I first wrote about FancyHands a year ago. Almost to the day. And I’ve spent the entire time since then using them every single day, without fail, to do things as varied as measure the distance in time (and mileage) between Italian cities, to finding tailors in New York, to hounding insurance brokers to find me the best health coverage. In fact, they were rather instrumental in the planning of my wedding. I’m horribly dependent on them.
To the uninitiated: You purchase a subscription to FancyHands, you send them requests to an email address, and they carry out any task that can be done with a phone. There’re some things they won’t do (ask yourself if you’d have to hire a professional for a task – that’s one they can’t do), but for the last year I’ve never had them say “no, Mr. Zitron, please stop emailing us.”
You log in via Google, and can directly connect them to your calendar to add appointments. They can even buy things for you (up to $100, with no ordering of plane tickets or booking of hotel rooms) and bill you directly. It’s an ingenious system – one that just works against all odds. I’ve had one problem with it in an entire year, and that was in many ways my fault.
They have restructured a little – the unlimited-request plan now costs $90, a 15-request-a-month plan at $45 and a 5-request-a-month plan at $25. However, you can now do team plans that will reduce the cost based on how many people you add, and you can even pay yearly to bring it down a further 25%.
In a world of constant distractions and annoyances, FancyHands is the only way to literally buy time. It’s kept me on time for my appointments, transcribed my horribly-written notes and helped me fix my credit. I’d quote Ted Roden, their CEO, but I’ll be honest – he answers just about any email from any customer, not just me. He cares a great deal, and he has one of the most endearing and well-engineered startups in the nation.