In the old days (2–3 years ago), we had a landline for our non-profit, and all too often I found myself writing down notes about a voicemail or a phone conversation in a notebook. The obvious downside to that is that those notebooks aren’t searchable (that is, not without significant effort to digitize them). This wasn’t a good long-term plan in my estimation, so I set out to find a better way to do this. And I did.
We swtiched our phone from a landline to a VoIP service—Line2,to be precise—and I started using Evernote to keep up with messages and conversations. I’d started using Evernote to take notes during phone calls even before we moved away from a landline, but my use of it for this really took off once we started using VoIP. One of the best features of Line2 (and one that I assume is also true of other VoIP providers) is that whenever a voicemail is left, an mp3 copy of the message is automatically e-mailed to you. So I set up a simple rule that automatically forwards those voicemail notification e-mails to my Evernote account. That does three things:
- It gives me an archive of the voicemail itself, in case I ever have to go back to it. It’s rare that I have to replay a voicemail, but it has happened.
- It gives me an easy place to take notes on my conversation with that person. It also means that if I call someone back and have to leave them a voicemail, I can record that all in the same place.
- It makes all of this easily searchable, as Evernote has excellent search capabilities.
This has worked exceptionally well for me over the past couple of years. Having all of these voicemails in Evernote has made me almost fully reliable when it comes to calling someone back, and it has also saved us a considerable amount of money. Our phone bill is now significantly less than it was before making this change. I call that a win-win.