Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Texting & Messaging Manage Your Phone Calls by Nadeem Unuth Freelance Contributor Nadeem Unuth is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire who specializes in information and communication technology with a focus on VoIP. our editorial process LinkedIn Nadeem Unuth Updated on July 26, 2019 Westend61/Getty Images Texting & Messaging Email Texting & Messaging Video Calls Tweet Share Email When you make a phone call or receive one, there are so many things involved: your time and availability - whether you want to be disturbed or not; who is calling and whether they are welcome; the amount of time you will or can talk; the amount of money that will cost you; your privacy and security; your ability to use the phone properly or not and so many other things. In the era of smartphones and Voice over IP, the challenges have grown bigger and more numerous, but solutions and tools have advanced too. Here is a handful of things you can do to have better control over your calls and manage them more efficiently. Use Call Blocking There are people from whom you do not want to receive calls at all. Robots as well. You are too often hassled by the automatic dialers that call you for marketing purposes. You can have the numbers of unwanted people blocked in your phone by entering them in a blocklist and set your device to automatically reject their calls. In Android, for instance, you can do that in the Call menu in the settings and in the Call Rejection option. You have this option in the main apps for VoIP communication as well. If you want a more sophisticated solution to filtering calls, install a caller ID or call blocking app on your smartphone. These apps not only block unwanted calls but come with a lot of features that help you manage your calls, one of which is the identification of any caller through phone number lookup. Use Your Device's Buttons to Reject or Mute Calls There are places where you absolutely cannot take calls, and also, cannot have the phone ring or vibrate. You may be in a meeting, deep in prayer or simply in bed. You can set your smartphone such that the power button and volume button execute shortcuts to deal with an incoming call. For example, you can set your Android device to have the power button end a call. This could sound rude, so you can set the volume buttons to just mute the phone so that it neither emits the ringing sound nor vibrates, but the call keeps ringing themselves decides to give up. You can even configure your phone to send the caller a message informing them about why you rejected their call. Check your phone's call settings for that. Use Different Ringtones Now, whose call to take, whose to reject, and whose to postpone for later? You want to have an idea of that while your smartphone is still in your pocket or your bag so you can do the trick mentioned above with the power and volume buttons. You can use different ringtones for different contacts for your wife, one for your boss, one for this and one for that, and on for the rest. This way, the next time your wife or your boss calls, you will know it right away without even touching your device, and will subsequently know which button to press and which one not to. Use a Call Timer App Call Timers are very interesting apps that control your call's timing and some other things related to calls. They even include features that implement all the things mentioned in this article. Most importantly, call timers, check and limit your call duration so that you do not squander expensive airtime and remain within the limits of your data plan. Enhance Your Accessibility You are not always in a position to take calls, and this can cause you to miss important ones. At moments, taking calls consists of serious risks, which include the risk of either get warned or fired, getting involved in a car accident, or getting fined. There are numerous apps for your smartphone that allow you to better take and manipulate phone calls, with a more appropriate interface. You can also invest in additional hardware for being able to call hands free (or hands busy driving) while in the car. You can acquire a device for connecting your phone to your car's audio system through Bluetooth, or squarely invest in a car equipped with such a system, should you want to keep talking while driving.