I used to use a voicemail service in Australia that let callers speak with a human being and I would then get an SMS/text transcript with the numbers I needed to call. When I signed up with T-Mobile I was disappointed to find out that a similar service didn't exist.

Then through Guy Kawasaki I discovered SpinVox. Simply by diverting my unanswered calls to their service their robots take the message and transcribe it (I suspect humans are involved in final quality control because it's so good) and I get an SMS (with the correct caller id if available), an email and what's even better the option to go and listen to the original message as well.

Unlike traditional email I can go directly to any of the saved voicemails by it's unique index ID (listed on the SMS and email notification) rather than having to wade through the contents of my inbox (just like the iPhone is promising).

What makes SpinVox cool, rather than just really helpful, is the additional services - you can leave yourself a memo (with an option to broadcast it to a list of recipients) or even use it to transcribe your message to a blog post.

It's a great example of technology combined with intelligence to deliver a simple, useful service. While it's not earth shattering it makes the everyday tasks of handling voicemail on my mobile that little bit easier. While I can only imagine where Microsoft Office Communicator is going to end up I hope it's as simple as this... I'd love to be able to use this as my Skype voicemail service as well, and add IM notifications through Skype and Windows Live Messenger...