The rise of smartphones has made it easier than ever to focus on self-improvement. And, when it comes to tools like Apple’s Siri, all you literally have to do is ask.
Most people use Siri for typical day-to-day tasks, such as checking text messages or email, relaying weather forecast information, or getting the latest sports scores. However, Siri can do much more than that, like helping you with self-improvement.
Most would agree that the addition of Siri made the iPhone and iPad better products. Here are 11 fun ways you can flip that around and use Siri to make a better you.
1. Manage Calendar Events More Efficiently
Busy people use the iOS calendar app to manage important dates and appointments, and Siri makes that process a whole lot simpler. Not only can you use Siri to easily add new events to your calendar, you can also use Siri to edit and adjust existing events as well.
For example, if you find out your Wednesday 3 PM meeting got pushed back to 4:30, all you should say is, “Change my Wednesday 3 o’clock meeting to 4:30.”
Siri will let you know the change will be made, but will also give you a chance to confirm it before you’re done.
You can change more than the time of an appointment with Siri, too. By simply asking Siri to do so, you can modify other information such as the title of the event, the location, or those scheduled to attend.
2. Research Food Information and Ingredients
Whether you’re on a strict Whole 30 program or simply want to watch what you eat during the holiday season, Siri can quickly and easily get you nutritional information on a wide variety of foods.
This can be applied to products sold at popular restaurants, or boiled down to individual ingredients you plan to use while cooking at home.
For example, you could ask Siri, “How many calories are in a slice of Papa John’s pepperoni pizza?” Or you could ask, “How many calories are there in of one cup of rice?”
With this being the case, it has never been easier to keep track of what you put in your body.
3. Get Help With Your Workout Routine
Siri can’t perform your workout for you, of course, but it can help you search the web for help with a specific routine or move.
You could ask, “Search for a list of beginner yoga moves.” Or you could say, “Search for the best 30-minute workout at home.”
Siri will always search using Bing, regardless of what you have set as your default search engine in Safari, unless you specify otherwise in your Siri command. Tell Siri to use specific search engines by saying, “Search Yahoo for…” or, “Search Bing for…”, or you can ask “Wolfram…” directly.
4. Set a Reminder Based on Your Location
Just about anyone who uses Siri knows how to be reminded of a task at a certain time, but it’s also very simple to do so based on your physical location.
For example: You’re at work, but later in the night you plan to cook a recipe that calls for you to preheat the oven. Since not preheating the oven can be a time-consuming buzz kill, tell Siri, “Remind me to turn on the oven when I get home.”
Siri will then set a reminder that will alert you when you arrive at home, based on your GPS location.
Before you use this feature, make sure you set up your home, work or other addresses in your contact information so Siri knows when to trigger the reminders.
5. Turn Siri Into Your Workout DJ
Since Siri integrates seamlessly into Apple Music, you can easily ask it to play specific playlists.
This comes in particularly handy while working out, especially if you have different playlists for different workout activities. Just make sure you name your lists so Siri can find them easily. Then you can say things such as, “Play my Running playlist,” or, “Play my Lifting Weights playlist.”
If a specific song gets you going while working out, you can say, “I like this song,” or, “Play more songs like this.” On the flip side, if a song isn’t getting it done for you, you can say, “Never play this song again.”
Also, if you’d like to hear a particular song next, just ask Siri to play it.
6. Save Something to Evernote
This takes a bit of initial setup, but setting up a recipe on IFTTT can help you easily use your voice to save things to Evernote.
To do so, first create a list in Reminders titled “Evernote.” Then you can say to Siri, “Add Evernote reminder” and then whatever you want your note to be.
This creates a new reminder in your Evernote list, which in turn creates the dictated message as a note in Evernote called “Siri Notes.”
7. Quickly Fact-Check Things People Say
This tool has particularly come in handy during the run-up to the presidential election. To fact-check something somebody says, all you have to do is ask Siri to search the web for the said fact.
For example, if someone tries to convince you that Dustin Hoffman was in “Star Wars,” just turn to Siri. When asked, “Was Dustin Hoffman in ‘Star Wars,'” Siri’s response is, “Hmm, there don’t appear to be any movies matching ‘Star Wars’ starring Dustin Hoffman.”
Take that, Todd Gack.
8. Get Some Peace and Quiet
While the iPhone is an incredibly useful piece of equipment, sometimes you want it to just keep quiet while you’re trying to rest or get something else done.
For this, iOS has the handy Do Not Disturb mode, which basically stops alerts, notifications, and incoming calls from making noise, vibrating, or turning on the phone’s screen when the screen is locked.
To turn it on, simply tell Siri, “Do not disturb.” When you’re ready for the distractions to resume, tell Siri, “Turn off Do Not Disturb.”
9. Quickly Manage Your Emails
Checking your email isn’t a particularly cumbersome task without Siri, but the voice-controlled assistant can make it even easier.
Of course, you can just say, “Check email,” and Siri will open the email app. But you can also give Siri more specific commands, such as, “Read my last email.”
You can also check on email from specific people. Ask Siri, “Any new email from John Doe?” and it will tell you if there are any unread messages from that person. You can add a time element to this as well, such as “Show me email from John Doe last week.”
Siri can also help you set up a new email draft if you say, “Send an email to John Doe.”
10. Quickly Set a Timer for Anything
It’s easy enough to tell Siri to set an alarm for a certain time, and it’s just as easy to have it start a timer as well.
Just put a frozen pizza in the oven? Say, “Set a timer for 10 minutes.” Siri will confirm the timer and start the clock automatically.
On the other hand, if you want to see how long something takes, tell Siri to “Start the stopwatch.” Siri will open the stopwatch feature on your phone, although you will have to manually touch the Start button to get it going.
11. Track Your Budget Using Notes
Whenever you start a Siri command using the word “note,” it automatically adds what you say to the Notes app. This comes in handy if you want to quickly keep track of how much you’ve spent during a given period.
Tell Siri, “Note that I spent $45 at the mall,” and the note will be added. The one caveat is that you can’t delete notes using Siri.
How Will You Improve Yourself With Siri?
Asking for help in life is rarely easy, but asking for help from a non-living super tool is much less intimidating. Siri won’t judge your lifestyle or what you want to improve about it, but it will help you make positive changes to your habits and become a better you.
So, what will you improve with Siri voice commands today? Tell us in the comments section below.