If you are addicted to text messages but not to typing comments on your phone’s tiny keypad, take heart: You can send and receive texts straight from Microsoft Outlook, just as you can regular e-mail. It’s great for dashing off a message to a group of people—or for keeping tabs on mobile colleagues within your normal workflow.
First, though, you must configure Outlook for SMS. Choose Tools¨Account Settings, click the E-mail tab, and select New. Click Other, and choose Outlook Mobile Service (Text Messaging). Click Next.
You’ll have to link Outlook to a third-party service responsible for sending the messages. Among the available options are SMSOfficer (www.smsofficer.com), Red Oxygen (www.redoxygen.com), and Joopz (www.joopz.com).
Enter the service’s URL, your user ID (which is either a user name or your mobile phone number plus its country code, depending on the service you use), and your password. Click OK.
To finalize your new account settings, restart Outlook and then choose File¨ New¨Text Message to send a text. By definition, text messages are limited to 160 characters each; watch the preview on the left pane of the texting window to see whether your text will remain in one piece or will be automatically split up into multiple messages.
Fill out the To: field with one or more cell phone numbers (or with contacts taken from your address book), and Outlook will route the message to those numbers. Replies will come to your inbox, just as if they were regular e-mail replies.