Recent tasks I sent to my virtual personal assistants


I find myself recommending virtual personal assistants to people quite frequently (among other services). I personally use Fancy Hands. (No, they did not ask me to write this post.)

I don't think many people I've recommended it to have converted, however. It's a way of life change, and those are hard to make.

"What do use it for?" is the standard question. To answer that question more effectively, here are my last twenty tasks (abridged):
  1. Find me a high-quality black yoga mat on Amazon Prime.
  2. Find me replacement hardware for this Restoration Hardware table.
  3. Schedule an oven repair given these error codes.
  4. Make dinner reservations tonight.
  5. Schedule our regular painter to come out and give us an estimate.
  6. Schedule our car to go in for a recall and mirror replacement.
  7. Find out why our corporate filing never went through.
  8. Find the gross profit margin, revenue and # of users for a variety of tech companies.
  9. Buy us a membership at a local kids museum.
  10. Sign us up for sewer insurance.
  11. Help me find an interview of Ira Glass interviewing Terry Gross.
  12. Get a kick-plate for our new fridge, which was missing from the packaging.
  13. Research co-working spaces in Brooklyn given some parameters.
  14. Figure out how to replace the glass on a phone cheaply.
  15. Figure out how to replace a custom wood vent in our house.
  16. Schedule our other car to go in for a battery and radio fix.
  17. Find a place to donate some specific furniture to.
  18. Schedule our regular electrician to come out.
  19. Fix a messed up order with Verizon FIOS.
  20. Schedule a shower door company to come out and give us an estimate.

These are all from the last six weeks. We just remodeled our basement so there is a bit more house stuff, but generally I use it mostly for:
  • Scheduling (reservations, estimates, etc.).
  • Web research (purchases, lazyweb, etc.).
  • Making any phone calls possible I don't have to make (orders, support, etc.).
  • Arranging travel (booking, what to do, etc.).
Fancy Hands also has a common requests page.

If you're on the fence, I suggest buying an unlimited plan somewhere for a year. That will really commit you up-front and force you more than otherwise to make that way-of-life change.


If you have comments, hit me up on Twitter.
I'm the Founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn't track you. I'm also the co-author of Traction, the book that helps you get customer growth. More about me.