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FANCY HANDS BLOG

Announcing Our New Service: On Demand Ops

We are thrilled to announce today the launch of our new enterprise division, On Demand Ops (ODO).

The genesis of ODO comes from the thousands of you who already rely on Fancy Hands to support and execute some of your most critical business operations.

ODO is an exciting next step, allowing us to focus on providing you seamless solutions for specific business bottlenecks like generating sales, managing suppliers and partners, database services, and recruiting.

For example, we can do the following in just one week (for multiple clients at one time):

  • Make 2,500-5,000 phone calls to qualify prospects/suppliers

  • Send 10,000+ emails and respond within 24 hours to any replies

  • Deliver hundreds of qualified job applicants

ODO is currently working with pre-launch partners ranging from early stage startups to enterprises with revenue of $100M-$200M. We’re delivering results for logistics companies who need to hire hundreds of hourly employees, and multiple SMBs that need to generate qualified prospects for overworked and understaffed sales teams.

Best of all, ODO uses a pay-per-performance model, where clients pay for the number of qualified leads they receive, or new employees hired. There are no required integrations or engineering resources needed, further reducing the risk for the client.

If you want to dig into more details, make sure you go to our new website and download our case study: "Doing the gritty work, and doing it at scale".

Our Fancy Hands brand and service aren't going anywhere, but if you're looking for a custom large scale solution for your business, ODO is excited to hear from you.

Recurring Requests are Back!

The recurring request feature on your Dashboard is back in action! We’ve been working hard to get the recurring request feature up-and-running again, and we’re excited to tell you it's back. 

This feature is easy to use and saves you from having to re-enter tasks you find yourself requesting on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis! 

To set up a recurring request, click on the two arrows at the bottom of a new request. The arrows will turn green and a few options to choose from will become available. Once you have chosen how frequently you’d  like your request to recur, simply click ‘submit’. 

After a recurring request has been submitted you will receive email reminders before your request is set to recur. This allows you to proactively reschedule, skip the next cycle, or cancel the request completely. You’ll be able to go back and edit your preferences on your recurring requests with ease- just look for the requests marked with the green arrows. 

Need some inspiration? Check out these examples of daily, weekly and monthly recurring requests: 

Daily Recurring Requests: 

"Enter me in the Hamilton ticket lottery every day” 

“Call me at 7am for a wake up call every morning”

“Search for new houses listed on the market today”

Weekly Recurring Requests: 

“Make a dinner reservation for two” 

“Order my grocery list on PeaPod”

“Find this week’s top 10 downloaded songs”

Monthly recurring requests: 

“Schedule a monthly meeting for my team at the office”

“Follow up with this list of new clients from this month”

“Schedule my haircut”

Try out this time saving feature now- the time saved with this updated feature is limitless! Get started here: https://www.fancyhands.com/dashboard and find out for yourself just how simple it is to create a recurring request. 

Faster Response Times: What We’re Working on Behind the Scenes

This past spring, we committed to reducing our average response time for standard requests. We set a goal of ensuring that 100% of the thousands of requests we receive a day receive a response within three hours.

We don’t want to brag (yes, we do), but we nailed it. 

Here are the cold hard facts: 

  • In March, our first response time came in, on average, at just around three and a half hours.
  • After that, we realized we may have set the bar a little too low and decided to set our sights even higher to reach a goal of under 2 hours.
  • Since March, our response time has reduced by 66% with a first response time coming in, on average, at just over an hour (70 minutes, to be exact). 
  • And, we didn’t forget about quality in our need for speed: As a direct result of reduced request times and new quality control measures, the average number of daily Support tickets received has decreased by 28%.

Yes, it’s great that we’ve reached our initial goals- but we aren't going to stop there. We’re working hard to reduce our response times to less than one hour. We’ll continue to reach for reduced response rates as well as improving the consistency and quality of our work.

We also want to hear your feedback, and will actively be conducting voice of customer research over the summer, so we hope you'll be willing to participate.

We’re looking forward to providing you with the next round of good news!  

