Using an Outlook Rule to Send Email to SMS

Send Outlook emails to text

Just about everyone uses SMS text messaging, but many people don't check their email on their smartphones. Some consider emails to be an office or desk activity. Time estimates vary, but surveys have shown that people read their text messages much more quickly than they do their emails. A time-sensitive text will get read much sooner. 

You can use MS Outlook to send emails to SMS ​text messages to close the gap. Certain senders or email types, such as urgent, can be automatically sent to your phone. This can be an invaluable convenience so you miss nothing when you're on the road, showing properties, or otherwise temporarily unavailable. 

A text message can also be easily forwarded as well, so spouses who need to know about a change in closing time can just text the info. 

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Prepare Your Cellphone

Your cellphone must be left on and any previewing of messages by anti-spam software should be turned off. Anything that interrupts the receipt of the message and the application of the rule would stop the process.

Most anti-spam software doesn't interfere with this, however, and some even let you set it to ignore emails that have certain characteristics.

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Set Up Outlook

 The steps to set Outlook to check messages automatically are: 

  1. Click on the "Tools" tab at the top.
  2. Select "Options."
  3. Click on the "Mail Setup" tab.
  4. Click on the "Send/Receive" tab.
  5. Click the box next to "Schedule an automatic send/receive every..." box and set the number of minutes you want.
  6. Click on "Close" and "OK."

That's it. You're finished. 

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Select Certain Outlook Emails

Now you have to decide which emails are important enough to have them sent automatically to your cellphone as text messages. Outlook is automatically checking your email, so you have to tell it which ones to process with an Outlook Rule.

  1. Go to an email received from someone from whom you want to receive a text message.
  2. Right-click on it and select the "Create Rule" option.
  3. The first screen already has the box checked to process this rule for this person's emails that you've received, so click on "Next."
  4. The next box is where you select the option "forward it to people or distribution list".
  5. Click that box, then click on the link "people or distribution list" at the bottom.
  6. Enter the text message address of your phone in the "To" box, as in
  7. Click "Next" again to skip the next step.
  8. Name your rule, make sure the "Turn on Rule" box is checked, and click on "Finished."
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Other Options

You might want to just have the emails of a certain client forwarded. In this case, you can tell clients to enter something like "Text Jim" in the subject line to get the email to you quickly.

You can also have another special email address set up, such as "" or "" if you have the capability. This way you can have only emails to this address sent to your phone.

Consider Switching

You might want to consider switching from Outlook to Gmail. It's better, friendlier, easily searchable, and the rules for setting up labels and filters are much more powerful. Thousands of third-party applications work with Gmail that can help in customer relationship management and marketing. Gmail and Chrome together give even more capabilities. With Evernote's clipper to allow clipping emails to notebooks, all is well.