Have you ever thought that a fax cover sheet for the fax is something like an envelope for the letter, Dixie wonders? Though there are some slight differences between the two, of course. For instance, there are cases when faxes are sent without cover sheets. On the other hand, you probably cannot imagine sending a letter without an envelope, though it used to be common some 500 or maybe even less than 100 years ago.
Dixie is sure you know that many companies have specially designed fax cover sheets. They contain information that helps the recipient know who the fax is from and who it is supposed to reach, it distinguishes them from other faxes that may be coming through at the same time. Dixie assures you that even some big offices still use one fax machine for the whole office and it can be hard to know for those who work in the mail room who to distribute the incoming faxes to.
Fax cover sheets must at least include the fax number of the sender and the recipient and the number of pages. Company letterhead is practically always used nowadays, it’s good to have some additional company contact information. A lot of companies include their websites lately, which might be a good idea for your company if you’re not doing it yet.
There is no specific design or pattern to a fax cover sheet, but try to organize the information in a way that doesn't confuse the fax recipient. Dixie suggests you make the heading of the fax cover sheet similar to that of a memo and separate the heading section from the text with a ruled line.
If you need to send a short fax, it can be printed or written (which is not too common but still happens nowadays) on the fax cover sheet under the heading section. It means that the whole fax can consist of a cover sheet containing a note (compare to combining a letter with an envelope), and in Dixie’s opinion it is much better than sending just a note without cover sheet.
See a more or less typical fax cover sheet Dixie has posted for you below.
If you had ever had to deal with a pile of faxes that fell off the fax machine onto the floor, you would appreciate the use of cover sheets and would be especially grateful that they state how many pages are supposed to be in the fax. By the way, Dixie would like to remind you that the cover sheet is always included in the page count, this is a rule you better follow! A lot of modern faxes have page count printed on the transmitted pages, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
However, you decide whether a cover sheet is needed every time you send a fax. If you’re faxing to a company you or your business have never dealt with, the situation certainly calls for a cover sheet. Or if you fax to a business partner that always uses a fax cover sheet and has standard procedures for fax transmissions, it’s preferable to do the same.
On the other hand, if you repeatedly send faxes to the same person in an established business relationship, maybe you don’t really need to send a cover sheet every time. Use your own judgment, remember Dixie’s favorite phrase?
Dixie is really happy to be living in the computer era. It makes a lot of things related to business correspondence much easier. Do you need a cover sheet? Use Microsoft Word templates. It’s almost like magic. Just open “File, New” in Microsoft Word and pick out a template you like. You can save it as template after filling in your company’s information and you won’t need to lose time on reentering it in the future, you will just need to type in the new recipient information for each fax.
And the Internet is a great source of fax cover sheets as you might have guessed. Dixie suggests you go to Microsoft Office Online to find a lot of downloadable fax cover templates, most of them can be used for business faxes. Or check out the Free Business Fax Cover Sheets provided by Kevin Savetz, a technology writer and computer journalist. Dixie likes his templates very much.
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