Fancy Hands Year In Review: What You Delegated in 2015

"You spent how many hours on the phone with Comcast?!"- You, after checking out our Fancy Hands Year in Review: 2015.

Find out how many hours we spent on the phone with your least favorite cable company, plus tons of other stats and fun facts about what you delegated to us in 2015! 

CYBER MONDAY

Cyber Monday is upon us! Check out some highlights below for the best deals on clothes, gadgets and more!

*If you're looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything, check out our own Cyber Monday deal which will give you 20% off of all Fancy Hands gift subscriptions today only!* 

 

AMAZON:

Amazon is pretty well known for providing daily deals for an entire month, so you’ll be able to check back for the daily deal each day. If you’re only interested in the deals on Monday, here are the things you need to know:

 

Amazon Echo on sale for $149

Kindle and Kindle for Kids Bundle: $30 off

Kindle Fire: $34.99

Fire Kids Edition: $84.99

Amazon Fire TV: $25 off

Amazon Cloud Drive: 1 year of Unlimited Photo storage $1/1 year of Unlimited Everything storage $5

4k UltraHD $349.99 (reg. $899.99)

Sparin Ultra Slim Mini Bluetooth Keyboard $10.90 (reg. $29.99)

Singer 7258 100-Stitch Computerized Sewing Machine $124.99 (reg. 299.99)

 

It’s recommended to bookmark this page so you can easily go back daily to see what deals you can get.  

 

BEST BUY:

Apple Products up to $50 off an iPad Air & $100 off certain MacBooks

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7in 64GB for $450 (reg. $600)

Samsung 4K Flat 65-inch $1,700 (reg. $2,300)

Samsung 4K Curved $3,000 (reg. $3,500)

XBox One Controller save $10 with purchase of select Xbox One console

GoPro Hero4Silver for $400 includes 64GB memory card & $80 gift card

Dishwashers 25%-40% off select dishwashers

Free installation with purchase of KitchenAid Dishwasher

Up to 35% off LG and Samsung microwaves

Up to 50% off select cookware

MICROSOFT:

Xbox consoles starting at $299. Save $50 on select consoles + $60 Microsoft Store gift code and a select game of choice

Up to $30 off of select Xbox One controllers

Several games on sale including GTA V ($42, reg. $60)

$40-$50 off of select drones

 

STAPLES:

Apple iPad Air 2 & iPad mini 4 are both 25% off (any capacity)

16GB iPad Air is $319 (reg. $399)

16GB iPad mini 2 $254 (reg. $299)

Amazon Echo $149 (reg. $179.99)

Office Home and Student 2016 $99.99 (reg. $149.99)

Amazon Fire TV $74.99 ($99.99)

Xtreme 2600mAh Portable Battery $4.99 (88% discount)

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 128 GB 12” Display $799.99 (reg. $999)

 

LOWE’S

iRobot Braava 380T Wet-Dry Robotic Mopper $254.15 (reg. $299)

Stanley Fatmax 25ft Locking SAE Tape Measure $22.48 (reg. $24.98)

Stanley 16oz Flat Straight Handle Hammer $6.98 (reg. $9.98)

Dewalt 5 Tool 20v. Max Lithium Ion Cordless Combo Kit $429 (reg. $579)

Studiosync Shelf with Bluetooth Speakers $29.98 (reg. $49.98)

 

TARGET

15% discount website wide with the code CYBER15

 *Target will have several items on sale all week, but they will be revealed daily

KOHL’S

Take an extra 20% off with promo code DEALSEEKER + additional savings all week here.


JCPENNEY

Over 50,000 online deals available Monday only + a chance to win 1 of 10 $10k cash grand prizes

 

OVERSTOCK

 Up to 50% off + Extra 10% off select furniture

Extra 10% off home décor

Up to 60% off + Extra 10% off select bedding & bath

Up to 70% off + Extra 15% off select jewelry & watches

Extra 10% off kitchen & dining

Up to 40% off health & beauty

 

VICTORIA’S SECRET

Select bras 2 for $49.50

Yoga pants 2 for $65

Up to 40% off over 200 styles of clothing

Pajamas 2 for $75

Free shipping on $50 + $20 off $125

Free secret reward card with any purchase worth $10-$500 off your purchase 12/1-15


GAMESTOP

Xbox bundles starting at $299

Buy 2, Get 1 Free on any vintage game title

Xbox One Elite Controller + Halo 5: Guardians, $209.99

PS Vita Aqua Blue $169.99

GUITAR CENTER

15% off sitewide + massive markdowns & flash deals all day! 

