I Replaced A Full Time Admin Assistant With AI

Ev Chapman
April 27, 2024

Recently our admin assistant finished up with us. And rather than just hire someone again, I decided to see if I could replace the role purely with AI.

I’ve always taken the mindset that we should treat our tools like any other employee. If we’re going to pay them they should earn their keep.

One of the jobs that needed to be done each month is writing all the event descriptions for our monthly trainings. We have 12 trainings across three coaching programs each month. And each have a different topic.

How this would usually go is…

  • I would write a brief about each topic.
  • She would create a description & headline
  • I would review & give any feedback
  • I’d approve them & she would post them in Circle.

It took her a good few hours and the whole process spanned days with back and forth.

With Tana AI I turned that multi-day process into a 20 minute job.
My Tana AI Admin Assistant In Action

If you’re not familiar with Tana — it is a work management tool on steroids — with powerful features built right in like AI workflows, voice to text transcription & magic organisation abilities.

You can check it out here: Tana Inc

Here Is How I Programmed Tana AI To Write Training Descriptions Better Than Even I Could:

My Input: Explain The Training

Just like working with my assistant I still needed to give a brief of what we would cover in the training.

To speed up this part I use the in built voice capture in Tana. It’s WAY faster than typing everything out & Tana transcribes it all in seconds. If I ramble too much I can just run a quick AI command to clean it up and make it make sense.

Tana makes it so easy to capture things with voice

Voice capture in Tana can significantly speed up your workflows. Here is another article that will show you three ways to use voice to speed things up.

All up each training brief takes me about a minute to record.

And then it’s ready for Tana to do it’s work.

Tana’s Output

The Combination of AI + Structured Content in Tana means you can write some pretty epic AI Prompts that pull from the data that you already have stored in Tana.

Like I said, Tana is a work management platform. So I have a space where I’m organising all the monthly trainings. I already have information like the date of the training, who is hosting the training & I’ve just included the training brief.

Tana helps you organise any kind of information. Then you can use any of that information as part of your AI Prompts.

Tana’s AI commands are like having custom GPT’s baked right into where you are organising and getting work done. So there is no switching back and forth between tools.

Learn more about how to setup & use Tana AI here.

All I needed was to write the AI Prompt.

Now, I’ve written hundreds of these training descriptions. I have a specific formula I use each time. I know the language, tone & how I want it to sound.

So I treat the prompt like I would train any other employee (it turns out it’s actually WAY easier to train AI than it is a human).

Just like with a human, it took some back and forth before it really understood & could replicate how I would write a prompt. But after a few tries we got there.

Here’s How I Approach AI Prompt Writing In Tana

Part 1: Tell It What We’re Going To Do

I give a brief explanation of what job we’re doing today. Sometimes I’ll tell it who it is (as in what role it’s performing). Other times I’ll just explain the task in detail.

Firstly I give it a brief explanation of what we will do today.

The more you write prompts & run those prompts the more you’ll start to understand how to explain tasks better. On a side note I feel prompt writing has exposed how badly I was explaining tasks before!

Part 2: Give It Some Rules Or Guidelines

Without some boundaries you will get rubbish. I’ve discovered some key rules that make a big difference every time I include them.

Some rules are specific to how I want the description structured. For instance ChatGPT loves to start most copy with a question. But I always think that sounds too ‘markety’ so I tell it never to use a question in the first sentence.

Other rules I use on every prompt to make it sound less AI Generated and more like I would write it.

  • Language Level: I find 3rd grade reading level to be a nice sweet spot for eliminating any industry jargon.
  • Language Alignment: I always include WHO we are writing for so the AI can write contextually.
  • Language Style: To avoid anything too professional sounding I always ask it to be casual.
My Prompt Rules To Help the AI Stay Inside The Boundaries

Part 3: Give It Some Examples

Examples are like crack for the AI. Because it thrives on finding patterns & replicating them. And because I have written hundreds of these prompts I just go back through some of my best and include them in.

As a minimum I include three. But don’t skimp on examples. Honestly the more examples you have the better.

By the way if you want to learn how you can program your very own assistant to do jobs for you like this in Tana — then you might want to consider my course Tana Fast TrackIt’s the fastest way to transform your information chaos into a powerful (AI powered) knowledge platform.

Part 4: Give It Some Data

The last thing to include is links to where it can find the data it needs to do the task. For this task it needs the event topic, the event headline & the training brief.

And like I explained before, because we already have this information in Tana we just need to tell it in which fields it can find that data.

Finally tell Tana where it can find the data it needs to complete the prompt.

Now writing prompts like this takes time. So you have to think of this as training. Just like it takes time to train a human to do work — it’s the same for your prompts.

Do a first pass at your instructions. Then look at what it produces. If it’s not what you want — you haven’t explained it clearly enough. So go back to your instructions and tweak them. Then run it again and see the result.

Keep going through this feedback loop until you’re prompt can perform on command every time.

I guarantee the time investment on developing prompts like this will save you so much time in the long run.

And in any case it turns out it’s much easier & faster to train AI how to write good training descriptions than it ever was a human assistant!

And the whole process went from taking a few days turnaround to 15–20 minutes in total.

If you have jobs you need to delegate I highly recommend experimenting to see if AI can help. And Tana is an excellent tool for AI Workflows like this.

Whenever You’re Ready To Turn Your Information Chaos Into A Powerful Personal Knowledge System — Here Are Three Ways I Can Help:

  1. Get some easy, quick Tana tips to take your workflows to the next level with my free Tana Toolbox Newsletter.
  2. Get More Of Your Highest Value Work Done with my Focus Hub Template (available for Tana & Notion)
  3. Check out my Tana Fast Track Course if you want to jump all the way into building an AI Powered Personal Knowledge Platform that doesn’t just organise your work — but does work for you.

Liked thIS? Then You Might Like My SPARK Newsletter...

The Spark Newsletter:
Turn Your Personal Knowledge Into Powerful Ideas & Increase Your Income, Opportunities & Authority.

Join 1200+ readers of The Spark Newsletter each Sunday learning how to leverage personal knowledge into powerful ideas.
Or Keep Browsing More Posts Like This...

Simplifying My Day Page With Tana's New Core Features: Full Walkthrough

How I'm using my Daily Page now with the release of Tana's Core features like Related Content & Google Calendar integration.
Read post

Unlock the Power of Hybrid Note-Taking: Integrating GoodNotes with Tana

I very rarely miss my paper notebooks now that I use Tana. But every now and then when my brain needs to arrange my thoughts visually & find myself longing for a simple workflow where I can go from notes → drawing → back to my notes.
Read post

My Set & Forget Tana Weekly Review System

Confession: I've never been very good at a consistent weekly review habit.
Read post

My Tana 5 Minute Daily Planning Routine (Inspired by Sunsama)

I am notorious for creating day plans that are unrealistic and have WAY too much packed into them. Which is why when I saw Sunsama's daily planning routine it really got my attention
Read post

I Replaced A Full Time Admin Assistant With AI

How I Use Tana To Get Admin Jobs Done Faster & More Efficiently Than A Human Asisstant
Read post

How To Use Tana's Random Node Feature: 5 Ways

In this video I show you 5 ways you can use Tana's Random Node Field to review past notes, mix up your journalling practice, and have a little fun.
Read post