Favorite new reporting tool: Google Voice

My colleague Eric is always praising all the tools that Google has. He’s the Google expert in the newsroom.

Well, my latest discovery of a good reporting tool would make Eric proud. It’s Google Voice.

My path to Google Voice started with my need to find a way to record a phone conversation. I had an idea to do a Q&A for the paper, but needed a good way to record it. (You can read it in Saturday’s edition.)

In person, I would use the recording app on my iPhone or I might have recorded video with my DSLR camera.

But I knew this Q&A was likely to be done over the phone. After searching on Google and through the iTunes App Store, I settled on Google Voice.

I got to pick my number from a list — I picked a 410 area code — and when someone dials that number, it will ring to my cell phone, desk phone or where ever I indicate.

Google Voice does all kinds of nifty stuff, including transcribing and e-mailing voice mail messages.

But the function I really needed was recording. And it couldn’t have been easier.

Any time I’m on a call through Google Voice, I can press the number 4 and a lady’s voice announces that recording has started. Pressing 4 again ends the recording. I can then access the recording through my Google account online or through the app I downloaded onto my phone.

The quality of the recording was great and it worked beautifully for this story. Thank goodness it turned out well, because I really pushed my deadline on the story. Phew.

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