Google Lifehack

How to get your cell to act like PIM . . . sort of

I recently purchased a new cell phone. Given the parameters of the deal I was offered and available funds, the phone I ended up buying did not have the ability to sync with Outlook (the software of choice for keeping our family organised).
Since then, however, I have found a way to get it a step closer to acting like PIM, or at least two of the most popular features I use in Outlook: email and event reminders. And Google helped me do it.
The key is setting up notifications in Gmail and Google calendar and having text messaging capabilities on your phone.
In Gmail, complete the following steps:

  1. Clcik on “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Filters”.
  3. Clcik on “Create new filter”.
  4. If you would prefer to not receive notifications on emails from mailing lists, type -{} (or whatever the mailing list domain is) in the “To” field.
  5. If you would prefer to not receive notifications on emails from a specific domain (such as a newsletter), type -{} in the “From” field.
  6. Click on the “Next Step” button.
  7. Make sure “Forward it to:” is checked, and in its text field, type in your SMS address (e.g.
  8. Click “Create Filter”.

You will now receive emails on your phone. Keep in mind that some providers may truncate your emails (mine truncates messages to 160 characters).
Now for Google Calendar:

  1. Click on “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Notifications”.
  3. Make sure the SMS box is checked for “Event reminders”.
  4. In the “Notify me on my cell phone” section:
    1. Choose your country
    2. Enter your cell phone number (e.g. +14035551212)
    3. Select your carrier
    4. Click the “Send Verification Code” button
    5. Check your phone for the verification code and enter it into the “Verification code” field.
    6. Click the “Finish setup” button

Keep in mind that some carriers charge for incoming messages. Fortunately, mine does not.
Now if I could find a way to transfer my 400 contacts over.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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