Now that a new year has started, our dreams of becoming super-organized have gone into overdrive. Alas, if only we had a personal assistant to handle all of life's nuances. Seeing as there are a host of personal assistant mobile apps out there to help us get our act together, it seems like we're in luck.
One of the hottest tech trends of 2015 is the virtual assistant. Apple, Google and Yahoo have all acquired smart virtual personal assistants (SVPAs) to integrate into mobile apps. Even though you will have to run to Starbucks yourself, you can still download a virtual personal assistant that will help organize just about every aspect of your life. And don't worry, you can go all Devil Wears Prada on 'em. Check out the five best personal assistant apps to help you organize your life.
1. Google Now
Sure, you could ask Siri just about anything, but you may be looking for a virtual version of Lloyd from Entourage to organize your life. If that's the case, it may be time to download Google Now, the "intelligent personal assistant" that is available for iOS and Android, as well as your desktop. The app organizes just about everything you can think of, giving you assistance around the clock. Info is organized into cards that provide all the info you need without you having to spend time searching.
The cards are customizable so you see what's important to you like traffic, weather, relevant websites or sport scores. The latest update includes barcode scanning, song recognition and the ability to store your boarding pass. If you need every aspect of your life organized in neat packages, this app is for you.
(Similar to Google Now is EasilyDo smart assistant, available free for iOS and Android, which is recommended by many techies. The app has 37 auto features and more if you pay, making it pretty much Google Now on steroids. However, some say it is not as smart as Google Now or Siri. For that, we give it an noteworthy honorable mention.)
If you are forgetful, then you need a virtual personal assistant that works like a second brain. 24me auto-generates reminders so you will never miss an important meeting or event, or forget to pay a bill. 24me combines your calendar, to-do lists and notes all in one easy to use, clutter free app. It syncs with other apps like Facebook to send messages to your friends on their birthday in case it slipped your mind, lets you share notes with coworkers or friends, and combines just about every part of your life into one package.
The app, which is rated one of the top 10 productivity apps on the App Store, is free to download and is now available for Android.
If Mark Zuckerberg uses it, we are down to download it as well. Quip is one of the best apps out there and is pretty much the virtual office used by Facebook, Instagram and Quora. Quip allows users to collaborate with others on documents, spreadsheets and checklists. Users can create, import or share documents, allowing others to update them as well, and there is a sidebar that allows you to check in with workers and review the edits they made.
If you are looking to increase productivity at work by organizing those docs, Quip is for you. It's free for iOS and Android.
If you love lists or need to work on creating easy formats to organize your thoughts, the things you have to do, or even the movies you want to watch, than Wunderlist is for you. The app combines organization and productivity with the classic to-do list— all in a sleek package. Users can share lists with others and have conversations about them. It comes in handy when planning a family vacation or delegating someone to run out for milk.
Wunderlist also helps you discover things such as the best recipes or movies to watch. The app is free to download on iOS and Android.
When "hiring" a virtual personal assistant you want to be able to speak to it directly without having to type or search for anything. Speaktoit is pretty much Siri after she has been promoted. The app lets you make calls, send texts and search the web, all while remembering everything from your favorite preferences. All you have to do is give it commands and Speaktoit will give you the best suggestion to fit your schedule. The app will answer your questions, perform tasks and give you social network updates.
The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and is also independent, meaning it also works on tablets, making it always at your service. You can make your personal assistant a blonde or brunette, a handsome man or even an old professor.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Corwin/Flickr]