If you’ve ever felt like you needed a maid or personal assistant, or if you’ve ever said, “There should be an app for that,” this article is for you. From doing the laundry to driving the kids to soccer practice to having to make dinner after coming home from a 12-hour workday, there are just simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Here are ten ways you can automate everyday tasks and make life a little less hectic.
10. Grocery Shopping
Skip the trip to the supermarket, and let Amazon Fresh deliver your groceries right to your doorstep–or a designated pickup center if you so choose. The grocery delivery service has fruits, veggies, high quality meats, and all the brands you love, like Oscar Mayer, Nature Valley, Butterball, Chobani, Tyson, Yoplait, Johnsonville, Fiber One, and more. With Amazon Fresh you can choose a delivery time that’s convenient for you. If you place an order in the morning, you can opt for same-day delivery. Order in the evening, and you’ll get your groceries first thing in the morning. To simplify things even more, especially if you’re a creature of habit, Amazon Fresh saves your past purchases so you can either add some of those items to your current grocery list, or just re-order everything from the previous shopping “trip.”
NOTE: Amazon Fresh is available exclusively to Amazon Prime members in select cities for an additional fee of $14.99. Not a Prime member yet? Eligible customers can sign up for a 30-day free trial of both Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh.
9. Paying Monthly Bills
Signing up for automatic bill payment eliminates the hassle of writing checks and mailing payments. It also eliminates the worry of forgetting to pay a bill. You can set up recurring payments through your utility companies, internet service providers, and even collection agencies. But did you also know that you may be able to set up recurring payments through your bank? Some banks take care of paying your vendors for you so you never have to worry about late payments or writing checks ever again.
Here’s an example of automatic bill payment with Union Bank & Trust’s BillPay feature:
-Available with UBTgo Online & Mobile Banking
-Enroll and pay your bills with no monthly fee
-Start paying bills automatically, or whenever you choose
-Schedule your payment to be paid on the date you want your vendor to receive it
-Process your transaction(s) on the current business day until 9:00pm Central Time
-Receive your monthly bills electronically within BillPay using e-Bill
-Set up reminders for upcoming bills or alerts when you exceed certain dollar amounts
-Use Popmoney to send or request money from others using just their mobile phone number, e-mail address or bank account information
-Move your funds easily between your accounts at other financial institutions using Account to Account Transfers
8. Meal Planning and Preparation
There’s nothing worse than having to come home and cook dinner after a hard day at work. Well, there’s certainly worse things, but we’re sure it’s very high on the “worst things ever” list. Instead of toiling over dinner, you can sit back, relax, and let a meal delivery service like Fresh ‘n Lean bear the brunt of the work for you.
Here’s what you’ll get with Fresh ‘n Lean:
-chef-prepared, vegan and plant-based, gluten free, low sodium, organic meals made fresh to order
-customized meal plans
-delivery to your home, office, or even a hotel
-convenience (Meals arrive in special vacuum sealed containers that are microwavable and safe to enjoy anywhere. Just heat and eat.)
-reasonable prices (1 meal per day (lunch): $14.99 per day shipped, 2 meals per day (lunch and dinner): $23.50 per day shipped, 3 meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner): $27.99 per day shipped, A la carte: $14.99 per day shipped)
-healthy snacks available
-optional “suggested meal plan” menu
7. Doing Chores
For many, housework is considered one of the more arduous tasks on their to-do list. Manufacturers are aware of this, and have taken steps over the years to make housework less strenuous and less time-consuming. Examples of this are automatic dishwashers, self-cleaning ovens, self-defrosting freezers, and toilet cleaning products like 2000 Flushes. Then came the robot vacuum and the robotic lawn mower. Below is an example of each one and how they can make your life easier:
Roomba Vacuuming Robot
-Cleans pet hair, crumbs, dirt, and daily dust
-Moves seamlessly through your home via smart sensors that automatically guide the robot around your home, navigating under furniture and around clutter to thoroughly clean floors.
-Automatically detects dirt. Dirt Detect sensors alert the robot to spend more time cleaning concentrated areas (e.g. high-traffic areas) of debris.
-Sweeps corners and along walls
-Cleans floors in three stages
Stage 1: Sweeps corners and edges. Specially engineered at a 27 degree angle, the Edge-Sweeping Brush catches dirt, dust, and debris from corners and edges.
Stage 2: Grabs debris with two brushes. Dual Counter-Rotating Brushes work together to grab and remove dirt, dust, and debris from floors.
Stage 3: Suctions dirt and filters debris. The robot’s powerful motor suctions dirt into the filtered dust bin. The High-Efficiency Filter captures 99% of dust, mites, and allergens as small as 10 microns.
-Customize cleaning preferences such as power settings, number of cleaning passes, and final edge clean
-View cleaning history such as completed cleaning cycles, coverage area, and duration. Clean Map reports display floor plans of the coverage area and location of Dirt Detect events
-Can be controlled from your smart device. Use the iRobot HOME App to schedule, start, pause, or cancel cleaning cycles from anywhere at any time. Compatible with Wi‑Fi connected Roomba vacuuming robots.
