Part of the point of artificial intelligence is to automate things so you can save time. It seems every week there is a new AI-powered app that makes some aspect of day-to-day life easier.
For most, one of the biggest parts of day-to-day life is work, and there are fewer who love to save time more than busy professionals. Here are six ways you can harness the power of AI to save time throughout your workday, freeing you up for other tasks.
1. Spend less time trying to look professional
Oftentimes the first big decision of the workday comes before you even leave your house — what to wear. Some enjoy choosing outfits each day, but many others dread it. In the end, choosing which clothes to wear shouldn’t take up a large chunk of your morning.
You can easily trim this task down to a minute a day with Epytom, an AI-powered style bot that works through Facebook Messenger or Telegram. The bot gives you personalized daily looks in a minute or less, tailored for your weather and from pieces you already own.
The service also helps you buy value-priced clothing with the goal of slimming down your wardrobe. Epytom contends you only need 40 pieces of clothing to get stylish looks for any occasion.
2. Master your commute
There is another tedious part of your workday that happens before you get to the office — the commute. People get to work in different ways, and that may change on a day-to-day basis depending on a number of factors, such as weather, traffic or whether you plan to carpool with someone.
One tool to use to customize your commute is Citymapper for iOS and Android, a transit app for all modes of transportation, including subway, bus, rail, ferry, bike/car sharing and Uber. The app updates every minute and gives you real-time departure and traffic info. It also includes transit maps and real-time disruption alerts, which can be very helpful if you’re already running late.
So far the app is optimized for New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia in the U.S., with more cities to come. It also works with Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal in Canada, as well as select cities in Australia, Europe and Latin America.
3. Don’t let email rule your waking hours
One of the first things many do when they get to the office is dive into their email inbox, which is a good way to suck time away when you’re in your most alert and creative state of the day.
A good tool to combat email overload is Notion, available for iPhone, Android and Amazon Alexa — iPad and desktop versions are in development. The app’s AI learns from you and begins to highlight your most important email messages, while still allowing you to see every message so you don’t miss anything.
Another AI-powered email tool for iOS is Astro, which manages your Gmail and Office 365 email using a chat bot that helps remove clutter from your inbox. The app organizes your inbox using natural chat conversations, and it learns how you handle emails as you go.
4. Stay on top of projects
For many businesses, Slack is a good way to handle collaborative work. Everybody can see what everyone else is working on, and you can receive updates when a particular task is done.
Now, using technology from API.AI, you can add a layer of artificial intelligence to Slack in the form of a customized conversational chat bot. You can build a bot with no coding required, and it can handle many different types of tasks.
One good use is for employee onboarding. If you have a new employee or team member set to join your project, you could set up the bot on Slack to get the new member up to speed in a conversational chat-like context. This eliminates the need for you to manually train someone on the basics, giving you more time for other tasks.
5. Automate boring tasks
Depending on your job, your day-to-day office responsibilities could include booking travel arrangements, making insurance claims, ordering supplies or licensing software. All of this can be handled easily by Alme, an AI interface you chat with to get things done.
You can interact with Alme across devices, using a keyboard, touch screen or microphone. Here’s a simple example of how it works: Your office needs a new shipment of envelopes, so you ask Alme to make the order. If you have made the same order before, Alme will ask if you’d like to repeat that order and then will handle it automatically.
There are Alme products for a variety of applications, including travel, insurance, communications, IT, human capital management and sales.
6. Schedule meetings easily
Many office meetings may come along with an eye roll, but in reality, effective meetings can be very productive. One thing that’s not particularly productive, however, is the process of email pinball needed to get everyone on the same page for when and where the meeting will take place.
To bypass this, try x.ai, a personal assistant called Amy for scheduling meetings. To get Amy involved, simply add firstname.lastname@example.org to the CC line of your email. The AI then emails others to find the best time and location, keeping your schedule and preferences in mind. Once all is settled, a meeting invite will appear in your inbox.
The service is available for a free seven-day trial. The professional version costs $39 per month, while a business version costs $59 per month.
There will undoubtedly be more new and helpful AI apps and services for office professionals as the technology evolves and becomes more widespread. For now, there are already at least six ways you can use AI to help make your work schedule much more seamless.