Short Message Service (SMS) Text Scheduling

In this article brought to you by www.SIMsurprise.co.uk we introduce you to a feature that could prove quite useful.

Have you ever found yourself failing to send a friend, colleague, or loved one, a message that if you were not to send would cause your ears to burn ?

Perhaps there are many reasons for failing to send the all-important message -

  • You are on a flight;
  • You are delayed on a journey - still driving and instead of stopping to send a text you decide it is better to continue driving instead of being delayed even further.

Sending your message before your flight or journey may not have the same impact.

Or, perhaps sometimes like the author, you either simply forget, or ". . . I'll send it later . . ." ". . .I'll send it tomorrow . . ." but later turns into tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into the day after, which becomes the week after. . .

Later, or tomorrow, or next week, I become busy with an unscheduled visitor, or job assignment from the boss.

Solution

If you are like the author sometimes a task is best done now while thinking of it (and remembering to do it) - instead of letting other reasons or excuses crop up for not doing it !

While the thought of sending the "Happy New Year" or "Happy Birthday" message for example is still fresh on your mind.

There is a simple method of creating a text message which can be scheduled to be sent at a specific time on a specific date.

The message can be written now (before becoming overwhelmed with other things to be used as an excuse) and scheduled to be sent at an appropriate date and time.

After all - on New Year's Day, when family and friends are coming and going for most of the day, we might forget the friend we haven't seen for a few weeks.

Yet, when we think of sending the friend a Happy New Year text 10 days before New Year - this does not have quite the same impact as the message being sent on New Year's day. Or the big day itself if a birthday, anniversary, or other big day..

So, in this example, we might write the Happy New Year text 10 days in advance, schedule the message to be sent on New Year's Day, and then "remembering" does not become such a risky task.

How can I schedule a text message?

Broadly, there are two methods:

  • From your personal computer or laptop;
  • From your mobile phone, for example your Nokia.

From your personal computer or laptop

There are various methods of scheduling a text message from your personal computer or laptop.

However, at www.SIMsurprise.co.uk we are primarily aimed at the Mobile Phone industry, therefore quoting specific examples of Personal Computer based software packages or online service providers here is outside the scope of this article.

From your Mobile Phone

A recently noted facility is offered by Nokia where a text scheduling application can be downloaded to your Nokia handset.

At this point, the author suggests that it might be possible that you could require a newer model of handset.

If you have a older model, or even on different newer models the sequence explained below might vary slightly from model-to-model.

The Scheduling application can be downloaded to your Nokia handset and this integrates into your messaging facility which is already installed on your handset.

Newer models of Nokia handsets could even have this application already installed.

Once the application is installed you will need to "Enable" the application - that is set the application so that it is usable.

On the Nokia handset enabling the scheduling feature is achieved by selecting:

  1. Menu;
  2. Applications;
  3. SMS Timer;
  4. Options;
  5. Status;
  6. Enable.

With this additional application installed, and enabled, simply write a text message in the same way as you would normally do so.

At the point of selecting "Send", you will still need to select "Send", but at this point the Text Scheduling application will take control by providing two options:

  • Send now; or
  • Schedule.

Selecting Send Now - will mean exactly that - your message will be sent now.

Selecting Schedule will provide the facility to enter a Date and Time for your message to be sent.

Once the date and time have been entered, select: Save.

At this point your message will be stored in the Text Message timer as a Pending Message, and will remain there until the set date and time, at which point you message will be sent without any further intervention from you.

What if I want to re-time, or cancel (delete) a scheduled message ?

No problem - the application designers have built in a solution.

You are able to access a list of messages that are set to be sent at a scheduled time by accessing SMS Timer from your messages menu.

Highlight the message from the SMS Timer list that you wish to re-time, edit, or cancel.

Once the required message is highlighted, select: Options

At this point an "Over laid" menu list will appear which includes the following options:

  • Refresh;
  • Re-schedule;
  • Delete.