DSW
30% off 3 pairs of shoes + free shipping (w/no minimum) 

GAP/OLD NAVY/BANANA REPUBLIC

40% off all items, no exclusions. 

HAPPY SHOPPING! 

To-Do List: Check

If you haven’t noticed (which we hope you have) we’ve added a slick To-Do List to your Dashboard! Now you can store your to-do list on your Dashboard, and you can turn your “to-dos” into Fancy Hands requests with the click of a button. Literally. 

But how does it all work?

Click the text box to enter your action item. To save it, hit the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard and you’re all set. You can double-click an item to make changes. Once you’ve completed that item, you can have the satisfaction of clicking the circle to the left of the action item, and you’ll see it checked off your list. 

If you want to convert your action item into a request, click the link that says ‘Convert to request’ and you’ll see a request pop-up. Hit ‘Submit’ and you’re on your way to productivity. 

 

Need to prioritize your To-Do List? Just click and drag your action items to order them in the way that works for you. 

And that's it! Who knew it could be this easy to be so organized?

Well, you did, because you're smart. 

Get started prioritizing now

Text Request Update: Pricing Information

We hope you've been enjoying the new text request feature we rolled out a few weeks ago. If you haven't tried it yet, you can read more about how to get started here

Today, we've rolled out a pricing plan for text requests, so text requests will no longer be free.  

How does it work? 

You’ll get 20 minutes of “text time” per request, so when you send us your first text request, your 20 minutes will start. We’ll update you to let you know how many minutes you have left after each text request is closed (see above).

What happens if I go over the 20 minutes allotted in my first task? 

We’ll automatically deduct another request from your account and you’ll get another 20 minutes of text time. We’ll continue to let you know how many minutes you have left after each request is closed. For example, if you have 1 minute left on your first request, and you send in a text request that ultimately takes 3 minutes, we’ll deduct another request from your account and you’ll have 18 minutes of available text time left from that second request. 

Is there a difference between text requests and my regular subscription requests?

Nope! They’re all the same. As long as you have requests left in your account, you can text us a request.  

I don’t have a subscription. Can I purchase one task and use that for 20 minutes of Fancy Hands texting? 

Right now, the texting feature is only available to users with a recurring subscription. If you’re interested in texting your requests, we’d encourage you to consider becoming a full-time Fancy Hands subscriber. You’ll be able to text in your requests, not to mention you’ll get a ton of other great benefits! 

That's it- quick and painless. If you have any questions, let us know at support@fancyhands.com. 

Text Me, Maybe

We are thrilled to announce that you can now text your requests to Fancy Hands

Yes, you read that right. 

Basic, Pro and Premier subscribers can text requests on-the-go and will be instantly connected to an assistant for real-time responses. 

How does it work?

Text your request to (646) 755-9298 and you’ll be connected to an assistant. Then you can text as you normally would with a friend. It’s that easy! Your assistant will be able to see your entire text request thread, as you would be able to with any text conversation. 

But wait...there’s more. Learn more about how texting is priced here.

Here’s an example of what a text request looks like:

A few things to know before getting started: 

You’ll want to make sure you’re texting from the number that’s connected to your Fancy Hands account. If you’re not sure which number is connected, you can view or change this here

We’d suggest saving (646) 755-9298 as ‘Fancy Hands’ or ‘Fancy Hands Text’ in your phone for easy access. It’s the same number you’d use to call in your requests. 

While we can access your calendar to schedule appointments, we can’t yet make payments on your behalf through text. Don’t worry -- we’re working on it! 

