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Calling with Google Voice

I know this is a site about prepaid cell phones, but every once in a while I come across something that is sort of related to prepaid cell phones (and not really), but I’d like to share.

This time it’s Google Voice. The Big “G” has come out with a really neat way to keep connected (actually has been around for about a year or so, but I just came across it the other day). The best thing about this way of keeping connected is that it’s free.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a way to talk. You can talk via the internet with video calls or you can speak computer to landline or computer to cell phone or you connect all of your telephone communication devices so that by calling one number, all of your phones ring. Does it get any better than that?

With the kids recently returning to school, every parent or guardian has to complete the emergency contact form. Many years ago the form consisted of three lines for contact information numbers as follows:

  1. home number
  2. work number
  3. mailing addressApplication

Contact information sure has changed over the years. Now the forms have a few more lines:

  1. work number
  2. home number
  3. cell number
  4. email address
  5. mailing address

The very same information has to be repeated for the Mom, Dad and in some cases the student. Therefore, completing the school contact form is almost like attending a closing for buying a home. You spend most of the night filling out the form.

Enter Google Voice

With Google Voice, you can coordinate your phones so that the school only has to call one phone number (and you only have to enter one phone number) and all associated phones will ring.

Signing up for Google Voice

If you have a Gmail account, you already have the Google Voice feature listed in your account. If you don’t have a Gmail account, go to the Google Voice  page and sign up. It’s free and easy to do.

Adding Phones to Google Voice

When you first sign in you must select a phone number for your Google Voice account. After you’ve selected a phone number, it’s time to play around with the features and add your phone numbers. You can add landlines, cell phone numbers (which include prepaid), Magic Jack phone number or any other phone number where you’d like to be reached.

This is not a step-by-step tutorial for Google Voice. Google does a great job explaining how it works. Check out their instructional videos.

Google Voice Words of CautionBatphone

Be careful handing out your Google Voice phone number. If your number gets into the wrong hands, you’ll never be able to hide. Hand it out sparingly, similar to Batman and the Batphone. Only Commissioner Gordon had access to the Batphone. This number should only be handed out to folks you truly want to reach you at any time.

About the author: LaForey is a parent and a freelance writer who has done quite a bit of research on prepaid cell phones.