For people who work in IT, fiddling about with the innards of Microsoft Exchange Server or Active Directory all day, it's hard to imagine anyone who doesn't own or work on a computer or even have access to email. Yet most of us probably know someone who falls into this category—an older relative, perhaps, or just someone particularly technology challenged. (I once had a boss who apparently put off an anti-machine aura; any time we had new hardware or systems installed, you could count on them breaking the first time she tried to use them.)
So, how do you stay in touch with your email-less friends and family? Well, you could use such an old-fashioned method as the common telephone. But what if you want to send pictures? Or a map with directions to a meeting spot? To achieve these aims, you might want to check out a company called Celery that has developed a system of 2-way computerless email.
That's right—no computer or Internet connection necessary! Your technology-challenged correspondent will need a fax machine, which can be provided by Celery as part of the service. When you send an email, they receive it as a fax. You can even include common image formats and PDF attachments. Your correspondent can handwrite messages to you, which are scanned into PDFs and emailed to you.
The set up requires a Celery Buddy (most likely you) to input email addresses through Celery's website. The Celery user then only has to write a recipient's name in block letters at the top of a message; character recognition matches the name to an email address and gets the message on its way. Celery's website is a great source of additional information about this service, including videos of the service in action. And check out their About Us page for the story behind the company's name.
If you've made a resolution to keep in better contact with friends and family this year, Celery's computerless email just might help you out.