How to Land Your Own Personal Assistant in One Easy Step

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How I’ve dreamed about having a personal assistant for, uh, essentially the whole of my career but particularly these past three months, when I not only had three books to complete, articles to write, a move to tackle, a wedding to plan, but also a month in Africa and honeymoon to [redacted…still a surprise!] to plot out.  I mean, I’m not going to lie, when it comes to the cooking and the cleaning and the wiring of electronics and essentially every other fix-it chore that needs doing, SVV is top notch. Alas, he’s only home about five hours a day, which leaves another solid nine I need tending to! (I kid, I kid…)

So, naturally, my friend and occasional work acquaintance Kendyl would come to me with an awesome new program one of her clients, the Hyatt Place, is offering. The good: I would get a personal assistant for an extended increment of time! The bad? This came just days before I left for Africa, so alas, I’ve yet to try it and probably won’t be able to until well after the ‘moon. (But don’t worry, I will get on that promptly upon my return. As a magazine intern for far too long, it will be nice delegating the nitty-gritty tasks to someone else for a change! I wonder if they can virtually deliver me my Starbucks tall skinny vanilla latte on demand?)

Still, hear me out. In an age of travel where the traveler has every oddball opportunity known to man just short of being fed peeled grapes by a South American prince named Fabio in a banana hammock (on second thought, I’m sure there’s somewhere out there where you actually can find such a service!), hotels are having to constantly up the ante in terms of guest services. Well, Hyatt Place is clearly hip with the times, as they’ve just started a—you guessed it, based on context clues, I’m sure, being the smart cookies that you are—personal assistant service.

Dubbed TaskUs, the program is a virtual (key word) personal assistant service that can help you tackle such daily doings as scheduling appointments, sending flowers, making reservations, researching best prices, booking vacations, buying gifts, etc. etc. etc. All you have to do is log on to the website, send an email, or call in all of your tasks, provide instructions, select a time limit and due date for each task, and consider it done. Easy as pie, right? I can think of a million different ways I could have used this while pinning down all the stressful travel details for South Africa.

So, here’s the dealio: You leave me a comment below telling me what you’d use a slave personal assistant for and why you’re deserving of such an honor, and I (i.e. Random.org) will pick a winner once the contest ends at 5pm PST on Friday, March 26. Two of you lucky readers will get hooked up with a two-month TaskUs service, as well as a two-night stay package at any of the Hyatt Place locations across the United States. How’s that for happy Monday news? Per the normal contest rules, you’ll get an extra entry if you make mention of this contest on Twitter, Facebook or rour own blog—just be sure and leave your link(s) below so I give you proper credit. Hey, being persistent worked for Home Sweet Sarah, winner of the Cambria contest, last time ’round!

And with that I bid you adieu from Johannesburg (or whatever it is they say here). Start your commenting in…3…2…1!

COMMENTS
  • March 22, 2010

    I can’t wait to see people’s answers, because I often wonder whether I’d be able to give up the control necessary to have a personal assistant. Not that I’m a control freak, but I admit to an internal voice that says, “BUT NOBODY CAN DO IT LIKE I WOULD.” I mean, what if they pick the really cheesy bouquet of flowers with baby’s breath and the stuffed “I LIKE YOU BEARY MUCH” teddy bear instead of the square vase holding orange tulips? My reputation would be ruined.

    Hi from just a few hours away, finally. So close! But alas…

  • March 22, 2010

    Oh please girl, I might actually be able to sleep if I did this. LOL

  • March 22, 2010
    Amy

    Well, I’d send that personal assistant over to help my mom, who has her own business. I often end up helping her with tasks that can be done long distance and online, like proofing documents or helping with correspondence and research. Lately she’s been extra busy and it would be wonderful for her to have a professional helper!

  • March 22, 2010

    hmm. maybe some job searching or travel planning? sounds like a fun thing to experiment with!

  • March 22, 2010

    Oh dear god, I have never needed to win a contest as much as I need to win this one!!!!!! My to-do list is a mile long and no matter how much coffee I drink or acupuncture I give myself, I can’t seem to get the list down. I would use the PA for just about everything…helping me with my biz, helping me plan my future travels, helping me with day-to-day errands. You bet your cute butt I’m going to FB and Twitter this contest! 🙂

  • March 22, 2010

    I have a family of five, a full time (plus overtime) job, freelance work and still try to keep some semblance of a social life.

    I could use this like nobody’s business.

  • March 22, 2010

    Wow, I’ve always wanted a personal assistant! 🙂 I would use the service to book a trip to Houston for a wedding and a vacation to Colorado in the fall with my boyfriend. I would also use it to keep track of meetings, appointments… it’s going to be a busy Spring/Summer! I posted a link for the giveaway on my blog, http://www.lounginwithlindsay.blogspot.com. Great idea, Hyatt Place!

