Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to send a text message from email

In my Family Tech column for Sunday, January 23, 2011, I talk about how to receive text message alerts for various emergencies.  Some of the services schools use to alert parents, teaches, and students of snow days provide emails for free, but charge for text messages.

I have audible notifications for emails on my phone turned off since I receive so many emails.  I do have audio notications on for text messagres, since I receive them infrequently and they always tend to have information I need to know sooner than later.

It is possible to send an email to a text message :


To send an email and receive it as a text message,  just replace "phonenumber" with your phone number.

For example, to send an email to the text message 703-555-1212 if the cell phone that number uses Sprint, then just address the email to "7035551212@messaging.sprintpcs.com"

You need to change the part that comes after the @ symbol depending on who the carrier is for the phone number you are sending to:

Sprintphonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Verizonphonenumber@vtext.com
T-Mobilephonenumber@tmomail.net
AT&Tphonenumber@txt.att.net

I tried to simply put my phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com into the noticiation service that alerted me to a school closing when it asked for my email address, but they were too smart for that.

Note:  Prince William County provides free text messaging.  This was for a county other than PWC.

So I had them email to my Gmail account.  Then I created a filter in Gmail to forward the message to my phone as a text message.

Note You'll normally have to wait for the first email before you can do this because you need to know what email account sends you the alert.

In Gmail, click Settings in the upper right hand corner.


When the Settings Page appears, click Filters.  You may have to scroll down to find it if you already have Filters made.



In the From space, enter the email address that sends you the alert. 


You can click then Test Search button to make sure it sees the email you have already received from that company,

Then click the Next Button.

Next, we need to tell it to forward the email to your phone as a text message by choosing the "Forward it to" check box, and entering in the correct email address.  The email address is created by combining your phone number and the email address for your carrier from the list above.

 Finally, click Create Filter.

Next time an email comes in alerting you to a school closing, for example, this filter should forward it as a text message to your phone.

If you do not have Gmail, check your email client for the ability automatically forward selected emails.

The links page for this week's column is here.


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