How to receive important email via SMS when you are away from your PC     

Follow these steps to set your PC up to SMS you when important email arrives while you are away from your desk. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details)

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. To have SMS messages sent to you from your PC, you will need to purchase some Skype Credit if you don’t already have some. You can buy Skype Credit here.

If you’re doing this for the first time, just buy the minimum amount so you can give it a try without too much of an outlay.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

5. Click the “Alerts>Advanced Alerts…” button in the Skylook toolbar:
Advanced Alerts Menu

6. Choose “Email” from the list of options, then click “Next”:
Advanced Alerts Wizard Email Option

7. Enter some search text. This can be some expected contents, or the name or email address of the sender. Use this search text to distinguish the important emails that you want to be alerted about, from the unimportant ones that can wait until you get back to your PC. Only emails that contain your search text in the subject, body or sender name or email address will be sent to you via SMS. (NOTE: If you have multiple sources from which you wish to receive SMS alerts – e.g. your boss and your wife, set up an alert for each source – i.e. follow these instructions from start to finish for your wife, and then again for your boss).
Email Alert Search Text

8. Fill out this wizard page as shown (using your mobile phone number instead of the one shown):
Email Alert Phone Number

9. Fill out the next wizard page as shown. IMPORTANT: By default, Skylook abbreviates the email message to fit into a single SMS message, which can hold a maximum of 160 characters. This can be appropriate for some emails – e.g. simple notification emails where much of the information is in the subject line, but obviously is not appropriate for longer emails. If you expect longer emails, change the “Abbreviate” option to allow Skylook to send you multiple SMS messages, or check the “Only include lines containing” option and enter key phrases to identify the parts of the email you want included. If neither of these options is suitable, you can use the “Email to Phone Call Forwarding” feature instead of an Email SMS alert. (This will read the entire email to you in a single phone call).
Email Alert Data

10. Accept the default settings in the next page:
Email Alert Timing

11. Enter a name for the alert, then click “Finish”:
Email Alert Name
12. To test the Email SMS alert, set your Skype status to “Away” by clicking the bottom left hand corner of the Skype application as shown below, so that Skylook thinks you are away from your PC:
Switch to Away Status

13. Send yourself an email containing the search text you entered above, or wait for one to arrive that contains the search text.

14. Soon after the email is received, the phone number you entered should receive an SMS.

15. If you did not receive an SMS, check the Outlook inbox. If Skylook had problems calling your phone (e.g. if the number is invalid), the details of the problem are placed in a new inbox item for you to review.

16. Once you’ve finished trying this, don’t forget to set your Skype status back to “Online”. By default, Skype switches your status to “Away” automatically if your computer is left idle for more than five minutes. (Note: You may wonder what happens with emails that come in during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook sends SMS alerts for these emails also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).

If you need additional help, just email us at skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to answer phone calls automatically on your PC     

The following steps show you how you can set up your PC to take phone messages for you. The messages are stored as MP3 and attached to Outlook inbox items, so you can deal with them the same way you deal with incoming emails. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. If you want to answer calls from normal phones, you need to purchase a “SkypeIn” number from Skype. Otherwise, you can still answer PC-to-PC calls using these steps.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. When you see the pages below, fill them out as shown:
Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 1

Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 2

Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 3

(NOTE: An alternative to the Skylook Answering Machine is Skype Voice Mail. If you have a Skype Voice Mail subscription, you can leave the Skylook Answering Machine off – Voice Mail messages will automatically be sent to your inbox.).

5. If you are not running Skylook for the first time, and you can’t remember how you configured call answering when you were prompted by the Skylook Welcome Wizard, choose “Tools | Configure Answering Machine” from the Skylook toolbar:
Configure Answering Machine

This will bring up a wizard similar to that shown above.

6. Wait for a call – or get someone to call you.
7. When the call is received, let Skylook answer the call (or let Skype answer it if you are using Skype Voice Mail).

8. After the caller has hung up, check your inbox. You should see a message like this one:
Voice Mail in Inbox

9. Click on the message. A “Play” button will appear in the toolbar:
Play Button

Click it to hear the recording.
Call Playback

10. Open the item. You will see a number of hyperlinks in the item that allow you to take various actions (for example, call the person back).
Skylook Voice Mail Hyperlinks

11. You can automatically forward messages to other email accounts if you wish, by going to “Alerts > Advanced Alerts” from the Skylook toolbar and following the pages in the wizard.

