Forwarding Important Email to Your Phone As A Text Message Using Gmail

I learned something new yesterday. I was waiting for an important email to arrive, but also had a great deal of other work to do.

Generally, what happens if I am waiting for email, is that I open and check Gmail every ten minutes or so. Most of the time there’s something interesting there to see or read, and before I know it, I’ve blown away a good hunk of work time.

So, as I waited for this email, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could ignore my email and just have that particular message sent to my phone as a text message?”

It turns out that I could do just that.

The first thing you need to do to accomplish this is to find out your phone’s email address. Yes, it has one. Generally, it’s your ten digit phone number @ your carrier domain, but the fastest and most foolproof way to find out the address is to start a new text message on your phone, and put your email address where the recipient phone number or contact name usually goes. This will send an email from your phone, and it will reveal your phone’s email address when you receive it.

Once you’ve got the correct email address, you can set that address up as a forwarding email in Google. Click the Gear icon on the top right hand side of Gmail, choose Settings, then pick the Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

Right at the top of that screen is the place to choose a forwarding address. You might get squeamish at this point, thinking you’re forwarding all your mail to your phone, which would be a mess, but as long as the “Disable Forwarding” checkbox is ticked, you’re safe. Add your phone’s email address and confirm.

Once it’s added (and forwarding is still disabled!) use the link at the bottom of the forwarding tools to create a filter. Choose to filter either by sender email, or by a word in the subject line, or both to make sure you only get the important email sent to your phone, then click, “Create Filter With This Search.”

The next screen will let you choose what to do with matching messages. Choose the “Forward to” checkbox, and choose your SMS email from the drop down select box beside it.

Click the submit button to create the filter, and you’re done! You can stop checking your mail constantly, because you’ll be instantly alerted on your phone when the urgent message appears.

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