Tasks I’ve tried delegating to TimeSvr so far

Things that I think would fit into 15 minutes

  • Find me a virtual credit card that I can link to my Canada-based Visa, Mastercard, or Paypal so that I can outsource payment and buying things without exposing my real credit card details on this site
  • Find me multifunction black-and-white laser printer/scanners
  • Log on to Facebook and approve all the pending friend requests EXCEPT FOR people who found me through Friend Finder.
  • Log on to LinkedIn and approve all pending connection requests.
  • Log onto LinkedIn and e-mail me a list of the 5 latest questions in the Professional Networking category, including question text (click on each question to get to the full question text) and links to the questions.
  • Use search.twitter.com to search for tweets about “sachac” and e-mail me the contents of that page.
  • Find me a Firefox extension that lets me open Google results using access keys (pressing numbers to view the search results in the background). The extension must be compatible with Firefox 3.
  • Can you take the list of birthdays and contact information below, split it up by week, and send me each week’s upcoming birthdays and contact information every Saturday? Thanks!
  • Can you find me a free service that will automatically e-mail me or make an RSS feed for a website each day? That way, I don’t take up 15 minutes of TimeSvr’s time with something that can easily be automated, and I can use your service for more interesting things. =)
  • Please log into Facebook and add … to my Family list.
  • Please contact Pathable and ask them for a quote for a small event (~16 people)
  • One week from now, please submit http://interfacematters.com/atom.xml to http://www.feedvalidator.org. If the service reports that the feed passes, e-mail me that it passes. If not, reschedule this task for one week later, and keep trying until I cancel it or the site passes. Thanks!
  • Please contact Pathable and ask them for a quote for a small event (~16 people)
  • Please log on to Facebook and respond to the messages I’ve indicated below. My responses are in bold. =) Also, please find … and … and friend them (they’ll be in Toronto), if I haven’t friended them yet. Include the following personal message in each of those invitations
  • Please log onto Tungle and offer … Thursday and Friday afternoon slots for next next week. Thanks!
  • Please put together a simple set of Powerpoint slides with white text on a black background, with the following text as slide titles (one line per slide)
  • Please reply on Facebook as follows: …
  • Can you find out what % of Canadian jobs are created in technology companies?
  • Please email me a list of software program used by TimeSvr people so that I know what kinds of files you can work with and what tasks you can do. :) Also, does the company have people with graphic design or illustration skills? Thanks!
  • Please reply with the following, and also send him a link to the Study Hacks blog. Thanks!
  • Please send me an HTML email suitable for posting into a blog post, containing
  • Please encode the e-mail addresses, comments, and ratings in the attached ZIP of scans and send them to me as a spreadsheet, in an e-mail with the title “Making a name for yourself: evaluation forms”. Thanks! =)
  • Now that I’ve delegated a number of tasks to TimeSvr, can you give me specific feedback on how we can work together more effectively?
  • On Monday, can you look for immigration lawyers in Toronto with experience in handling Canadian Experience Class and family applications, preferably near … or …? Thanks!
  • Please find me a few dental hygienists around … or … and send me their prices for dental cleaning / scaling.
  • Please log on to the library, renew all my books, and email me the list of remaining items that are due this week.

To improve this:

  • Ask them to do time tracking?
  • Figure out some way to integrate with RememberTheMilk? Ooh.
  • Write down processes
  • Set up recurring tasks
  • http://www.productivity501.com/ Mark – Productivity501

    Just out of curiousity, does it actually save you time to have them log into Facebook and add people to your Family list for you? Or send responses? It just seems like those tasks would take longer to explain to them than it would to do them yourself.

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    It doesn’t directly save me that much time, but it gives me a couple of other results.

    • I usually send those kinds of tasks on my iPod Touch, where Safari refuses to open things if I have more than eight tabs open (which I usually do). When I’m on my computer, I don’t mind clicking on the Facebook reply link as much. I suppose I _could_ wait to respond until I get back to my computer, but if I have a few free moments, I may as well respond. =)
    • Sites like LinkedIn require you to log in each time you reply, it seems, and I’d rather not go through the trouble and wait for each one of those items.
    • I don’t get distracted by other Facebook or LinkedIn features if I don’t go to the website myself. ;) This is surprisingly useful.
    • I can ask them to send the link to a relevant blog post or make a list of groups and send that over, without having to look up the URL myself (which is inconvenient on the aforementioned iPod).
    • If Facebook and LinkedIn used proper Reply-Tos, I’d do less of this, but as it stands, TimeSvr provides a useful e-mail interface to services without one. ;)

    I’ve shared a spreadsheet of tasks I’ve delegated to Timesvr – 80 or so tasks spread over 12 days. Some include the actual text of my requests (sensitive information scrubbed, I hope), and others have summaries I put in.

    Eventually I’ll get to fill out the rest of the columns… =)

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  • http://www.productivity501.com/ Mark – Productivity501

    Hm. Very interesting. I understand the distraction thing. You might look at a password manager. I use 1Password. I had the software for about 6 months before I started using it. Now I can’t believe how much time it saves. It is OS X and will sync with your iPod. There are other similar solutions available for Windows and Linux.

    What do you mean by “proper reply to”? Do you mean the ability to reply to an email and have it posted?

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    It’s not an important feature for me, and I won’t miss delegating it if I can think of lots of other high-value tasks that can be squeezed into Timesvr’s recommended 15 minutes. =) In the meantime, it works out fine.

    1Password looks interesting, although that’s still a number of taps, and that still takes me out of the Mail application. (ah, iPod…) Thanks for the tip, though!

    Proper reply – yes, or to have the Reply-To set to the person’s real e-mail address if that person’s already one of my contacts.

  • http://crueltobekind.org Nicole Simon

    Thanks for the overview and your list. A note: you can use tweetlater.com for the reply thingy, it is not obvious at first but I found this to be useful for more than one account. If you mail me I can give you a forward of one of the mails.

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    Now that twitter.com changed Replies to @username, things are much better!

    And I just noticed LinkedIn does the right thing if you’re already connected, but I’d been corresponding with someone who came in through an introduction request. =)

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    Ciara: I rarely unapprove comments, but there was a comment here that sounded a little strange, and didn’t match up with the geographic location or the writing style. I don’t approve of people pretending to be other people in order to mess up social media opinions. In case that was really you, please get in touch with me through e-mail.

  • Don

    I’ve started using timesvr myself and was wanted to look at your spreadsheet link above. However it seems to be expired. Do you have a new link?
    Thx.

  • http://www.gwern.net/Silk%20Road gwern

    A little confused – is this a list of ideas you could delegate out, or a list of things you have successfully delegated out?

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    Stuff I delegated, with varying degrees of success.