Some of you who know me well may be surprise to see a universal phone number on my list of favorite things, seeing that I don’t like to answer the phone. But that’s not really the issue for me. With the phone, I feel that I lose the ability to manage how and when I receive, process and act on information. Email is my friend, and a universal phone number (with voicemail) is it’s kissing cousin.
What GrandCentral does is quite simple: you create an account and they give you a phone number in the US geography you choose. You can personalize the voicemail greeting, block/screen callers, even forward the calls to different numbers based on who they come from (family goes to the home phone versus work colleagues to your mobile). It’s a great way to lower the cost of loved ones calling you from out of State too – just assign your number to their area code and they can call you with a local number!
You may notice that I have a web button on my blog too. Your number stays private while the WebCall button takes care of connecting the call to you after getting the caller’s number. Go ahead, give it a try (I set mine up to automatically go to voicemail).
Last year, they were bought by Google, which is ok. You may have seen Google’s recent announcement that they were providing phone numbers to all of the homeless in San Francisco, which was a silly non-event since they’ve always had that ability. Still, any press is good press right?
Anyways, this is a great service and another of My Favorite Things!