On the phone: When you can't pick up, special rings, juggling two calls

Editor's note: Iowa State University no longer uses Aastra telephone products. Information about current phone hardware is in IT portal's voice and conferencing services.

This week's tips

  • Do not disturb (DND)
  • Ignore a call
  • Pick up a second call
  • Special ring for certain callers

Aastra 6737i or Aastra 6739i

Sometimes, you need to avoid ringing interruptions -- temporarily, at least.  The new phones offer a variety of ways not to answer your phone. These vary from the "do not disturb" feature that redirects your incoming calls before the first ring, to on-screen buttons that allow you to silence a ring mid-stream and send your caller to voice mail or another number.

Voice mail is the default landing spot for most rerouted calls, but you can set your "predefined forward/busy destination," as it's called in the Aastra instruction manual, to other numbers. And if you want to be extra sure that you don't miss an important call, you can set your phone portal to send you an email whenever you get calls from specified people. You won't know what the call was about, but you'll know who called and when.

Left your receiver off hook? No worries

If you've left your receiver off the hook and you're not connected to another call, your phone will figure it out and fix things within about 45 seconds. When a call comes in while the receiver is off-hook, just answer by tapping the "answer" softkey, the blinking line or the switch hook in the receiver cradle.