Many of us spend our workweeks mindlessly completing an endless cycle of menial, tedious tasks.
We spend hours sending and replying to emails, booking meetings, attending meetings, reporting on meetings, sending project updates or submitting tickets.
These sorts of mundane chores that eat up our precious time are referred to as “metawork,” or “work about work.” Metawork is a necessity for accomplishing larger goals, but you’d be surprised how much of it can be outsourced. We now have artificial intelligence assistants that can complete dull yet crucial jobs—often quicker and with more precision than any human.
Here are 10 AI assistants that can free up your time and let you focus on more substantive projects:
1. Cortana by Microsoft
If you’re one of the 400 million people using Windows 10, you already have an AI assistant ready to help you. Cortana’s best productivity trick is to turn inbox content into handy tasks and reminders, but it can also schedule meetings with team members.
If you integrate it with Office 365, you can also ask Cortana to copy/paste text from one document to another without having to hunt for the doc yourself.
2. Hendrix.ai by TestfireLabs
Meetings are still a crucial component of doing business, but they’re a waste of time unless you accurately capture what was discussed and agreed upon. Hendrix.ai is an AI assistant that transcribes your meeting minutes, captures action items and collects your entire meeting history in one place, so you can focus on the meeting at hand instead of furiously scribbling notes.
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3. Alexa for Business by Amazon
Just like at home, Alexa for Business uses small speakers throughout the office that listen for voice commands to complete simple tasks such as ordering supplies or submitting support tickets.
Businesses can create “Custom Skills” that can increase Alexa’s abilities. At the office, you can connect Alexa to your in-house data to answer questions such as, “What are our daily sales across all stores?” You can also use Alexa to help prep for a meeting, dial into conference calls, turn on a projector or load a presentation.
4. Edison Assistant by Edison
Edison Assistant accesses your calendar, email, location and social media accounts. It then processes your content through 43 automated features to compile the most important daily tasks, reminders and actions into a single app. Edison Assistant can remove outdated and duplicate contacts and remind you of birthdays via Facebook. You can even automate texts to send when you leave work.
5. Amy/Andrew by X.ai
X.ai’s AI assistant, Amy Ingram (or Andrew if you prefer a male assistant), uses machine learning and natural language processing to read your email, scan your calendar and book meetings for you. Simply copy “Amy” in your email, and she will propose available times. She’ll also handle the inevitable back and forth to find a time that works for everyone.
Amy can also schedule meetings right into your calendar.
6. Clara by Clara Labs
Clara connects with your calendar to schedule appointments on your behalf. Clara is designed more for people who frequently schedule interviews and phone calls, such as HR professionals.
Once you copy Clara on your email, she takes over the conversation to book the appointment, as well as send reminders to confirm attendance and find available conference rooms.
7. Duplex by Google
Duplex phones businesses for you to book appointments or make reservations. Saving five minutes on a phone call might not start a productivity revolution, but if you’re constantly booking appointments, it adds up.
8. Mezi by Mez Mobile
Mezi researches flights and hotels based on how you answer a few questions through the app’s chatbot. It uses machine learning to adapt to your travel preferences, and it then cuts through the overwhelming clutter to suggest more personalized choices.
Mezi can even book your flights, hotels and check-ins for you. If you’re responsible for booking travel in the office, Mezi has a dashboard that can manage multiple travelers.
9. Restless Bandit by Restless Bandit, Inc.
Restless Bandit’s AI has been trained by over 120 million job postings and 30 million résumés to find good matches between candidates and openings. Restless Bandit finds only qualified applicants, and it serves them job posting through targeted email and ads in Google and Facebook. It can also retarget people who previously applied for similar jobs.
10. EyeEm by EyeEm GmbH
EyeEm is an app that scans your phone’s photo library to tag your images automatically. It then analyzes the composition and balance of a photo to create an aesthetics ranking.
EyeEm has a software development kit that businesses can run on image libraries to tag and rank photos. It’s a great way to save time organizing gigabits’ worth of old photos, and it also provides helpful feedback on the quality of your shots.
How much metawork can you free up?
Over the course of a month, mundane tasks can add up to hours of mindless metawork. Make these new AI helpers part of your crew, and you’ll likely see a major boost in productivity and efficiency around the office.
A version of this post first appeared on Business 2 Community.