Update to “My So-Called Virtual Life: The Assistants Which Power Hunter Walk”
A year ago I wrote about the virtual assistant products that had found their way into my life. Since the category was VERY hyped up in 2015, and seemed to cool a bit this year (from an adoption/investment perspective), here’s how my usage trends have changed over the 365 days.
Fancy Hands: STILL my go-to task-based assistant. I don’t use FH for meeting scheduling but instead rely upon them for a variety of requests. Recent ones include:
- Submitting information to my insurance company around policy changes
- Arranging car service when I’m traveling (and Uber isn’t the best solution for some reason)
- A list of SF Holiday ballet and dance performances appropriate for kids to attend
- Martial arts classes in SF that fathers and daughters can attend together
- List of private chefs who specialize in preparing meals for recovering cancer patients (for a friend)
Facebook Messenger’s M: Held steady but narrowed. M isn’t currently suited for complex tasks where research or judgment impacts quality. M also won’t touch anything it deems medical related, so no scheduling doctor appointments or even checking if a prescription is ready for pickup from the pharmacy. That said, I use M to schedule hair cuts, restaurant reservations and similar requests where a call and information submission or retrieval is needed. I often queue these up pre-normal business hours and then M will address once these businesses are open.
Wonder: I use Wonder for b2b’ish research but they’re really good for any type of research question where you could imagine a subject expert needing 15–30 minutes to pull you together an answer. Quality can really vary but they’ll redo a project if you find the results insufficient. Use this URL to get yourself $15 off a task: https://askwonder.com/r/hunterwalk
GetService: Solves customer service issues for you. I don’t have these often but when I do, I turn to Service first. They just resolved a disputed hotel charge for me from my minibar with very little effort on my part. Still a free service.
What am I missing? Are there awesome virtual assistant services you use?