29 November 2006

Carry mini-Yellow Pages in your car to save on 411 cell phone calls

Melinna's hack falls into the "Duhhhhh" category, as in, "Duhhhh. Why didn't I think of this myself?"

To save myself the $1+ per 411 directory assistance call I make from the car, I've started carrying around the small version of the Yellow Pages from my city. It's small enough that it doesn't take up too much room and comprehensive enough that whatever I'm looking for is usually listed there. With an address.

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This is OK, but a better option is to get Google Maps Mobile on your phone.

GMM is sort of like Google local and Google maps combined. If you're looking for a pizza place, you could search on "Pizza, Baltimore, MD" and you'd get maps, directions and phone numbers.

Point your phone's web browser to http://www.google.com/gmm and download it for free!

I am not affiliated with the company I am about to recommend but it's great.

Just call 1-800-Free-411. It's directory assistance that costs you nothing...Google maps and all that is fine but I guarantee it's the last thing my wife is doing while she's juggling 2 kids.

This only works in the US.

If your phone doesn't support Google maps, you can also send a text message to GOOGL with the name of the business and city,st or zip and Google will text you back with directions and phone numbers.

We've done this with last year's phone book, and most of the places are in it still. It's actually one of my Mother's hacks (girlfriend has *tons* of amazing things she does) and has saved us many a time.

This also works well if you live outside the US, where you can't get things like Google Maps on phones, etc.

My wife, Adrienne (http://babytoolkit.blogspot.com) has used this hack for years. Every car that we have has a phone book in it except for my current one... lazy I guess. It has helped so much that we have even solicited friends in Indianapolis to save an old yellow pages for us so that we can use them in the car while in the city.

In unfamiliar cities, we hit bookstores for phone books when we need to look something up. That is, of course if our "remote computer assistance" agents aren't available.

Does any one else have the first instinct when trying to find an address or phone number or other information of trying to think who might be near a computer to look it up for you? This happens all the time with us and we have a number of people that are good go-to's for these sorts of remote computer assistance calls.

The conversations always begin with, "Hi, are you near a computer that you could use to look something up for me?"

You have to be careful with whom you choose, though. My parents are almost always home AND have a snappy Internet connection, but getting my mom to "Google something" is an exercise in frustration, as opposed to enlightenment.

2nd on 1-800-Free-411. Works like a charm.

I have a hard time finding what I need in the yellow pages (is that under flooring or carpeting?) So what I do is call the phone company and request a business white pages directory from them. It has all the listed businesses in it, in alphabetical order, in a nice slim format for the car. And they even deliver it to me for free!

Sandy-

I wonder if that works for cities that you aren't in? It would be awesome to get the whitepages for the larger cities in my state.

Or ones that we're planning on visiting...

Hmmm....

I'm another 1-800-Free-411 user. It works everywhere & doesn't take up valuable glove box space better dedicated to a box of wipes.

Program in the phone number for your library. You can always call and have them look up any number or address for you.

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