Sunday, July 31, 2011

Manage Your Phone Calls with Google Voice

I was talking to a friend this weekend, and she mentioned that she had purchased a cheap cell phone and some prepaid minutes because she's trying to sell something and didn't want to give out her 'real' phone number.  Not a bad idea really, and I think those cheap no contract phones can be a good thing, as you can tell from the previous couple posts.  But now she doesn't need the phone any more, but she bought minutes that need to be used or they'll expire - therefore not really being a good deal at all.

I mentioned that she should have (could have?) just signed up for Google Voice and given that number out instead.  The calls could have come into her regular phone, because Google Voice lets you forward calls to any or all of your regular phones.  Just link them with your Google Voice number and decide which phones should ring when a call comes in to your Google Voice number.  And, of course, these settings can be changed at any time.

Of course, Google Voice has all kinds other features like voicemail, text messaging, call screening, call blocking, caller ID, the ability to record custom greetings for different callers or groups of callers, and even the ability to embed a widget in a web page so all callers have to do is click to call you.  For free.  And that's just the beginning, really.  Google Voice offers so much more than I've even begun to mention.

So maybe I was wrong.  She shouldn't have gotten a Google Voice number to give out instead of her 'real' number.  She should get a Google Voice number and start using it for everything.  And me?  I've had a Google Voice number for a couple years - and I really, really need to start using it!

Any big Google Voice users out there?  What do you think?  How do you use it?