This post was last updated on November 4th, 2021 at 03:31 pm
You successfully cut the cord. With Netflix and YouTube, you don’t need cable. Your smartphone handles all your communications, so you nixed the landline. That’s a couple of hundred dollars saved per month. But the pandemic chaos has you on extended work from home schedule. No problem: until you realize your job requires receiving faxes. Now you’re exploring options and wondering if you can email to fax with Gmail or get faxes to your inbox.
Can I Email to Fax With Gmail?
Gmail does not have a built-in ability to send or receive faxes. This is weird, considering it has seemingly every other online technology built in. However, there are a number of fax services that can add this functionality to Gmail.
To explain how an email to Gmail fax service works, we’re going to use our favorite provider as an example. We like RingCentral because they make the Gmail faxing process so easy that you’ll quietly laugh to yourself whenever you hear about someone actually using a fax machine. When you sign up with RingCentral, fax numbers become email addresses.
Fax Numbers Become Email Addresses?
You read that right: fax numbers become email addresses. Suppose you need to fax the White House at 1-202-456-2461. In this case, you would just address your Gmail to email@example.com. You put the full fax number (including country code and area code, but without any dashes) to the @rcfax.com suffix (RC = RingCentral). When you email your fax, RingCentral’s system instantly converts it to a traditional fax and sends it to the recipient at their fax number.
What About Receiving a Fax?
When you sign up for RingCentral, you get to choose your very own local fax number. You could even put it on your web site and business cards. Whenever someone faxes you at this number, it delivers the fax to RingCentral’s system, which converts it to an email for you. Suppose the White House liked what you said and faxed you back. You would receive their fax as an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. It stays tidy and easy-to-find in your Gmail inbox.
How Do I Get the Document in Gmail?
Once you have your RingCentral fax subscription, you treat faxes just like emails. Any documents you want to fax, you just attach to your email. Any you’ve received arrive as email attachments. You can even use your email’s subject line as a cover page.
What If My Document Is Paper?
Just as with regular email, you will have to scan your document if all you have is a hard copy. However, if you don’t have a scanner, you can easily turn your smartphone into one. Both iCloud and Dropbox have excellent scanner functions built right in. You just take a picture of the document (one page at a time), and it gets converted to a PDF file. There are also standalone scanner apps available for both iPhone and Android.
Worth the Free Trial
Besides the sheer simplicity, one of the things we dig about RingCentral is you can try it free for 30 days without strings or limitations. Their basic plan lets you send or receive 1,500 pages worth of faxes per month. It also includes your own local fax number. Even if you just need to receive one fax, the signup is so easy that it’s worth just doing the free trial. But your email to fax Gmail account might just become one of the most valuable tools in your work-from-home arsenal.
No Fax Machine, No Landline, No Problem
Now that you’ve mastered how to send a fax via Gmail, your work-from-home life is complete. No new equipment to buy. No pesky landline to have re-installed. Your cord remains cut. Bonus: You’ve gained a valuable new tool that lets you share documents the way others want to send/receive them, but totally within your existing Gmail ecosystem.