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How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Personal Assistant

Whether you work from a corporate office highrise or you WFH more often, having a personal assistant is a business luxury most of us will only ever dream of. However, that dream may be easier to achieve than you think!

To help you become more efficient at work, a personal assistant may track your emails, take notes and organize your to-do lists, shop for and deliver your groceries, and bring you an afternoon Starbucks…but now, so can your smartphone with the use of some handy personal assistant apps. It may not be a living person to boss around, but thanks to technology, your smartphone can act as your very own personal assistant (or virtual assistant) in no time. Here’s how:

Track your emails.

With the number of times a modern career man or woman accesses and views email in a given work day, it can often feel impossible to remember who has (or hasn’t) opened, read, and responded to messages. Rather than having a real-life assistant file through pages of emails (or worse, try to do it yourself), download Yesware and let it do the email tracking for you. Yesware keeps track of  when your emails are being read and who is reading them, saving you time and effort.

Take notes & organize lists.

Rather than using a secretary-style assistant to write down notes and lists while you tell them aloud, enlist Siri’s help and download Evernote on your phone and computer. Evernote is the perfect way to keep your notes and lists organized, but it also allows you to share and create collaborative notes. You can always opt-out of downloading a new app and just use your good ol’ fashion Notes app. Bonus: a recent Notes update now lets you create charts and bullet point checklists!

Shop for & deliver your groceries.

Going to the grocery store and searching up and down every aisle is about the least relaxing thing to do after a long day running a business. So, the next time you take your lunch break (or brain break), try grocery shopping online using Instacart. It’ll have your personalized groceries delivered by the time you arrive home from work. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Bring you an afternoon Starbucks.

Afternoons in the office can be hard. When the end is drawing near and focus is nowhere to be found — but you still have so much work to do! —  you may find yourself wishing an assistant could bring you an afternoon pick-me-up. Well, they can! Or your phone can, at least. Use Postmates, Grubhub, or UberEats to have coffee delivered straight to your office any time of the day.

More on Personal Assistant Apps

Balancing your work and personal life can be a challenge for most small business owners, but using technology to work smarter, not harder, can help. Are you already using your smartphone as a personal assistant? Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite personal assistant app that we’ve included or left out!