Source | FastCompany : By GWEN MORAN
Automation’s big payoff is supposed to be that it will release us from rote tasks and usher in a new era of freedom. That way, we can devote our time to higher-level activities. Instead of spending time inputting data, we’ll be making valuable connections or coming up with innovative ideas. Instead of cleaning the house, we’ll be having quality time with family and friends.
While we’re not quite at the point where robots are attending to our every need, it’s possible to integrate readily available automation into your own life to save time and effort. Here are seven areas to consider.
From your financial institution’s online banking services to common financial products like Quicken and FreshBooks, it’s likely that you’re not using all the ways these platforms can make your life easier, says productivity expert Peggy Duncan. Set recurring invoices to go out automatically, eliminating that weekly or monthly task. Similarly, use online banking to pay recurring bills automatically, which can also save money by ensuring that you don’t get charged late fees if you miss a payment.
If you hate figuring out what’s for dinner or loathe clothes shopping, there’s a subscription service for that. Services like Stitch Fix, Gwynnie Bee, and Bombfellsend items of clothing specifically chosen for you based on a series of questions. Some charge a monthly subscription fee (Bombfell does not), and you pay only for the items of clothing you keep. Meal services like Blue Apron and Hello Freshensure you have what you need to make dinner. Whether you need socks, razors, or beauty supplies, there is a service that will ship them to you regularly. Amazoneven lets you tailor your subscription package.
While many apps claim to make your life easier and more productive, keeping track of all of them can be a challenge. If This Then That (IFTTT) connects popular apps and draws information from them to help you track tasks, achieve goals, and finally understand where your time is going. You can schedule recurring tasks and event reminders (like birthdays), create shopping lists and score discounts from participating retailers, and even track your workouts and give you a summary of how you’re spending your time, if that’s not too Big Brother for you. Apple device users can also check out its competitor, Workflow.
Francis Carden, vice president of robotics and transformation at robotics and automation provider Pegasystems, envisions a future where robotics and artificial intelligence converge to remove rote work from our lives. At the office, robots may eventually handle data entry and simple administrative tasks, leaving the cognitive work to humans. We’re not quite there yet, but robots are taking on surprising new roles in everything from paralegal work to writing simple sports stories for publication—roles that might initially seem difficult for machines to perform.