JCL Blog

The Changing Way I Use the Phone

I recently downgraded my cellular plan to less minutes per month.  This is the first time I have done this since I got my first mobile phone in 1989.  I suspect I am not alone.  After all why would Verizon be playing those silly "this message has not been heard; first unheard message..." games with voicemail -- just to boost minutes.  It is only a matter of time before we get the "Telephone is Dead" stories in the press.

Amazingly, I am spending more time on my office phone.  Not only that but the time I am spending on the office phone is of higher value than ever before.  Here is a list of the moving parts impacting all of this.

The Law:  Now that it is illegal to talk on the phone in the car without hands free -- and the quality of the hands free systems still do not make the grade -- I rarely talk on the phone in my car.  I don't have a Bentley and I have never found a hands free system that cancels out road noise.

Email:  Email is that other thing that the press likes to declare dead.  Email has been with us for long enough on smartphones -- that my team get's all of the short answers they need from me by email.  I don't email while driving, but in between meetings I check my email (never voicemail), so if something needs my attention it can usually find me within an hour or two.

Conference Calls:  Most of my phone time is spent on conference calls, and a good deal of those are augmented with shared desktops.  These calls are scheduled in advance by email, and prepared for.  They are much higher value than just plain phone calls.  Even before it was against the law, attending conference calls from the car was bad form.  The background noise, lost connections, and other distractions take away from the value everyone gets from the meeting.  Unless you are sitting in your hotel room with a great signal, attending conference calls on a mobile phone should not be done.  

Voicemail:  We have a new system that delivers my voicemails to my email inbox with a .wav file attached.  I get the caller ID info, so I can tell who called.  Most of the voicemails never get listened to.  The ones from people I know usually say:  "I will send you an email about this".  

The net for me:


  • Mobile data up
  • Mobile voice minutes down
  • Office voice minutes up
  • Voicemail minutes down