A good rule-of-thumb for sending in text requests: Anything that wouldn’t work in a text to a friend probably won’t work well in a text request to Fancy Hands. We’d suggest sticking to sending larger tasks through email, the mobile apps, or your web dashboard.

Here are some examples:

Any other questions? As always, feel free to email support@fancyhands.com for assistance with this or anything else Fancy Hands related. 

Happy texting!

Volunteer Day

Today, Fancy Hands HQ volunteered at the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger (BSCAH) food pantry in Brooklyn, NY. BSCAH was founded in 1998 as a traditional food pantry, and they’re currently the largest pantry in Brooklyn. They provide food to over 12,000 New Yorkers in need of food a month. This past year, they provided over 1.8 million meals to Brooklyn residents in need. Straying from the standard food pantry protocol, BSCAH allows their clients to select their own fresh produce and non-perishables through a supermarket-style pantry setup. BSCAH gets their food donations from several organizations around New York, including the Food Bank for NYC. They also own and operate two urban farms, which is where a lot of their fresh produce comes from. They are always looking for volunteers and accepting donations. If you’d like more information about volunteering or if you'd like to donate, you can find that here. A very special thanks to the staff and clients for allowing us to spend a few hours helping out today! 

FH HQ outside of the BSCAH food pantry. 

Lending A Helping Hand

The season of giving is upon us, and what better way to give back than to help someone who is always helping you. Fancy Hands and FlatRate Moving have teamed up to give a few extra helping hands to a very special someone who is always helping others. Do you know someone who is selflessly giving their time to help others? Tell us about it! Visit FlatRate’s Facebook page to nominate someone who deserves some extra help this holiday season, and they could win 3 free months of Fancy Hands! You can submit nominations here through November 27th only, so don't miss your chance to give an invaluable gift to someone in your life who deserves it. 

Decoupling the Dashboard

The Fancy Hands dashboard has seen a number of different iterations. At first, you couldn't even call it a 'Dashboard', it was merely an input field and a text area where you would write and send your request. Since then it has evolved to be more of a central place where you can create new requests, browse your old ones and see your usage statistics. With our latest iteration, the design has shifted to a more modern theme that places more emphasis on what's important to you right now. One of the biggest changes though, has less to do with the design and more to do with the way the front-end is architected.

Previously

Our stack at Fancy Hands is based on Google App Engine Python SDK. Built into it is Django’s templating system which works extremely well for displaying static (Ok, maybe static isn’t the right word. I think technically it’s considered dynamic since its retrieving values from a database. Let’s call it unresponsive....) content. We can fetch stuff from the database and display it, but it didn't change without a page refresh or (later on) a lot of ajax calls and jQuery dom manipulation. We wanted something that would have a more fluid user experience and also be easier to develop and extend. We chose to go with a frontend javascript framework, and the one we picked was AngularJS.

Why Angular?

Well… simply because we were already using it for small things on the site here and there. Last year we leveraged the framework to create a simple forum for our assistants. We also used it to rebuild our TeamWork dashboard. One of the nice things about Angular is that you can use it in conjunction with whatever framework you already have in place, and use it as you see fit.

So why use it in the first place?

One of the main benefits of Angular is it’s two way data binding system. Meaning that if something changes in the model, it will automatically get updated in the view and vice-versa. The beauty of this really begins to shine when you are able to get rid of all your jQuery code that targets certain id’s only to update some text. Instead, the views get updated seamlessly once the model is updated. You then are able to build views that automatically update to reflect the state of a model. For example, in the new Fancy Hands dashboard when you load up a request and send a reply to an assistant. What happens is the reply gets sent via an ajax call to our server, the server then responds with a JSON object containing a list of all the messages associated with that request (including the new one). We then set the newly retrieved list of messages as our model, and BAM, our view gets updated automatically with the message we just sent. No fussing around with jQuery trying to recreate the message template, the new message just appears as it should.

So what do you mean by Decoupling the Dashboard?

The main goal was to move from server side rendering of the templates to client-side. By doing this, we could keep front-end concerns out of the server-side logic as well as build a more fluid UI.

