Living in the Cloud: Google Voice

    On a slight tangent, I just got accepted to beta test Google Voice. I definitely suggest putting your name on the invitation list. But how does this relate to living lightly?

    Google Voice is a tool for centralizing phone numbers and voicemail. I've already centralized my phone in one way: by using a cellphone, and not having a home phone, life is streamlined.

    But my voicemail and contact list has always been lacking. After all, I can only put so many contacts in my phone, and the list is not very user-friendly. I tend to forget about most voicemails, because they are inconvenient to check. Google Voice solves a lot of that.

    Google Voice gives one phone number which can be routed to any phone. You can switch between phones at will, without changing your number, or needing to inform anyone of these changes. The one phone number always routes to you, wherever you direct it.

    Better, Google Voice allows you to browse, organize, and listen to voicemails as if they were emails.

    So, yesterday, I switched my cellphone voicemail over to Google Voice, following these instructions. Now, if you call my number and get no answer, you will be routed to Google Voice to leave a message. I also set up to make phone calls from my computer, without a phone, using this guide.

    Which means I will probably be better at answering your messages. And I don't have to worry as much about losing my phone. And I can switch service providers when I want. And I can check my voicemail online.

    Which means I can go un-tethered more often.