e live busy lives these days, juggling tasks as
we try to get as much done in every moment
as possible. And yet it feels like we’re failing,
stressed out beyond belief, and actually get-
ting less accomplished. If only someone would invent a sim-
ple way to do the basic tasks that we seem to be flummoxed
The truth is, ever since 2013 when Apple introduced Siri,
we have been walking around with the world’s greatest personal assistant in our pockets. Instead of relegating Siri to
basic tasks, it’s time for us to recognize its value, stop treating
it like a gimmick, and finally learn how to harness its power.
Here, I’m going to teach you how to use Siri in ways that will
allow you to save time, accomplish more, and free up your
There are two different ways to summon Siri—by voice (say
“Hey Siri”) or by pressing and holding the Home or Side button depending on which iPhone or iPad model you own.
Rule #1: Summon Siri the Right
Way for Your Task
Although many people tend to choose one method of summoning Siri and stick to it, there are distinct purposes for each
of them. Using your voice is best when you are not physically
holding the phone, such as when it’s on your desk or bedside,
or in the car and you are making a quick request like asking for
the time, making a phone call, or creating a reminder. Using
a button to summon Siri is better when the phone is in your
hand or you have a more complicated request you need to
make, and you don’t want to be cut off in the middle.
Summoning by voice:
Simply by saying “Hey Siri,”
your assistant steps into action
like a magic genie, eagerly
awaiting your first wish. If for
some reason it doesn’t respond, take a quick trip to your
settings, and check in the Siri
section to make sure you have
Hey Siri activated. Incidentally,
if you don’t want Siri responding to your voice requests for
some reason, simply place
your phone face down and it
will ignore your voice requests.
When you summon your digital assistant hands free, don’t
keep Siri waiting. I frequently
watch people say, “Hey Siri,”
and then wait for it to respond
before following up with their
requests. Instead, say it all in
one fluid sentence, such as
“Hey Siri, what time is it in New York?” or “Hey Siri, call my
Summoning by hand:
It’s pretty amazing to get things done simply by voice, but in
many cases pressing and holding the Home or Side button is
the better way to do it. When you first press, you will see Siri
come to attention right away, but don’t let go of the button.
That’s another common mistake people make.
When you press and release, Siri starts listening, but if you
pause or stall, it will time out and assume you are done with
your request. Usually you weren’t finished, so you get cut off
and Siri gives you bad results. The proper way is to press and
LET’S GET SIRIOUS!
TOP TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR DIGITAL ASSISTANT
BY DYLAN STEWART