6 email accounts; one fax line; three voicemail accounts; five phone numbers, two computers and an iPhone–OK, my world might be a little more complex than average. But I bet nearly everyone struggles with messages (voicemail, email and fax) winding up in many places, forcing a frequent ritual of checking all these locations to ensure that important messages aren’t left languishing.
Or in my case, some of those locations were infrequently checked–and that’s not good!
But now, everything goes to the same spot. Yeah! Here’s what I did.
Step One: Consolidate email addresses
- I forward all email addresses (one from Verio, two from Yahoo, two from .Mac, one from Google) to a single .Mac account. I use Apple’s Mail program on the two computers and the iPhone, and since it’s an IMAP account, all three devices stay in sync.
Step Two: Consolidate voicemail accounts
- I rely primarily on Avid’s unified messaging service to accomplish this. I set up my main voicemail account on my office line.
- Using Avid’s service, I can associate other phone lines with this main voicemail account by adding them as additional numbers. Under Settings (option 4 from the main menu in voicemail), go to Additional Numbers and add the full 10 digit number.
- I called AT&T and had them shut off the voicemail account on my iPhone. Through a Google search, I found how to program the iPhone to forward to Avid’s voicemail system. It requires three forwarding types: (1) busy, (2) no answer, and (3) unavailable. The codes to do this are specific to the cell phone provider, and don’t bother calling Customer Service–find it on the Internet, it’ll be much easier.
- I set up all my other lines as additional lines in my Avid voicemail account. I can customize the greeting callers hear on each line, so the business and the personal lines get an appropriate greeting. When the messages are forwarded to my email account, header information identifies which line it came in on. The messages arrive in my email account as an audio file that I can listen to on either computer or on my iPhone. This is way more convenient than calling into the voicemail system, and it’s easier to store or forward messages.
Step Three: Add efax capability to my voicemail account.
- Avid’s unified messaging service allows me to have a fax number that delivers faxes to my voicemail account, and from there, I can have them forwarded on to my email account.
There it is. It’s fairly simple to do and, if you’re an Avid customer, inexpensive (might require a $5 per month additional fee for the efax service).
So my iPhone becomes my primary location for checking messages of all types, and both computers also serve that function, too.