Using Google Voice

We pride ourselves on solving problems. Here's an example.

If undesirable phone calls from creditors is a problem, there is a way to reduce the amount of calls that come in. Setting up a free Google Voice account can help.

How to Set Up Your Free Phone Number

Google Voice offers new phone numbers for free. If you're getting unwanted calls on your personal phone, tell the caller you'll no longer be available at that number and redirect them to calling your new phone number.

You're under no obligation to tell them it's a Google Voice number.

From that point on, when creditors or other parties you've directed to call your new number, the call will go directly to voicemail. These voicemails are then sent directly to your email account.

Learn About Google Voice Services

To learn about Google Voice, go to https://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html.

This link contains videos and tutorials on all Google Voice features, and leads you through the process of setting up your account, which we will also walk you through here. To use Google Voice, you must have a Gmail account. Fortunately, Google offers these for free, too. Once you set up your Gmail account, you'll have access to Google Voice Services on iOS, Android, and nearly any computer with Internet connection.

A screenshot of the Google Voice Sign Up Screen

Figure: What you'll see when you get to Google Voice.

Click the image to enlarge.

Signing Up with Google Voice

Step 1:

If you're already signed into your Google account, you can skip right to https://www.google.com/voice. Once you've read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and find them agreeable, you can get started by clicking the green "Continue" button.

(Note: If you don't have a Gmail address, here's how you can set one up.)

A screenshot of the Google Voice landing page.

Figure 1: A screenshot of the Google Voice landing page.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 2:

Once you hit the Continue button, you'll be prompted to select a geographic location. Google attempts to give you the best regionally-appropriate number it can, so it will list a few nearby cities or locations based on your locality.

A screenshot of the Google Voice location selection screen.

Figure 2: A screenshot of the Google Voice location selection screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 3:

Once you choose the location most appropriate for you, Google will show you a list of available numbers in that area. Select one, and be sure to write it down so that you can add it to your files and/or phone contacts. That way, later, it's easy recall if you need it.

A screenshot of the Google Voice number selection screen.

Figure 3: A screenshot of the Google Voice number selection screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 4:

Once you've selected a phone number, you'll be asked to verify the number. To do so, you'll need access to your existing phone.

A screenshot of the Google Voice number verification screen.

Figure 4: A screenshot of the Google Voice number verification screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 5:

In the next step, you'll be asked to verify the number. To do so, you'll need access to your existing phone. Enter that phone number, and either click "Send Code," or in the options below, you can choose to receive a phone call instead of a text message. Either way, you will be given a verification code to enter on the next screen.

A screenshot of the Google Voice number linking screen.

Figure 5: A screenshot of the Google Voice number linking screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 6:

Enter the code you were given in the previous step. If you do not receive a code, or your code is expired, you can always ask them to send a new one.

A screenshot of the Google Voice verification code screen.

Figure 6: A screenshot of the Google Voice verification code screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 7:

Congratulations! If you've correctly entered the verification code, you're all set! You'll receive a confirmation screen, and you're ready to proceed to the user dashboard. Click the green "Finish" button.

A screenshot of the Google Voice success screen.

Figure 7: A screenshot of the Google Voice success screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 8:

Once on the Google Voice dashboard, you'll see a personalized welcome message in the main content area on the right. You'll notice you already have a message, as Google wants to both welcome you to the service, and offer a sample of how to use it. Note that on the far left, you have the options to make a call, send a message, listen to your voicemail, and see more options. New voicemail will be marked using bold text.

A screenshot of the Google Voice dashboard screen.

Figure 8: A screenshot of the Google Voice dashboard screen.

(click the image to enlarge.)

Step 9:

If you've correctly entered the verification code, you're all set! You'll receive a confirmation screen, and you're ready to proceed to the user dashboard. Click the green "Finish" button.

A screenshot of the Google Voice dashboard screen with message.

Figure 9: A screenshot of the Google Voice dashboard screen with message.

(click the image to enlarge.)

And that's it! You've completed the setup portion of your new Google Voice account.