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J-Talk User Guide

How do I access my J-Talk mailbox?

We call this logging in to the system. The first time you log in to your mailbox, the process is unique. It is necessary to make a recording of your name and establish your personal password as part of setting up your mailbox. The steps are listed below. NOTE: The very first step should be to request a new voice mail account by completing J-Talk Registration. This will include field in which you let us know how many times you want your phone to ring before it is answered by J-Talk.


  1. Dial 4-0852 from any on-campus location. When calling from off campus, dial the entire number, 864-0852.
  2. J-Talk will welcome you and prompt you to dial your five digit extension number followed by the pound sign. Enter: 4-XXXX # (where XXXX is your 4-digit extension).
  3. J-Talk will then prompt you to enter your password followed by the pound sign. Since you are accessing your mailbox for the first time and do not yet have a password, simply press #.
  4. J-Talk will prompt you to record your name. Press 1 and clearly speak your first and last name only.
  5. J-Talk will then prompt you to change your password. Passwords must be at least 5 and no more than 15 digits long. Enter your new password and # (pound sign) again. When finished, J-Talk will take you to the Main Activity Menu.

Once you have set up your mailbox, the everyday process of logging in is very simple.


  1. Dial 4-0852 from any on-campus location. When calling from off campus, dial the entire number, 864-0852.
  2. J-Talk will welcome you and prompt you to dial your five digit extension number followed by the pound sign. Enter: 4-XXXX # (where XXXX is your 4-digit extension)
  3. J-Talk will prompt you to enter your password followed by the pound sign. After entering your password successfully, J-Talk takes you to the main activity menu.

Here are some helpful tips:

If you are unable to access your mailbox, you may be locked out. You have a password to keep your mailbox secure. No one can enter your mailbox without your password; however, someone may try, and in doing so and failing, s/he could cause your mailbox to lock. This is a security feature. If for any reason, you cannot access your mailbox, call Information Technology (864-8080) for assistance.

When logging in from your own telephone (your own extension number), it is not necessary to enter your extension number when asked. Just press the pound (#) key on your telephone and move to the next step, which is entering your password.

What happens after I log in?

You have reached the Activity Menu of the system. J-Talk will list your options for you, as listed below:

  1. Record & Send
  2. Get & Respond
  3. Create Personal Greetings
  4. Outgoing/Filed Messages
  5. Password/Name Recording/Modify List/Personal Directory
  6. Scan Messages

Though J-Talk only vocalizes the first three menu options, all six options are available. If you press * H for help, J-Talk will vocalize all six menu options.

Tell me about "Basic Commands"

  • Press * H for HELP
  • Press * R to return to the activity menu
  • Press *D to DELETE
  • Press **U to UNDELETE
  • Press * W to WAIT
  • Press * T to TRANSFER out of the system
  • Press **N to look up NAME (or extension) in directory
  • Press **X to EXIT the system
  • Press **H to HOLD message in "new" message category
  • Press * L to address message to a mailing LIST

These commands are explained as follows:

* H - The HELP command will assist you in knowing where you are in the system and what options are available to you at that point.

* R - The RETURN to the Activity Menu command will take you straight to the Main Activity Menu from wherever you are in the system.

* D - The DELETE command allows you to delete messages received or recordings made.

**U - The UNDELETE command allows you to retrieve a message you deleted. It only works on the very last message deleted, during the current Get Messages session.

* W - The WAIT command allows you to pause your voice mail session for interruptions or to take time to think about your next step. When finished waiting, enter the option you wish to select. If you have forgotten, ask for help by pressing * H.

* T - The TRANSFER command allows you to exit the voice mail system and dial any 5-digit campus number. You will be transferred to that number immediately.

**N - The NAME in directory command allows you to find the extension number of a fellow subscriber by entering his/her last name.

**X - The EXIT command allows you to exit J-Talk properly. This is very important. There are 48 ports (lines) to this system, which means only 48 subscribers may use this system simultaneously. When you exit properly, you release your port for someone else to use. If you fail to exit properly, J-Talk will not know you ended your session and will continue to wait for your next entry, thus preventing other subscribers from using the port.

**H - The HOLD message in "new" category command allows you to keep a message you have listened to in the new message category, which in turn keeps your message waiting light on. This is helpful when sharing a mailbox with another.

* L - The LIST command allows you to address a message to a mailing list, which makes it quick and easy to mail one message to several subscribers.

Explain Option 1, "To Record and Send Messages"

This feature is very useful when you want to send the same message to several people. You record your message once, then address it to as many extension numbers as you wish, provided they belong to other J-Talk mailbox subscribers. Just follow the verbal instructions J-Talk provides.

You can use this feature as a "tickler". Messages can be recorded and scheduled for delivery up to a year from the date they are mailed. Just follow the steps under delivery options for scheduling delivery of a message.

