Managing Multiple Phone Numbers: A Guide To Having A Second Line

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Key Takeaways


  1. Many people choose to have a second phone number to separate their business and personal communications
  2. Second phone numbers are also great for those who work/travel abroad a lot to avoid high international fees
  3. There are various ways to get a second phone number, both paid for and free. These include mobile apps, dual SIM phones, eSIMs, and virtual phone numbers.  
  4. Managing the use of multiple phone numbers can get tricky without some structure and guidelines in place
  5. This post provides helpful tips for effectively managing multiple phone numbers, such as organising contacts and messages, setting up dedicated voicemails, establishing communication guidelines, etc. 


Why You May Need a Second Phone Number


There are various reasons why you may need a second phone number. These are some of the most common reasons:

  1. Separating business and personal communications – small business owners, freelancers, and agency workers often use their personal phone numbers for business communications to save money. This can lead to confusion between personal and business calls/texts so it may be helpful to have a second phone number to handle work-related inquiries. 
  2. Working/travelling abroad – individuals who often travel or work abroad for extended periods of time may find it easier to have a second phone number local to the country they frequently travel to. This is a cost-effective solution to avoid high international call charges. 
  3. Privacy & security – when signing up for services or online shopping, you’re often required to provide a phone number. This is collected for delivery updates and then stored for marketing purposes. While these are malicious intentions, your personal information can sometimes end up in the wrong places, compromising your privacy and security. Therefore having a second number can prevent this from happening. 


There are many other reasons to get a second number and most working professionals will have a second phone number. The specific reasons can vary greatly based on individual preferences, circumstances, and the need for organisation or separation in different aspects of life. 


Methods to Obtain a Second Phone Number


If you’re in need of a second phone number, there are a number of ways to get a second phone number. Many options are paid for however, there are also some good free options too. Check out our previous blog post for great free options for obtaining a second phone number. Here we’ll go through the different ways you can get a second phone number and the advantages/disadvantages of each: 


  • Through your current phone service provider


The easiest way to get a second phone number is to contact your current phone service provider and set up another phone number with them. This will require you to pay for two lines from them and you might wish to purchase another handset to use the new number or, if you already have another device on hand, you’ll only need to order a sim card. Phone service providers have two options: yearly contracts or pay-as-you-go service. You’ll need to evaluate which option is right for you depending on how you will be using the number.


Advantages: If you’re happy with their services already, you’ll be sure there won’t be any problems with the new line. This means you can quickly obtain a new phone number.


Disadvantages: Not the most cost-effective solution depending on how you wish to use the phone number eg. for business or temporary travel. It may require additional expenses eg. for a new handset. 


  • Mobile apps


Several mobile apps offer second phone number services. These apps typically assign you a virtual phone number that can be used for calls and texts within the app. Some services will work by using an internet connection eg. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) while others may piggyback off your current provider’s minutes or texts available in your package. These apps may offer additional features like call recording or call forwarding. There are both paid-for and free options available for getting second phone numbers through apps. 


Advantages: There’s no need to purchase a second phone or sim card, making it convenient to use. 


Disadvantages: There are so many of these apps available it can be hard to find the right one for you. Furthermore, service quality can be poor for some of these apps as, typically they aren’t maintained well with regular updates. You’ll often have to pay for any upgrades to service eg. advanced calling features. This makes them a better option for short-term use. 


  • Dual SIM or eSIM phones 


Dual SIM phones are those that have two sim card components. This allows you to have two phone numbers on the same phone and you can switch between them usually pretty easily in the device settings. eSIM phones are those that come with a SIM card embedded in the device. This allows the phone to host multiple phone numbers without the need for physical SIM cards.


Advantages: You’ll only need to purchase a second sim card and can easily switch between the two numbers for dual SIM phones. For eSIM phones you’ll only need to purchase subscriptions for a second phone number. 


Disadvantages: Phones are often tied to a certain phone service provider. This means you won’t be able to get a second phone number from a different provider, meaning this option may not be the most cost-effective solution and you’ll be limited in your options for second phone number providers. 


