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My review of Earth Class Mail: An indispensable service for me!

April 4, 2013

I use Earth Class Mail to solve a dilemma for me. My dilemma is that with over 200 clients for my business (where I create FileMaker databases and provide the nation’s best FileMaker consulting), I am constantly receiving checks in the mail that need to be deposited into my bank account.

But because I work alone and because I travel quite frequently to visit my clients all across the nation, I’m rarely at home to receive & deposit these checks. So, if I go on a lengthy business trip, the checks will accumulate in my mailbox, and therefore not make their way into my bank account when I need the money deposited.

Sure, I could hire a personal assistant to check my mailbox for me, but that seems like overkill. And yes, I already accept credit cards on my iPhone and iPad with Square, but I provide services for many large corporations who will only pay their invoices via check. Even if the companies DID pay me via credit card, I’m not totally into giving Square a 3.5% + 15¢ cut of each transaction. So I’d actually prefer to get paid by checks. (Now granted, Earth Class Mail costs money too, but their minimal fees compared to how many checks I process in a month make them significantly more cost effective for me than Square.)

Enter Earth Class Mail, a virtual mailbox service that I signed up with to receive my incoming mail and deposit my incoming checks for me (this service is called remote check deposit). Note that Earth Class Mail will receive ANY TYPE of mail or packages for you, but for the purposes of this review, I’m going to focus primarily on the check deposit feature. The check deposit feature works with any bank in America… I’ve seen some other reviews on the web that state that Earth Class Mail only works with Wells Fargo, but that’s not true anymore… that was only true many, many years ago.

Earth Class Mail has a very slick website that you log into, and the site works very well on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. The website will show you scanned images of all the envelopes that they have received on your behalf (but note that it will cost you extra $$$ if you actually want them to DO anything with your envelope, outside of throwing it away). For example, they can forward you the envelope to wherever you are physically residing at the current moment, they can open up the envelope for you & scan the contents within, and they can electronically deposit any checks that are found within.

The best thing about Earth Class Mail’s remote check deposit service is that it is completely automated. You don’t need to be manually involved with the process at all. There is a setting on their website which tells them to “automatically scan the contents of every envelope” and “automatically deposit any checks that are found within an envelope”. If a check is found, they electronically scan the check and email it to a company called FundTech, which then makes an electronic ACH deposit into your bank account.

All of this works extremely well and is extremely reliable. Not to mention that their customer support staff is extremely helpful & extremely friendly, and they’ve really figured out how to make a great website that lets you keep track of everything. The website is just so wonderful, because they’ve got literally dozens & dozens of settings that you can tweak to make the service work perfectly for you. (For example, there are about 8 different levels of email notifications that you can opt in or out of; they can notify more than one email address for notifications; they can keep track of multiple forwarding addresses for you if you forward a lot of mail; etc.)

For example, below is a screenshot of all the settings you can choose for your “Content Scan Options”:


The only minor problem with Earth Class Mail is that you’ll need to become slightly more patient with the receiving & processing of your mail, because it does take several days for the check deposit process to complete. Earth Class Mail requires up to one (1) business day in between every step in the process, but Earth Class Mail doesn’t work on Saturdays nor holidays, so that could add some extra delays.

Here is a real-life example of how the days could potentially add up with Earth Class Mail:

– I have a premium address with Earth Class Mail in Los Angeles, so I get the fastest speeds. A premium address is an address where they process all the mail on-site. A non-premium address is a P.O. Box that simply collects mail, and then has all its mail forwarded to one of the premium addresses before it gets processed. So if you want the quickest turnaround times, do what I do and get a premium address. You can also get a significantly cheaper premium P.O. Box as well, where they process the mail on-site too, but you can never receive FedEx or UPS packages at a P.O. Box… only USPS shipments.

– Normally, a check mailed from New York to Los Angeles only takes 3 days. So, if someone mails you a check on Tuesday, Earth Class Mail will receive it on Friday. But it could potentially take Earth Class Mail up to one business day to scan the envelopes, so you might not get notified about this envelope until the next business day, which would be Monday. If Monday is a holiday, then you wouldn’t get notified about that envelope until Tuesday. (This exact scenario happened to me when using Earth Class Mail for the first time, but the delays aren’t typically this long. You will often get notified of the envelopes on the very same day that they receive them.)

– Even if you’ve got the option set to “automatically scan the contents of your envelopes”, your envelope won’t typically get opened up & scanned until the next business day, which could be Wednesday. (Although sometimes this does happen on the same exact day as the receiving of the envelope.)

– If you’ve got the option set to “automatically deposit any checks within an envelope”, your check might not get scanned & emailed to FundTech until the next business day, Thursday. (Although again, this can often happen on the same exact day as the content scan above.)

