Now you can see today's mail before it arrives

Monday, April 9, 2018

We used to allot at least half an hour to go through newsroom mail in the Gazette, but the advent of email has cut the number of letters to a couple a day.

There’s little or no time savings, however, since it takes the same amount of time or more to go through email, even with much of that traffic being automatically routed into trash or junk mail folders.

Thanks to a new service from the US Postal Service, even our snail mail is now arriving at the speed of light — or images of the envelopes, however.

If you haven’t signed up for “Informed Delivery,” it’s a simple, but somewhat disconcerting process.

Log in to informeddelivery.usps.com to create your account and you’ll be asked to create a username and password, and asked what your address is as well as questions to verify your identity and address.

That’s where the disconcerting part comes in, with questions that reveal the USPS knows what kinds of vehicles you own or have owned, models and colors.

They’ll even throw a few trick questions your way, such as multiple-choice questions with answers that are close, but incorrect, such as the color or year of the vehicle in question.

Nevertheless, it is a convenient service, preventing needless trips to the post office and letting you know if a letter doesn’t arrive at your home when it should have.

Log in, and you can view grayscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces scheduled to arrive soon, check on the delivery status of packages and when they’re scheduled to arrive, leave delivery instructions if you won’t be home to accept a package, schedule a package to be redelivered and set up email or text notifications about delivery.

Images are only provided for letter-sized mail that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.

Mail is only one aspect of modern life that has been seriously affected by the advent of internet communications, and it’s good that the USPS is taking steps to adapt.

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