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Every iPhone User Needs To Know These Smart Ways To Use Siri

Every iPhone User Needs To Know These Smart Ways To Use Siri

Siri is an artificial intelligence program built into the iPhone and newer iOS devices. Siri is a powerful time management and productivity tool. Understanding this tool will dramatically improve your daily efficiency and memory.

Getting started with Siri

1. In order to access Siri, your iPhone has to be on but it does not have to be unlocked. Simply hold the “Home Circle” at the bottom of your iPhone for two seconds and you will hear two little delightful beeps. You will see a microphone image appear on the screen and just to the left of the microphone is a tiny question mark inside a circle.

2. Tap the question mark to immediately view examples of the wide variety of tips and time-saving shortcuts included in the current functionality of Siri.

Siri Imge 0.5

    I was unfamiliar with the full functionality of this iPhone feature. Once you hold down the home circle key and you tap on the question mark at the bottom left of the image shown above, your iPhone will walk you through the images shown throughout this article.

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    Siri has thousands of practical uses.

    The following screen shots are from my personal iPhone 5s. Let me give you a guided tour of how I have used Siri in just the last seven days.

    Siri Imge 1

      Send Messages

      The capability to speak a text message via Siri has boosted my efficiency exponentially. No more typing and retyping. Instead I can say:

      • Text John Arnold (if you pause, Siri will politely ask, what would you like to text John Arnold? If you don’t pause, your message just continues): “Will you resend me the link to your last webinar”
      • Text Mom: “Mom I will call you back in 30 minutes”
      • Reply to Teresa Beck: “We will meet you at the restaurant at 12:15”
      • Send a message to Susan: “So proud of Bowen’s three point shot”
      • Text Mary Ann: “Thanks for picking me up at 4:30. Is that 4:30 Central Standard Time or 4:30 MAG time?” (My friend MAG runs 15 minutes late–she functions in her own time zone. MAG’s very last text message to me was “MAG time plus I am running 15 minutes later than that!)

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      Siri Imge 2.0

        Adding and Changing Calendar Events

        This Siri feature is #2 on my iPhone most loved capabilities. The abilities are remarkable. This is just a partial list of how I use the calendaring functionality Siri offers:

        • “Siri, what is on my calendar today?”
        • “Move my 9:30 am meeting to 10 am”
        • “Schedule a call with Michele at 9:30 am today”
        • “Meet with Ellen at noon to discuss new book concept”
        • “Set up a meeting with Bridget in the conference room at 2 pm
        • “Cancel my 2:30 pm appointment”
        • “What is on my calendar for this Friday afternoon?”

        I love being able to tell my phone the time and date of a meeting, event or appointment, and have it instantly put on my calendar. And, if I have an overlapping conflict, Siri will let me know that as well.

        Maps and Navigation

        I am one of those women who understands left and right, but not north, south, east and west. Every few days I push the round home button on my iPhone and say:

        • “How far is it from Jonesboro, Arkansas to Memphis, Tennessee?”
        • “Give me directions to my house”
        • “How far am I from the next turn?
        • “What is my ETA?
        • “What is Abby’s address?”
        • “What are the walking directions to Gina’s Restaurant?”

        Siri Imge 3.0

          Reminders

          Using Siri to set reminders is the feature I use the most. Your short-term memory is like a dry erase white board. Ideas, thoughts and tasks will briefly creep into your conscious awareness, but if you don’t have access to an immediate place to capture that idea, it will be gone forever. The best part of the reminder functionality is that you can request the exact date and time you would like Sire to remind you to complete a task.

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          • “Remind me to pick up the milk at 5:30 pm today”
          • “Remind me to write the budget proposal at 10:00 am tomorrow”
          • “Remind me to take my car into the shop next Thursday at 7:30 am”
          • “Remind me to write James a thank you note”

          Siri Imge 4.0

            Email, Alarms and Other Clock Uses

            Siri is efficient for emailing your friends and asking about specific emails you have received, but I would be careful about sending verbal emails to people you don’t know well. Siri sometimes misinterprets your words. However, I love the alarms and other clock uses. At the touch of a button I can tell Siri:

            • “Wake me up at 7:45 tomorrow morning”
            • “Set alarm to leave for lunch at 11:35 am”
            • “What is the date for next Tuesday?”
            • “Set the timer for 15 minutes” (this is great for baking cookies)

            Siri Imge 5.0

              Web, Notes and Questions

              With the search the web feature and questions you can find out almost anything. Periodically Siri might say, “Hhhmmm, let me check the web for that” or “I am unable to retrieve information at this time”. You might ask:

              • “What is the address of the nearest gas station?”
              • “Who won the baseball world series in 1964?”
              • “What movies are playing at the Malco Theater in Jonesboro, Arkansas?”
              • “Why should I buy a hybrid car?

              Notes allow you to store information that is less time sensitive, but you still want a place to capture that information for retrieval at a later time. You might say:

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              • “Note that Abby wears a size 7 shoe”
              • “Note that Ann’s favorite color is turquoise”
              • “Note that Heather is allergic to shellfish”

              You can even add individual note to a specific note:

              • “Note that we use the 12 oz package of noodles to my grocery note”

              Siri is a powerful time management and productivity tool. Everyone relies on time management and reminder tools to function more efficiently in life.

              With Siri you can begin to rely less on:

              • notepads
              • the back of envelopes
              • sticky notes
              • the palm of your hand
              • paper calendars
              • formal written to-do lists
              • calling your own voice mail
              • emailing yourself
              • even putting rubber bands around your wrists

              Fun Siri facts

              1. Siri is a limited intelligence personal assistant
              2. Siri uses a natural user language interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services
              3. The name “Siri” is Norwegian, and means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory.” It comes from the intended name for the original developer’s first child.

              More by this author

              Allyson Lewis

              Allyson is a nationally acclaimed author, motivator, speaker, time management, productivity strategist, and executive coach.

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              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

              Joe’s Goals

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                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                Daytum

                  Daytum

                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                  Excel or Numbers

                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                    Evernote

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                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                      Access or Bento

                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                        Conclusion

                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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