You can enter names instead of extensions when sending messages. When J-Talk asks you to enter the extension(s) to which you are mailing your message, press * A to switch to name addressing. Enter the last name when addressing by name. Pressing * A again will return you to extension addressing.

You can make a message "private," which means it cannot be forwarded by the recipient.

You can create up to 25 mailing lists with as many as 250 extension numbers (total amongst the lists). Select option 5, Change passwords/Create Lists/Administer Personal Directories, from the Activity Menu and follow J-Talk's prompts to create your list(s). When addressing a message, press *L and enter the list name to which you are sending the message.

You can file a copy of the messages you record and send. Filed messages can be modified and resent. To do this, select option 4, Outgoing Messages, from the Activity Menu.

Explain Option 2, "To Get and Respond to Messages"

Explain Option 2, "To Get and Respond to Messages" You should have a message waiting light on your phone which will light up or flash when you have a message in your mailbox. To get your messages, you must log into J-Talk and select option 2 at the Activity Menu. Just follow the verbal instructions J-Talk provides.

J-Talk begins by giving you a header to each message. There are three types of headers:

  1. Headers to messages from another J-Talk subscriber.
    These headers can tell you the name of the caller, his/her extension number, the length of the message, and when the call was delivered to your mailbox.
  2. Headers to messages from on-campus.
    These headers can tell you the extension number of the caller, the length of the message, and when the call was delivered to your mailbox.
  3. Headers to messages from off-campus.
    These headers can only tell you the length of the message and when the message was delivered to your mailbox.

There are two message "categories", new and old.

  1. New Messages: A new message is one which has not been retrieved from your mailbox. New messages are stored in your mailbox for eight days. After eight days, if you do not retrieve the message, the system automatically "cleans house" and the message will be deleted. It is important to plan for extended absences from work. Either plan to retrieve your messages while out of the office, or tailor your personal greeting to advise callers that you are away and unable to retrieve messages, asking them to call you when you return to the office. If neither of these options will work for you, you may contact Information Technology to ask for a temporary "extension" to the eight day rule.
  2. Old Messages: Old messages are those you have listened to but did not delete. Old messages will remain in your mailbox for five days from the day they were originally delivered. After five days, the system "cleans house" and removes them.

The "undelete" feature only works on the last message deleted. If you delete two messages, then decide you should not have deleted the first message, you will be unable to use the undelete feature to restore the first message. In addition, this feature only works during the current J-Talk session you are in. Should you exit J-Talk, then later decide you should not have deleted a message, it is too late. Once you exit J-Talk, the system "forgets" which message you last deleted.

To keep a message longer than the eight or five days it is entitled to, your only option is to "forward" that message to yourself and schedule delivery for a later date.

If you choose to "skip" a message, it automatically moves to the "old" message category, and will remain in your mailbox for five days from the day it was originally delivered, after which the system will delete the message. If you skip a mew message, be sure to go back later and retrieve it.

You can "hold" a message in the new message category by pressing **H. When you use this feature, your message waiting light will stay on. This is useful if you share a mailbox with someone and wish to notify him/her that there are messages remaining in the mailbox via the message waiting light.

When forwarding a message to another J-Talk user, the original message header will not be included. You may wish to include this information in your comments.

When responding by voice mail to a message you received, you must make sure that the individual who sent the message is a J-Talk user. If his/her name was included in the message header, that is a clue that s/he has a mailbox.

J-Talk will let you know when your mailbox is 50% and then 80% full. Each mailbox is allotted approximately 16 minutes of space. This space holds your greeting(s) as well as any messages you receive and file. If your mailbox is full, it cannot receive any new messages. You should pay attention to the 50% and 80% warnings and delete any old, unnecessary messages of greetings to create space for new messages in your mailbox.

Messages you record for others or receive from callers have a maximum length of 1.75 minutes. After 1.5 minutes you will receive a warning that you have 15 seconds to complete the message.

Below are some listening aids available while retrieving your messages:

  • Press 2 to REWIND the message.
  • Press 3 to PAUSE the message. Press 3 again to restart.
  • Press 4 to make the volume LOUDER.
  • Press 5 to BACKUP in one second increments.
  • Press 6 to ADVANCE in one second increments.
  • Press 7 to make the volume SOFTER.
  • Press 8 to make the message SLOWER.
  • Press 9 to make the message FASTER.
  • Press 0 to LISTEN and REPLAY the message.
  • Press # to SKIP the message.

Explain Option 3, "To Administer Personal Greetings"

The J-Talk voice mail system includes the feature Multiple Personal Greetings. This feature allows subscribers to record as many as nine different greetings. As many as three greetings may be active simultaneously. The greeting heard by the caller is determined by the circumstances in place at the time of his/her call. For instance, were you on another line? If so, you may record a greeting that only callers who call when your line is busy will hear. Were you away from your desk? If so, you may record a greeting that only callers who call when you are away will hear. Did the call come after 5:00 p.m.? If so, you may record a greeting that only callers who call after 5:00 p.m. will hear. To learn more about Multiple Personal Greetings, click on this link to go to the IT Knowledgebase.

