Tag Archives: Google Voice

Moving to mySMS, sorry Google Voice

mysmsOne of the hardest things for me to deal with since I made the decision to diversify my online tool bag is what to do about Google Voice. The service is extremely useful and I definitely like everything the tool has to offer but it really feels like there’s just too much riding on this one tool. My biggest issue is that if you don’t have a data connection you can’t make a call – yes, I still make a phone call with my phone believe it or not.

So, after much consideration I decided to split the difference and move my texting away from Google Voice and move the family and close friends back to my direct phone number. I still have Google Voice for my non-family contacts and still use the service for voice mail. Remember this exercise isn’t about leaving Google, just diversifying the tool box.

The one thing I really liked about Google Voice for texting is that I could keep and archive of my text messages. I’ve frequently have had to look back to find a piece of information like an account number or a phone number I needed to call. I didn’t want to loose that functionality and after looking at the different options I settled on mySMS.

The service has been working without issue for me for almost three months now. Like Google Voice instead of selecting the native texting app on my Razr I select the mySMS app and text away and the system either uses the mySMS system, if the recipient uses it or, as the case so far, my providers network (not an issue given my unlimited texting package). It’s seamless to me and the best part is that I have it set up to archive my text messages to my Evernote account so I have them available to me no matter where I am and they are fully searchable.

I also have to mention that there is a web interface so, like when I used Google Voice, I can have a window up on my screen and be sending and receiving messages without the need to pull my phone out. A handy option when you’re sitting in meetings most of the day!

At this point I’ve shifted my browser, my primary search engine, and now my texting tool, not all have been without growing pains but I have to admit it does feel nice to not have everything tied to the same provider. I’m not sure what else I’m going to move away from Google, if anything, but I’m definitely going to keep my mind open to other tools.

Do you use Google Voice or mySMS for text messaging? What about voice mail? Why not sound off in the comments below?

Thanks Sandy, I’m Diversifying Now

Did you ever have one of those moments when you realized that you’ve been sitting in the same place for so long that you stopped caring about moving?

I had one of those moments a few weeks ago when I was sitting in the dark after Superstorm Sandy took out our power. It wasn’t the power outage itself that caused this sudden realization, it was when I went to call the power company and add us to the growing list of houses without power and my data network connection was out.

That’s right the little 4G icon was not there, not even a 3G, and without it my initial call didn’t go through as I couldn’t access the Google Voice system.

That’s when it struck me, not only had I become reliant on Google Voice, but a quick rundown in my head revealed that I am using pretty much just Google products and almost nothing else. The thought process didn’t stop there though, I also realized just how much I’m dependent on that data connection and the need for it to power what I do with my phone.

I have always prided myself on exploring software, figuring out problems and being willing to not “run with the crowd,” and what I began to realize is that I had become the very thing I had been trying to avoid from the word go.

So, where to begin? How about with the immediate need? As soon as I was able to get some kind of data connection up and running I did a quick search and got Twitter updates from the power company to start showing up as SMS messages – no more data connection dependency. It’s a great option and I’m now using it to follow selected brands and individuals, instead of bringing up a Twitter client I just wait for the SMS – it feels more efficient this way and I know I’m not going to miss something.

That was an easy one, the more difficult and potential painful part then started and is still going – moving beyond the Google-sphere I’ve grown accustom to and diversifying my tools and applications.

This isn’t a quest to remove all of Google from my life, it’s about picking a tool that will do the job well enough that I don’t have to use something from Google. Will I still use Google products? Yes. Will I be all in with Google going forward? No, that’s the challenge and the goal.

First up, my browser. I’ve been a Chrome user almost since the day it hit the Internet but if I’m going to break my Google dependency I feel I should start at the core. I’ve been experimenting and trying things out and will post about my choice in the coming days.

So, do you spread yourself around or are you ‘all in’ with just one company? Have you kicked the Google habit entirely? I’d be interested in what you’re using and how you did it.

What I’ve been reading, April 10th, 2010 edition

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading, why not share a link in the posts to something you’ve read.

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What Ive been reading – February 27, 2010 edition

If you follow me on twitter youve no doubt caught a few of my tweets over the last few days as my family dealt with the storm and power outage here in New Hampshire.

While all is fine it did cut into my reading time but there were still a few postings I thought I would share – enjoy.

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What I’ve been reading – February 20, 2010 edition

It’s a tad late on Saturday evening but it’s when I finally got a chance to sit down at the laptop and put out my usual posts for the day – really need to start scheduling this.

So here’s what I’ve been reading – what have you come across?

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