A few weeks ago when I saw the promo video for Outbox, I honestly thought it was a joke, like Gmail Paper was. But Outbox is real.

The fundamental idea and goal of Outbox is great. Pay someone to digitize and organize all my snail mail, recycle all my junk mail while they’re at it, and then deliver any hand-written notes or other things I want to my door. And I think $5/month is an extremely reasonable price.

But the execution, as Laura June points out in her article for the Verge, seems less the great:

  • For one, you’ve got someone else opening up and scanning your bills, personal letter, and bank statements. Personally, I’m uncomfortable with that. So maybe right there is proof enough that Outbox isn’t for me.

  • Secondly, your mail still gets delivered to your house or office by the USPS. Then, later, Outbox sends their own courier to your home (3 times a week) to get what’s in your mailbox and take it back to their headquarters for scanning.

While the idea of having someone else do the dirty work of digitizing my mail and tossing the junk is nice, it still doesn’t solve the biggest “pain point” I have with snail mail: processing and following-up.

Outbox doesn’t pay my bills on my behalf, they won’t call my doctor to get clarity on a bill, and they won’t cash my checks. I guess that’s why they’re only charging $5/month.

For the digitization and organization of my snail mail, a simple document scanner and a handful of Hazel rules has done wonders for how I digitize and organize my incoming snail mail.