– FundTech requires 2 full business days to simply initiate your check deposit for you. The first day is a required one-day hold on the check, when they don’t do anything. The second day is the day that they will actually initiate the check deposit with your bank. But they don’t initiate the check deposit until the very end of the business day, which is apparently too late for Bank of America (my bank) to recognize that a check deposit was initiated. More on this below, but what all of this means is that your deposit might not get initiated until Monday.

– But hold on a moment! Just because you waited 2 full days for FundTech to initiate your check deposit doesn’t necessarily mean that your bank is even aware of the deposit yet. It might take your bank at least 1 more business day to recognize that an ACH check deposit was initiated, which would be Tuesday.

– But wait just a second! The funds are not yours yet! Your funds might not be made available for you to withdraw until the next business day, which is Wednesday. Although a lot of this depends on your bank.

So this is definitely a “worst case scenario”, where it could take a grand total of 15 days from the time the check was sent, to the time that you can withdraw the funds from your bank account. And while I am obviously listing the maximum amount of time here that this process could take with a premium street address, this exact situation happened to me with the very first check that I received through Earth Class Mail.

However, ever since that first-time experience with Earth Class Mail, things have been happening MUCH MUCH faster with Earth Class Mail. Often times, Earth Class Mail will open the envelope, scan the envelope, and deposit the check all in the same exact day! Then, I just have to wait out the FundTech process. So, if Earth Class Mail receives a check of mine on Monday, it will often be in my bank account for me to withdraw by Thursday or Friday of the same week.

So is Earth Class Mail worth it, considering these multi-day delays? For me, the answer is: ABSOLUTELY!

To start with, I’ve simply changed my expectations about “how quickly” things should happen. I simply chill out & relax & take some deep breaths in between the stages! 🙂 Waiting an extra day or two really isn’t that big of a deal! The fact that I can travel around the world while my mail is being handled in a professional manner MORE than makes up for any time delays.

And, have I mentioned how wonderful the ECM website is? I love having a website that’s structured just like webmail. My real-life postal mail comes into ECM just like webmail! It’s so awesome.

So if you are a solo entrepreneur who travels all the time — especially if you’re traveling internationally — Earth Class Mail is an excellent, indispensable solution because it is very reliable, it works very well, the website is very slick, and it has great customer support! In fact, I spent weeks comparing Earth Class Mail to several other virtual mailbox companies that offer remote check deposits, and Earth Class Mail was the quickest and the cheapest amongst all the other companies. Earth Class Mail also offered the most customizable options, and in my opinion, Earth Class Mail had the best, most knowledgeable, and friendliest support team of all.

So, if you’re going to go down this path (either the virtual mailbox path or the remote check deposit path), you have to go with Earth Class Mail. There is just no comparison. In my opinion, they are definitely the best remote check deposit service & best virtual mailbox service out there.

I am just so incredibly pleased with Earth Class Mail that I wrote them an email that included this paragraph in it:

I would really like to take a moment to congratulate you & say thank you for the amazing job that you and your team have done with Earth Class Mail… ECM is truly becoming a lifesaver for me, and it is absolutely ASTOUNDING as to how much detail & thought & technical expertise had to go into creating EVERYTHING that Earth Class Mail does. Just the sheer magnitude of settings that we’re allowed to tweak on your website goes to show how much time & how much care went into building Earth Class Mail, not to mention the hundreds of different things that your nationwide staff has to manage every single day. I absolutely love the website!! And I can’t even imagine all the “magic” that takes place behind the scenes to make it seem so easy & seamless for the user. I’m a FileMaker programmer myself, and what I do pales in comparison to the massive technical accomplishments that you have achieved with Earth Class Mail. I mean, on a daily basis, I am truly astounded at how many different things ECM handles, and how it handles all those things FLAWLESSLY! It is worth every penny that I pay for it, and it really gives me the freedom to travel around the country, visiting my clients, and not worrying about my mail or my checks while I’m gone. I am just so incredibly pleased with ECM. Your company truly makes it possibly for entrepreneurs to live a “virtual lifestyle”… without ECM, I would still be “crippled” by my mailbox at home. I don’t know how anybody could ever live a “virtual lifestyle” BEFORE Earth Class Mail, in fact! So, many thanks to you and ECM. Earth Class Mail makes “virtual” actually possible. Not to mention that the customer service staff is sooo incredibly friendly!

If my readers have any questions about Earth Class Mail, I would be happy to answer them in the comments below!

I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount via Paypal so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.


You can also donate via Bitcoin to my Bitcoin Address of: 1McG4jrzZ7UPPPneWVjv9141vnDRH7ksza

Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.


Why U.S. Internet Access is Slow, Costly, and Unfair

February 13, 2013

If you use the Internet in America, this is an outstanding video on why U.S. Internet Access is slow, costly, and unfair.

