I’ve been using Batchbook since way back in October of 2007 and it has served as the primary storage area for all contact information over those years, for business and for our personal use. In our house, our Batchbook account is like a knowledge base with all the information I need to get in touch with just about any one.
One thing I always wished was possible was getting my Batchbook contact information to my home phone. The address book functionality in our phone was decent but it required manually entering in all that data. I was going to my Batchbook account to look up the number and then using that to dial. I liked having it all in a single place but I sure wish I could have made that easier.
Recently though we decided that we would replace our primary home phone number with a Google Voice number, and one of the primary motivators for that was my thinking about how well Batchbook and Google Voice would play well together.
Google Voice is a nifty phone service that gives you a single number that you can use for everyone and everything. By setting up rules in the system you can direct calls from different people to different phones and play different messages for different groups. Voice messages come in to my email and I can even transfer calls from one device to another while still online, All great stuff.
For me though, it isn’t the incoming call functionality that was attractive, it’s the ability to place calls directly from Batchbook or from any web page. You see a handy extension for Chrome lets me quickly just grab the phone numbers from my Batchbook account and place a call directly to that number. I choose which phone I want to use and Google takes care of the rest. They dial me up on the chosen phone and when I answer it connects me automatically to the selected number. No dialing on my part, no remembering the number, I just find my contact and call – it really couldn’t be easier.
Coupling this with the Google Contact Sync in functionality to get my Batchbook contacts to my Google Account easily really does make the Batchbook / Google Voice combination pretty unbeatable in my book.
Now, we got rid of our home line altogether and have all our calls forwarding to mobile phones but there is no reason that you couldn’t do the same with your existing home line still in place. You can also add multiple phones to the account so one could choose to dial using a mobile or home, or office, and it would route me automatically.
Batchbook is still our primary or master list of all of our contact information, connecting it with Google Voice just lets us interact with them much more easily and makes calling our friends and family a snap.