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Multitask with souped-up cell phone

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in Office Management,Office Technology

Don't have a fancy smartphone? These add-on tools can make your cell phone as much of a workhorse as an iPhone:

• Manage your voice mail in less time. GotVoice (www.gotvoice.com; Premium Service for $10 per month) can monitor up to three phone numbers. It converts messages to MP3 audio files, and then e-mails them to you. You can listen, rewind or skip through them to save time. It can also transcribe voice mail messages and send them to you as text messages.

Cool feature: Need to let a group know that dinner plans have changed? GotVoice will broadcast your voice mail message to everyone; no need to contact people individually.

• Map your way anywhere. Most cellular carriers offer mapping services that cost about $10 per month. But if you have a newer cell phone (that supports Java or J2ME), you can get the same map information by visiting Google Maps for Mobile (www.google.com/gmm). If you’re using an older phone, text your directions request to Google at 466453. In your message, enter your starting location or ZIP code, and then your ending location. Hit “Send.” Google returns step-by-step directions free.

Scan business cards, whiteboards and documents. This is another great productivity tool that only works with some phones: Java-based, S60, Palm OS or BlackBerry handsets. Sign up for an account at scanR (www.scanr.com), and then use your phone’s camera to take pictures of the text you need. Send the photo from your phone to the scanR service, and it sends it back to your e-mail as a PDF. The service is free for five uploads a month.

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