I’ve been using Google Voice for about one year. It has become an essential tool that I depend on to keep me connected and make it easy for me to connect with others. Here are the features that I’ve found the most beneficial:
1. One phone number. I no longer have to give out multiple numbers. My Google Voice number rings whatever phones I want it to and when I want them to ring.
2. One shared contact database. All of my contacts are already in Gmail. Google Voice shares that contact database, so I only have to update, add, or delete a contact one place.
3. Archive capability. I can archive all my phone, text messages, and voice mail just like I can in Gmail.
4. Voice transcription. When someone leaves me a voicemail, it transcribes it into an e-mail or text message. I’ll admit that it isn’t perfect. Generally, I can tell what the person is needing. And here is the cool part…I can respond with a text message. Since I can access Google Voice from the Web, I can do all of this while on the phone.
5. Call announcement. When I answer, it tells me who is on the other line. I get to choose to answer or send to voice mail. If I send to voice mail, I can hang up or listen in. Should it be something that I need to respond to, I just press a certain button and I’m on the call…without having to call them back.
6. Custom greeting. I can define a unique voice mail message by caller or by group.
7. Conference calling on the fly. For those of us who travel…do I really need to explain the benefit of this feature?
8. Call recording. Invariably, I get into a conversation while driving and think to myself that I’m going to need to remember this conversation and detail later. So, I press a certain button and record the call. (No worries. Everyone on the call hears a voice say “call recording.” There are no surprises.) Then, it creates a file and keeps it in my Google Voice account for later use.
9. Manage via mobile application or directly on Web. I can initiate calls or manage my account whether I have my laptop or not.
10. Change phones without disrupting the call. If I’m on the phone at the office, I can press a certain button and ring my cell phone without the caller knowing I’ve changed phones. Then I can leave and start driving to my next appointment while I finish the call.
11. FREE! Yep. That’s right. Google Voice doesn’t cost a dime. Pretty amazing, huh?
Check it out. I think you’ll find it helpful too.