A lot of people, especially small business owners that are running everything on their iPhones, need to send recurring messages. But how? Apple doesn’t have a native system for sending scheduled text messages but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
There are third-party apps you can use to get this done, but there is also an iPhone app that can help you out, Shortcuts. If you are running an iOS version older than 13, you may need to download Shortcuts from the app store.
This method is only for setting up recurring messages that are sent daily, weekly, or monthly at a specific time. If you want to send delayed texts or need more control over your options, you will need to find a third-party app to set that up.
Step 1. Open the Shortcuts app.
Step 2. Choose the “Automation” icon from the options on the bottom of the screen.
Step 3. If this is your first automation, select the big blue button “Create Personal Automation.” If you have already created automations, select the + icon in the top right corner and then select “Create Personal Automation.”
Step 4. Choose “Time of Day” at the top of the menu.
Step 5. Select your choices for time of day to send and when the message will repeat.
Step 6. After choosing when to send, tap “Next” in the top right corner.
Step 7. Tap “Add Action.” From the menu that scrolls up from the bottom, either choose an existing suggestion from the “Categories” tab or select the “Apps” tab and scroll down to Messages.
Step 8. The last few people you have texted will show in the “Send Message” field. You can select one of them or tap the + icon to send to a new recipient.
Step 9. Tap on the “Message” field. You can type your message here or you select from multiple preset options in the side scrolling menu above the keyboard.
Step 10. Tap the “Recipients” field. From the screen that slides up, you can enter the phone numbers you would like the message to send to. Tap “Done” in the top right corner to return to the automation.
Step 11. Tap “Next” in the top right corner to proceed to the automation summary. Here you can review the information you have entered and, importantly, toggle the “Ask Before Running” option to yes. Or No if you have no need to review the message before it sends. Tap “Done” in the top right corner to save the automation.
Once the automation is running, and you have selected “Ask Before Sending,” you will get a notification alerting you that it is time for the text to be sent. Tap the notification and select the “Run” option that becomes available.
There are several steps to make this automation work but once it is set you don’t have to do anything else. Except remember to turn it off. Shortcuts doesn’t give you the option of a date to end the automation, so you need to do that manually. When you are ready to turn it off, just return to the Shortcuts app, and slide the button to the left to reveal the “Delete” option.
Or if you think you may want to use it again in the future, you can just disable the automation. Just select the automation you want to change and toggle “Enable this Automation” to the Off position.
This is a great way to stay in touch. We don’t always remember to reach out to our friends and family as often as we should and having an automated text to say a simple “Hello,” or “How are you,” can make a world of difference.
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