Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Google Voice, the best thing since sliced bread

I have a problem checking my voice mail. Any of you who are close to me and call me often know that I may go weeks, possibly even months, before I check my messages. It sucked when Tanis called to tell me that her baby was going to be a boy and I had to skip through listen to 10 messages before I got to hers. (and Logan is now 15 months old, so this has been a bad habit for a LONG time!). With voicemail you have to be equipped with a pen to write down the caller's return phone number or the information they give you that's important, it's just annoying and I'd rather avoid it altogether. I just think it's easier to call someone back rather than listen to their message, especially if it's a friend or my parents, because I'm gonna want to probably talk to them anyway. And now that everybody texts, heck, even my parents know how to text, if somebody wants to give me information right away, that's the best way to do it!! Wait a minute...what if there was a way we could merge texting and voicemail so I didn't have to listen to those voicemails anymore? But there is.

Introducing Google Voice.

Google Voice does a lot of really fun and amazing things, but most importantly, it'll take my voicemails and transcribe them so that I can READ them as well as listen to them (without calling my voicemail box) All day I've been letting my phone calls go to voicemail just so I can try it out! And it works pretty well, it doesn't always transcribe exactly what people are saying, for example, Sadie's name came out "C D," but it always gets the caller's number, so instead of finding a pen to write it down while I'm listening, it's right there for me, no problem.

Google Voice also lets you route all your phones (like if you have an office and a cell and a home phone) to one voice mail and you can get all your messages in your email or as texts on your phone. You can also personalize voicemail greeting to certain people in your contact list, or group your contacts so that a certain greeting goes to friends and a different greeting goes to business calls, etc. Another thing you can do is call internationally and it charges your credit card via the website. So you may not have an international calling plan, but your husband is deployed to Afghanistan, you can use Google Voice to talk to him. But by far the coolest thing (in my opinion of course) is the widget. You can add a widget to your website (or blog in this case) and people can leave you a message on your voicemail. Of course, I need to try this out, so readers, here is what you need to do...

Have your cell phone nearby, click on the widget above for Google Voice and a little box will pop up asking for your name and phone number. Type in the information (click the "keep number private" if you don't want me to see your phone number) and hit connect. Your phone will ring and when you answer it'll connect you directly to my voicemail box I've set up especially for this post.

Now, if you're like me and leaving messages is hard because you don't know what to say (or you have to rehearse it first, like me, so you don't sound like an idiot), I will tell you exactly what to say..I need teething advice. We're upon our first teething milestone, and it SUUUUUUCKS. Sadie is fussy (more so than normal), she won't sleep (at night even!), and 3 or 4 times a day she will scream her head off and be inconsolable (until we give her those Hyland's teething tablets, those are like manna from Heaven). I know this could go on for weeks (or months) so I need lots of good remedies to choose from when one stops working. I am really hoping we don't run into GIANT difficulties with 1. her low threshold for sensory input and not being able to calm herself down, and 2. her aversion to having anything but my boob in her mouth. Oh, and we're not giving her whiskey!

So leave me a Google Voice-mail and tell me what worked for you when your babies were teething, just say hi, or sing me a little song if you want to! I look forward to hearing from you.

PS. I disabled the comments so you HAVE to call to give me advice!! And don't cheat and send me a message on facebook!!

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