Free to Low Cost Business and Communication Tools: Part 6: Google Voice

Not to be confused with Skype, the VoIP phone service (see Part 2: Skype), Google Voice has taken an innovative approach to voice communications by providing you with the ability to aggregate all your disparate phone numbers into one, easy to manage place. Just as an email alias allows you to forward email from one email address to another without the sender’s knowledge, Google Voice, with a Google phone number, allows you to manage all aspects of voice communications. The feature-rich application lets you:

Manage all your phones: a single number that rings them all, or those you select

Free SMS: send, receive & store text messages online

Block calls: send unwanted callers straight to voicemail

Record calls: record phone calls and store them online

Conference calls: join several people into a single call

Screen callers: hear who is calling before you pick up

If you don’t want a Google number but prefer to use your established number you won’t get the features mentioned above but you can still enjoy these features:

Google voicemail: voicemail that works just like email

Voicemail transcription: read what your voicemail says

Custom greetings: vary voicemail greetings by caller

International calling: low cost calls to the world

Notifications: read voicemail messages via email or SMS

Share voicemails: forward, embed, or download voicemails

There are many more features available with this robust and easy-to-manage suite of voice communication tools from Google.

It’s pretty cool.

Visit YouTube to watch short videos that demonstrate Google Voice features. Visit Google for a brief introduction to Google Voice. Before you can download Google Voice for mobile you have to have a Google Voice account already so you first must make a Google Voice invitation request.  Once you have been assigned your Google number you can sign into Google Voice using your Google Account (or gmail address and login, which, as you know, links you to all the Google apps and features you signed up for).

Have your people call my people :)