The daily minutiae of everyday activities — scheduling meetings, keeping a shopping list, remembering to turn off the lights — can drain our brains of the energy to do the big stuff we really want to be doing. And for most, providing a salary to hire a person to do these simple tasks full-time isn’t an option.
Luckily for the chore fatigued, virtual assistants range from affordable to totally free and are readily available. Some hire human virtual assistants (OurErrands and MyRighty are two of our favorites), but artificial intelligence-driven assistants are also rapidly improving for tasks in the home and office.
Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft Cortana are all fairly advanced AI assistants for home tasks. Likewise, there are office-targeted AI devices popping up rapidly to help with scheduling meetings and following up on emails.
There are many things both AI and human virtual assistants can do now to improve your life, but here are four ways those new to the concept can get started and get organized.
Wake you up — on time
For the non-morning people, many virtual assistants can be programmed to set fail-proof alarms. For example, when integrated with a Google Home speaker, Philips Hue lights and a Wemo outlet, you can program your lights to gradually turn on at 7 a.m., along with your preferred morning music and even the coffee pot.
Have you ever arrived at work only to be plagued in your head with questions like, “Did I turn that light off?”, “What about my curling iron?” With a smart house, everything can be programmed to automatically shut off at 9 a.m. In addition to making your home life easier, they can tell you what’s on your calendar for the day, add reminders, create shopping lists, and more.
Take care of HR paperwork
For entrepreneurs and business executives, taking care of some of the more mundane parts of business can be draining to both time and money. However, skipping certain processes, like HR paperwork, is a mistake. Enter Human Resources Virtual Assistants. These human assistants fulfill basic HR administration duties remotely under the employment of a third party company.
Fin advertises that it can call, email, text, schedule, research, book, and make purchases for customers. The service uses voice transcription and text communication to determine context, learn preferences, and handle requests. The service operates on a $1 per minute plan. Clara, a similar service operating on the assumption that hours spent on tedious tasks are a design flaw in our systems, offers meeting scheduling, confirmations, follow ups, and more with highly conversational AI.