Managing Packages

This was the first holiday season that did all of my shopping online. It was wonderful. Except for one thing, managing the onslaught of packages that were to be delivered. I had a steady stream of packages coming to my door from Thanksgiving until mid-December. By the time some of the packages arrived I had completely forgotten what I ordered.

Thankfully, there are technology solutions to this problem. Here are a few of the tools I use for managing package.

Deliveries App

The Deliveries.app by Junecloud is an old favorite. There are applications available for Mac, iOS, and the web. Adding packages is easy. It will detect a tracking number from your clipboard or you can scan a tracking label. Perhaps my favorite way to set up a JuneCloud account which will allow you to forward shipment notifications to a private email address and Junecloud will detect the tracking information and automatically add the package tracking details.

The App offers push notifications (although in my experience they don’t always fire timely) so you can stay up to date of your package’s status. The interface is sleek and clean. Information will sync across multiple devices using the Junecloud sync service (which I prefer) or iCloud.

Deliveries.app is a must for staying on top of all my packages.

UPS My Choice and FedEx Delivery Manager

UPS My Choice and FedEx Delivery Manager are similar services offered by competing companies. Once you register your home address with the service you will receive email notifications anytime a package is set to be delivered to your home.

Because the notification is generated from the carrier, meaning that you receive the notification as soon as a package is entered into their system and regardless of whether the shipper chooses to send you a shipment notice. I’ve found that I’ll regularly receive shipment notifications from FedEx and UPS with tracking information and estimated delivery dates earlier than the shipper sends me confirmation of shipment. This is especially handy when tracking shipments from Apple - who has been known to delay tracking information for popular devices.

My Choice and Delivery manager will optionally send you notifications when a package is delivered. So you’ll know when you have a package waiting at your door. I always enter my home from the garage so it’s possible an unexpected package could be dropped at my door and sit unnoticed for days. UPS and FedEx send me a notification within minutes of the package being dropped. (Also helpful when the delivery driver chooses to drop and run.)

Finally, as a My Choice or Delivery Manager subscriber, you’ll have the option to customize your deliveries. You can choose to hold deliveries if you’ll be on vacation or ask that deliveries be held at FedEx or UPS shipping locations if you won’t be home to sign for them. The basic service is free. If you choose to pay, additional features become available including restricted delivery windows, the ability to reschedule deliveries and more.

Video Doorbell

A couple of years ago there was a rash of package thefts in my neighborhood around the holidays. Since then, I installed a Ring Video Doorbell. I’ll receive an alert on my phone when someone rings the bell. Because delivery drivers are notorious for dropping and running, the Ring can also be set to notify when it senses motion.

You can optionally connect the doorbell to Ring’s cloud video service for $30 a year and Ring will save video any time it detects motion or a ring. If anyone tries to swipe a package from the door, I’ll be able to see who they are.

Most importantly, I’ve found owning a video doorbell to be a great deterrent. Since owning the Ring I’ve noticed fewer sales soliciting and no one has swiped a package from my door. The Ring includes a sticker in the box notifying guests the premises is under video surveillance and I have mine prominently displayed.

*This article first appeared in the January, 2017 Issue of ScreencastsOnline Monthly Magazine. ScreenCastsOnline monthly magazine is packed with hints, tips, articles and links to streamable versions of ScreenCastsOnline tutorials and delivered monthly. Find our more at https://www.screencastsonline.com/membership_benefits