If you don't enjoy listening to voicemail on your cell phone, check out Spinvox. This service converts your voicemail messages to text and then emails you the message. Right now you can sign up for a year's service for free by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the request.
Two U.S. competitors to Spinvox are Simulscribe and Callwave. But with Spinvox, not only can you have the transcribed voicemail sent to your email or cell phone (although your cell carrior charges for incoming text msgs), you can also convert text messages into voicemail. And you can also leave memos for yourself, and even blog by voicemail.
The drawbacks? I believe the one-year free account limits you to basic conversion options. And if I had to pay for the service, it would be prohibitively expensive ($20/month to convert 50 msgs). Still, it might be something I find I can't live without. Here's a sample converted message.
The transcription was mostly accurate, but I changed the names and phone number above for privacy.
Always a bit skeptical about free services, I called Verizon twice to see if there were hidden charges associated with the service. Verizon is ignorant about the service, and Spinvox claims there aren't fees — only charges for incoming text messages on my cell. I'll have to wait and see to know for sure.
Most frustrating, I wanted to call my own cell number to leave messages for myself, which would then be transcribed. Apparently Verizon says I can't call my own cell phone directly.
I learned about Spinvox from David Pogue's latest podcast. (I highly recommend his podcast, by the way.)
Get new posts delivered straight to your inbox.
I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.