We have some of the slowest & priciest Internet in the ENTIRE WORLD, prohibiting huge percentages of Americans from easily getting online. And for those of us who ARE wealthy enough to get online, we are not even close to having the Internet experience that people in other countries, such as Hong Kong, are experiencing.

Yet more reasons why America has fallen behind the rest of the world in almost every metric imaginable.


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount via Paypal so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.



You can also donate via Bitcoin to my Bitcoin Address of: 1McG4jrzZ7UPPPneWVjv9141vnDRH7ksza

Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

What’s Your Password?

January 24, 2013

Here’s something that might surprise you.

I don’t know what any of my passwords are, and I can’t figure out what any of them are.

And that’s exactly how it should be. Because if I can’t figure out my own passwords, then hackers won’t be able to figure them out either.

All of my passwords are complex, random passwords like wj7xL2p4Q0dz3nY, and I have a different password for every single website that I visit.

Yet this doesn’t slow me down at all. I never need to remember any of these random passwords, I never need to copy-and-paste them into websites, and I never need to handwrite them into a notebook somewhere.

All I need to do is remember my one master password, which is a strong password that I can easily remember (such as scott@world?8472!), and I can instantly log into any website.

How do I do this?

I’m using the award-winning, best-selling program named 1Password. 1Password creates strong passwords for every website that I visit, and it securely stores all of my passwords for me.

Best of all, 1Password synchronizes all of my passwords between my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad.

Why am I doing this?

I’m doing this to stay as safe & secure as possible on the Internet.

As you know, you need a different password for every single website that you visit. And if you’re like most Americans, you visit almost 100 password-protected websites per year.

So you probably decided a long time ago that it would be completely insane to come up with 100 different passwords, so you standardized on 2 or 3 passwords that you use for everything. Even worse, you probably made these passwords really easy to remember. And worst of all, you probably wrote down those passwords in a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel document, or you scribbled them down into your notebook in your desk.

I’m here to tell you that all of this is a terrible idea, because it makes it much easier for hackers to take over your entire identity, empty your bank account, and destroy your life. Because once a hacker breaks into the website or breaks into the Yahoo website (yes, this stuff happens all the time), they’re going to take your password and try to use that password on all the other sites on the web.

So if you’re using the same password everywhere, once the hackers get into one of your accounts, then they can easily get into all of your accounts.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to come up with a unique, strong, and completely random password for each website that you visit.

This would be a major exercise in frustration if you had to do it on your own, but luckily,1Password easily & quickly manages the entire process for you. It’s so quick, it’s an almost-invisible process.

Whenever you visit a website, you just type in your one easy-to-remember password, and 1Password will type in your complex password for you.

(1Password will also securely store your credit card information as well. Just type in your one easy-to-remember password, and 1Password will type in all your credit card information whenever you’re ready to shop on the web. In fact, 1Password can store all of your confidential information, so nobody can see anything that you don’t want them to see.)

Contact ScottWorld to get help setting up 1Password!

If you would like to take control of your security & privacy with 1Password, just let us know and we’ll be happy to install, configure, and train you on 1Password for all your devices!


I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.


Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

$#*! Apple Fanatics Say

September 10, 2012

You all know what an Apple fanatic is, because I’m your resident Apple fanatic!

For decades, I’ve been talking zealously about Apple, and I finally decided that it was time to create some short comedy videos parodying people just like myself.

So, in the style of the extremely popular videos “$#*! Girls Say”, “$#*! New Yorkers Say”, “$#*! People In LA Say”, I now present to you…

$#*! Apple Fanatics Say (Part 1)



$#*! Apple Fanatics Say (Part 2)


Special thanks to Ken Segall, The Huffington Post, Mashable, Gizmodo, TUAW, MacStories, and all the other sites which have written articles about these videos! 🙂

Reason #857 to avoid Android phones like the plague!

August 30, 2012

Never get rid of your Android phone, because your personal data is always available on an Android phone, even after you erase the entire phone!

Insanely Simple

May 22, 2012

The #1 best book about Apple isn’t the biography on Steve Jobs.

It’s Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success, written by Ken Segall (a true Apple insider).

Not only does it contain amazing never-before-heard tales about Steve Jobs, but it also contains key information about how your business can successfully thrive like Apple.

This book is a must-read for any Apple fans or business owners!

The best calendar app for iPhone

February 2, 2012

Rejoice! I’ve finally found the best calendar app for the iPhone. It’s called Week Calendar, and it is such a relief and a joy to use it on a daily basis.

