My no voicemail experiment

October 5th, 2011 by Alistair MacDonald Leave a reply »

Yes, that is correct, as of last night I am no longer using voicemail on my phone so to leave me a message you will need to use email.

As of two weeks ago I have become very busy for reasons that I will no doubt be blogging about soon. As a result I can not take many mobile calls and a lot of people are calling me leaving messages. I am constantly finding several messages on the phone at a time, some already dealt with, most duplicated in an email, a few from the same person calling back multiple times, and a huge number of “please call me” messages with no hint as to why or if it is in any way important. It should also be noted I don’t have time to respond to all of the messages.

As a result I have decided to stop using voicemail all together on my phone. I looked at several solutions over time that will take the voice mail and convert it to an email for convenience, but this only makes retrieving the message easer and does not simplify me making my response so it is email all the way I am afraid. I am not the first to do this as some friends have already given this a go. So from now on if you need to contact me then please send me a VERY SHORT email me and I will respond by email.

Please don’t feel this is unfair. It is a common question “how can I reach you quickly”. Although people don’t realised it they are in fact asking how do I jump the queue to get Alistair to do something. The truth is that I can not do everything, respond to everyone, and be at your beck and call. Sorry but I need to prioritise and no matter how important you think your issue or question is it might not be top priority when combined with my list of things to do. Moving entirely to email helps with this prioritisation.

Also please be brief in your email. If it is a line or two and I can deal with it when it arrives then I will, otherwise it will be dealt with in the evening, the following day, or in the following week depending on what else I have to do. Things do get missed so feel free to email again, but only after a few days, and include all I need in the latest email as I will probably delete the older ones.

Finally let me know how this works out from your perspective.

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2 comments

  1. Ben says:

    Nice idea. Reminds me of this which I found quite funny:

    http://www.dirtsalad.com/2009/12/16/fun-with-your-voicemail-message/

  2. Mike Nolan says:

    I turned off voicemail on my work phone in August before my holiday and haven’t felt any need to turn it on since. I also have the ring volume set to the lowest it will go so it doesn’t disturb me. Too many people have become servants to their phones and feel the need to answer no matter what they’re doing.

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