Robot hand reaching out for a human hand

Image: Getty Images/Kilito Chan

ChatGPT has made headlines because of its advanced coding, writing, and chatting capabilities. The chatbot has proven itself to have a wide range of skills — from fixing bugs to passing an MBA exam. Even if you aren’t a coder looking for assistance, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. 

Also: I asked ChatGPT to write a WordPress plugin I needed. It did, in less than 5 minutes 

You don’t have to be a tech wiz to harness the power of ChatGPT in your everyday life. ChatGPT has applications that can improve your productivity and solve real-world problems. We rounded up some ChatGPT life hacks and put them to the test for you. 

1. Draft emails


Image: Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Drafting up what is meant to be a quick email can end up being a tedious, time-consuming task. Stringing together all the right words to get your message across while still using the right tone and corporate jargon is harder than it looks. ChatGPT is here to help. 

Also: OpenAI’s ChatGPT is scary good at my job, but it can’t replace me (yet)

As a sample prompt, I entered the text: “Help me draft an email to my boss letting her know that I have a doctor’s appointment today”. Within seconds, the chatbot outputted an email template that was perfectly suitable for the situation. All you have to do is copy and paste it into your email, tweak it to your liking, and hit send. 

2. Get motivation before a big task


Image: Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Experiencing nerves or jitters before a big task is a normal part of the human experience. Sometimes a good pep talk or game plan can help you stay focused and zero in on the task at hand. Instead of asking your colleagues, family or even Google for the perfect pre-event strategy, you can ask ChatGPT. 

I input the following prompt into ChatGPT: “I have a big presentation ahead, can you give me some motivation?” As a result, I got a five step-preparation plan to succeed. The advice was relevant, insightful, encouraging, and most importantly, helpful. It not only hyped me up, but also provided me with feasible things I could do in the moment to ensure success. 

3. Help you compose basic lists


Image: Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

As someone who loves lists, this feature is a game-changer. Lists are such an easy way to get organized and ensure you don’t forget specific tasks. However, lists can be time-consuming to write and can oftentimes require background research. For example, when I go on vacation, I usually Google packing lists to make sure I don’t miss anything and use that information as a basis to create my own. With ChatGPT, you can just ask it to write the list for you. 

For this sample prompt, I asked ChatGPT: “Can you make me a grocery list with basic groceries?” Within seconds, I had a 15-item list with kitchen essentials that made a great baseline. After getting my list, I could easily copy and it paste into my notes, and tailor it to my liking. The possibilities for these kinds of lists are endless.

4. Create a selfie caption


Image: Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

Whether you are creating content for a personal or professional account, you could benefit from asking ChatGPT to advise with captions. Finding a caption that is short and trendy, but that also applies to your picture, can be challenging, especially for content that isn’t particularly descriptive, such as selfies. You can feed an input into ChatGPT with as much detail as you’d like about your photo for it to generate the perfect caption. 

Also: The best AI writers of 2023: ChatGPT and alternatives

I kept my prompt simple and said: “I am going to post a selfie on Instagram, can you help me come up with a caption?” ChatGPT generated eight caption alternatives, which were all fun, trendy, concise, and even included emojis. I would easily use one of those captions for my next selfie.  

5. Make a custom workout plan for you


Image: Screenshot by Sabrina Ortiz/ZDNET

You can harness ChatGPT’s abilities to improve your physical health, too. If you are looking for a workout plan tailored to your specific needs, ChatGPT can make that happen for you. All you have to do is tell ChatGPT as much detail about what you are looking for in a workout and it will generate it.

I told it I wanted treadmill workouts to improve my running stamina and it generated a list of five different workouts I could try. The bot even includes advice for you to get your desired results, such as warming up and increasing workouts gradually. 

…but don’t forget!

What chatbots like ChatGPT are doing is taking a vast amount of content from all across the internet and then trying to shape that information (based on complicated algorithms) into something that could answer the question you are asking. 

These bots don’t necessarily know if what they are producing is entirely accurate and we have little way of knowing where the information has come from and how it has been processed by the algorithms to generate the content. There are plenty of examples of these bots providing incorrect information or simply making it up to fill the gaps. 

All of these concerns mean you should not be relying on what these bots tell you without doing your own due diligence, too — just as you would with a standard (old fashioned?) web search.


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