Bots are all over the place, and some of them can clean the carpet in your office or turn off the lights in your home. But what about actually saving time in the office? I've found a few handy ways to turn the Amazon Alexa bot, the Google Home speaker, and Microsoft Cortana on Windows 10 into timesaving servants, ready to perform tasks that will make my day run smoother.

1. Alexa: Order paper for your printer

Amazon Alexa can help you order paper for your printer. You can just say "order paper" and the bot will ask you about some options, including one that I found cost about $26 for 1,000 sheets.

2. Google Home: Find out when a store closes

You can ask the Google Home speaker when a local store closes. For example, I asked about Walgreens' store hours. The Assistant bot knows your local time zone, of course.

3. Cortana: Set a quick alarm

If you need to set an alarm as a reminder, just ask Cortana. In Windows 10, click the search box (where it says Ask Me Anything), type "Set an alarm," and configure the settings.

4. Alexa and Google Home: Order an Uber

Both the Google Home speaker and Amazon Alexa can order an Uber for you. Note that you have to enable the Uber skill for Alexa and the Uber service on the Home speaker.

5. Cortana: Get an alert about scheduling problems

Microsoft added a helpful feature to Cortana recently. If someone sends you a meeting request that is outside of your normal work hours, the bot will alert you and suggest changing the time.

6. Alexa: Order a pizza

Alexa can also order a pizza for you. If you enable the Domino's skill, you can ask the bot to order your favorite pizza and have it delivered to the front door of your office.

Published on: Mar 14, 2017
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