Robomow Robotic Lawn Mower
-User-friendly, garden-friendly, and family-friendly
-Get a quick summary of your mower’s state, the remaining mowing time, and the next planned operation
-Interact from a distance: Send to mow, return to base, disable automatic depart, and program your mowing schedule
-Get instant assistance, online diagnostics and technical fixes conveniently and remotely
-Effortlessly mow small patches located away from your main lawn and navigate from one area to the other
-The Robomow App is compatible with the following mobile devices running iOS7, Android 4.3 and/or later versions:
*Requires iOS 8.0 or higher
*iPhone [7.7 Plus, 6s, 6 Plus, 6, SE, 5s, 5c, 5 & 4s]
*iPad [Air, Mini, 3rd & 4th gen]
*Works with most Android devices, which support Bluetooth 4.0 [a.k.a Bluetooth SMART or BLE] standard
*Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, S5, S6, S6 edge, S7, S7 edge
*Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (from 30/05/2014), Note 3
*HTC One X, Nexus 5, Nexus 6 LG G2/3, G4
*RX models currently compatible with Android only
6. Home Automation
Some people may consider home automation as something for the lazy. But, if you’ve ever crawled into bed after a long day at work, only to remember that you forgot to turn off the lights downstairs, you’ll appreciate home automation. Siri–the virtual assistant found on your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, and HomePod–gives you full control over your home with simple voice commands.
Here’s what you can do with Siri:
-turn on the lights
-turn off the fan
-turn on the heater
-adjust the thermostat
-adjust the brightness and color of the lighting
-control certain rooms or zones (e.g. downstairs) in your home
-check to see if you left the lights on or the garage door open
-control your home (including your vacation home) while you’re away
-set a scene (For example, if you wanted to set a “Wake Up” scene, you could have Siri open the blinds, turn on the lights and begin playing the news or music from your playlist, all with a single voice command.)
To get started, you’ll need to have HomeKit accessories set up in the Home app and make sure your device is connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network. To control your home remotely, you’ll need to set up a home hub.
5. Posting to Social Media
Why on earth would anyone want to automate their time on social media? After all, social media is our avenue for escaping reality–at least for a few hours, anyway. But, for those who use social media for work purposes, automating posts is a great way to engage followers while maintaining a busy lifestyle.
If you want to use Twitter’s built-in tweet scheduler, you’ll have to start a Twitter Ads campaign. Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of third-party Twitter tools that will let you schedule your tweets for free. Doing a quick search on Google will yield numerous results.
Facebook also has a built-in feature that lets you schedule your posts. Fortunately, Facebook’s built-in scheduler is free. The instructions for scheduling a post are easy to follow.
4. Writing College Papers
Well, you can’t–or, at least you shouldn’t–automate writing your college papers. But, you can make the process a little easier by automating the proofreading. Enter Grammarly. Grammarly is an online text editor that detects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style mistakes in writing. It detects plagiarism as well. To use Grammarly, simply copy and paste your text into the editor, or install the free browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. You can also download Grammarly for Microsoft Office on Windows.
Here’s what Grammarly does:
-offers accurate, context-specific suggestions to make your work shine
-scans your text for common and complex grammatical mistakes, spanning everything from subject-verb agreement to article use to modifier placement
-gives you detailed explanations for all your mistakes and weekly progress reports
If you’re a marketing professional, you probably already know the value of email autoresponders. They make it easy for you to keep in touch with your customers–and potential customers–while tending to other important business matters. The email content is created in advance and is sent out via email marketing software.
Here’s some of what you can do with autoresponders:
-send welcome emails to new contacts
-turn prospects into buyers
-keep your organization in the front of customers’ minds
2. Shopping Online
What if there was a Wi-Fi connected device that made shopping for all your favorite products online as easy as clicking a button? Well, such a device exists. It’s called the Amazon Dash Button.
Here’s how it works:
There are several different Dash Buttons, organized by category (household, snacks & foods, beverages, pets, babies & kids, beauty, health, exclusives & more). Each Dash Button maps to a specific product you choose, for example Colgate toothpaste, Gain laundry detergent or Charmin bath tissue. When you’re running low on these products, you just press the Dash Button and your order is fulfilled and delivered. If you successfully place your order, a light on the button will turn green. If there is an error, it’ll turn red. You can also receive an order confirmation via the Amazon App.
The Dash Button is about the size of a pack of gum and cost $4.99. That amount gets credited back to you after your first press. NOTE: Full use of the Dash Button requires Amazon Prime membership.
Automatic is a driving app that turns your car into a smart car. The Automatic adapter plugs into your car’s standard diagnostics port and unlocks the data in your car’s on-board computer. You can then sync it with your smartphone and use it to diagnose engine codes, quickly find your car in a crowded parking lot, or track your mileage. And when a crash is detected, 24/7 trained responders will contact you, emergency services and your family!
Automatic works with iPhone 5 and newer, iOS 10+, and most phones running Android 5.0+. It also works with most cars made since 1996. Alcatel One Touch Fierce phones, BLU phones, and electric cars are not supported.
Do you have any tips for making daily life easier? Please feel free to share them with us and our other readers!