If you have any problems getting this to work, contact us for assistance.

How to manage follow-up on calls, voicemails and instant messages like you do with email     

Applications like Outlook are great for keeping in control of outstanding tasks. If you receive an email that you aren’t able to deal with right away, you can simply mark it as unread, to remind you to look at it later. You can also flag it, copy it to an “unactioned” folder, or use other Outlook features to manage follow-up.

The steps below show you how you can use the same methods for calls, voicemails and Skype instant messages, in addition to email. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Follow the instructions here to start collecting all of your communications in Outlook.

2. Follow the instructions here to receive voicemail and auto-answered messages in your Outlook inbox.

3. Make sure Skylook is configured to place missed instant messages in your inbox. To do this, click the Skylook options button:
Skylook Options button

then check that the “Put missed text chat messages in the inbox” option is checked:
Option to get missed instant messages in your Outlook inbox

…and click OK.

4. Now all voicemail messages and missed instant messages will appear in your inbox. Also, voice conversations and non-missed instant messages will appear in the “Skylook Conversations” folder. These communications can be managed like email. For instance, if you receive a voicemail, it will show initially as an unread item in your inbox:
Play Skype voice mail from inbox

5. After you play the voicemail, it be marked as “read” in Outlook (i.e. it will no longer be shown in bold font). If you decide that the voicemail needs some sort of follow-up that you can’t complete straight away, you can right-click it and mark it as unread:
Mark voice mail as unread

6. When you have time, you can come back and review all of your unread items, including the voic mail. If you are more sophisticated in the way you manage follow-up, you can use the other options in the Outlook menu shown above: Categories, Follow Up > Flag, Move to Folder.

7. You can do the same with missed instant messages, as well as voice calls and instant message conversations.

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to screen or monitor phone calls using your PC     

Most of us don’t want to be available via our phones all the time, but generally we like to be contactable if we are really needed. There are calls we would like to take and others that we know we can deal with later. Which are the calls we want to take? It depends on who the caller is and what they want to talk about.

So, we have a call coming in. Who is it from? Most phone systems can sometimes tell us who, but often the caller id is blocked, and sometimes we won’t know the person despite being able to see their name. Even if the caller shows, many phones are shared, so we may know which family for instance, but not which member of that family is calling (e.g. it could be your girlfriend, or it could be her Mum). So maybe we know who the caller is and maybe we don’t.

What is this incoming call about? Even if the caller is someone we know, it may be inconvenient to take a call at the moment unless the call is urgent. If the caller is someone we don’t know, they may be calling about something important so the call may be worth taking. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing without allowing them to tell us.

Voice mail is a partial solution, but has the drawback of being “all or nothing”. Most voice mail systems, while more reliable than traditional answering machines, are less useful in that they don’t allow you to pick up the call if the caller’s message needs immediate attention or if you simply do not answer the phone in time.

An answering machine is better, but mechanical answering machines can be fiddly and unreliable. They also offer no way of getting messages to you if you are away from your phone, they cannot be used with PC-based (VoIP) phone systems and are not suited to business environments.

The steps below show you how to set up call screening and monitoring on your PC, so that you can see who the call is from, optionally divert them to a software-based answering machine, then listen to their message and pick up the call if desired. If you are away from your PC, a message is taken and forwarded to your mobile phone. You have the option to call the person back from your phone after hearing the message. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. If you don’t already use Skype, download and install it from here. If you don’t already have a headset or a Skype Phone you will need to purchase one from your local distributor, or you can order one in our store.

