DyslexicProfessional.com - Dyslexia at work

The problem with voicemail!

Like many professionals I spend a lot of time in meetings, on the phone and traveling and as a result, I receive a lot of inbound phone calls that end up with the caller having to leave a message.  I’m very happy to be receiving phone calls rather than emails.

However, phone messages often including details that need writing down – numbers to back on, names, addresses, times of appointments etc.  That is a problem because I can listen and think… or write and think – but not all three at once!  So writing down a name or a phone number whilst listening to a message is near to impossible.  For the same reason, I rarely take notes in a meeting.  So in the case of phone messages, I have to listen to the message several times to get the details right and if I have 3 or 4 messages to “decant” after a couple of hours of being unavailable, that can take some time.

Worse, not all messaging systems let you scroll back a few seconds to listen to a snippet of the message again, so this usually means listening to the whole message over and over.

My solution to the voicemail problem

But I’ve found a solution!  It turns voice messages into text and sends them to my phone by text.

So how does it work?

It was complicated to setup but it works very well:

If my phone is engaged or doesn’t answer then it diverts to my Skype account and the message is then left with Skype.  That bit is fairly easy, all you have to do is tell the phone what number to divert calls to if you are unavailable.

Skype can offer a “proper” phone number, so I use that.  Skype also offers a voicemail service called “SpinVox” that converts messages to text and then sends it to my mobile as a text.  That way I can even see who is calling me in the middle of a meeting.  Equally, any phone numbers are usually display with a clickable hyperlink – so calling someone back becomes very easy.

The service is not perfect or inexpensive.  However, it has transformed my ability to respond to inbound voice messages – and my clients and colleagues definitely feel the benefit of that.

Another approach, for those lucky enough to have the option, would be to divert your mobile phone your PA.

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2 Comments

  1. 26 October 2012    

    I don’t remember not being able to read etiehr. I read *all the time* though – I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t read! What’s really amazing is when you see a 4-year-old just pick up a book and read – that’s what my daughter did. I have no idea how she did it, and after the struggle I had with my older daughter, I just kind of watched in wide-eyed amazement. No one really “taught” her. She’s 5 now and reads over my shoulder, and except for longer words does pretty well with it (I have to watch what I have up on here sometimes!)The human brain is a wondrous thing, isn’t it? And the later readers do catch up – my older daughter (7) went from not being able to read on entering 1st grade to reading chapter books independently half way through that year.

    • 21 November 2012    

      Yes you can. As long as you have email set up on the phone. And it downloads decritly. But I prefer to use the web base mail application to download the files. So if you use Yahoo, Google, or Hotmail, use the applications that are from the mobile Internet, not the mail app integrated into the phone. But truth be told, I’m not sure if Google or Hotmail does it because I use Yahoo. But I’m almost certain they work.Sorry I get off the topic down here/ / /And as much as I love the iPhone. It doesn’t download ANYTHING decritly from Safari (unless you jailbreak it, which I did XD), except for images. Everything is through App Store, Mobile iTunes, or iTunes on a computer, and it isn’t even free! Except for Apps and Podcasts. I’m not hating on the iPhone, I’m just pointing out the flaws.Hope this helps

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