We have just about all our accounts – credit cards, utility bills, bank statements – set up online. So we can access our information from anyplace in the world with an Internet connection. But there’s still mail that comes via U.S. Postal Service just about every day, and when we’re away from home it’s nice to know what’s there.
If you have a U.S. mailing address, see if USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest is available in your area. If it is, it’s easy to set up an account with a user name and password.
The main benefit of this service (at least for me) is that you get an email every morning with scans of the mail that’s arriving that day. You get this scan whether the mail is being delivered to your mailbox or you’re having it held at the post office.
This was useful during our last home exchange, when I was expecting a check from a client. I could see what was in each day’s mail, so every week or so I could follow up with the client and see if the check had been mailed. (It had not.) Without this service I wouldn’t know if the check had been mailed or not until we got home.
This service could also be useful if, say, you spotted something in the mail that looked important or urgent—you could get more details via phone or email and not leave it sitting there until you get home.
The service isn’t perfect – overstuffed envelopes don’t seem to get scanned, and you don’t see details about packages unless you log into the site. But if you do log in you can access more features (none of which I’ve needed to use so far). You can report any mail that didn’t arrive, see past and upcoming package deliveries, and sometimes add delivery instructions for packages.