Introduction: How to Get an Awesome All-text Phone Number With Google Voice
Google Voice is a free service that lets you manage all your phones with one number, transcribes voicemails to text and gives free SMS.
When you sign up for Google Voice, you get to choose a number from the million-or-so numbers Google has reserved. You can search for numbers by zip code or by letters of text spelled out on the keypad within a number.
This Instructible shows you how to get an all-letters phone number that spells a compound word/phrase. As of this writing, some examples of available numbers are:
Step 1: Get a Google Voice Invite
The standard way to do this is by going to voice.google.com and clicking the link to request an invite, and waiting for it to show up. My invite took two weeks to show up. A potentially faster is to buy one from Ebay. I got one for $2.26 which I used to get the screenshots in this Instructable.
Step 2: Activate Link / Open Browser Tabs
When you have your email invitation, click the link to activate it. You'll be asked to sign in to (or create) a Google account, then you'll get to the number-choosing page.
In other browser tabs/windows, open the following pages:
A list of area codes in the US
A cool utility to find words that can be formed with different combinations of numbers
A picture of the phone keypad with letters and numbers, for reference (you could also just pull out your phone)
Step 3: Get List of Useful Area Codes (or Choose Your Local Area Code)
Get a list of available area codes in Google Voice which can spell something. (If you want a phone number in your area code, which may or may not spell something, you can skip this step.) Either use my list below, or, in case Google's added new phone numbers since this has been written, generate your own list.
Make your list of area codes by testing all the area codes shown on the website you opened in step (2) which do not contain numbers 0 or 1 (as these dont spell anything), and entering the numbers in Google's text search box. If Google returns phone numbers that are in the area code, then keep that number on your list.
Here is my list of numbers (7/19/09) (I also eliminated numbers that spell nothing - you can do this in the next step if you start from scratch)
224,234,252,256,262,267,269, 325, 334, 336, 339, 352, 423, 424, 432, 434, 435, 443, 484, 567, 585, 586, 636, 662, 682, 724, 765, 769, 772, 774, 775, 785, 828, 862, 864, 865, 937, 978
Step 4: Pick Potential Word(s) to Start Your Phone Number
Now, enter your area codes into Phonespell.org's search. It will return any 3 letter words spelled on the keypad by the area code you chose, and also any 7 or 8 letter words beginning with the 3 numbers you entered. Use this to generate a list of words that are interesting to you that you might begin your phone number with. You can get ideas for shorter words using the 7 and 8 letter words Phonespell gives you. Take any words you like and write them down. Then test them in Google Voice and see if there are phone numbers available starting with your word.
Again, you can use a list of interesting words that I generated and skip the work:
Zero, vault, toast, prime, spice, spin, spicy, spike, sphinx, much, moan, odor, memorize(d), jump, lunar, Luke, lord, lost, huge, gift, help, helix, heir, heal, heavy, head, hair, gain, gag, ice, flake, flat, firm(est) elate, flag, flank, dew, deny, demi, edge, false, boy, any, cow, bow, box, amp, boss, copy(this), ample, cork, boast, Bob, blank, blame, class, clad, clan, bail, ache, acid
To give an example of how these words were chosen, see the image I attached searching phonespell for words corresponding to the '586' area code. Words that I like are 'lunar' 'jump' and 'kumquat'. I tried kumquat in GVoice and it completely failed. Jump and Lunar were both OK, and importantly, the words show up at the beginning of some phone numbers, not just embedded in the number.
Step 5: Fill Out Your Digits #1
Now you need to fill in the rest of your 10 digits. This will take some trial and error before you find something you like. Try words you like in GVoice's text search bar and see what options Google gives you. Keep in mind that, just like area codes, there are only certain prefixes available. The prefix is the 3 digits in the middle of a phone number, (xxx)PRE-xxxx.
Some words you will try will not work. For example, if I like the word sphinx, entering it in the box shows that the only numbers available fit the pattern (SPH)INX-0xxx. Since 0 doesnt spell anything, I wont choose any of these numbers.
Take words you like, and find the common digits that follow your word (other than those containing 0 and 1), and write them down. For an example, Ill start with LORD. I see that all the (useful) phone numbers starting with LORD are followed by one of the following combinations of digits: 849, 433, 432, as in:
Google tends to have blocks of sequential numbers, so it's possible that there will be a lot of flexibility in choosing the xxx's at the end.
Step 6: Fill Out Your Digits #2
Continuing from the last step and continuing our example, we have one (or more) trial word(s).
We have 'LORD' and combinations of numbers that follow it. I enter each combination of numbers that follow into Phonespell.org to look for good words to fill out the last 6 digits of my new phone number.
I look at the lists of words that I get from my Phonespell searches, looking for a 6 letter word that I like. Keep in mind that you could also use a longer word/string of words, since most phones will accept any extra digits you dial at the end without causing a problem.
From my list, I would like to try the word 'HEAVEN'.
Step 7: Fill Out Your Digits #3
Now I will try my new number in Google Voice. I'm lucky, (LOR)DHE-AVEN is available!
If it had failed, I might have tried to find out how many letters of the word I can get in GVoice (LORDHEA, LORDHEAV, LORDHEAVE,...) to see if there's a permutation of the word I like, or I can go back to steps 5 or 6 and try other candidates.
Once you finalize the steps on Google's form, you're done. Enjoy giving out your new memorable number!