Earlier this month, we introduced you to Astrobot. Hopefully, you’ve had some time to get acquainted and Astrobot is already helping you clean up your inbox and stay on top of important messages.
To help you turn Astrobot into your new favorite coworker, we compiled a list of things you can ask Astrobot. This list is growing regularly—you’ll see new commands highlighted in our iOS and Mac app update release notes and by typing “Ask Astro” to Astrobot. For an overview of the messages, insights, and suggested actions Astrobot sends you, check out this article on our help site. But this post is all about how to chat with Astrobot…
Get started with Astro
Learn about Priority Inbox, Astro’s modern email features, and Astrobot itself in this self-guided tour. If you skipped it when you first joined, but are ready to take it now, type tour.
2. Inbox Zap
To clean up your inbox and designate your most important contacts, type Zap and Astrobot will take care of the rest. Zap your inbox whenever you want to archive emails older than 30 days or unsubscribe from a bunch of email lists at once. Don’t worry, we won’t zap anything without confirming with you first, and old emails you zap will be saved in your archive folder.
3. Add Account
Astro helps you combine all of your emails from Office 365 and Gmail in one place. To add an additional account, type add account and click the link to go to our account set up flow.
4. Help with a feature
If you have a question about a feature or just want some Astro tips, type help [feature name] (i.e. “help reminders”, “help notifications”) or tips to get a random product suggestion (we’ll also send you tips in Astrobot in your first couple weeks using it). We also have an FAQ with lots of details to help you get the most out of Astro.
5. Send feedback
If you have a suggestion for Astrobot, uncover a bug or issue, a feature request, or anything else you want to tell us, type feedback followed by your message (in a single Astrobot chat). We try to respond to every message and are working on new features and fixes everyday.
6. Ask Astro
You can ask Astro, “Ask Astro” for a current list of the most helpful things you can ask–so meta.
Improve your workflow
7. Remind me to…
You can also set reminders through Astrobot. When it’s time to remind you, Astrobot will send an email and a message in Astrobot, so there’s really no way to forget.
If you want to see the reminders you’ve set, check your Snoozed folder–reminders hang out there until the time you set. Type Remind me to [blank] at [time, day, or date; or time + date].
8. Add VIP
Emails from VIPs are given highest priority and will appear in your Priority Inbox, with a VIP label next to new message. For each email account, you can also choose to only receive notifications for VIP emails.
Astrobot will suggest VIPs as it learns about your behavior with certain senders, and also when you Zap your Inbox. To add your own, type add VIP [email address]. You can also see a list of your current VIPs by typing list VIPs.
9. Send a quick email
In a hurry and remembered you need to send an email? Easy. You can send a quick message right from Astrobot by typing email [firstname.lastname@example.org] [message].
10. Who is [email address]?
Mystery sender in your inbox? You can get more information about an email address. Astrobot will show you additional contact information including job title, social media links, and mutual Astro contacts. We integrate with FullContact to get this info, so if you don’t get a result, that means social profile information is not tied to the particular email address you requested or it’s not publicly available.
This will also show you Mutual Astro Contacts if someone else at your company (we figure this out by looking at email domain), who is also using Astro, knows that person. This is helpful if you need an introduction.
Leave decisions up to Astrobot
If you are trying to make a quick random decision or leave things up to chance, Astrobot can help. Save the thinking for the big tasks, and let Astrobot help with the simple things. (Disclaimer: these results are truly random, no deep analysis is going on to generate these responses)
11. Flip a coin
We’ll flip a virtual coin and tell you heads 🐶 🦊 🐷 or tails 🐿️ 🐈 🐒.
12. Roll the dice
For those of you looking for more than a 50/50 chance on something, roll the dice! Much like flip a coin, but with 6 options.
13. Magic eight ball
Childhood toy meets Astrobot. Get fun responses to yes or no questions.
14. What should I have for lunch?
If your team can’t decide what to eat for lunch today or you just want to leave your meals up to complete chance, try this out. You can also ask about breakfast and dinner. We don’t currently provide links to restaurants nearby, but let us know if this is something you’d like to see.
Add some delight to your day
15. Random fact
Expand your knowledge, prep for Jeopardy! or Trivial Pursuit, and impress your trivia night crew with your new knowledge. We’re adding new facts when people send them to us (hint!). Type random fact, it’s that easy.
16. Random emoji
Similar to random fact, but emoji style. We’re not sure what this is great for, but it’s fun, and Astrobot likes supplying emojis to the people. 🖖
17. Fortune cookie
Skip the chinese food, go straight to the fortune. We can’t guarantee these will come true or be useful.
Learn Astrobot’s secrets and easter eggs (we won’t tell you all of them, but we’ll tell you a few).
Astrobot’s love of (terrible) puns is out of this world! Type pun and we’ll prove it.
20. What’s your favorite tv show? (etc.)
Have a conversation with Astrobot, try to stump our bot, fill time when you just need a quick break from work (breaks are scientifically proven to be a good thing). Astrobot can answer things like “What’s your favorite [blank]?”, personal questions like “What’s your birthday?” and more. If you stump Astrobot, we want to hear about it! Send your victories to email@example.com.
Share your ideas for Astrobot
We encourage you to send us suggestions about what to add to Astrobot, even if they are just fun ideas to add some delight to your day. Send ideas by typing “feedback astrobot [insert idea]” or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a future blog post, we’ll break down how we make Astrobot work, so if you’re interested in the “magic” behind the scenes, stay tuned for that.