Selecting Re-Schedule allows you to enter a new Date and / or Time.

After setting a new date and / or time you will need to select: "Refresh" in order for the new date and / or time to be saved.

If, however, you have decided that you no longer wish to send the text message, you can select: "Delete" - but this needs to be done before the scheduled send time !

Business Tip

If you run a business appointments system, perhaps you could use a Text Scheduling application to schedule appointment reminders to your clients so that your clients receive a text reminder of their appointment a day or two before their appointment.

The process explained above may vary from application version to version - for example, different application versions may use different terms.

For example, the author uses a Nokia 1661.

With the Nokia 1661, the text scheduling feature was already installed on the phone when bought new.

To schedule a text message on the Nokia 1661 follow the following steps:

  1. Select: Menu;
  2. Select: Messages;
  3. Select: Create Message;
  4. Write your message;
  5. Select: Options;
  6. Scroll down to, and select, Sending Options;
  7. Scroll down to, and select: Send Later;
  8. Enter the phone number that you wish to send the text message to, either directly or enter from your Contact List - press: OK;
  9. You will now automatically be taken to the Sending Date page. Using the up and down keys and the left and right keys set the date that you wish to send your message, in the following format: dd:mm:yyyy. For example the first of February 2011 will be 01:02:2011 - press: OK;
  10. You will now be automatically taken to the Time setting page. Using the up and down keys and the right and left keys, you can set the time that you wish your text message to be sent, in the following format: hh:mm for example nine fifteen in the morning will be: 09:15 - press: OK.

Your scheduled text message will now be saved to your Sent folder - but do not panic - it has not actually been sent yet !

Text Message Fee Tip:

While your scheduled text message is waiting in your Sent folder for the scheduled date and time, your text message fee will not yet have been deducted from your credit, so if you subsequently delete your message before the scheduled send date and time you will not have lost any credit.

In your messages sent folder, scheduled messages are indicated by an envelope symbol within a square-U shape.

Once your scheduled text message has been saved (in your sent folder) but not yet sent (that is before the scheduled send date and time) you have a number of options including the following:

  • Leave the message where it is and let the message be sent, as is, when the scheduled day and time arrives;
  • Reschedule the date and / or time that the message will be sent;
  • Send now;
  • Delete;
  • Edit.

Reschedule: Allows you to change the date and / or time.

Send Now: Lets you send the message now instead of being at the scheduled time.

Delete: This deletes your message - your message will not be sent or saved - your message will be deleted.

Edit: this allows you to change the text within your message.

To carry out any of the above:

  1. Select: Menu;
  2. Select: Messages;
  3. Select: Sent;
  4. Scroll down to the message that you wish to: Reschedule, Send Now, Delete, or edit - press: Read;
  5. Press: Options;
  6. From the menu that you now see, select which you wish to do, this can be either: Reschedule, Send Now, Delete, or Edit.

In step 6 above, if you choose: Reschedule, this will take you through the date and time set-up procedure again which you went through during the initial scheduling.

So, as mentioned earlier in this article, as the scheduling application software is developed, you may see different terminologies used, for example instead of seeing Schedule you may see Send Later.

This example with using the Nokia 1661, versus perhaps newer models or newer versions of the scheduling application software, demonstrates that perhaps we should not take any specific words in instructions too literally - we sometimes have to use a little logical thinking - so reader, please allow a little flexibility in what you might actually find within your own application.

To include every conceivable instruction set, for every model of handset, and for every conceivable application software version, is outside the scope of this article, which has the primary objective of introducing you to one of many useful features of Nokia handsets.

Remember:

If you schedule one or more text messages, ensure that you maintain sufficient credit until the scheduled date(s) and time(s), otherwise if you run out of credit your scheduled messages that are due to be sent after your credit has run out, will fail to be sent.


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Tim Austin writes articles about various aspects of the Mobile Phone industry.

More articles are available by visiting www.SIMsurprise.co.uk