Having read Tim Ferris's bestselling book "4 Hour Work Week," I am slowly beginning to realize the logic behind a lot of his productivity practices. One of which is to not answer the phone or to train your callers not to call you but to instead just send a text or voice message, and vice versa. The logic behind this is to limit to a bare minimum the day to day distractions that we all have to bear.
I have not trained all of my callers yet so I still have to answer the calls from some of them. But I have installed in the Nokia N95 the free MobieGenie Answering machine software to handle all of my incoming calls. I recorded this message below which is automatically played every time I receive an incoming call:
You have reached the voice mailbox of Nap Taas. I am sorry I am not available right now but your call is very important to me. If you need a faster reply, please leave me an SMS message at this number or leave me a voice message after the tone. Thanks.
After each call, MobieGenie leaves a notification showing the name of the caller and his or her voice message if any. I then have 2 options; either to reply by SMS or to return the call.
Why wouldn't I just send a text message?
Texting doesn't convey your tone and personality the way your voice does. Plus you're limited to just 160 characters before things start getting complicated. And for many, texting is just too slow and tedious.
Why wouldn't I just leave a voicemail?
We've all been there-you make a call and think to yourself, "please don't pick up", or you call and think "I hope I'm not interrupting..." That's of course if they even have their voice mailbox activated.
Enter the 3rd option- Pinger
With Pinger you leave the message at your convenience, and they get it at their convenience. Unlike voicemail, there is no ringing, no annoying prompt, no lengthy greetings-just your message. Try sending a group message out to a bunch of people on different mobile phones. It's impossible without Pinger.
However, the problem with Pinger is that the service is only available in a number of countries and it is not yet available in the Philippines.
My alternative to Pinger is to just send an MMS audio message. Not so long ago, an MMS message cost 15 times more to send than a regular SMS. Today, it is only 3 times the cost of a single SMS message but it is a lot more convenient for me, the sender. This has proven to be extremely convenient for the past week that I have been practicing it. I just have to remember the names of my Contacts whose phones have not been activated to handle MMS. Thus far, there have only been a few.
So, give Voice Texting a try and see for yourself how convenient it really is. Remember that just like SMS, it is instant messaging. It may be 3 times the cost but it is a lot more expedient, you are not limited to 160 characters, and it conveys your tone and personality.