Tag Archives: voice

Google Voice – Create Separate Voicemails for Contacts and Strangers

One of the other features availiable with Google Voice is the ability to create different voicemail messages for different groups of contacts and completely different messages for strangers who call. This was very useful recently when I was interviewing I had set my default voicemail to be a formal message so that it sounds professional for when I am contacted by an employer, and yet when my friends or family call they still hear my normal, short “Hey it Ben leave a message.”

You will first want to set up Google Voice as your primary voicemail which I have previously discussed.

Assuming all of your contacts are already in Google Contacts, which is very simple to do with an Android phone or a Blackberry using Google Sync, they just have to be placed into groups. By going to the Google Contacts page either through Gmail or GV, you need to assign all of the contacts to specific groups (eg. friends, family, etc.). You will be able to specify one voicemail message for each group, so divide them up accordingly.

Now we just need to modify some GV settings.  Go to voice.google.com and go to Settings > Voice Settings on the top right. On the ‘Voicemail & Text’ tab you want to record some greetings (at least one for the public and one for your grouped contacts, but you can choose to record as many as you want).  On this drop down list, set the default voicemail greeting, that is what non-contacts (strangers) will hear when they call you.

On the ‘Groups’ tab you can ‘Edit’ each group and choose which voicemail message those group members will hear.

Use Google Voice as your primary Voicemail

Google Voice has some great features available including the ability to use a single phone number by ringing multiple phones, call screening, recording, and more, but if you don’t want to switch to a GV number or port over your existing phone number, you can still reap the benefits that GV offers in the area of voicemail.

These benefits include the ability to access your voicemail from the internet, have your voicemails transcribed into text and emailed and/or sms’ed to you, and keep a record of your messages.

This is actually a very simple process.

All you need to do is login to Google Voice and access the Settings in the upper right hand corner. If you have not already added a phone, you can do so here.

Once this is done you will see a link next to your phone saying “activate Google voicemail on this phone.” Click that link and it will tell you to call a specific number from the phone beginning with a “*”.

Just repeat this process for every phone that you would like to use the GV voicemail for. The process to deactivate this is just as simple. You will see a button in the same location with a number to dial to disable this service.