2. If you want to receive calls from normal phones, you need to purchase a “SkypeIn” number from Skype. Otherwise, you can still screen PC-to-PC calls using these steps.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Some of the pages in the Skylook Welcome wizard prompt you to set up the “Skylook Answering Machine”. Just accept the default settings as shown below:
Skype Answering machine configuration

Skype Answering Machine Configuration 2

Skype Answering Machine configuration 3

4. After the wizard pages above, you will see the “Alerts” page. Fill this in as shown (using your mobile phone number instead of the one shown):
Forward Voice Mail to Phone

5. Complete the rest of the startup wizard.

6. If you are not running Skylook for the first time, the startup wizard won’t appear. Check that the Skylook Answering Machine is configured correctly by clicking “Tools | Configure Answering Machine…” from the Skylook toolbar:
Configure Skype Answering Machine

Also, click this button:
Alerts

and check that the options are set as follows (using your mobile phone number instead of the one shown):
Call Screening Option

7. When a call comes in (from a standard phone using SkypeIn, or from another PC using Skype-to-Skype), the Skylook toolbar tells you the name or number of the caller and presents you with options for how the call is to be handled:
Answer Call Button

Divert to Answering Machine

Hang Up Call Button

8. Click the second button above to have the answering machine answer the incoming call, or wait for the answering machine to answer it automatically. As the greeting is being played the following options are available:
Answering Machine Greeting

Once the greeting has finished playing, the following options are available:
Answering Machine Recording Message

If the caller leaves a message, you will be able to hear it through your headset or Skype phone. You can choose to pick up the call at any point.

9. When you are away from your PC, messages such as the one above will be forwarded to your mobile phone via Skype.

Note: Skype is free for PC to PC calls, but to call traditional phones there is a fee. It’s cheap, but not free! You will need to purchase some Skype Credit in order to have voice messages forwarded to your phone. You can

buy Skype Credit here. If you’re doing this for the first time, just buy the minimum amount so you can give it a try without too much of an outlay. (Please note that there are exceptions – sometimes Skype runs promotional offers that allow you to call phones for free).

To try message forwarding, first set your Skype status to “Away” by clicking the bottom left hand corner of the Skype application as shown below, so that Skylook thinks you are away from your PC:
Switch to Away Status

10. When a call comes in, let the answering machine answer the call and take a message. After a few seconds, you should receive a call on the phone number you entered above. The message will be played to you, and you will be given the option to call back by pressing “1″ on your phone.

11. Once you’ve finished trying this, don’t forget to set your Skype status back to “Online”. By default, Skype switches your status to “Away” automatically if your computer is left idle for more than five minutes. (Note: You may wonder what happens with calls that come in during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook forwards these calls also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).
If you need additional help, contact us for assistance.

How to file away all communications, not just email     

Many people, particularly at work, file away all of their email in case they need it for future reference. Others don’t keep everything but of these, many keep the important emails, and perhaps categorize them into Outlook folders.

PC-based voice communications and instant messages are just as important as email, and are as worthy of filing away for future reference. However, these are generally lost – i.e. people don’t store them away and archive them as they do with email. This is partly because there are no facilities to allow them to easily do this, or the facilities exist but users are not familiar with them and don’t use them.

The steps below show you how to set up Microsoft Outlook so that voice communications, SMS and instant messages are filed away in exactly the same way as email. Once you have set Outlook up to do this, you can use all of Outlook’s facilities to manage, archive, sort, categorize, flag and backup voice communications and instant messages along with your email.

1. If you don’t already use Skype, download and install it from here. If you don’t already have a headset or a Skype Phone, check-out our store.

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

4. Start a phone call or PC-to-PC call, either from Outlook or directly from the Skype application. (This procedure still works for calls that you do not start from within Outlook).

5. Complete the call.

6. Go to the “Skylook Conversations” folder in Outlook – there will be an item for your call, containing an attached recording of the call.
Call item in Skylook Conversations folder

7. This item can now be treated just like an email. You can copy it to a folder to categorize it, you can flag it, you can archive it or use any of the other Outlook item management capabilities.

8. Now send a Skype text message to someone. (Again, you can initiate this directly from Skype, or from within Skylook – all text messages are captured regardless of how they are sent).

9. Go to the “Skylook Conversations” folder again. There will be another item, this time containing the text chat:
Archived Instant Message

(Note: You won’t get a separate item for each instant message. Any replies that occur within 5 minutes will be appended to the existing item, so that a single text chat thread generally appears within a single Outlook item).

If you have any problems getting this to work, contact us for assistance.

How to have important Emails read to you over the phone when you are away from your PC     

There are many mobile devices around that can receive email, but there seem to be very few people taking advantage of this capability. Why is that? Here are some guesses: Most emails just aren’t important enough that we should be interrupted by them when we are out doing something else; Emails are hard to read and manage on those dinky little screens. Last but not least, if you want to stay organized, and you like to keep old emails for reference and follow-up, there’s just no easy way to do that if your PC and your mobile device are both hooked up to the same email account.

