Disclosure: This post is sponsored; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Working from home has proven to be both one of my greatest joys and one of my greatest challenges as a writer and digital host. There is absolutely nothing better than putting the finishing touches on a story snuggled up on the couch, drinking a cup of green tea from my favorite mug while checking out what shenanigans Tamera and ladies of The Real are up to from time to time.
Of course, the comfy setup I’ve created can easily cause me to be distracted and fall behind schedule. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for easy upgrades that will keep me on track without cramping my style.
Enter Google Home
I was really excited to try Google Home – the latest smart speaker to hit the market. The all-white micro pod (it kind of resembles a cute tabletop air freshener) has had people talking since it was announced this fall. I wanted to find out if it could help me be more productive over time.
Setting up Google Home was a pretty simple affair. I chose my living room as its home base. After unpacking the pod and plugging it in, all I had to do was download the Google Home app on my smartphone and sync it with my Wi-Fi network. Within a few taps I was off and running.
Keeping Me on Task
Over the next few days I found my Google Home became more and more of a resource in helping me complete my work-task efficiently. I’ve used it to set alarms for myself to remember important calls or fact-check items, check my calendar and make a shopping list to order props for my upcoming TV segments. Sure I could open a new tab on my browser while I’m working to do this, but that opens up the chance of me getting off track. There’s something nice about tabling a task until you’re done with the one at hand.
My favorite features for my Google Home so far have been the timer and dictionary feature. I can literally say, “OK Google, set timer for 45 minutes” and put myself on a schedule to complete a project.
And, Google Home’s voice activated dictionary actually solves a long-standing, but obvious pet peeve of mine. I can’t properly look up the spelling of a word if I don’t remember/know how to spell it in the first place. I love being able to say, “Hey Google, how do you spell…” and it tells me. It’s a real time saver.
I am also digging that it connects to my premium Spotify account. I can easily tell it to play music or my playlists while I’m editing photos or on a break and say, “OK Google, stop playing,” when I need to concentrate.
Exciting Features Still To Come!
Every once in a while, I’d ask Google Home to do a task, like add an appointment to my calendar and she’d respond, “Sorry, I can’t do that yet.” I called Google Home’s customer service and they said that their team is working on updating the feature to allow users to make voice-automated calendar appointments. The rep didn’t give a timeline on when it would be rolled out, but it sounded like it was a priority from the pitch of his voice.
Oh, and shout out to the customer service crew. A real life person answered the phone within 30 seconds of me dialing.
Overall, Google Home was a fun and added some efficiencies to my work style. The smart speaker was really easy to use and (for obvious reasons) worked seamlessly with my Google calendar and Google apps. It should only get better and smarter as the google team rolls out updates over time.
If you’re considering getting a voice assistant for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, I’d totally recommend checking out the $129 Google Home. As an added bonus, if you purchase now you’ll also get 6 months free of YouTube Red.
-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress