A voicemail app for people who really, really don't like receiving voicemails
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A voicemail app for people who really, really don't like receiving voicemails.

NOTE: This project is not actively maintained, though I'm happy to talk about it if you're interested in using it. Open an issue or hit me up on Twitter (@andrewtorkbaker)

Try it yourself: Call the demo number at +1 (202) 499-7699. (Your phone number will not be recorded.)

Using Twilio, Anti-voicemail actively dissuades callers from leaving you voicemail by:

  • Sending callers from mobile phones a text message with your contact info
  • Requiring callers from non-mobile phones to press a button before leaving a voicemail

In the unfortunate event you do receive a voicemail, Anti-voicemail will send you a text message with a transcription of the voicemail so you don't have to listen to it.

Anti-voicemail also has a few other handy features. You can:

  • Listen to and download voicemail recordings (loathing optional)
  • Add phone numbers to a whitelist of callers who are always allowed to leave you voicemail
  • Save your Anti-Voicemail configuration to your phone in case you need to set it up again

Anti-voicemail is a Python Flask web application with code that's well tested and liberally commented. It's designed to be easy to deploy and easy to customize.

Interested? Then read on to deploy your own Anti-voicemail.


To use Anti-voicemail, you'll need three things:

  1. A Twilio account
  2. A publicly available server to host the Anti-voicemail app (I recommend Heroku)
  3. Your phone is on one of Anti-voicemail's supported carriers

Anti-voicemail currently supports these wireless carriers:

US carriers

Carrier Supported
AT&T Wireless βœ”
T-Mobile USA, Inc. βœ”
Verizon Wireless βœ”

International carriers

(None yet - please help add one!)

Don't see your carrier? You can help add it! See Adding a new carrier below.

Get a Twilio account

Before you can deploy Anti-voicemail, you will need a Twilio account. Sign up for one here.

You can set up and test Anti-voicemail with a free trial account, but your voicemail won't work for anyone else until you upgrade your account. This is because Twilio requires phone number verification for all calls and messages sent from trial accounts (more information at the bottom of this FAQ).

Twilio's pricing scales with usage, so your Twilio bill will vary based on how many missed calls Anti-voicemail handles. Most people, however, can expect their Twilio spend for Anti-Voicemail to be $1-2 / month.

Deploy Anti-voicemail to Heroku (recommended)

Once you have a Twilio account, you need to deploy the Anti-Voicemail code to a publicly accessible server.

I highly recommend deploying Anti-Voicemail on Heroku. It's free, quick, and secure. Start by clicking this button:



  1. Sign up for a Heroku account if you don't have one already
  2. On the "New app" screen, scroll down to the Config Variables section
  3. Fill out the form as follows:
    • TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID - Found under 'Show API Credentials' in your Twilio console
    • TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN - Found next to your Account Sid in your Twilio console
    • TWILIO_PHONE_NUMBER - Grab one from here. Trial accounts receive their first one free.
      • Make sure to use the E.164 format, which starts with a plus sign
    • FLASK_CONFIG - Keep this value's default, production
  4. Click "Deploy for free"

Heroku will take a few minutes to deploy your Anti-voicemail instance. When it's done, click the "View" button. If everything went smoothly, you will see a message telling you to text your Twilio phone number to finish the setup.

Anti-voicemail will then guide you through the rest of the process:

Initial setup

Other ways to deploy Anti-voicemail

If you don't want to deploy using Heroku, you have a couple other options:


Anti-voicemail is also available as an image on the Docker Hub. Here's the best way to get it started:

If your server has Docker installed, the easiest way to get Anti-Voicemail going is probably:

  1. Download the docker-compose.prod.yml to your server:

    curl -O https://github.com/atbaker/anti-voicemail/blob/master/docker-compose.prod.yml
  2. Update the file with your values for the environment variables, or set each of them in your session with export

  3. Start Anti-voicemail by running docker-compose up -d

Docker will pull the latest image from the atbaker/anti-voicemail Docker Hub repository and then start a container from it on your server using your values for the environment variables.

Then go to http://your-server-name-here and you should see a message telling you to text your Twilio phone number to finish the setup.

Natively with Python

You can also deploy Anti-voicemail the old-fashioned way. If you're considering this, you probably know what you're doing so I'll just provide a rough outline:

  1. Get the source code onto your server

  2. Create a new virtualenv running Python 3.4 (pyenv may be helpful)

  3. Install Anti-voicemail's requirements

  4. Optionally set up a web server like Nginx or Apache

  5. Start the Anti-voicemail process with:

    gunicorn manage:app

You may find the Full Stack Python Deployment page a helpful reference.

Once you can access your site through a web browser, text your Twilio phone number to complete the setup process.