After pressing 3 to administer personal greetings:

  • Press 0 to listen to a greeting
  • Press 1 to create, change, or delete a greeting
  • Press 2 to scan your greetings
  • Press 3 to activate a greeting
  • Press 4 to administer call types
  • Press # when finished

To simply activate one greeting for all calls, follow these steps:

  1. Press 1 to create, change, or delete a greeting
  2. Press 1 when asked what greeting number you are creating
  3. Follow the system prompts for recording and approving your greeting
  4. Press 1 to activate your greeting for all calls
  5. Press # when finished
  6. J-Talk will return you to the main activity menu

Each mailbox is capable of providing a zero designate, or covering extension. This is an extension number which is programmed into the mailbox. When callers reach your mailbox, you may give them the option to leave a message for you after the tone, or press zero for immediate assistance. The zero designate is usually a reception desk or main department number. This is a very important feature. The voice mail system should not present "dead ends" to callers. Whenever possible, you should provide your callers with the option to reach a live person when you are unavailable. Be sure to provide Information Technology with your zero designate number when requesting your mailbox.

Since your mailbox is limited in size and messages cannot be stored indefinitely, it is important to consider changing your greeting when you plan to be away and unable to check your messages for more than a week. Use your greeting to advise callers of your absence. Let them know you will not be checking your messages until you return and suggest they call you again when you are back in the office.

If you fail to create a personal greeting, J-Talk will provide a generic, system greeting which callers will hear when they reach your mailbox. The "system greeting" is greeting number zero. This greeting is very impersonal and you are strongly advised to create your own, personal greeting in its place.

Here is an example of a simple greeting:

"This is John Q. Public of the Younameit Department. I'm either away from my desk or on another line. Please leave a message at the tone or press zero for immediate assistance"

Shortcut: When you call a fellow voice mail subscriber and reach his/her mailbox, it is not necessary to listen to the entire greeting. You may press 1 immediately and go directly to the tone indicating you may leave a message.

Explain Option 4, "To Check Outgoing Messages"

This feature allows you to check the status of messages you have recorded and mailed to other subscribers.

J-Talk will give you a summary of your outgoing messages, telling you to whom the message was sent and when it will be delivered, was delivered, or was accessed.

  • Press 0 to listen to the message
  • Press 1 to Change/Re-send the message
  • Press 2 3 to Replay the header (message summary)
  • Press # to Skip the message and go to the next message
  • Press * D to Delete an undelivered message
  • Press * # to Move between message categories

There are three categories of outgoing messages:

  • Undelivered messages are those you have recorded and mailed but have not yet reached their destination. Messages are usually delivered to their destination within one minute of sending them. If you can reach an undelivered message in time, you will have the option of editing the message by pressing 1, or deleting the message by pressing *D.
  • Delivered messages are those you have recorded and mailed, have reached their destination, but have not been listened to by the recipient. Once a message has been delivered to the recipient's mailbox you cannot delete or change the message.
  • Accessed messages are those you have recorded, mailed, have reached their destination, and have been listened to by the recipient.

Explain Option 5, "To Change Password/Create Lists/Record Name/Administer Personal Directory"

As the title suggests, this option allows you to change your password, create mailing lists, and create your own personal directory. It also allows you to re-record your name, which you recorded when you first established your mailbox.

After pressing 5:

  • Press 1 to administer mailing lists
  • Press 2 to create/edit your personal directory
  • Press 4 to change your password
  • Press 5 to record (or re-record) your name

Mailing lists are used for addressing messages to multiple recipients and are helpful when there are certain groups of people you communicate with regularly. You create your mailing lists here, but you use them when recording and addressing messages under option 1 of the main activity menu. You may have as many as 25 mailing lists with a total of 250 entries among them.

The Personal Directory option allows you to create aliases for commonly called extensions. For example, you may wish to address messages to those you communicate with frequently by using initials rather then five digit extension numbers. Initials may be easier to remember and quicker to use than extension numbers.

Remember, your recording of your name has nothing to do with your greeting. When you record your name, simply speak your first and last name clearly. This recording is used to identify you to other subscribers.

Explain Option 7, "To Scan Messages Quickly"

This option differs from option 2, Get and respond to Messages, in that you may listen to your messages here, but you cannot delete or forward them. The sole purpose of this option is to quickly scan through and listen to your messages.

  • Press 1 to Scan Message Headers and Messages
  • Press 2 to Scan Message Headers Only
  • Press 3 to Scan Messages Only

Remember, once you listen to a message, or skip over it, it is moved to the "old" message category (unless you chose to delete the message). When scanning your messages under Option 7, all of the messages you access will be moved to your old message category. If you wish to forward a message to someone else, you will have to access that message under Option 2, Get and Respond to Messages. Also, if your mailbox is getting full, you will want to delete those old messages at your earliest convenience using Option 2.

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