I signed up for a Google Voice invite a couple of months ago and received my invitation after waiting 2-3 weeks. Google Voice is pretty awesome, in theory – like LOR, it’s “one number to rule them all.” You give out one phone number and then pick which phones you want it to ring – office, mobile, home, etc… They also allow you to choose your new number. So, after spending 3-4 hours (literally) choosing my number, I was ready to rock.
But…I don’t want to change my phone number.
The one flaw in Google Voice is that you can’t yet port a number in. So, if you’re like me and have had your current mobile number for 7+ years, you probably don’t want to go through the hassle of telling everyone that it’s changed. If you do go through the hassle of telling everyone it’s changed, then you’re going to have 2+ voice mailboxes to check until the late adapters finally remember to call your new number.
I started looking around online and found a way to “test drive” Google Voice until they allow me to port in my mobile number. If you’d like to use GV for voicemail, then take the following steps (thanks to Nokia blog for the info):
- Start off by going to your Google Voice settings, change to “display my Google Voice number,” and check “Do not Disturb.”
- Go to your phone settings (this will be a little different for everyone) and change “if busy, unanswered, and not available” to forward to your Google Voice number.
- Since your GV settings are “do not disturb” GV will automatically pick up as soon as the call is forwarded.
So what does this do for you? Basically, you get the pay features of Youmail.com for free. Since you’re now using Google, storage won’t be an issue. Also, GV has free transcription. So, if you’re using a smart phone, you can preview someone’s message to you via email before listening to it on your computer, phone, or android app. This is very handy if you’re out with clients, can’t take a call, but want to see if it’s important.