What’s my number? Which one? What time of day? Weekend or weekday? Hmmm I don’t really know you, so I prefer not to give you my cellphone number. Don’t you wish that you only had one number that would do everything for you?
Well you can, it is called Google Voice. It has been around for about four years and before then it was known as GrandCentral. Anyway, enough of the history lesson and on to the good stuff…
1. One Number that does it all! One phone number that rings all of your other numbers such as your home, work, and cellphone.
2. No I will not answer your call at 2:30am! You can set “do not disturb”. No unwanted phone calls in the middle of the night or when you are busy building that next million dollar presentation.
3. Caller ID. Yes, we all want to see who is calling us before we answer! This neat little service will allow you to display the caller’s number. Oh you are going to block your number are you? Then WHAM! See my next point…
4. Call screening. You can turn on the setting to ask unknown callers to say their name. Doesn’t matter if they block their number, if they don’t give you a valid name you can DENY them. Ha! Ha! So take that you telemarketer.
5. I want to keep this vmail forever! This nice little service records vmails as an .MP3. Keeps a record of all vmails and you can easily share via email.
6. Ever wish that you had a copy of that text message from three cellphones ago? Do you need to keep meticulous records and not rely on the NSA to do it for you? Well here you go, a record of everything… copy of text messages, copy of vmails, a call log with time of call and duration of calls.
7. Google makes switching to a new cellphone easy especially if you have an android device. You can sync your contacts, keep a copy of all Google vmails, a copy of all your Google voice texts, and sync all photos to you Google account. So just reset phone buy new one and sync your Google account and it is all back! Simple as that. Too bad it can’t simplify Best Buy’s process.
8. Want to go work from Florida or Hawaii for the winter? No problem, you can take your Google number with you. Oh yes, it really is freezing here in Ohio this looong winter Mr. Boss! Don’t you feel sorry for me?
9. Great service when your cellphone service isn’t so great. Since Google Voice is fully integrated with Google SMS you can send and receive texts directly from your computer. You can also set up calls to go to Google chat. This will allow you to answer your calls via your computer.
10. Of course I leave the best for last; Google Voice is a FREE service. YES! All you need is a Gmail account, which is also FREE!
A couple of side notes:
Tip 1: I recommend that you use your personal Google account not one provided by your employer, as that email domain stays with your employer. Therefore, if you sign up for Google Voice with an employer owned domain you will have to leave it behind.
Tip 2: For those of you who are super freaky about your privacy, this is probably not a service for you. But as we all know for certain now, neither is the internet, cellphone service, nor a plain old land-line. But then again, they never truly were private you just thought they were.