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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

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              Last Updated on December 30, 2018

              18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

              18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

              No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

              If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

              But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

              Let’s dive straight into the list…

              1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

                If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

                Download Rescue Time

                2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

                  If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

                  Download Remember the Milk

                  3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

                    This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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                    Download Focus Booster

                    4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

                      This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

                      Download Toggl

                      5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

                        There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

                        Download Dropbox

                        6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

                          Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

                          Download Evernote

                          7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                            Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                            Download Mind42

                            8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                              This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                              Download SnycBackFree

                              9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                                Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                                Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                                10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                                  This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                  Download 1Password

                                  11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                                    When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                                    Download Pocket

                                    12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                                      This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                                      Download [email protected]

                                      13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                                        This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                                        Download Launchy

                                        14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                                          This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                          Download Forest

                                          15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                            This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                            Download Trello

                                            16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                              Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                              Download Wunderlist

                                              17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                                This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                                Download Time Tree

                                                18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                                  Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                  Download Todoist

                                                  The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                  Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                                  40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                                  More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                                  • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                                  • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                                  • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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