The way we make phone calls has been broken for a while now. It is inefficient and disturbing most of the time. The solution could be a system that matches the availability of both individuals and permits a call only when both parties are ready to talk. A system like that, is a bit complex, so I decided to start simple with a bot that can assist you.
Let’s start with a system that contains of three parts:
- A phone in ‘do not disturb’ mode that does not mute calls from contacts that are on the ‘favourites’ or ‘VIP’ list.
- An auto reply text that responds to calls and texts including a url to a bot or form where you can do a request for contact. Use the Android app Automate for the replying, for example. You can also mention the url in your voicemail message, your out of office email message, your email signature, etc.
- A bot or form online where people can do requests and are able to indicate the urgency. The bot will send emails, texts and place phone calls depending on the level of urgency. Put the bots number on your ‘favourites list’ so the urgent calls will not be muted.
I understand that it seems that the person who is trying to contact you or me is not benefitting a whole lot from this setup. So that might be part two.
When I’m working I need to be focussed and will put my phone in dnd mode. I think this is better than having to leave a voicemail. At least now the caller can reach you when you are really needed.
This is an experiment. My hope is that people start doing requests with the bot instead of trying to call me. 😬 We’ll see, I’ll update this post if my findings are interesting enough.