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Superfan.

Kai Davis is a Fancy Hands power user. Check out his blog post that sings our priases: 

"It was 9am and I had just climbed onto a train to San Sebastian, Spain, with the clothes on my back, with no place to stay and no clue what was waiting for me in San Sebastian.

Three hours earlier, my host family in Madrid woke up to the sound of me running out the door, saying ‘I’m headed to San Sebastian, I’ll be back on Thursday’, with nothing but my iPhone and the clothes on my back. I didn’t even know where I’d be sleeping that night, but I had a secret weapon up my sleeve: The Virtual Assistant service Fancy Hands. 

Just today, I’ve used Fancy Hands to:

-Confirm the hours of a restaurant and make a reservation for later in the week

-Find an auto detailing shop in Honolulu that offers pick-up / drop-off and book an appointment

-Call a medical provider, confirm an appointment, and reschedule it for later in the week

Fancy Hands has been the magic in my pocket for 18+ months. I use them more than any other online service because they — constantly — help me waive goodbye to stress and spend more time on the things I love.

When I had a quick question, I emailed Fancy Hands. (‘Hey, when is the production of Wicked in Honolulu until? How much are tickets?’)

When I needed to book an appointment, I emailed Fancy Hands. (‘Can you call my chiropractor (541.555.5555) and book an appointment for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday? I dropped a jar of Apple Sauce and pulled my back. I know, I’m a goofball.’)

When I was researching an upcoming trip, I emailed Fancy Hands. (‘What hostels are on the North Shore of Oahu?)

When I ripped my favorite pair of pants, I emailed Fancy Hands, and they tracked down a similar replacement style and called the local Gap to confirm they were in stock!

On The Train to San Sebastian

At 9am, I pulled out my iPhone and fired off two quick emails to Fancy Hands:

'Hey Fancy Hands, I just jumped onto a train to San Sebastian. Can you put together a summary of tourist activities I should check out? (museumes, art galleries, aquariums, and hikes are preferred). Oh, and are there any Vegan Restaurants in town?'

'Hey Fancy Hands, I’m headed into San Sebastian. Can you send me links to the three hostels in town with the highest reviews? Thanks!'

90 minutes later, two Fancy Hands assistants sent me back an itinerary for my trip in San Sebastian. Vegan restaurants, hostels and hotels, and tourist sites to see. Everything I’d need for a wonderful trip was there.

When I headed back to Madrid, Fancy Hands put together an itinerary of the sites I should try to see during my last few days in Spain.

I love Fancy Hands because it helps me spend time on the things I want to be doing — exploring a new country, writing, spending time with friends — by taking care of the small tasks that pop up throughout the day."

__________________________________________________________________

Kai wrote a guide book on how to best use Fancy Hands that you can download for free through his website. Why would he do this? Becuase if you sign up for our services through his link, he gets a referral credit. Kai's a smart guy. 

We provide all of our customers with referral links so that they can receive credits when their friends sign up. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the startup world, and nothing makes us happier than knowing that our customers are so satisfied with our service that they'd recommend us to others! 

Help with the hustle.

 

Our customer Zach Silver wrote a blog post and titled it: 

"Fancy Hands – a service I couldn’t live without."

Zach integrated Fancy Hands assistants into his life, and it has made everything easy breezy in a world of creezy.

('crazy' doesn't rhyme there, just go with it, k?)

Here's what he has to report: 

Thumbs Up.

Have you noticed these "hand-y" icons next to your completed tasks? 

Holy Mobile!

Do you spend 2.7 hours a day using your mobile phone?

Is that time well spent, or are you mindlessly staring into the Facebook abyss?

What would you do with that time if you weren't on the phone?

Were you more productive or less productive before the age of cell phones? 

If you're not sure how much time you devote to your cell on a regular basis, try keeping track for a week, and then ask yourself these questions.

Maybe it's time to scale back some of this phone stuff. 

At least, that's what I wondered to myself as a girl ran into me on the street last night while walk-texting...

Python Open Office Hours.

Fancy Hands is proud to host the New York Python Meetup Group's weekly "open office hours" event. We had a great turnout last night, complete with free pizza and beer. Programmers from all skill levels and industries got together to talk code, ask questions, and help each other out. Here's what the meetup organzier, Gloria, had to say:

This event was really great! Thanks to everyone who came out. It was impressive to have some people just hang out and eavesdrop, ask questions, and learn, while others paired off and helped each other. The free-form way that it worked is exactly what I hoped for, and I want to thank all of you for that.

We'll be meeting here at the Fancy Hands office every Tuesday at 6:30PM. Come join us. We're excited to be hosting this event. The NYC Python Meetup Group has always been a great gathering of people, and it gets better and better. For details, check out the official Meetup page here.

We hope to see you here next time.

Mother's Helper.

Fancy Hands client Marley is a busy lady. She’s a nanny for big family in Los Angeles. The father in that big family just so happens to be a very successful actor and producer. Famous; that’s what I’m getting at, ya'all. He’s super freaking famous. 

So on top of the high stress that comes with the responsibility of caring for children, Marley also has to dodge paparazzi and fans like Frogger danced between eighteen-wheelers. 

Fancy Hands works really well for someone like Marley, who has research needs on a regular basis, but doesn’t have the time to sit down at the computer for hours a day poking around. 

Here are some requests that she logged with Fancy Hands recently. 

"I’m looking for a variety of activities in or near Maui, HI. Looking for outdoor activities, indoor activities, kid-friendly restaurants and things that shouldn't be missed. We’re traveling with kids from ages 3-9."

