"Quick. Make a list of the top ten things you have to accomplish this month but have absolutely no desire to start or finish them. Now take that list and circle the tasks that could be accomplished if you were a Hollywood celebrity with a personal assistant. Got the list?
Guess what? You can have that personal assistant working for you without the burden of paying them thousands of dollars and selling your underwear to TMZ. Because your assistant is in the cloud.
Enter Fancy Hands.
Fancy Hands bills itself as “assistants for everyone”. They’re a company of virtual assistants based only in the United States that can take care of almost anything for you. They’re quick, responsive and (usually) accurate. You submit tasks via your computer, mobile device, email or by telephone. Then, the team of assistants at Fancy Hands goes to work for you and updates you along the way.
So here are my tasks for my first month using Fancy Hands and the result:
- Task #1: Please call Honda Financial services between 8a-7p CST on Monday and schedule my lease-end inspection for this Friday (4/26) after 3pm. I gave Fancy Hands all of the information needed to schedule the inspections.
- Result: My inspection was scheduled first thing Monday morning and my assistant confirmed the appointment before I even checked my email. The inspector came to my house that Fridan and I’m all set to go.
- Task #2: I recently started cycling to work. Please calculate approximate weight loss with biking 5 miles per day, 4 days per week. The five miles are split into two sessions of approximately the same distance. Please see attached photos for reference on today’s ride. Please calculate approximate weight loss per month in pounds. Assume a normal (mostly) healthy diet.
- Result: My VA used a calorie calculator to find my basic calorie needs. They then calculated my average speed on the bike (generated by an app on my iPhone) to get calories burned per day by cycling. They put it all together to let me know that I’ll be losing 1.18 pounds per month (better start back on p90X).
- Task #3: I need a 24 hour transcription service that can also type written PDF’s. Needs to be US-based and offer round the clock rush service (if needed).
- Result: My virtual assistants made 17 calls on my behalf (they list the phone numbers called in your Fancy Hands Dashboard). I received a list of three companies that met all of my requirements.
- Task #4: Please find me a donation center for gently used baby toys, clothes and a stroller. Preferably a place that does not re-sell but gives the items to people that need it (ie, battered women’s shelter, needy families, etc.). The donation center should be no farther than 10 miles away from zip code 90010 in Los Angeles, CA.
- Result: At first my Fancy Hands assistant did not come through, giving me the name of a shelter that only accepts clothes and not toys, etc. I emailed my assistant back re-clarifying the original task and they updated the list with organizations that met my requirements.
- Task #5: Please find me a couple of photographers that shoot one hour sessions at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, CA. The total cost should be $300 or less and MUST include digital files at no additional cost. We are a family of three.
- Result: My VA first offered to check Groupon and LivingSocial. They expanded their search and gave me a couple of reasonable options for our first family portrait.
Bottom line: These tasks would have either not gotten done or taken me a couple of hours to complete. Instead, I didn’t have to take time out of my busy day or my evening with my family to do it. It’s just worth it. There are a number of tasks they can accomplish for you like setting appointments, making reservations and coordinating with TaskRabbit to get errands run for you. I didn’t realize I needed Fancy Hands until I wrote out my own to-do list, and 50% of it was tasks I didn’t want to do.
So let’s get down to dollars and cents. What does it cost? For five tasks a month, I paid $25 bucks. Not bad considering it would have cost me a thousand dollars in mental anguish. If you need more tasks, you can upgrade your plan (which I’m doing).
This is a no-brainer. Get yourself a virtual assistant and put them to work for you. I did and I love it. If you’re interested in signing up for Fancy Hands, click this link. I get a referral fee so feel free to go directly to their web site if that’s not your bag."