I hate junk mail regardless of whether I get it via an email or through the paper mail that arrives at my house each day. What’s bothered me for a long time is how efficient email filters have gotten at being able to filter out the spam/junk mail before it hits my Inbox, but that same luxury doesn’t apply to the mail that I get at my house.
A new mobile app called Paper Karma is trying to save trees… and your sanity. There are a couple of things I want to point out upfront about the app. First, it’s a free app that is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Second, it will take a little effort on your behalf before you actually start to reap the benefits of what it has to offer, but it could be worth it.
To use Paper Karma you simply have to snap a photo on your mobile device of the junk mail you receive. They don’t need a picture of the whole thing… just enough info to recognize who sent it to you. In most cases that means a snapshot of a popular logo is sufficient, but they also recommend trying to get the companies name and address in the image as well. In my tests it took a couple hours for it to finish analyzing my snapshot, but it has correctly recognized every one that I’ve done.
I’m going to keep using this rather religiously in an attempt to battle the dozens of credit card offers and other junk I get in the mail every week. It will take some time before I know for sure whether it is actually working, but if I can save some trees by reducing the amount of mail I get then I find that to be a win-win situation.