  • March 22, 2010

    whoa this is awesome! i would probably use it for travel research…we just got back from Arizona on Saturday and are ready to plan our next vacation! 🙂

  • March 22, 2010

    Oh, how I’ve always wanted a personal assistant! I could use one right now to help me get my business launched and help me book some of my upcoming travel! I would also love a two-night stay in a Hyatt, to be used for said travel…

  • March 22, 2010

    I’ve been saying for a long time I need an assistant! I wish it were in real life though so they could get my dry cleaning and such. Anyway…my work just let go a third of the work force and I had to take on the work of 3 people. Plus, due to a car car accident injury I have had over 100 doctor appointments in the past year. Juggling work and doctor appointments leaves little time for anything else. I’ve become completely forgettful lately. I paid my credit card a day late and missed a doctor appointment (and now have to wait a month for another…). I also want to start a home based business, but just can’t find the time. This assistant could help me with some of the leg work of getting the paperwork and such done for that as well as remind me of all my appointments. Pick me!!! Pick me!!!

  • March 22, 2010

    I am not sure I really NEED a personal assistant . . . but man, would I sure like one. I am so freakin’ backlogged on e-mail and I could really use a helping hand because we are just up to our ears in everything, here, what with us dealing with our stuff (plus taxes, blech), helping out a family member, and trying to get our website caught up. I don’t think I have properly answered an email in about a month and a half and those poor people who expected responses ages ago haven’t got one. So, personal assistant – yes, please!

    And, can’t wait to hear about the trip and the wedding and the honeymoon and everything. Have fun and don’t wear yourself out!

  • March 22, 2010

    I was thinking NAP! too but, oh, doctor’s appointments and getting a better rate on bills and online shopping and….the list is sadly endless. This is an INCREDIBLE opportunity, Kristin. Thank you!

  • March 22, 2010

    Awesome! I could definitely use a personal assistance…planning the grocery list, letting my dogs out, paying bills, helping me plan a bridal shower and bachellorette party I am hosting, cleaning the house, etc. etc.

  • March 22, 2010

    Teej’s comment is cracking me up. The mere thought of a personal assistant makes me shrivel and shake because the thought of giving up control to a complete stranger? YIKES.

  • March 22, 2010

    I’d use it to get stuff ORGANIZED that I never have any time to do. I work full time, have a two year old, and freelance. Is there EVER enough time in the day? Winning this would give me head space.

    samanthajocampen at gmail

  • March 22, 2010
  • March 22, 2010

    I could use a personal assistant for myriad reasons, not the least of which would be to help keep my to-do lists up to date and my head on straight. Can my virtual assistant read me a bed-time story, too? Because that would be awesome.

  • March 22, 2010
    lh

    Can they clean?

    Seriously, if someone could just help me with my calendar schedule….

  • March 22, 2010
    sabrina

    This summer I’ll be studying for the bar exam, wedding planning, job searching, taking the bar exam, and then getting married. I’m almost exhausted thinking about it. I really need an assistant!

  • March 22, 2010
    aly

    omg, seriously. SERIOUSLY? i could use this more than anyone else (other than maybe you!) – i have so many jobs that i have to write myself notes to remember to show up places…and have been known to show up at the wrong event on the wrong day wearing very much the wrong outfit. please? love you!

  • March 22, 2010
    jamie

    help me make all the doctor/dentist/hair/vet appointments i’ve been putting off.

  • March 22, 2010

    Oh the forever to-do list. I have a loooong one.

  • March 22, 2010
    Jessica

    I have had some items on my to-do list for almost a year. And I consider myself quite productive. Enough said. 🙂

  • March 22, 2010

    I would have my personal assistant do the little things I need to get done each day (laundry, cleaning up, errands etc) so I could foster more puppies! If I could just take care of the pups all day I could have more (sorry Initials) and save more lives!

    And my personal assistant would have so much fun because, who doesn’t love puppies!

  • March 22, 2010
    Emily

    I too could use a personal assistant for job hunting. A two night stay at a Hyatt wouldn’t be bad either!

  • March 22, 2010
    Katie

    I’m a serial blog-skulker, but this idea has got me onto the comments….Oh good lord, a personal assistant…

    Well his/her first priority would be helping me with the freelance book publicity business I’m trying to get off the ground. Taking messages, tracking calls, doing basic research, etc. eat up so much of my time I can’t even explain how helpful that would be.

    And then I also try to devote a lot of time to nonprofit work–Relay for Life (which is this weekend for me, holla fellow TN girl!), a biannual writers conference I help organize (also this weekend!), an undergraduate literary journal I edit, plus all the other community/humans rights organizations I contribute time to. Grants, PR, fundraising…I could do so much more with everything!

