For most of the time I’ve had a Google Voice number, I didn’t really know what to use it for. Friends and family already have my cell phone number, and having to ask everyone to change is just too much of a PITA. So I kind of just used it as an alternate (for selling on Craigslist, online ordering, etc).
My wife and I rarely use our home phone number for anything anymore. Therefore we didn’t realize that the phone was dead for more than a couple days a few weeks ago. It’s a VOIP phone, and the router needed to be reset. Hmmmm. Could we have missed any important calls during the outage?
Looking into it further, my VOIP provider (T-Mobile at Home) lets you set a forwarding number in case the phone signal can’t be reached. After some further research, you can also set it to forward to a number if no one picks up. Sooooo. I set the forwarding numbers to my Google Voice number, and then turned off that dinosaur we call an answering machine.
During the day, when we’re at work, I put Google Voice on do not disturb. That way the forward automatically goes into voice mail instead of ringing my cell phone.
So for any odd calls we get during the day, that usually used to end up sitting unnoticed on our answering machine, I get an e-mail transcript. I can e-mail the transcript to my wife if it’s for her, or deal with it if it’s for me. And manage the messages on my phone or from any computer.
Just some extra productivity dealing with missed calls to the home phone.
It’s also nice if we’re out to see who’s trying to reach us at home.
I’m debating switching my cell phone’s voice mail system over to Google Voice too. Although never perfect, I love the transcription. I rarely have to ever listen to the voice mails. I get the gist from the writing.