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7 Ways to Have an Assistant Without Getting an Assistant

Wouldn’t it be great to have someone organize all your tasks, help you with completing the more mundane ones, and remind you when you’re running late to your next appointment? For most of us, having a killer personal assistant is a dream out of our financial reach. Luckily, there are a couple of tech innovations that get us one step closer to that dream. (And I know a lot of people who are so stressed they probably DO dream about that!)

1. iVee Assistant: This little device looks like a digital clock and takes the smart-home tech trend to the next level. iVee is voice-operated and can perform basically any function you can think of. You can ask her the weather or stock prices, and she can even to tell you a bedtime story. (Wait, what!?) She can also remind you to do tasks and change the radio station. If you already have smart devices in your home, like Nest or Belkin WeMo, iVee can operate those by the sound of your voice.

2. Cue: Cue is like Siri on steroids. It consolidates all of your email, calendar appointments, social networks and more so that it can serve up only the most important information to you. It can even “read” your email and find important bits of data like tracking numbers and flight times. Recently, it gave me a notification that said I would be having a shipment arrive on my doorstep that afternoon — and it did! Magic.

3. Osito: Similar to Cue, Osito connects your email and calendar  accounts. Like a nagging assistant, it makes sure you’re on schedule. It sends you an alert any time you are running late by using GPS to detect where you are, where your next appointment is, and how long it will take to get there. You may never miss an important meeting again!

4. Donna: Just released this week, Donna promises to not only compile important information from email and calendars, but she will take it all a step further by connecting that data. For instance, the app will text you to bring an umbrella for that dinner party tonight because she knows a rainstorm is coming. Or she’ll ask to dial you into your next phone conference so that you don’t have to scrummage for the number. What makes this app really awesome is that Donna becomes smarter over time — once she starts learning your patterns, she will be able to make even better decisions for you which will save you more time in the process.

5. EasilyDo: This app aims to be a one-stop shop for your notifications and focuses on saving you time — it even offers an estimate for how much time you’ve saved since downloading the app. It pulls information from your email and calendar and even Facebook to make sure you’re on top of your game. I love that it alerts you to friends’ birthdays… and even lets you wish them a happy birthday right from the app!

6. Google Now: This app by Google is designed to deliver you all the information you need… and none that you don’t. It looks like a basic Google search bar, but it’s oh-so-much more than that. Below the search bar are “cards” that pop up with information relevant to you, from weather to scores to transit schedules. If the cards aren’t relevant, you can swipe them off the screen and the app learns what you do and don’t want to see. My favorite feature? Photo Spot, which shows you nearby locations with a lot of Google Images. You might just find a hidden gem of a parklet :)

7. TaskRabbit: If you’re looking to get more than your digital life in order, this is your solution. It’s basically like a personal-assistant-on-demand service. Instead of hiring an assistant to sit at a desk all day, you can hire one only when you need something to do. Get someone to grab you a coffee, put together your Ikea furniture, or organize your files (virtual or physical) — it’s super easy. Just post a task online; then, within minutes you’ll get a bid from a credible, vetted TaskRabbit employee for how much it would cost for them to take care of it.

What tech serves as your personal assistant? Or, are you just waiting patiently for a fully functioning robotic assistant? Let us know in the comments below or over on Twitter.

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