"Can you help me find the best-reviewed companies that allow you to make your own holiday cards online? We’d like a folded card with room for at least 4 photos (preferably more)."

"Can you send me upcoming concerts, plays, shows, and special events for children in the Los Angeles area? I’d love to have a handy list of what’s coming up in the next month or two to use for planning purposes."

"I’m planning a birthday party for a 3-year old with a “Yo Gabba Gabba” theme. I’m having a hard time finding places to buy party supplies that are still current and not out of stock. Can you help? Also, I’m looking for a company that can provide a dressed up character of “Muno” in the Los Angeles area. Can you locate that?"

 "Can you help me find some updated medium-to-long hairstyles for women? I just don’t ever have time to look into stuff like this and I need a change that’s in style right now."

Our Fancy Hands love to help Marley’s hands, because hers are full of children! 

The Science of Productivity.

Gregory Ciotti created this great video based on his scientific research about productivity

Here are the bullet points:  

1. Get Started. Studies indicate that getting started is the biggest barrier to productivity. However, once we've begun a project, we're compelled to finish it. This is called The Zeigarnic Effect - when we don't finish a task, we experience discomfort and intrusive thoughts about it. 

2. Focus deliberately. Work in "packets of energy" (recommended: 90 minutes) and then take a break (recommended: 20 minutes). Don't rely on willpower to work, rely on habit and disciplined scheduling. 

3. Create an accountability schedule. Write down what you intend to complete in your 90 minute work session before you start, so that you clearly understand what your goals are. For example: "9:00am - 10:30am: answer and file all necessary emails, then shut down email program until late afternoon to complete other work." Which leads us to...

4. Stop multi-tasking. Studies show that multi-taskers are much less productive than those who focus on one job at a time and work until that one job is completed. 

Don't be this guy! ---->

Recharge.

Give yourself a break this weekend! Studies show that taking time to relax and recharge rather than constantly pushing yourself to work will result in up to 16% higher awareness & focus when you do work.

Productivity Hacks

Fast Company's Erin Schulte asked some highly successful people for their secrets to being productive, and here's what they had to share:

50% off for 50K!

Thanks to you, we just hit 50,000 Tumblr followers.

To celebrate, we’re offering 50% off! 

Go to Fancy Hands and enter code tumblr-50k

50% off your first month. 

Expires 1/14/13.

Valid on monthly plans.

Not for gift certificates.

 

Do what you love. We’ll do the rest. 

Fancy, Indeed!

Patricia Marx gave Fancy Hands a little shout-out in the latest issue of The New Yorker.

What happens now? Should we buy tickets to the opera or the ballet? Should Ted start wearing those professor-type elbow patches on his blazers? I mean, his hoodies? 

Hmm. Well, whatever it means, we're excited! 

Your moments.

I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life, and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.

-Georgia O’Keeffe

Awkward phone calls.

True story: when Fancy Hands founder & CEO Ted Roden needs a status update from an employee and he's in the mood to be funny, he has a Fancy Hands assistant call them and ask them for it. 

Our engineer got this call this morning: "Hi Kurt, it's Mandie. When will the new version of the iPhone app will be ready to test drive? Thanks."

Delegation at its finest, and laughs all around the office.

Thoughts on success.

 

It takes a lot of hard work to get life right.  

MaryEllen Tribby, inspired by hearing a speech from Steve Wozniak, made this list that she calls The Success Indicator.

2 days a year.

The average person spends two days a year on hold! One of the things that Fancy Hands does best is handle all of those calls to customer service (should be called disservice, really). 

Here's a year-end wrap up infographic about how Fancy Hands assistants helped our clients this year. If you're not one of our clients yet, imagine the possibilities...

No more listening to bad hold music while you feel your life slipping away from you. Ever.

Hands-some.

The Next Web featured our space in their roundup of Awesome NYC Startup Offices.

Ever felt like you needed an extra set of hands? Fancy Hands, ehm, hands them to you with its service. For a monthly membership fee, users can call in or email their requests, which are then carried out by Fancy Hands’ thousands of assistants who work across the US. Again, an idea born out of personal frustration: Ted Roden founded the company when his life proved too busy to handle on his own.

Fittingly, hands are also the defining office interior theme. You can literally find them everywhere in the office. And this is no outside job: the company’s Art Director David Trawin painted the walls, refinished the furniture, chose the artwork, and adorned the power outlets with wacky characters like Hulk Hogan.

Fridays wind down with a happy hour that includes Nintendo Wii, an assortment of beer (the staff are really into obscure brands), and snacks. Karyn Spencer, Director of Communications: “Sometimes we’ll have chips and salsa, sometimes pancakes. Once we had salsa and pancakes. That was kind of weird.” 

Favorite Things.

Andrew Montalenti, CTO at Parse.ly added Fancy Hands to

The Young Entrepeneurs Council's list of 

14 Favorite Startups of 2012. 

Andrew says, 

"I found myself bogged down on a daily basis with research and administrative tasks, especially as my startup “grew up” into a full-fledged company. We considered hiring a personal assistant, but never felt we could justify a full salary for that role given our company’s small size. FancyHands fit the need for personal assistants perfectly. I was able to delegate not just business-related tasks, but even personal ones that would normally occupy my time. Since starting with the service just last month, they have already made ~60 phone calls on my behalf and spent nearly ~4 hours on the phone with vendors, customers, etc. This especially helped me when I was out of the office on travel and needed to coordinate meetings for the future. I also find it makes me more thoughtful about delegation."

No mention of raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but we're sure he likes those things, too.

Resolve.

Are you making New Year's Resolutions?

Only 19% of us will succeed in keeping them!

Click to enlarge.  

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