Angular, and frameworks like it, work astoundingly well when you have an API you can hit that spits back JSON. We fortunately already had most of our private API built for use with our mobile apps. With just a few tweaks here and there, our API could be used to power the entire dashboard and request pages.

Before, the process of rendering a page was like this: User sends request -> server makes appropriate database requests -> server renders values onto template -> server serves the fully rendered page. This often resulted in long wait (4 seconds + )periods between pages where the server rendered the template.

Now, leveraging Angular and our API, all of the view logic is done client side instead of server side. The flow looks like this now: User sends request -> Multiple (if necessary) ajax calls get sent to the server (API) -> Server responds with JSON -> client asynchronously updates each part of the UI as necessary. The great thing about this method is that instead of having a 4 second wait between pages, we can now instantly show the user an updated view when they click, and load in content as soon as we get it. The result is an app that feels a lot more fluid and a lot more responsive.

Cache Bonus

As an added bonus, we’re able to easily cache request data locally. Since we’re dealing with JSON objects exclusively, we can store the data we receive into localStorage and then load it up on subsequent visits. The result is a dashboard that is even faster since we don’t have to wait for the server to respond at all.

Try the new dashboard out now and let us know what you think!

NewCo New York

Exactly one week from today we’ll be hosting our very first session as a part of NewCo, a new kind of conference that’s hosted at various offices in NYC. NewCo allows you to attend sessions hosted by some of the most innovative companies around (for free!), and we’re proud to be a part of it this year.

We’ll post some updates from our session next week, but if you’d rather be there in person you can sign up (again, for free!) here.


We hope to see you there!

San Gennaro

Today we continued our 3 year tradition of visiting the San Gennaro festival. It originally started because we were so close to the festival in our Manhattan office, but today we made the trek from our new office in Williamsburg to keep the tradition alive. Here’s a smattering of photos from our Manhattan adventure.

In order clockwise:

  1. Our CEO, Josh, experiencing his first visit to our favorite pizza place, Toby's Public House
  2. The sign outside of Toby’s, because we love it so much.
  3. Lindsay posing for a pic with a real, live cannoli
  4. A San Gennaro street corner
  5. Hands up! The Fancy Hands HQ crew (minus Lindsay) celebrating San Gennaro

  6. The Empire State Building peeking through the San Gennaro decor

Totally Zen

After a few years of using our own system, we thought we’d try out a system built specifically for Client Support. We’ve officially made the switch to Zendesk which allows us to easily and quickly log and respond to your Support requests. This gives you faster responses and leaves all of us feeling, well, totally zen.

Seriously, look at that face!

Defend Net Neutrality

Let Fancy Hands help you take a stand for Net Neutrality! We'll call your local representative on your behalf and ask them to vote NO on the amendment to H.R. 5016 that strips away FCC authority to enact meaningful net neutrality rules. (eff.org

Click here to take a stand against Net Neutrality. 

No susbcription necessary. Just fill out your name and address and we'll take care of the rest. We'll help you tell Congress that the future of the Internet matters to you! 

Fancy Fourth

Kick off your 4th of July weekend with a discount from Fancy Hands!

Get 15% off of your first month of service, or an additional 15% off of our already discounted annual subscriptions. Just use the code 'fancyfourth' when signing up, and you'll see the discount applied before you submit your payment. Click here to take advantage of this discount, now through the end of the weekend.* 

From all of us here at Fancy Hands, have a happy and safe 4th of July! 

*Discount good through 11:59 PDT on 7/6/14. Only applicable to new subscriptions. 

Payments Are Back

After a not-so-brief hiatus, we’re pleased to announce that Fancy Hands can now make payments on your behalf again!

We’ve rolled out a smoother payment process that will give you the ability to pay for the items you need through Fancy Hands, and increased the limit per purchase to $200.

How It Works:

Whether it’s flowers or a new gadget, let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll find you the best price on what you want to purchase.

Once we’ve found the item, we’ll ask you to approve the payment. 

You can approve the payment from your email:


Or from your Dashboard:

After you’ve clicked the ‘Approve Payment’ button, your assistant will be able to pay for the item on your behalf. 

