I like to keep a to-do list by emailing myself, but I don’t have a data plan for my phone. Is it possible to send an email to myself via SMS?
SMS 4 Life
Hey there SMS,
It seems like there should be an easy answer to this question,
but unfortunately we’re not aware of a single service designed explicitly for the purpose of sending email via SMS, and luckily, there is! (Thanks commenters!) We’ve listed the best option first, followed by a few helpful alternatives that might come in handy depending on your situation.
1) Just Enter Your Email Address as the SMS Recipient
Okay, so this method is actually dead simple, and from what our commenters are saying, it appears to work with most carriers:
Fire up SMS on your phone, but instead of entering in a number you want to text, enter an email address. Any email address. Compose your text like normal, hit Send, and your carrier will convert the message to an email. When it’s delivered, it’ll look something like you see in the screenshot below:
Simple, right? I was completely unaware that this was even an option before our readers pointed it out (Lifehacker readers are awesome), and it works like a charm. I’ve got three other methods for you to try out below, and since you’re interested in using your text messages as a to-do list, I particularly like method #3 below, since it adds a to-do-specific subject to the email. But if the above method works for you, you can stop there.
2) Google Voice
If you’re able to get your hands on a Google Voice invitation (we’ve got a dedicated thread here for handing out extras if you’ve got one and you’re feeling kind), Voice has a very simple solution to your problem:
If you’re logged into your Google account, just point your browser to the Voicemail and SMS settings page and tick the checkbox below Alert me when I have new voicemails and pick the address you’d like to email the message to. (See the screenshot above.) Once enabled, you can email anything to yourself via SMS by simply texting your Google Voice number from any phone. Your text message will end up in your inbox and look similar to the email you see below.
But Google Voice SMS-to-email forwarding may be overkill if you’re only interested in sending email to yourself, since any text messages other people send to your Voice number will also end up in your inbox. That may be more inbox clutter than you’re interested in. You could always set up filters, but that starts to get rather convoluted. Instead, consider the following solution:
3) Text yourself via email, then reply to that to email via SMS
Okay, this one may sound a little bit complicated, but overall it’s actually really simple and effective. As you may or may not know, you can send text messages to most phones from your email account, provided you know the right email address for your carrier. For example, to send a text message to an AT&T phone via email, you’d simply append the 10-digit phone number to
[email protected]). We’ve highlighted this before, but as a quick reminder, some of the most popular carriers’ email-to-SMS addresses are:
- Alltel: firstname.lastname@example.org
- AT&T: [email protected]
- T-Mobile: email@example.com
- Virgin Mobile: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sprint: email@example.com
- Verizon: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nextel: email@example.com
- US Cellular: firstname.lastname@example.org
To use this method, compose a message in your email account to the proper email address for your phone and carrier (it should work with any email provider) with a subject like Mobile To-Do List, then send the message.
In a few seconds, you should get a text message from a strange number (for AT&T, the number is 1010100001 for the first email you send to your phone); the message will look something like the image below:
Once you’ve sent the initial text message via email, you can now reply to that number from your phone any time you want, and the reply will end up in your email inbox with the same subject you used in the original email.
As far as I can tell, this method works for quite some time, though I could imagine that it varies from carrier to carrier. If your replies stop going back to your email address, just send another text from your email to refresh the replies.
If you use Twitter, you can set up your account to notify you of direct messages via email (point your browser to the notifications page and tick the checkbox next to Direct Text Emails).
Since Twitter is built specifically so you can update your account via SMS, just send a text message to 40404 with
d yourusername Item you want to add to your to-do list in the message (‘d’ stands for direct, and you’d naturally replace
yourusername with your actual username and add your to-do text after that.
In a few seconds, the message will end up in your inbox:
At the end of the day, the first method will probably best satisfy most people’s SMS-to-email needs. While the latter three methods aren’t necessarily perfect, any of these methods should work.
Love and email,
P.S. Know of a better method for accomplishing the same task? Please, share it in the comments!
SOURCE: Lifehacker, Adam Pash