Do you hate listening to voicemail?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

(Icon: palauboi)

Voicemail, you hate it right? “Hi Joe, this is so-in-so. I’d really like to talk with you about blah-blah-blah. I feel like this may be blah-blah-blah and we could do blah-blah-blah. I was wonder what you thought and would really like to hear your opinion. Could you please call me back at ###-###-#### so we can discuss this? By the way, I will be leaving early today so if I am not at my desk. Please call my cell phone. That number is ###-###-####. Thanks! We’ll talk with you soon.”People ramble. They say their phone number veryquicklyindeedinonebreath. They mumble. They use phones that seem to be located underwater. It’s all wasted time.” AAAGHH! That was 30 seconds of my life just stripped from me for a voicemail which could have otherwise been avoided. Here’s how…

A great feature on many mobile phones today will allow you to press a button when you receive a call to “ignore with text”. If you have this option, DO IT! Send the person a note telling them you will call them back and be sure to do so. Better yet have pre-defined “quick texts” ready to go letting the caller know you are “In a meeting. I will call you back,” “On a call. I will call you back” or whatever common statements fit your lifestyle. This will save you the time of having to listen to a lengthy voicemail they would have otherwise left.

A cool service now available for most mobile phones is “voicemail to text” which is a subscribe to service such as Jott or YouMail; both allow you to forward your calls to their service, they transcribe them and send you a text message of the content. This will also save you time of having to listen to voicemail and can be rather useful if you are in a meeting and unable to pick up your phone to listen to the message. However, the one draw back is that you loose the ability to gauge the tone of the caller for emotion and level of urgency.

The method I prefer is to let those, who call you frequently, know (i.e. friends, family, co-workers) there is no need to leave a voicemail unless they will not be available later. Inform them you will check the call log and return their call when you are available.

Let’s face it, voicemail consumes a lot of time you could otherwise put toward more productive functions – keep this in mind the next time you are leaving a message for someone. If you reach voicemail when you are placing a call either keep it short or send the person you are calling an actionable text message or email.


Use technology and predefined systems, with frequent callers, to eliminate excess voicemail.


Arthur, Charles. “Technobile.” The Guardian. Siobhain Butterworth. 22 June 2006.

04 September 2009 <>.

(See also: RingCentral & Google Voice mentioned in the Multitasking post.)

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  1. Monday, March 29, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Amazing. I never heard of this voice mail to text. I always have a ton of voice mails and love this idea of them being sent as texts.This way when i am in a meeting I can read the text and not disturb anyone.

  1. Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 9:47 PM

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