How I Use Fin at Work and at Home

Andrew Kortina, 7 May 2017

I no longer have an executive assistant and now use Fin as my main resource for getting help at work and at home.

There are tons of things I ask Fin for, that I would never bother a human assistant with. And, I can ask Fin for anything at any time in the night or on the weekend. And Fin does all of this in less than 25% of the time I would be paying a full time EA for.

Here’s what Fin did for me in the past 30 days, working 7 hours per week:

  • 396 Emails Processed
  • 66 People Emailed
  • 78 Calendar Events Scheduled
  • 27 Phone Calls Made
  • 68 Minutes Saved on Phone Calls
  • 33 Voice Memos transcribed
  • 14 Reservations and Bookings
  • 8 Shopping and Travel Tasks
  • 211 Websites Visited and Researched
  • 7 Hours of Work per Week

Now, I’ll share a few examples my personal favorite ways to use Fin…

Home Chores

I procrastinate terribly when it comes to any sort of personal / home chore. (1) Fin is a great way to make sure I get these done, and (2) Fin will often just do a lot of these for me.

These are probably some of my favorite uses of Fin because they are some of the things I least enjoy spending my own time doing.

Painting. “Can you help me find a painter to touch up a bunch of scuffs and paint some walls in my house to prep it for sale? Maybe get a few different options / quotes?”

Plumbing. “My dishwasher is broken. Can you please find someone to come by and fix it?”

Gardening. “Can you please find / book a gardener who can come weekly to take care of plants in house and backyard?”

Utility bills. “I moved to a new apt, 1921 Union St Apt 4 in Oakland. Please setup accounts for internet, water, electric, gas, etc using my Amex on file.”

Trash + recycling. “Can you change my Recology account to the biggest possible trash bin?”

Taxes. “Can you pay my property taxes? Use my Chase Bank account on file.”

Cleaning supplies. “Can you get me rinsing agent (whatever that is)? And select-a-size paper towels, and Mrs Meyer’s dish detergent? Send to my address.”

Health Chores

Another of my Fin favorites, again because I really don’t like spending any energy thinking about this stuff.

Dentist. “Feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve been to the dentist — can you email Lynda and schedule my next visit?”

Bodywork. “Can you make sure I am going to Suchada at least once per month. Fascia…”

Haircuts. “Can you get me a haircut appointment one morning this week. Usual.”

Pedicure. “What’s a good place to get a pedicure near here?”

Hospital bills. “Can you pay this hospital bill?”

Skincare. “Can you find me some options for natural salves to keep a fresh tattoo properly healing?”

Booking Classes. “Can you book treadmills for me and John this Thu 8am at Barry’s?”


This is one of the top ways I use Fin to save time at work.

Interview scheduling. “Can you arrange Adam’s onsite for next week? Find someone from the engineering team for each of the 5 sessions.”

One-on-ones. “Can you move all my one-on-ones with the eng team from next Wed to Tue? I’m out on Wed.”

Coffees. “Can you find me and Raylene time for coffee one day next week?”

Calls. “Can you setup a 20 min call for me and Joe on Thu or Fri?”

Dinners. “Arrange a dinner for me and all the hackathon winners one night next week at Mr. Jiu’s.”

Events. “Update the weekly cal event for the team for Fri morning Yoga. New time is 1030.”

Friend Get Togethers. “Can you find me, Rob, and Eric a time next week to all hit the banya together?”

Keeping Lists

Fin is the fastest way for me to capture an idea, so I love using it as a buffer for things I need to get back to later.

Team Memos. “Add CI improvements to my list of topics for my weekly memo to the team. Also, can you send this list of notes to me on Fri instead of Sat morning to write up?”

Journal and Essay Topics. “Idea for an essay: the suburbanization of cities.”

Places. “Add Cafe Van Kleef to my list of music spots to checkout.”

Movies. “Watch Out 1. I heard it’s avail streaming now — can you find out where?”


One of the most non-obvious ways to use Fin that I really love. Before Fin, my typical flow for doing a lot of this was emailing myself a note with a person and topic to follow up on, and then handling at my desk. Now Fin just handles all of this for me.

Conversation Followups. I typically leave an interesting dinner conversation with a bunch of followups to send more details about various topics to someone. Now I can just tell Fin, “Send John the Terry Crews vid about intermittent fasting.”

Connections. Often I’ll leave a coffee meeting needing to connect the person I just met with someone new. Fin can handle this end to end: “Please send an email connecting Rob with Chris to talk about Rob’s new restaurant.”

Booking and Buying

This stuff is still just way too annoying to do on a phone. It’s much easier to just fwd links or product names to Fin to have transactions executed.

Restaurants. “Can you book me, John, and Rob dinner at Nopa next Thu after 10pm?”

Music. “Can you buy 2 tix to this show at the fox [link]?”

Events. “Can you get me and my sis tix to A Bronx Tale for next time I’m in NYC?”

Amazon. “Can you get me a kindle version of the Myth of Sisyphus from Amazon?”

Local Suppliers. “Can you find some place that sells Hollaender speed rail near here and get me a quote on delivery to the office?”

Products. “Can you find someone selling the army jacket with SKU WWGTX in size small and buy for me?”


Often things I ask Fin for are small things, that by themselves don’t take a ton of time. But every task I delegate to Fin would be an interruption to my flow and a distraction (which I think is why I tend to procrastinate on a lot of these tasks if they are left to me).

The main thing I personally love about using Fin is that it enables me to spend my time on the things that are important to me. It allows me to focus on creative work, or spending time with friends and family.