How to receive SMS or phone alerts when important contacts come online     

Have you ever wanted to talk to someone urgently but been unable to contact them? If so, when that person finally “surfaced” again, you would probably have appreciated a way of knowing (rather than having to continually try to reach them, or rely on them hearing/reading a message from you and getting back to you).

The following steps give you a way of doing this: you tell your PC who you want to contact, and your PC alerts you via SMS or phone when they come online on Skype. For phone alerts you can press a button on your phone to immediately call the person back, via Skype. (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.

(You’ll also need some contacts in order to complete the steps below. Search for someone you know on Skype, or introduce a friend to Skype. Alternatively, Skylook will tell you which of your Outlook contacts uses Skype if you choose to run the “SkySync” option in the Welcome wizard).

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

5. Choose “When a Contact comes on-line” from the list of options, then click “Next”:
Alert when Contact comes online

6. Select the contact or contacts you are interested in:
Online contacts to send alerts for

7. Fill out this wizard page as shown (using your phone number instead of the one shown):
On-line alert phone number

8. Fill out the next wizard page as shown:
On-line alert audio

9. Accept the default settings in the next page:
On-line alert timing

10. Enter a name for the alert, then click “Finish”:
On-line alert description

11. 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 receive alerts 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).

12. To test the 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. Soon after the contact you chose next comes online, the phone number you entered should ring. Answer the call – you will be told that the contact is now online. (NOTE: You will also have the option to call the Skype contact back, by pressing “1″ on your phone).

14. 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.

15. 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 contacts that come on-line during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook alerts you of these also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).

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