This week I have a new favorite tool and of course it is with the webs biggest player, Google. If you use gmail, you may have noticed that when you open an email the contact information for the sender will appear on the right of your screen. Also there are some icons on ways to contact that person. The one I have started using this week is the phone icon which is known as Google Voice.
It is really cool to be able to read an email from someone and just hit the phone icon to dial them up and talk with them via your computer. All you need is to have speakers and a mic, both of which are usually built in on the new laptops and some desktops. If you are familiar with Skype it is very similar in that the national calls are free and you can also buy credit for international calls as well. There is also video calling available as well.
I have found that I will be prompted to make that phone call that I might be putting off because my phone is not handy or I will make the call because I can view my desktop easily and discuss with the person the email or document that I want to refer to. Also, its helps on saving me money with my mobile phone by not using up my minutes. All your calls are documented in a history and can be transcribed as well. The set up for this is very similar to your email inbox.
I know the majority of assistants use Outlook but if you are into the Google thing this is awesome.This is one of those little things that make my work life a little more streamlined and fun. I hope you check it out and comment on your experience here. Have fun!