Cortana is really a well-featured virtual assistant with so many capabilities.
This short guide will show you some of the fun things you can do with the app to get your productivity to the next level.
If you've not configured your assistant yet, check out this post on how to set up Cortana to get it ready to use.
Set Reminders for Time, People, and Places:
Cortana features a powerful reminder that can be set to activate at any time or place without much hassle.
You can get started with the “Hey Cortana, remind me” term, or use something like: “Hey Cortana, remind me to publish a post tomorrow by 10 am”.
In addition setting reminders, you can also set alarms with ease. Ask Cortana to “set alarm at [time]” to get started.
Check for Alarms:
Cortana can help you check whatever active alarms you have. Use a query like “Hey Cortana, what alarms do I have?”.
Check For timers:
To easily check how much time you have left on your timer, use a query like “how much time is left on the timer?”
Create and Add Items to lists:
You can both create and add items to a to-do list from within the Cortana app.
To try it out, use a term like "Hey Cortana, create a shopping list" to create a list; and something like “Hey Cortana, add bread to my shopping list” to add an item to the list.
Lookup the calendar:
Cortana can help you check whatever is in your calendar.
To try it out, use a search term like “Hey Cortana, what do I have next Sunday?” to get started.
Identify a Song:
Like other virtual assistants like Siri and Google Now, you can use Cortana to identify any song playing near you. However, I've observed that the feature only functions well when the song is playing from your PC.
To try it out, use a query like "Hey Cortana, what song is playing?"
Perform a web search:
Cortana can easily perform any search for you online. The limitation here is that the virtual assistant can only look up information from the Bing search engine.
To test this out, just ask a search related question like, “Hey Cortana, how can I get to Canada from Ontario?”
Use Natural Language Search:
You can verbally instruct Cortana to search for files and folders from your hard drive. An example of such instruction can be, "Hey Cortana, search for photos from January 14th".
Cortana enables you to find facts with ease. With the app, you can find direct answers to questions like "Hey Cortana, who is the tallest man in the world?", "Hey Cortana, How old is the Tower of Pisa?", etc.
In addition, you can also check exciting facts like what happened today in history. Try that out with “Hey Cortana, take me to your time machine”.
Perform Calculations and Conversions:
Cortana enables you to perform quick calculations and conversions.
Try out queries like "Hey Cortana, what is 457 divided by 363", or "Hey Cortana, convert 23 dollars to euros".
The conversion works for any currency of your choice.
Track Flights and Packages:
Cortana can also track the status of flights and packages for you. Just input the flight and package tracking number to get started, or use a search term like “Hey Cortana, what time does Delta 3333 depart?”.
Check the Weather:
You can use Cortana to make a quick weather lookup. "Weather" will give you the weather in your location while "weather in [place]" will give you the weather of any place. An example is "what is the weather in California?".
Get driving directions:
Preparing for a trip? Cortana can get the directions for you. Use queries like “directions to [location]” to get started.
In addition to driving directions, Cortana can also check the distance between two places for you. Use a term like “Hey Cortana, how far is [location] from [location]" to get started.
To send a mail through your virtual assistant app, use the term “hey Cortana, send a mail” to get started, or you can send a direct mail to someone with the term “send a mail to [someone]” if its a person in your contact list.
Check your emails:
Cortana doesn't only send emails, but can also check your inbox for any new email. To try it out, use a term like “do I have any new email?”
Turn on device features:
Cortana can easily turn on device features for you - like Bluetooth and wifi. Use a term like “Hey Cortana, turn on Bluetooth” to get started.
Cortana also provides an easier way to access programs and software from your computer. Just ask her to “launch [app]” to launch an app.
Ask her to sing:
If you ever feel bored, you can make your virtual assistant sing for you. Just ask her to sing for you and she will.
Example: "Hey Cortana, sing for me".
Ask her to tell a story:
In addition to singing, you can get Cortana to tell you a story. To get started, ask her to tell you a story.
Example: "Hey Cortana, tell me a story".
Get the Latest News:
Cortana can be a reliable source of the latest news from your favorite news site. Just use a query like “get me the latest news from [site]”, or “tell me news about Microsoft”.
Get the current stock price:
You can use Cortana as a stock price checker.
Try out a term like “what is the value of [company]'s stock" to check it out.
Cortana can act as a simplified translator on the go. For example, you can try a search query like “Hey Cortana, translate [word] to [language]” or more specifically “translate bone to French” to get started.
Just like Google Now and Siri, you can make a quick chat with Cortana. To try that out, just ask simple questions like “how old are you?”, etc to receive funny and interesting responses.
Cortana is capable of much more. If you need help with any command or wish to learn new commands, use the term “help”.
Did you find the post useful? Please consider sharing.
If you have any questions, tips, or contributions, use the comment form below. I'd very much like to hear from you.