing you the mail that will be delivered. It doesn’t seem to include some of the local items that are delivered directly from the post office. For example, I don’t get a scan of the front page of my newspaper that comes in the mail, but most of the mail does seem to show up. Especially things like bills.

Example of a daily email showing the letters that will be delivered.

In addition to the email there is an app that will let you browse through the mail that you were sent for the last few days. It also shows upcoming deliveries for packages.

The app is available for Windows, Android, and iOS.

For me, the notifications are most useful when I’m on the road. If a bill comes I can see the envelope and remember I need to make sure it gets paid.  It is also useful to see if I have something important that I need to ask a friend or relative to get out of my mailbox or off my front porch and put inside if I’m not going to be home for awhile.

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