  • Virtual Phone Numbers


Virtual phone numbers are slightly different from VoIP. While VoIP refers to the technology allowing you to make calls and texts over the internet, virtual phone numbers are ones that are not tied to any specific device/SIM card. The phone number is stored in a cloud network and you can access it through any compatible device device eg. mobile phone, laptop etc. This phone number can be used on a WiFi or data connection and often provides additional call functionalities such as call forwarding. 


Advantages: Works on your existing phone so there is no need to purchase a second device. Allows you to stay flexible as you can access the phone number wherever you are as long as you have a stable internet connection. You can also have multiple lines provided by a virtual phone number service.


Disadvantages: There are limited emergency services available when using virtual phone numbers. Sometimes emergency services may not recognise virtual numbers so calls to emergency numbers may not go through. 


There are various options for you to consider to get a second phone number. You should choose the best option for how you intend to use the second phone number as some options are better tailored for certain user types. For example, for business users, we’d recommend paying for a virtual phone number service to get reliable long-term usage with advanced calling features.


Tips for Managing Multiple Phone Numbers


So now that you have a second (or maybe even third number), how can you manage them well? 


If your solution involves purchasing another phone, it may be easier to manage multiple numbers as everything will be kept on separate phones. However, having multiple phone numbers on one device can be hard to stay on top of so here are some of our key tips to effectively manage multiple phone numbers: 


  1. Keep your contacts organised – If you opt for apps to get a second phone number, check if there are in-app contacts (allowing you to separate personal and business contacts). Otherwise, you’ll need an effective system to differentiate between business and personal contacts. On iOS devices, you’re able to create contact lists which allows you to select the contacts you want to separate from others. You can find a helpful guide on how to do this on iphonelife’s website. For Android devices, check out this guide on Google’s support page. 
  2. Organise your messages – When using apps for second numbers, often you’ll be able to message specific contacts using that number within the app. For both iOS and Android devices, there is currently no way to filter messages or organise them into groups/lists. In this case, you may consider saving certain contacts e.g. business contacts with the word ‘business’ at the end of their names (or something similar to this). This will help you differentiate between the different message threads.
  3. Set up dedicated voicemails for each number – Be sure to set up a different voicemail greeting for your personal number and business number. This helps those calling your business number to be sure that they’ve called the right number if they aren’t able to get through to you.
  4. Create communication guidelines – It’s important to have clear communication guidelines for how you conduct business communications vs. your personal communications. This includes setting boundaries as to when you can be contacted through your second phone number and you’ll need to make this clear on your business website or to your business contacts e.g. with follow-up thank you text messages. 
  5. Use advanced calling features (if available) – features like call forwarding or routing are great for business use if you have multiple numbers. This allows you to direct incoming calls to the first available line. 
  6. Create time blocks – if you are a business user, make sure to block out time when you will be concentrating on using the business number e.g. to make sales calls. Then during these times, set up ‘do not disturb’ on your personal or other phone numbers. This ensures you don’t get distracted when working with one number. 
  7. Review your processes regularly – remember to assess your usage of multiple numbers regularly. This helps you to identify which numbers aren’t necessary any more so you can consider consolidating or discontinuing them. 


Managing multiple phone numbers can be made easier with the right strategies and tools. Whether you need a second number for business purposes, online shopping, or privacy protection, there are various options available. However, it’s important to consider the limitations and potential costs associated with second phone number services. Thorough research and understanding of terms and conditions are crucial to avoid unexpected charges.


Devyce for Multiple Lines


For business users seeking a reliable and feature-rich solution, investing in a virtual phone number provider like Devyce can provide advanced features, work-life balance, and transparent pricing. Devyce makes working with multiple numbers feel natural. You can easily switch between phone numbers on the app. You’re also able to colour code your different phone number. Each time you call from a specific phone number, the calling screen appears in the correct colour code you can be sure you’re calling from the right number. This helps you to stay organised in your business communications. 


Devyce Teams also provides you with access to a management portal where you can manage the activity of each phone number. Here you can quickly add/remove phone numbers from your network as well as listen to voicemail messages left for each phone number. The Teams Management portal helps you to stay organised when managing multiple phone numbers. 


Get in touch with our lovely team today to get your second business number and manage them like a pro with our all inclusive business number solution today!