One of my absolute favorite sayings is, "The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed." And that's absolutely true. We all live in our own version of the "present". Some of us still use notepads to jot notes, others of us use our PDA phones & then email ourselves the note we just took (yes that's me).
One of the most amazing (and free) tools I've started using recently is CallWave (www.Callwave.com). CallWave allows me to check my cell phone voicemail on my computer, which has resulted in me practically never checking VM from my phone anymore. The CallWave system completely replaces the standard voicemail system. You can still check VM the same way from your phone, but now your VMs will also arrive in your inbox via email (handy for forwarding).
Another amazing feature is that I can use a "Widget" to see what messages I currently have (see screenshot). I use a Mac, but this is available for PC users too through Google's widget system.