Google Voice is my new tool that I can now not live without. In fact, I have found it so helpful that I may replace my landline phone number posted on my website with my Google Voice phone number. This last trip, I found my Google Voice account to be an indispensable asset for any business traveler.
There is nothing worse than feeling tethered to your computer when you are a small business owner and there is no faster way to make your family mad at you when you are on vacation and you are stuck doing business on “their” special time. I found that Google Voice put me in the “driver’s seat” when it came to managing my phone calls while on travel.
In the Google Voice settings, I was able to set up groups for my business contacts and then set attributes on who would have immediate access to me by phone. Clients were asked to say their names on dialing, and then Google Voice phoned me and asked if I wanted to answer the call or have it send them directly to my voice mail.
With an additional setting I was able to have all my Google Voice messages transcribed and emailed to my mobile phone. This way I could decide who to call and when. Additionally, when I returned to my office I now had a full archive of all phone calls and transcribed messages. With one click I could listen to the actual phone call to figure out if the transcription was accurate with names. (The transcription was not perfect, but pretty good.)
If you are a business owner on the go, I would highly recommend Google Voice to you for your next trip. For now Google Voice is still by invitation only, but you can sign up to get access when it is opened up for public use from this link.
P.S. Google is not paying me for this post, I just feel they have a great new product and wanted to share it with you.