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The Benefits of Google Voice

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googlevoice.JPGWith Google Voice turning one year old and becoming available to U.S. residents, it’s time to highlight the benefits to workshifters.

1. Choose a Local Number or use your existing mobile number
At my company I have the ability to forward my office phone to another number. However, the call can’t be forwarded unless the number I’m forwarding to is in the same area code as my office. Nowadays, people aren’t choosing to have home phones, they’re using their mobile phone as their main contact number. And…why change your cell phone number if you relocate to that area code since almost all calling plans are national and don’t charge long distance fees. With Google Voice, you can pick a phone number in any desired area code or zip code and set that as the forwarding number, which will automatically ring any and all phones you choose.

2. Transcribed voicemail
When you’re in the plane, you can’t make and receive calls over airplane wifi, but you do get internet access. If you miss a call and the caller leaves a voicemail it will be transcribed and sent to you as an e-mail, SMS, or both.

3. Visual voicemail
Having visual voicemail is such a time saver. I can see who called, when, see the message as a transcription, archive it, and not have to dial in and listen to a string of messages. Get in, get the info, and get out!

4. Personalized voicemail greetings
This is one of the BEST options; personalized voicemail. All you gmail contacts and groups are accessible through Google Voice. You have options to create personalized voicemails for groups (family, work, friends) or for individuals. Changing the voicemail message is quick, easy, and instant; taking less than a minute. It’s especially useful if your work calls are forwarding to your Google Voice number because you can record the same greeting you have on your office phone and the caller/client won’t know the difference.

How do you use Google Voice?

Photo credit: Google

  • Jessica Eastman

    I just started using Google Voice a month ago, and I have to say, I’m not as impressed as I thought I would be, sadly. Sure, the features and benefits are awesome, definitely great and needed for workshifters….so Thomas, thanks for your comments; they’re right on. I just wish Google’s execution and reliability were more spot on. Ever since I set up my custom number, I’ve been getting random calls from people I don’t know (and you can tell that it is from the Google Voice number), and the transcripts are far off from what the person actually said. I think Google needs to beef up the quality and then I will be more likely to stick with it. But, it is in beta…so I’m sure it will get better :)

    Anyone else have the same problem?

    • Thomas Getchius


      Thanks for your comments. I do find that the transcription is tough to follow sometimes but I get the jist of the message and can tell whether or not that call needs to be immediately returned or put into my to do list. I’ve not experienced any random phone calls but if I did, I’d probably let them go to voicemail and then read the transcription or listen to the VM, if either were left.

      If it’s one thing I’ve learned from using Google applications; they’re getting better and better!

  • Sam1421

    Google voice seems great but I still don’t understand if it will allow me to record a voice message and send it via email (like I can in TrulyMail). Is Google voice only for transcription?

    • Thomas Getchius

      Hi Sam! I don’t think that’s an option, yet. I will make that suggestion to Google. Do you find that you’re sending recorded messages via e-mail over voicemail? As a client, I might see that as offensive and think you’re avoiding a synchronous conversation with me. However, that’s just my opinion.

      • Sam1421

        Hi Thomas, when I send voice messages via email it is mailing personal, not professional, communication.

  • thebooksupplier

    I set one up as a number that my students can use to contact me outside of school. Mostly it’s text messages saying, “I finished my book, can you bring me another.” or “I’m going to the bookstore, what should I get?” This semester, they’re going to use that number to text (or leave a voice mail) with the answer to their homework question for the week. I’m excited to see how this different approach to homework turns out.

    • Tom Getchius

      What a great and innovative idea towards homework and participation outside of the classroom!

      As a teacher, have you turned to Google Forms to administer tests or short quizzes? If I were teaching, I’d see this as a real benefit to enter my questions on the form, let the students know when the test will be available (so no cheating) and have them take it online. You could then run a macro to identify correct/incorrect answers and have all the scoring computed.

      Just another thought!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kuan.yinwan Kuan Yin-wan

    Google voice has changed my perspective on truly how smart the
    programmers at Google are, this application delivers everything it
    promises plus more. The ease-of-use as well as the simplicity of the
    concept of one phone number to track you down wherever you are each
    truly amazing.

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