Google Voice - Don't Leave Home Without It!
Today I had several appointments - one right after another. I left my house this morning on my way to the first appointment--I was halfway there when I realized I had forgotten my phone at home. Drat! I have two cellphones - my Tilt2 and the older phone I was using before the LosetheLaptop.com contest. Luckily, I had my Tilt2 with me but I left my other phone at home which had the details and the phone number of the person I was going to meet with.
Hmmmm, I wondered, how am I going to manage this one. If neither one of us were late to the meeting or got lost on the way there, forgetting my phone wouldn't be a problem. But reality ranch is, the day I forget my phone would be the day I needed it the most.
Fortunately, two weeks ago I received an invitation (after signing up for it 3 months before) from Google Voice to activate an account. I remember how excited I was to finally be able to check it out. Google Voice is a great free service that acts as your voice-mail system and transcribes every message you receive into text and sends the message to you via e-mail and/or text. It's like having your own personal transcription service! The transcription is not perfect - but you get the gist of what the caller was saying. You can also record personalized messages for specific callers who call you. Pretty slick! Google Voice can be attached to any phone number.
However, to take full advantage of the Google Voice features, I recommend you sign up for Google Voice with a Google number. I chose this option. You can create a new phone number within your area code or any other area code across America. What I liked about this process is that you can choose a customized vanity number. For example, I chose a phone number that ends in CNCT which works well with WellConnectedMom.com and theWellConnectedHome.com.
Even better, if you choose the Google number option, you can hook up all of your phones to Google Voice so that no matter which phone number a caller uses, all of your phones will ring. I have my home phone and my two cellphones hooked up to Google voice. So, any voicemail I receive is transcribed and texted to my both my cellphones and my e-mail account. To learn more about the two versions of Google Voice and many other great features, watch these Google Voice features videos.
So, getting back to my day. Guess what happened? The person I was meeting with was running late and he tried to call me using the Google Voice number I had given him. I, unfortunately, was in a relatively new area of town with limited cellphone coverage, so I did not receive his call. But thanks to my Tilt2 with data coverage and Google Voice, I received a text message with his message and phone number transcribed. I walked out of the building I was in and gave him a call to let him know I would wait for him. Phew! My reputation was saved - I could still live up to my name as The Well Connected Mom, despite leaving my cellphone at home!
I have great news for you! Google Voice just opened to the public - so you no longer need to receive an invitation to join! Visit Google Voice soon to snatch up your vanity Google phone number and become "well connected" today!
Lori writes about making technology simple for busy moms and can be found at WellConnectedMom.com. She also writes about technology for the home at theWellConnectedHome.com. Follow Lori on Twitter @wellconnectdmom and @wellconnctdhome. Please vote for Lori for your own chance for $5,000! The more votes you give this month, the better your chances of winning! Good luck!
July 12, 2:41