August 23, 2015

You need an assistant

2 minute read, in Culture

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 9.36.38 AMAt any given time, we’re working on between twenty to thirty client projects and about 10 internal projects.

It’s a lot for a small team, so it’s important that we have tools we can rely on.

Our process for choosing the right tools is a lot like our process for choosing team members, partners and clients; we try them out and the ones that stick become part of our workflow.

There are always rough edges to smooth out. Shoes you keep for 25 years can still chafe at the beginning as the leather jockeys with your skin for dominance. The shoes win in the short term, but you blister and regenerate, repeatedly, until the leather accepts your shape.

Once a tool sticks, it’s up to us to figure out how to take advantage of it, and how much we want to change the way we work to do it. When it stops being useful, we discard it.

The one I’m going to tell you about today is Fancyhands, my virtual personal assistant.

In a nutshell, they’ll perform any task that will take fewer than 15 minutes that can be handled virtually. Need to research where you buy a specific piece for your coffee machine? Find an RMT for some physical therapy? Need a list of ideas for a trip you haven’t had time to plan for? Need to figure out whether it’s cheaper to rent a car or take a cap from a particular airport? Fancyhands just saved you an hour.

I’m not a “time is money” guy, but life is short, and if tasks can be delegated, they should be. This week, Daisy, one of my daughters’ Guinea-Pigs started to develop a bit of a rash.

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I dashed it off so quickly using the form on their website that I had a typo in the request.

Since I made the request after hours, Camille, who picked up the task, found a few options near me and let me know that she’d follow up the next day. She did.Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 9.22.56 AM


The tasks are performed by folks in the US. In my experience, they generally bias towards over-delivering. They keep at it until they get what you need and share complementary information they encounter while digging up your answer.

At the smallest package, 5 requests, requests will cost you $5 each. The more you buy, the less they cost.

Over the last few years, Fancyhands has developed a great user experience. You can submit requests from any device, via email, text, chat or voice. Extras roll over from month to month. They’ll handle purchases on your card, and re comfortable managing other personal information, including passwords.

If you sign up, do me a favour and use my link–they’ll give me extra requests:

And DO let us know how it works out for you, especially if you come up with ideas for requests that will save me time.

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