In truth, the vast majority of email just isn’t worth receiving on your mobile device. It can wait until you get back to your PC. That’s one of the great benefits of email – you’re contactable but you don’t have to respond straight away, and people don’t expect you to respond straight away.

However, some emails are important. My daughter emailed me from school the other day saying she’d forgotten her sports uniform and needed it up at the school by 10am. That might not seem important to you, but it was to her. You probably have people you know from whom you would like to get all emails straight away, or you may have particular topics that are important that you would like to receive emails about immediately.

The following steps show you how to start having emails sent to your phone. The email (or selected portions of it) will be read to you. If you prefer, you can use similar steps to have important emails sent to you via SMS. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. To have email forwarded to your phone, you will need to purchase some Skype Credit if you don’t already have it. You can buy Skype Credit here.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

5. Click the “Alerts>Advanced Alerts…” button in the Skylook toolbar:
Advanced Alerts Menu

6. Choose “Email” from the list of options, then click “Next”:
Advanced Alerts Wizard Email Option

7. Enter some search text. Only emails that contain your search text in the subject, body or sender name or email address will be forwarded to your phone.
Email Alert Search Text

8. Fill out this wizard page as shown (using your phone number instead of the one shown):
Email Alert Phone Number

9. Fill out the next wizard page as shown:
Email Alert Data

10. Accept the default settings in the next page:
Email Alert Timing

11. Enter a name for the alert, then click “Finish”:
Email Alert Name
12. To test Email forwarding, set your Skype status to “Away” by clicking the bottom left hand corner of the Skype application as shown below, so that Skylook thinks you are away from your PC:
Switch to Away Status

13. Send yourself an email containing the search text you entered above, or wait for one to arrive that contains the search text.

14. Soon after the email is received, the phone number you entered should ring. Answer the call and listen to your email. (NOTE: If you receive emails from Skype contacts, and you have linked the Skype contact to an Outlook contact, you will also have the option to call the Skype contact back, by pressing “1″ on your phone).

15. If you did not receive a phone call, check the Outlook inbox. If Skylook had problems calling your phone (e.g. if the number is invalid), the details of the problem are placed in a new inbox item for you to review.

16. Once you’ve finished trying this, don’t forget to set your Skype status back to “Online”. By default, Skype switches your status to “Away” automatically if your computer is left idle for more than five minutes. (Note: You may wonder what happens with emails that come in during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook forwards these emails also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).

If you need additional help, contact us for assistance.

How to receive Voicemail messages in your Outlook inbox     

It’s easier to stay organized and in control if you only need to check one place for incoming messages and for outstanding action items. If like most people, you already keep a close eye on your email inbox, it makes sense to get other messages, such as voice messages, via your inbox also – this way you only really need to pay attention to a single stream of incoming information.

If you would like to do this, and you use Outlook as your email client, the instructions below show you a simple way to do it. (The steps shown allow you to try it for free to see how it operates).

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts through the pages and when you see the pages below, fill them out as shown:
Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 1

Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 2

Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 3

(NOTE: An alternative to the Skylook Answering Machine is Skype Voicemail. If you have a Skype Voicemail subscription, you can leave the Skylook Answering Machine off – Voicemail messages will automatically be sent to your inbox. You can purchase Skype Voicemail here).


4. If you are not running Skylook for the first time, and you can’t remember how you configured call answering when you were prompted by the Skylook Welcome Wizard, choose “Tools | Configure Answering Machine” from the Skylook toolbar:
Configure Answering Machine

This will bring up a wizard similar to that shown above.

5. Get someone to call you on Skype.

6. When the call is received, let Skylook answer the call (or let Skype answer it if you are using Skype Voicemail).

7. After the caller has hung up, check your inbox. You should see a message like this one:
Voicemail in Inbox

8. Click on the message. A “Play” button will appear in the toolbar:
Play Button

Click it to hear the recording.
Call Playback

9. Open the item. You will see a number of hyperlinks in the item that allow you to take various actions (for example, call the person back).
Skylook Voicemail Hyperlinks

If you need help with any of the above, please contact us for assistance.