If you’re anything like me, you have been continually frustrated by Apple’s built-in calendar on the iPhone. For example, why does Apple only let you see 2 appointments at a time on the month view? Why does Apple make the day view completely unusable by forcing you to scroll through large chunks of color blocks? Why does the list view completely skip over days that don’t have appointments on them, so you totally get thrown off as to which day/week/year you’re looking at? Why is the week view completely unusable and only in landscape mode? Why does Apple do just about everything wrong when it comes to calendaring? (On the Mac, also, Apple has no idea how to make a decent calendar… that’s why we have 100% of our clients using BusyCal, the best calendar app for Mac.)

Apple may make great hardware, but I really think that their software engineers have been asleep at the wheel for the last 2 or 3 years. I have very little positive things to say about Apple’s software these days. Take a look at the disastrous Lion operating system to see what I’m talking about.

Lucky for all of us, Week Calendar has come to the rescue! Week Calendar is almost infinitely customizable, with hundreds upon hundreds of settings. You can truly make this calendar app work exactly the way that YOU want your calendar app to work.

And the technical support team is PHENOMENAL. Send them a question, and they’ll get back to you with the answer almost instantaneously. Send them a feature request, and your request might make its way into the very next update!

It’s just such a joy to deal with both the app and the development team behind the app! I haven’t been this excited about an app in a really long time.

Take a look at some of these amazing screenshots to see just A FEW of the hundreds of ways that you can work with Week Cal. This is by no means exhaustive… this is just a tiny handful of screenshots:

Look at this amazing week-at-a-glance view (known as the “Agenda View” in Week Calendar):

I love this view. It gives you a completely uncluttered glance at each week.

You can scroll through all the appointments on each day, you can tap on an appointment to view it or edit it or share it via email or cut/paste/move it to another time/date. And much more, too… you can even customize your menu choices in Week Calendar.

But it gets better:

If you double-tap on a day, you get taken to this beautiful Day View:

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! A day-by-day view that ACTUALLY LETS YOU SEE a bunch of your appointments simultaneously, without having to scroll up and down!

And you can even hide those hourly headers (“9:00 AM”, “12:00 PM”, etc.) to show EVEN MORE appointments at-a-glance. Just beautiful.

The monthly calendar rightly takes up just a small section of your screen in the upper right-hand corner, instead of taking over your entire screen like Apple’s calendar app does incorrectly.

So let’s say that you actually like using a monthly view. Week Calendar gives you 2 beautiful month options to choose from, both of which are superior to Apple’s monthly views. The first one is called mini-month view:

WOW! Now why didn’t Apple think of this?! You actually get to see your entire month ALONG WITH THE APPOINTMENTS FOR EACH DAY! This makes it sooo easy to look ahead at your month and see exactly what you’ve got going on.

But if you’re a stickler for tradition and you really want to do it the “Apple way”, Week Calendar has even improved upon Apple’s traditional month view too:

Ta-da!! You get little colored dots on each day, letting you see how many appointments you have on each day for each calendar.

And down below, you have room to see many more appointments then what Apple shows you on their terrible month view. Again, in any of these views, you can double-tap on the date and you’ll be “zoomed into” the day view for that date. And there are a lot of other nice touches, too, such as icons to indicate repeating events and alarms.

Here’s a trick question:

Can you tell what’s unique about this screenshot?

This is called “rolling week” view, similar to the “scrolling week” view of BusyCal. This view always keeps your current week up at the top of your screen, and it scrolls one week at a time instead of one month at a time. This is brilliant for people who always need the current week front-and-center.

There are many other more views, too, such as an amazing week view… I’m just scratching the surface here.

And there are so many other features in Week Calendar as well… you can add custom icons and custom colors to events, you can link events to contacts in your address book, and so much more. There are literally hundreds of ways to customize and use this app.

Here is just one example of the built-in genius of Week Calendar’s customization capabilities:

Notice anything special about this screenshot?

You are able to set the time scroll wheel to show you only 15-minute increments (or any other increment that you desire)!

Halleljuah!! My appointments only take place on the quarter-hour, so why in the world does Apple force me to scroll through 20 selections (every 5 minutes) just to get through an entire hour? With Week Calendar, I can just show the 4 selections that I need!

Oh, here’s another gigantic time-saver… have you ever wanted to jump ahead to a date that was several months in the future, or jump back to a date that was several months in the past? Apple’s built-in calendar makes this a completely daunting task, because Apple forces you to manually tap through one month at a time. Not so with Week Calendar! Week Calendar lets you quickly & easily jump to whatever date you want to jump to! Here’s a screenshot of Week Calendar’s “Go To Date” screen:

I could go on and on about Week Calendar, but I’ll stop there for now. 🙂

I give Week Calendar my highest recommendation, and I urge all of you to try it today!

I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, please donate a small amount so that I can continue to post blog articles in the future.


Who is ScottWorld? ScottWorld provides the best FileMaker consultants in Austin & Los Angeles.

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