Believe it or not, not everyone has a smart phone. Fortunately, users without ActiveSync-enabled phones can still access Outlook 2010 information such as calendar summaries, reminders and email via SMS text messaging. Here’s how to set it up.
To begin the configuration process, click on the File tab in Outlook 2010, then click Options. When the Options screen appears, click the Mobile tab. Next, click the Calendar Summary Settings button. When you do, you’ll see a message stating that you need to configure a text messaging account before continuing (Figure 1).
Figure 1. You must configure a text messaging account to use Outlook 2010’s mobile messaging features.
Click Next, and you’ll see a screen asking you to enter a service provider URL, a user ID and a password. You must obtain this information from a messaging service provider, which is almost always separate from the user’s mobile carrier.
Figure 2 shows a dialog box with a link to help you find a text messaging provider for your mobile carrier. Depending on which carriers your employees use, you may be able to find a free account or at least an account that offers a free trial.
Figure 2. Configure Outlook 2010 to use a messaging service provider.
After entering the aforementioned service provider URL, user ID and password, click OK.
Send Outlook 2010 calendar summaries via text
The Calendar Summaries option lets you send calendar information to mobile devices that don’t support Exchange ActiveSync. To do so, click the Calendar Summary Settings button. When you do, you’ll see a dialog box (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Outlook can send calendar summary information to mobile phones that do not have ActiveSync enabled.
As you can see, you have the option to specify what time of day the calendar summary is sent. You can also exclude specific types of events, such as all-day events, weekend events or events that occur outside of working hours.
I recommend choosing the option to send one text message for each appointment. Disabling this option reduces the number of text messages that are sent, which saves money. However, the text messages are a lot easier to organize when there is a separate message for each event.
Send Outlook 2010 reminders via text
You can also configure Outlook 2010 to send mobile reminders. To do so, click the Mobile Reminder Settings button. You can base reminders on how your name appears on an item, as well as on the item’s category (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Configure Outlook 2010 to send reminders via text messages.