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  • WRITTEN BY Jorge Rojas POSTED ON September 2,2015

Who is Cortana? Windows 10 users all over the world are finding this out as they turn to Microsoft’s newest personal assistant with their important questions. One thing we know for sure about Cortana is that she can do a lot more than just search Bing. Here are six useful things you can have Cortana do for you.

Of course, Cortana’s gimmick is that she can perform all of these functions via voice activation. Although, don’t get hung up on the wording of these commands. Microsoft built Cortana to be flexible enough to account for the way that people say the same thing in different ways, and it can adapt to a person’s accent and voice inflection.

“What’s the Weather Like?”
Whereas asking a real person this question will usually result in getting a smart-aleck answer like, “Look out the window,” Cortana is much more helpful and provides a detailed answer. Of course, your location service has to be enabled for the answer to pertain to your current location. Also, Cortana can provide you with the weather conditions of anywhere else in the world, just in case you need to know.

“What’s On My Schedule?”
Cortana is the next best thing to having a real-life personal assistant following you around and scheduling appointments for you. Cortana ties into your built-in Calendar app or Outlook to provide you with quick answers to your scheduling questions. Cortana also has the ability to provide you with specific information about different dates on your calendars. For example, asking Cortana something like, “What do I have planned this weekend?” will provide you with the information you’re seeking.

“How Long Will it Take Me to Get to [Place]”
Cortana can access your map application to answer this question for you. Of course, your location services must be enabled. Additionally, you can ask Cortana about how long it will take to get from point A to point B, even if it’s for a trip that’s nowhere near where you’re currently at.

“Show Me My Notes”
Cortana is equipped to pull information from Microsoft OneNote. Asking Cortana to “show me my notes” will open OneNote, and you can even get more specific by asking Cortana to open a specific note. For example, try asking Cortana, “Show me my notes from March 2014.”

“Set a Reminder”
Cortana can be super helpful when you need to create a quick reminder. This is a much more effective method than scribbling down what you need on a piece of paper, or marking up your hand. And Cortana is flexible enough to pick up on whatever you’re getting at when making a reminder. For example, you can say something natural like, “Remind me to pick up dinner at five.” Also, Windows Phone users can have Cortana notify them of a task they need to do if it’s associated with a location they come across.

“Create an Alarm”
In the same way that you can set a reminder, you can easily have Cortana set an alarm. Cortana can set the alarm to go off only once, or at a regular time.

With everything that Cortana can do, your real-life personal assistant may have good reason to be a little nervous. For more tips on how to get the most out of your technology, subscribe to Tektonic’s blog and check back every week for a new tip.

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