    And then I’m still a full-time college student with a 4.0, so I know I’d be a lot less stressed with someone helping me make sure I’m getting my papers/assignments/tests taken care of.

    So, THEN, I’d actually be able to put full efforts into my own creative writing, travel more, and even play a little more ultimate Frisbee on the side!

    Honestly I can’t even explain how grateful I’d be for a service like this. I’d not only sleep better but feel so much more accomplished.

  • March 22, 2010
    Joanna

    Oh Lordy. Would a personal assistant come over and pack my lunch? Why is that the one thing I can never seem to get done? It’s like I am still in first grade. Bonus points if I could get a cookie.

  • March 22, 2010

    As good as napping sounds, we’ve got a handful of other sites we want to launch, plus a huge list (we’re talking 100+) of articles we want to write for our site. You’d think between two people this would be easy, but we’ve both got jobs and a bunny to take care of. And if you’ve ever had a bunny, you know it’s like having 8 kids, all at various ages, cohabiting the same environment, and subsequently chewing said environment to shreds.

  • March 22, 2010
    SVV

    I GiVE. I need one of these as well. I would have a personal assistant perform due diligence while researching website developers, textile sourcing and equipment suppliers, perform product evaluations/patent investigation and build an executive summary of the findings, maybe send a FTP upload and have him/her SORT my 100Gb photo archive, AND I’d have that poor overworked sap lobby Congress on my behalf. 🙂

  • March 23, 2010

    A personal assistant?! Wow! I’d have them go through my Itunes and delete all the duplicates that taunt me. To never hear Annie Lennox Walking on Broken Glass five times in a row would be bliss. Thanks.

  • March 23, 2010
    Rhi

    OH…. do I ever need this. Planning a wedding, buying a house and working 55 hour weeks all at once is a wee bit stressful. I need someone to call and set my garbage service up!

  • March 23, 2010

    Oh yes and I tweeted of course http://twitter.com/JensJourneys

  • March 23, 2010

    Ooh, a personal assistant…it’s like a dream for an entrepreneur trying to find her place in the world. I’d have my assistant plan scrumptious meals for Mon – Fri of every week we work together; anything goes on the weekend, you know. I’d ask them to schedule the work appointments I’ve been too afraid to schedule myself, to find us a place down South to sublet for the month of June, and I like the idea above of cleaning the duplicates out of my iTunes. Let’s make that happen, too.

  • March 23, 2010
    Mary H.

    God, what wouldn’t they do?! I work full-time, go to school part-time, am planning a wedding in 6 months, and need to rent/sell my condo by summer! I would have my personal assistant researching florists, rehearsal dinner venues, honeymoon locales, making appointments, etc.

  • March 23, 2010

    Just tweeted and facebooked this contest! I wanta win sooooooooooo badly!!!

  • March 23, 2010

    As most of the other commenters, I definitely would LOVEEE an assistant. Between my full-time job, blog work, volunteering & social life, I’m always on the go. Plus, I’m trying to look into grad school but barely have time to research! I’d love to delegate some of my tasks. Thanks Kristin for the contest!

  • March 23, 2010
    Gretchen

    Research! All that faffing about onliine that I do looking up hobby sites and getting little tidbits here and there that adds up to hours of my day? My assistant could tackle that.

    And tweeted too: http://twitter.com/ScrewedDC/statuses/10932307017

  • March 23, 2010
    Eli

    I would have them research all my legal memos I have to write which pretty much everything, including putting dull pencils through my eye balls seem more fun.

  • March 23, 2010
    Amy

    Wow… I would have someone help me price check stuff for my kitchen remodel. That would be AMAZING!!!!

    Why me???….. oh.. because I’ve been single for nearly 3 years and am tackling this remodel on my own to save money.. so I can move out of the house my ex and I bought (read: I) and move on with my life! 🙂

  • March 23, 2010
    Krista

    I might use a personal assistant to help my fiance and I keep our ebay stuff organized. We recently started selling a lot of stuff on ebay, and its been a lot of work figuring out what prices to put on certain things, keep track of all our auctions, make sure we are getting all our money, and also making sure we send each package with the right type of postal service and to the right person. Its a lot of work keeping it all straight!

  • March 23, 2010
    Lauren

    I would use a personal assistant to help me book travel, travel and more travel!

  • March 23, 2010

    OY VEY could I ever use a personal assistant! I have travel that needs to be booked (and researched, ugh, oh how I long for the days when we had enough time to not research much before a trip!), dogs that require a ridiculous number of vet appointments, then there is the fact that I purposely cut my own hair because of the anxiety I experience when making a hair appointment. For real.

