Just a few short years ago the idea of having an electronic personal assistant was pure science fiction.
Now, thanks to voice-command apps like Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Ok Google, any entrepreneur can use artificial intelligence (AI) to keep their businesses running productively.
It takes some time to get used to using voice command apps instead of operating your phone manually, and many people get frustrated when voice commands do not work correctly the first time. However, these apps can be trained to learn more about the way you talk and the terms you use, and if you stick with them, you will find that utilizing voice commands saves time and boosts your productivity. Not only that, it is like hiring an extra employee for your small business that you do not have to pay, never takes a sick day and learns to adapt to your way of thinking the same way a human can.
Here are just a few different ways to utilize voice command apps to turn your smartphone into the only personal assistant you will ever need.
Keep in contact without disrupting your workflow
Voice-assisted apps allow you to use your voice to respond to text messages and emails throughout your day without having to stop what you are doing to sit down and compose your thoughts. Voice command apps act as a go-between that makes sending a text message or email as easy as having a normal conversation with someone who is already sitting in the room with you. Think of it like having an administrative assistant that you dictate letters to, you just aren’t paying them a salary.
This process becomes even easier once you set up your contacts with your voice assisted app of choice. Apps like Siri can learn titles for the people in your life, so you can say “Tell my lawyer I am going to be late for our meeting” or “Call the office.” If the app is having a problem with someone’s name, you can add nicknames and even phonetic spellings in some cases that make communication more intuitive and natural.
Scheduling and time management
Voice-assisted apps can also be like having a personal appointment manager at your fingertips to help you better manage your time to keep your small business running efficiently. These apps work with your phone’s calendar and other scheduling programs to help you organize your time and keep you on task. Thanks to the natural language interface, scheduling is as easy as asking “Do I have anything scheduled for Thursday evening?” to “Remind me to call Jane tomorrow morning.”
You can also set up reoccurring events such as “Schedule a meeting with Jim every Friday at four.” Apps like Siri can even sync up with your contacts and send Jim a reminder every Friday before the meeting begins, which gives you one less task you have to do over the course of the busy work day. Whether it be setting alarms, making sure you hit certain milestones throughout the day, tracking your time for billing purposes or timed productivity techniques, such as the Pomodoro technique, voice-command apps can save you an impressive amount of time and keep you on track.
Location-based reminders and alerts
We have all had this happen to us at one point or another: you have something important to remember, you even write it down on a note, but the minute you leave the house or office you completely forget and your helpful reminder is nowhere to be found. Setting location based reminders with voice command apps like Siri and Cortana eliminates this problem by making sure you have the information you need at the exact moment when you need it the most.
Utilizing the GPS on your smartphone, location-based reminders will ping you with a message whenever you get close to certain places. For example, you could set a reminder to go off whenever you are near a client’s office that reminds you to pop in to either say “Hello” or remind them of a current promotion. You can also set up location-based reminders that go off when you leave a certain area, like a reminder to bring in coffee and bagels for your hardworking team as soon as you leave the house in the morning. Location based reminders are even more intuitive when you set up your preferred locations, such as home, work, accountant’s office and so on. That way, setting up location-based reminders can be as easy as saying “Siri, remind me to call Bob when I get to work.”
The more you use it, the easier it gets
These are just a few of the many ways that voice assisted apps can help today’s busy business professional stay productive, but the more time you spend with these apps, the more useful they become. Just like a real personal assistant, these apps need time to learn about your working nuances and the more details you provide, the easier it is to communicate. Your best bet is to experiment and see what works for you.