My new clutter-free zone! Realizing the bulletin boards in my office were just another form of clutter (along with scads of jewelry-making materials), I took them down and made use of a treasure I bought last year: a vintage metal First Aid cabinet. I hung it on the wall and stashed my jewelry-making materials inside. Then I added two vintage brushes and a broom head to create a minimalist vignette. I enjoy it every time I look at it.
Let me start by saying our phones and voicemail are very personal, and everyone has his/her own way of managing them. That said, Google Voice has totally transformed the way I use my phones. I’m so pleased with the improvement I want to share it and offer ways it might help you. No, I'm not getting paid to proselytize. ;-)
One number for everything
First, you'll choose a new Google Voice number (and keep your existing numbers). Then, you can set up Google Voice to ring both your landline and your mobile phone. When someone calls your Google Voice number, both phones ring simultaneously. You choose which one you pick up. You can even answer the phone from your desktop computer when you’re logged into any Google service, such as Gmail or Google+, so Google Voice is especially convenient if you're already a big Google user.
I love having one phone number for all purposes, both personal and professional. Now people call just one number to reach me, and I choose to answer the phone most convenient for me. It’s super simple and easy.
Voicemail any way you like it
My biggest reason for switching to Google Voice (GV) was for its voicemail. I had a psychic block with that stutter-tone on my landline and never wanted to listen to messages. With GV, I’ve chosen to send all new voicemails to my email. I can see who the call is from and even get a transcription of the message. OK, I admit, the transcription can be comically mangled sometimes, but I can always get an idea of what the call is about, which I find very convenient.
I love voicemails in my email, because:
With GV, I text for free and don't need a paid mobile text plan. Also, I’ve set it up to send me texts in email (!), so I see texts arrive while sitting at my desk and type a response on a real keyboard. You can also see voicemails and texts with the GV widget in your browser.
You can use all or none of the features I’ve mentioned. You can customize it endlessly. Even if you don’t want to give everyone you know a new phone number for Google Voice, you can still benefit from some of these features. You can use the voicemail feature by simply forwarding all unanswered calls to the GV number. Your caller doesn’t know it’s happened, but you’ll get your voicemail through Google Voice. If you set up the landline and your mobile phone with this forwarding, all your voicemail will be in one place, which I love. Never worry about missing a message again.
For me, getting my voicemails and texts in email is very convenient. You can configure GV to do what works for you. Oh, and all this is FREE. What could be better?
Amy is an entrepreneur, and has been a successful designer and business owner since 1996. With an architect father and interior designer mother, she's been thinking about how to make a home work all her life. As a child, she loved organizing her closet and found designing her dollhouse more appealing than playing with dolls. She went on to graduate from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in industrial design. Due to the breadth of her design education, she’s able to assess a room as a whole and instinctively know how to make it work better. Evaluating the contents and functionality of a space is second nature to her.