What’s New:

We’ve revamped the payment process, which means there have been a few changes. We’ve doubled the payment limit, so we can now make payments on items up to $200. There will also now be a $0.99 transaction charge on every payment to cover Fancy Hands transaction costs. This will be rolled into the final total you see when approving the payment. 

What’s the Same:

We’ll continue to search for the best price on each item we purchase. We’ll also continue making high quality, secure payments on your behalf. There is absolutely no credit card information required when making your payment, and each payment will be charged to the card you have on file. 

Sit back, relax and let Fancy Hands make a payment for you today

Introducing: Recurring Requests

We’re excited to announce our launch of recurring requests!

Whether it’s a haircut, monthly expenses, or combing through all your new twitter followers, you can now create a task once and have it repeat on a weekly or monthly basis.

It’s super easy to do -- just click on the recurring request icon before sending your request.

You’ll then be able to choose how often you’d like the request to repeat on a weekly or monthly basis.

Once you’ve scheduled how often you’d like your request to repeat, click ‘Confirm’ and then ‘Send Request’ -- that’s it!

You’ll see that all of your recurring requests are marked with the recurring request icon, and you’ll also be able to see the next time the request will automatically send. You will also receive an email reminder before your task is set to recur, allowing you to reschedule.

If you want to stop the recurring request or skip the next cycle, you can click on your task and choose the option to skip or cancel the recurring request. This will not cancel the current request.

You can start scheduling your recurring requests now on your fancy new Dashboard. 

Birthday!

It's our birthday!

We're 4!

We've done an insane amount of things in the past four years.

Take a look!

Rollover: some big changes!

When we launched Fancy Hands almost 4 years ago, things were a bit different. There was only one person on the staff back then, now we've got considerably more. We had dozens of assistants when we launched, now we have thousands. Users could only submit tasks through email, now we have all kinds of apps and interesting ways to keep in touch. But for the most part, our subscription plans have stayed the same. But we're not done, we're super excited to announce a few big changes.

Rollover Tasks

The biggest change is that from now on, your tasks rollover from month to month! So if you're on the 5 task per month plan and only use three, you'll have seven when the next months starts. As long as you have an active subscription, your tasks will continue to roll over. (Once you cancel your plan, the tasks go away). 

Suggested Tasks, Reborn

We've also spent a ton of time working to help you anticipate what you need to do next. In fact, we've totally redone how we identify what you need to do next. Our algorithms have looked at your past tasks, and if you opted in, our system looked at your calendar to help figure out what you should be doing next. We're introducing a totally optional new integration that allows us to help you stay on top of your life. You can hook up your email with us and we'll automatically suggest what needs to happen next. So if someone says, "Hey, let's get drinks later" or "we're heading to Mary and Steve's anniversary next week" we'll take the lead and help you schedule, coordinate, research, and communicate with the right parties... all with just a click of a button. 

Shiny in Chrome

Users have seen these suggested tasks on their dashboard and in the iPhone/Android apps already. But today we're also rolling out a new Chrome browser extension that makes these suggestions available whenever you need them. On top of that, you can interact with your tasks without going to the site, and even get notified immediately when we're done.

Other Changes

With our integration with Google Calendar, we're still the absolute best way to schedule your appointments. However, scheduling is no longer free. Scheduling appointments will now require a task credit just like any other task you send in. However, since tasks rollover, you should have some to use!

Also, and it pains me to say it, because making purchases for our users has always been a popular feature. But we're putting a temporary pause on our ability to buy things for our users for the time being. However, we've had some issues with our partners and haven't been able to keep this feature running 100% of the time. So I made the decision to take it down until we know it will be available for everyone, at everytime, for larger purchases. I apologize about this, but we'll get it back! 

Monthly Yearly
Up to 15% off yearly plans

Basic

5

Requests a month
$6/request
-20%

Professional

15

Requests a month
$5/request
-12%

Premier

50

Requests a month
$4/request
-4%
Fancy Hands is a recurring subscription. Signing up for any plan means you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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