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Christian Nimsky's Weblog

Ultimate Home Vociemail

Christian Nimsky

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Back when I traveled a lot I tried out this new service called SimulScribe because it represented a much better way to triage and return voicemail after landing at the airport, where it is difficult to write down voicemails you have received in-flight and return the calls as you catch a cab.  Now called PhoneTag (sorry guys, your new brand just doesn’t resonate with me so I’m going to refer to it as SimulScribe hereforward) the service takes voicemail and transcribes it as text which is sent to you as an email, along with the original attachment should you need to hear it yourself.  It is very accurate and as much a “life changer” as TiVo is for TV viewing. 

I was so enthusiastic that I got my wife an account of her own for her birthday and we are now happy users.  We wanted to apply the same functionality to our home phone to deal with the endless stream of soccer practice updates, voicemails from the kids’ school, playdate proposals from BFFs (best-friends-forever), etc.  but without paying for a third account.  We found a way to do so by capitalizing on one of SimulScribe’s most useful features.  Read on…

Solution: if you have one SimulScribe account and live by yourself, you can just set your home phone to “call-forward-no-answer” to your SimulScribe number.  Since we have two SimulScribe accounts and can’t forward a call to two places at once, we use a service that creates .wav files from incoming voicemail and forward our home phone to it (we use uReach but there are others including free options if I recall).  uReach then blasts that .wav files to both our SimulScribe accounts and we get the messages left at home along with our personal voicemail left on our cellphones.

The ability of SimulScribe to accept voicemail via inbound calls forwarded to a unique number or as .wav files is a key differentiator that multiplies the utility of the service.  When I was working at a company with a corporate phone system that sent voicemail as .wav files I was able to send that to my SimulScribe account as well, effectively getting voicemail from three phone numbers on my BlackBerry.  Perfect!

Reminiscent of Apple’s “PC Guy” ads, SimulScribe has done a couple of ads that take shots at Apple’s visual voicemail for the iPhone.  The video below is representative of some ads that SimulScribe has run…