5 Things I Tell Siri That Help Me Run My Business

From Steve Cooper.

Back in January Apple released an update to their mobile operating system. With that came a few upgrades to the personal virtual assistant, Siri. While those specific updates will be helpful for recreational applications (e.g., buying movie tickets) I thought now would be a good time to share how I’ve been using Siri on a regular basis, helping me save time while running my business.


1. “Remind me…”I’m constantly juggling three or four projects at a time—and within each project there’s usually 10 or more things to accomplish. To help get things straight I set a lot of reminders. The great thing about Reminders within iOS is that I can have it remind me based on location. For example, if I’m out at lunch I can say, “Remind me to write my next Forbes column when I arrive at work.” Setting times is also very helpful when I need to return a call or fire off an e-mail before the end of the day. I can say, “Remind me to call John at 4:45pm.” When the reminder goes off, I can then tell Siri to “Call John.”

2. “Take a note…” As a writer, editor and CEO, I’m constantly brainstorming new ideas and taking notes. The quickest and easiest way I’ve ever found was to just tell Siri what I wanted and have it transcribe. The convenience of not having to grab pen and paper or even open a laptop is remarkably liberating. So I’ll say for example, “Take a note…Create a special Valentine’s Day section for the website and feature it on the homepage.” Sometimes I’ll create lists. With these you can tell Siri “new line” to create a line break for the subsequent item. If you are synced through iCloud (and this applies to other apps as well) your notes will be waiting for you on your computer when you’re sitting at your desk.

3. “Set a timer for…” Time management is a huge issue made much easier when I set time limits for myself. When I’m really in a crunch, I’ll give myself just a certain amount of time to accomplish something then move on, regardless of where I am in the process. The easiest way to make this happen is to set a timer. I simply tell Siri, “Set a timer for 45 minutes.” The timer begins counting down and in less than an hour I’m moving on to my next project. I find this works particularly well when I’m going through social network feeds where time magically vanishes as I dig through the information.

4. “Search the web for…” With all the fancy apps on the iPhone, this command almost seems like a quaint throwback to how we previously looked up information. Of course, that’s not the case. Whether it’s a business, a person or a query to see how a search term ranks on a mobile device, I’m regularly asking Siri for things like, “Search the web for Valentine’s Day ideas on a shoestring budget.”

5. “Launch…” Amongst many things that I do, I also write app reviews, which means I have pages and pages of apps. Even when I try to keep things organized with folders, it can be cumbersome to navigate the more than 200 apps I have on my iPhone. So I just tell Siri to “Open” or “Launch” a particular app by the app name. The best part is that Siri  is “smart” enough to open apps even if you don’t get the name exactly right. In fact, if I’m launching the Bank of America app, for example, I can say, “Open B of A.”

Do you have any Siri tips or tricks that help you? Please share them in the comments below.



Source: Steve Cooper