Consider a situation you are away from your computer and in travel waiting for an important email which you need to reply in a timely manner and all you have with you is your mobile-phone. Instead of constantly checking your inbox you can setup SMS alerts which notify you on receiving emails. Recently we saw how to use Google Docs to monitor multiple sites and send free alerts when they are down. In this article we are going to see how to turn Google Docs into Email Notifier to send you free SMS alerts for important and new incoming emails on Gmail.
There are already some ways to achieve this using third-party services or using free SMS gateway by setting up email forwarding. But they do have restrictions and limitations. E.g.: Country based limitations. Sometimes they don’t work at all. Of course privacy is another important concern. I am sure many of us are in need of this SMS alert feature, number of queries raised in various Google forums are a proof for this. So, let’s create our own email notifier service with Google Docs.
Below trick is pretty simple it just takes at the max of 5 minutes to setup. It only uses services provided by Google, no third-party services are involved. Importantly it works in almost all countries, free of cost.
How does it work?
1. Creating a filter condition and linking it to a label in Gmail.
2. Google Docs periodically monitors the label thread for new incoming emails and creates a Google Calendar SMS reminder on receiving it.
3. Google Calendar sends you a SMS alert containing the subject of your message.
So lets see how to set it up. Might look lengthy but it’s very easy.
Get Free SMS Alerts for New and Important Emails on Gmail with Google Docs
1. Setting up Google Calendar to make SMS as default reminder channel
You can follow the instructions on how to configure for Google Calendar for phone notification from our previous article.
2. Creating filter condition and linking to Label in Gmail
- Login to Gmail.
- Click on the Gears icon on the top right and select Settings.
- Go to Labels tab.
- Scroll down and click Create new label.
- Give label name as sendsms and click create. Now label creation is done.
- Now click on filter tab.
- Click Create a new filter.
- Click Create filter with this search.
- Now check Apply the label and select sendsms from the drop down. Finally click create filter.
If you want SMS alerts only for emails from some important person such as your boss. Set the filter condition using ‘from’ field.
If you want SMS alerts for all incoming emails. Set the ‘Has the words’ field with is:inbox
3. Configuring Google Docs To Poll for New Incoming Emails
1. Login to Google Docs.
2. Click here to make copy of the spreadsheet. Click Yes, make a copy.
3. Now select Tools-> Script Editor. Then Resources-> Current script’s triggers.
4. Select click here to add one. Under events select Time-Driven then minutes timer and every minute and save it.
5. Click Authorize and then grant access. Now click close and save the trigger again. That’s it.
So, now on Google Docs will be polling your Gmail Account every minute for new incoming messages through the label you have created and will send a free SMS alerts as and when they arrive.
Thanks Romain Vialard for the original script.
Never miss any important emails be informed as and when they come to your inbox. Have trouble in setting this up? Do feel free do drop in your queries and problems.
– Google has limits on number of sms reminders one can receive per day. Once it’s reached you will not be receiving alerts.
– Preferably set the timer interval to higher value (at-least 30 min or more) because frequent event creation might break calendar functionality.