    Anyway, you get the idea 🙂

  • March 24, 2010

    I tweeted it too! Yay extra entry!

    http://twitter.com/greenphillyblog (sorry, not sure how to link to the one tweet…)

  • March 24, 2010

    I would LOVE a personal assistant, to help me get things done for my fledgling business! Market research, social advertising, product research, speaking with clients….and personally, helping me find books and put them on hold for me at the library. So many things that would save time for me. And the 2 night stay?? Ohhhhh….after 8 years of marriage, and 2 kids, my husband and I could use that!

  • March 24, 2010

    Also, I just retweeted this! @craysorphoto

  • March 24, 2010
    Arnold

    I sure like the sound of this!

  • March 24, 2010

    A friend brought up a good point…in my state I have to pay “use tax” on services like this, which would be 6%….do you know the value of this prize?

  • March 25, 2010
    Kristin

    I have to-do lists about my to-do lists! Could definitely use a virtual assistant!

  • March 26, 2010
    pslopegirl

    Well I work as an executive assistant but I just can’t find the time to organize my owns things since I’m busy doing it for others. I’m about to buy my first apt and it’s needs a lot of work so someone/something that can help sort through contractors and keep track of appliances that I like would be a huge help!

  • March 26, 2010

    seriously, there are so many things I could use help with. That is the rough part of working on your own, you are the only person responsible for alllllll of the nitty gritty. And well a hotel stay is always fun!

  • March 26, 2010

    Wow – my mind spins with all the possibilities!

    I’d most likely ask my personal assistant to do all that OCD cleaning detail that I don’t have the time to do – cleaning between the tile grout, dusting lightbulbs, cleaning the fridge.

    You know – the stuff that always gets pushed down to the bottom of the list but manages to sit in the back of your mind (ok, MY mind), crowding out any creative thoughts you might (ok, I might) otherwise have….

  • March 26, 2010

    I could surely use an assistant to help organize my life while I’m gone (from the country, not from life). I’ve got a ton of photos to organize, tag and edit. Plus a workshop to promote, shoots to book, garbage to shirk….just the normal stuff. And if they could redesign my personal website, that’d be swell!

  • March 26, 2010
    Steph

    Yes please!!! 🙂

  • March 26, 2010

    I want them to organize my schedule and my lists (I like lists!), and then look up Photoshop tutorials and resources and possibly re-design my website. I would buy them coffee, like a good little boss.

  • March 26, 2010

    I just started my business last year and am already feeling the pains of working with now help! An assistant could help me stay on top of tasks, my billing, and more. It’d be such a relief!!! 🙂

  • March 26, 2010

    Boy do I need this! I am blogging/Twittering/Youtubing/photographing/writing while traveling the world with a young child ( since 2006) & the very good news is I was profiled in the NYT’s, so now I’m writing a book! The bad news is I broke/had surgery on/paralyzed my right dominant arm and hand while biking the Danube last August, so now I have to do everything with one left hand until it sloooooowly heals. Oh, and the antibiotics they gave me Candida in lungs & gut to deal with and we have more travel planned this year than our first 4. Yikes!

    Pick me please. 😉

  • March 26, 2010

    BTW tweeted it too!

  • March 26, 2010

    “How to Land Your Own Personal Assistant in One Easy Step | Tackling the Globe…: http://bit.ly/chODqx” from @soultravelers3 to my almost 26,000 followers! 😉

  • March 26, 2010
    Christie Quinn

    Oh, woman, do I need one of these personal assistants! I work 2 full-time jobs as a salesperson and petsitter and have a dog, a cat and 3 fish, a husband, a condo and lots of stuff to get done! I’m exhausted all the time and an extra set of hands would make life so much easier. The PA would need to be able to do my grocery shopping, schedule appointments, get my dirty car washed, take care of my adorable pets when I’m not home, scan about 150,000 old family photos into my iMac, and the list goes on. Must love Starbucks. I’d even treat them to a latte from time to time as well. Plus, I’m a big sweetheart, so who wouldn’t want to come work for me?! 🙂 I’m reposting this on FaceBook and also retweeted it. Thank you in advance!

  • March 26, 2010
    Christie Quinn

    P.S. I’m quinninmarin on Twitter and Christie Grant Quinn on FaceBook. Cheers!

  • March 30, 2010
    kelsi

    I would use a web assistant to book all of my endless appointments, create calendars that sort out my work, school, business tasks and gosh, i wish this thing could take my dog for a walk in the rain. how do i make that happen? 🙂

  • April 19, 2010

    I would Love to win this contest , simply because managing a team of over 350 and counting members becomes insane . Time with kids I’m sad to admitt is almost never . I would so humbly appreciate perfesional help .

    THANK YOU , DEANDREA C. ( NewOrleans La,)

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