How the new Google Voice helps me juggle my start-up and my day job

Chadd Bennett

As an entrepreneur who still has a day job, I lead multiple lives. In the early morning, I talk to my razor suppliers and partners in Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S. Then, I head to my regular job -- but that doesn't mean my business shuts down.

Thank goodness for Google Voice. Launched earlier this year, Google Voice retains all the basic functions of GrandCentral, which Google acquired in 2007. Calls to a single number are routed to my cell, Skype number, home, and office. I can screen my calls and even voyeuristically listen to messages as they are being left, which is great when I get a RetroRazor—related call in the middle of the day. I can also have calls recorded, a huge help when I'm driving and can't take notes. Google has added some fantastic new features, too. I can make cheap international calls from my cell phone. And I can look up numbers for free with Goog411.

There are a couple of drawbacks, notably the new transcription service, which leaves much to be desired. I once received the following transcription: "hey israel cry bye." (My wife actually said, "Hey, babe, call me. Bye.") Overall, however, this service has become an essential tool for managing my job, my company, and my life. Thank you, GrandCentral; welcome, Google Voice.

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