Time Management Ideas – a Financial Planning side line

The article below suggests time management tips for use of voice mail. (This leaves us all more time for investment, financial and other planning work.)

Of course, you can always e-mail, text or just hope for a live conversation!

Let me know what you think…..


Stop Wasting Time on Voicemail

1:43 PM Friday November 20, 2009

Tags:Time management

Every time you make or receive a phone call that involves leaving or listening to a message, you’re wasting time. You can’t write as fast as people speak, so transcribing phone numbers, addresses, and other information from a voicemail message is tedious. When you have to leave a voicemail for someone, you’re forced to listen to Robotic Voice-Mail Woman trod through the instructions on how to wait for the tone before you can start.

There are two ways to cut this unnecessary voicemail overhead out of your day:

1. Get your voicemail messages transcribed automatically and emailed to you. Instead of calling your voicemail and having to listen to messages directly, you can receive text transcripts via email on your smartphone or desktop. Several online services can store, convert, and email you voice-to-text transcriptions of your voicemail messages. I use the free (but invitation-only right now) Google Voice service to do just that. In addition to a host of other features, you can forward your existing cell phone’s voicemail messages to Google Voice. Google stores them, transcribes them, and can email you both the playable audio file and the text transcription. Google Voice’s transcriptions are far from perfect; in fact, most times they’re laughably inaccurate. (There’s even a blog dedicated to bad transcriptions, entitled “GV Screwups.”). However, the transcripts are good enough for you to get the gist of the message without dealing with time-consuming playback.

If you don’t have an invitation to Google Voice, several other pay-for services offer voicemail transcription services, like Jott Voicemail, YouMail, CallWave, and MessageSling. Almost all of these services are built to work with mobile phones, and whether or not they work may depend on whether your carrier allows call-forwarding.

2. Bypass unnecessary voicemail instructions with One-Star-Pound. Every time you need to leave someone a message on their mobile phone, you have to sit through this time-wasting, robotic script: “To page this person, press five now. At the tone, please record your message. When you are finished, you may hang up, or press one for more options.” You can skip through this drawn-out greeting and get straight to the beep, but the key to do so varies depending on the carrier. Blogger Jeremy Toemon came up with a three-key combo that works on major U.S. mobile phone carriers. Toemon explains the three steps and why they work:

Step One: Push 1. If your friend is on Sprint (or possibly Verizon, but not always), this skips the greeting and you are done; leave a message. If you hear a message that says “One is not a valid option” skip to Step Three below, otherwise continue to Step Two.

Step Two: Push *. If your friend is on Verizon, you’ll hear the beep and can leave your message.

Step Three: Push #. This works for both AT&T and T-Mobile subscribers, and you’re all set to go.

One-Star-Pound: Train your fingers now and never listen to “at the tone, please record your message” again.

How do you cut down time spent dealing with voicemail? Let us know in the comments.

Let us know if you have questions or comments. Thanks,