Cortana Picks Up To-Do List Skills

Posted on November 17, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Windows 10, Windows Phones with 8 Comments

Cortana Picks Up To-Do List Skills

Microsoft announced today that it has improved its Cortana personal digital assistant with a new “to do list” skill.

“Cortana’s new to do list skill can now easily help you manage your lists as well as keep track of what you have to do,” a Microsoft representative told me. “The list functionality also works with the popular list-making app, Wunderlist, to help give you even more way to stay organized. Connecting to Wunderlist gives users the ability to add due dates as well as create shared lists.”

As always with Cortana, a few caveats: This new skill is available in English in the US only at the moment. But it does work on Windows 10 for PCs and phones as well as Android and iOS.

To get started, say, “Hey Cortana, create a shopping list” or similar. (Microsoft recommends a holiday list, for example, but you can try things like a vacation list, a to-do list, or whatever you like.)

“The list skill is just one of the ways that Cortana remembers, so you don’t have to,” Microsoft notes. “We’re always adding new Cortana skills.”

 

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6 Comments
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  1. 5 | Reply
    Clarkb Alpha Member #2339 - 3 weeks ago

    No OneNote integration? Yikes

    1. 0 | Reply
      lcars Alpha Member #445 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to Clarkb:

      Yeah that seems like a very odd omission. I already use OneNote for my ToDo lists, although I suppose that doesn't allow me to set due dates and whatnot... but I never use that anyways.

    2. 0 | Reply
      Narg Alpha Member #420 - 3 weeks ago
      In reply to Clarkb:

      Seems all the "digital assistants" have 3rd party (or in your case even 1st party) to-do list integration issues.  Google and Amazon do link to a couple, but not many and not a shared 3rd party to-do list.  So using them together becomes even more difficult.  I'll be glad when they all get over this.

  2. 0 | Reply
    maethorechannen Alpha Member #377 - 3 weeks ago

    This new skill is available in English in the US only at the moment.

    And at the glacial pace they seem to be moving, it'll be US only for all time.

    Seriously, what is Microsoft's problem with the world outside of the US? It's like there's something actively wrong with the company. Their competitors seem to have far fewer problems getting products beyond America's borders. OK, so not every Google product is available outside of the US, but then there's big difference between something like Google Fi and the ability to add a todo list item with a voice assistant.

  3. 0 | Reply
    gregsedwards Alpha Member #1910 - 3 weeks ago

    I just played with this new skill, and I have some questions that maybe someone can help answer. First, it's really easy to create and add items to your lists. You can also see your lists and drill into a list to view, edit, and check off items. What's less clear is how to rename the lists themselves or delete lists and list items.

    Cortana also includes a new Wunderlist integration, along with a soft ad when you work with lists (do more in Wunderlist). Other than just throwing you over to Wunderlist, it's a bit unclear as to whether/how Cortana lets you use Wunderlist as the repository for to-do items, assuming you already have lists there and don't particularly want to fragment your to-dos between multiple apps.

    It'll also be interesting to see whether this skill works with Cortana on Xbox. I've found her skills to be a bit lacking there.

  4. 0 | Reply
    Waethorn Alpha Member #2235 - 3 weeks ago

    Huh.  A tiny little addition like this and you write a whole article, and yet when Chrome OS adds 4 new features in a recent update, you rail on blogs for it being "not news-worthy".  Methinks you're spending a little too much time in Amsterdam.