The Electric Educator: 10 Google Voice Tricks That Will Rock Your Phone!

Monday, December 27, 2010

10 Google Voice Tricks That Will Rock Your Phone!

Phones are remnants of the analog world. Google Voice adds your phone into the cloud! If you aren't currently using  Google Voice, I would recommend my my previous post for a basic overview of the service. If are a user, here are 10 tips to rock your phone! If you have other creative ways that you have used Google Voice, please leave a comment!
  1. Call from Gmail. Connect your Google Chat account to Google Voice. You will be able to send and receive calls and SMS messages from within Gmail. To do so, login to Google Voice, click "settings" and check the box labeled as "Google Chat"
  2. Block Annoying People. Someone calling that you would prefer not to talk to? Log in to your account, find their latest call, select the "more" pull down and click "block caller". From this point forward, whenever this number calls, they will receive a "number disconnected" message. Brilliant!
  3. Reach Out with Voice! Create a custom calling widget such as the one below. Don't be shy, click and try it out! When you type in your phone number Google will call your phone and connect you to me. Your call will be automatically sent to my voice mail. Note that I have recorded a special message that only those who use this widget to call me will hear. 
    **Update: It appears that there are some browser compatibility issues with the call widget. I have been unable to view the widget when viewing my blog through Firefox. Chrome, Safari, and Explorer seem to work without issue.***
    4. Screen your calls. Remember old-school answering machines? My family used to listen to the message before we picked up the call. You can do the same thing! When a call comes in when I am within Gmail I can click "screen" to listen to the message being left for me. If I want, I can pick up the call.
    5. Custom Greeting. Google Voice integrates with your Gmail address book. Groups that you create in Gmail are populated into your Google Voice address book. You can then easily create filters to, say always send calls from the office to voice mail after 5pm or set calls from your immediate family to ring all of your phones simultaneously. 
    6. Free Calls! If you have a calling plan that includes "family circle" or "my fav's" in which you can specify frequently dialed numbers which are free to call, you can get unlimited calling for free. Simply set your Google Voice number as one of your free numbers and dial from within your Gmail account, Google voice account, or by using the Google Voice iphone app. Your service provider will only see your Google voice number, not the number of the person who you are trying to call, giving you unlimited free minutes.
    7. Personal Transcriptionist. On the road? Need to compose an email? Use Google Voice as your personal transcriptionist.  Call yourself and start talking. Your voice mail message will be transcribed an emailed to you. Copy and paste the text, correct the errors in the transcription, and you're done!
    8. Podcaster! Use Google Voice to create audio podcasts. Simply call yourself and leave a voice mail message. Later, log in to your account, find the message, click "more" and then "download message." An mp3 file will be created that you can then add to iTunes or any other podcasting service. Keep in mind that the recording will be dependent upon the clarity of the call connection and the quality of your cell phone. I would recommend using a headset when recording calls. 
    9. Don't Forget! Add notes to a voice mail indicating follow up tasks, reminders, etc. This would be a great feature for anyone in sales who makes a lot of phone calls. Keep track of when you called, who you talked to and what you promised.
    10. Never miss a call! A lot of your friends/family already have your mobile or work numbers. If you don't pick up when they call one of your personal lines, you can tell Google Voice to forward the call to all of your other phones. For example, your mom calls your cell phone which you left at home. When you don't answer it first rings your office phone before sending mom to your voice mail. To enable this feature login to your Google Voice account and go to setting --> phones --> select "edit" on the number you wish to enable this feature for --> "show advanced settings" --> "forwarding options" (at the very bottom). 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the ideas! I love google voice and now it seems that I have even more reasons to love it. I really like #9. I am getting old and forgetful!


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