In the past couple of weeks, I have found a seriously fatal mistake with my record keeping and moving forward into the 21st century.
My Achilles heel is an address book with disconnected, incomplete and old address records.
SIRI – The Catalyst
So, after using SIRI (Apple’s new Artificial Assistant) for a couple of days it became painfully obvious that my address book (which the system uses to find phone numbers, messaging and email contact info) is painfully messed up.
When you ask something like “SIRI – Send a message to David Robertson” and you have only typed “David” as the name of the contact, SIRI can’t locate the right record and will come back with “Do you mean ‘David’, ‘David Jones’ or ‘David Smith?'”
This significantly slows down the process as you either touch the correct name (or address it via voice) and then move to the next step.
Furthermore, if you do not have the email’s and phone numbers in the same contact address, with the appropriate information tagged (as mobile, work, home etc.) the system will come back asking for clarification.
This caused me to be very frustrated with myself – not SIRI – since the core address information is my responsibility and it was very dirty.
Speech Commands on the MAC (or Windows)
It took only about two days for me to miss SIRI when using my iPad and my iMac.
I have moved all of my computers and tools over to Apple products. Well, all but my WiFi.
Yes it is true, however; it was after 20 years of using strictly Microsoft products and machines from HP, Dell and others I slowly moved over to Apple products a couple of years ago and then decided that I enjoyed getting things done more than working on my machine which is a personal preference.
Yesterday, I was listening to a Tech Podcast which mentioned speech commands for Mac computers. I feel confident this same functionality is available on Windows machines (Here is some information for Windows– Ed).
While the list is not nearly as exhaustive or complete, the system does have the ability to have commands added by you by just naming a command and adding the action script necessary to enable the functionality.
Guess what my first major stumbling block was once I figured out how to turn on the system? Yup, the address book!
Your Address Book is your Most Important Tool – Again!
It wasn’t so many years ago that a person’s roledex was the first and main tool a person took with them when changing jobs.
I believe it was Harvey Mackey (of “Swim with the Sharks without getting Eaten Alive” fame) which mentioned that if you took away his business, but left him with his Roledex he would get back on top.
While this isn’t a post on networking as there are plenty which talk about it, I will say that the quality of the contacts in your address book is more important than the quantity.
However; this post is yelling from the highest mountain top that the quality of the information in your address book is going to make you more effective and more efficient working with voice activated artificial assistants.
Cleaning Up Is So Hard To Do
I realize that your address book could contain hundreds if not thousands of names. Don’t consider this necessarily a one night fix.
However; consider your future and start trimming the bad information out of your address book. In fact, start today!
If you clean just 3 names a day, you will have over a 1,000 names cleaned in one year. Whatever it takes, you will be happier and more productive in the future if you start now.
Even if you don’t have SIRI or an Android phone, take my advice and be prepared because the future is coming whether you want to embrace it, or not.