If you work online, you probably communicate with friends, family and colleagues through a number of digital methods: email, IM, VoIP, Facebook Wall and Inbox, Twitter, and so on — not to mention, by phone. What if you could combine email and voice chat and eliminate the phone? Your email client already stores your contacts., so why not make it easier to chat with someone from within email, which for some online workers is their command center?

This is what Google is doing by integrating Google Voice into GMail chat sessions. The new integration of GMail and Google Voice means that a phone will no longer be necessary. (This is a feature that’s still being rolled out, so you may not see it yet.)

Doesn’t sound like something you’d do? Right now, I have a client in Washington, D.C., who communicates with me through business email setup on GMail, as well as through text chat from GMail, and of course by phone. If we’re text chatting, it’d be nice to have a “click to call” option if we need to sort something out in an audio conversation. Seems to me it’s far more productive than having to pick up the phone. Now, it’d be nice if Skype was somehow integrated into this sort of offering.

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