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A year living social trends: October, I’m automating my life

Every month this year, we’re living a different trend, identifiable through social. But you know that… 

This month, we’re tackling one of the most interesting, broadest, and longest term trends: automating your life. What do we mean by this? The trend is services which either do things for you, or tell you what to do, based on your data and lifestyle. Why do people want this? It simplifies things, allowing their needs to be better met, and their time to be used more efficiently.

When you consider that an adult makes about 35,000 decisions a day (226 on food alone!), you can see both the appeal, but also the market opportunity.

What are examples of these services? Well, Spotify’s recommendations can improve the quality of your listening (largely), for no effort. Amazon’s Alexa means you don’t even have to lift a finger to order a pizza. Strava optimises your exercise, for nothing more than taking your phone on a run.

A, I (Anne-Catherine) am going to let automation improve my October. This will broadly fall into the following areas:

  1. Work

  2. Entertainment

  3. Travel

  4. Wellbeing (exercise, health, food)

If you’ve got suggestions of how I should do this, let me know. Here’s my starting point:


At OneFifty we already use Slack and Todoist to increase our efficiency levels, so to add to this…

  1. Boomerang, for Gmail.

  2. Swiftkey, when typing on my phone.

  3. IFTTT

  4. Todoist/Slack integrations


  1. Only listen to Spotify’s recommendations – no proactive suggestions, for whole month…


  1. We can’t find any good recommendations beyond wearing the same thing every day, a la Mark Zuckerberg. Thoughts?


  1. Let CityMapper decide every route for a month


  1. Use Eat This Much – an automatic meal planner for my food preferences, budget, and schedule.

  2. Based on my goals and activity level, use daily workout recommendations from Nike+ Training Club.

As a sense of scale, let’s examine why automation is growing on social at the moment:

  1. A minimum of 26 million people rely on their smartphones to keep themselves organised (we added up “installs” from the Top 5 todo apps with a 4+ star rating on the GooglePlay store to gather this information).

  2. In the context of increasing personal productivity and efficiency levels, relevant automation services such as IFTTT, Fitbit, Siri and Alexa have been mentioned about 15,000 times since the beginning of 2017 in the UK. The past quarter has seen a 22% increase in social mentions compared to last year’s quarter.

  3. Facebook VP David Marcus announced during this April’s Facebook F8 conference that ‘there are more than 100,000 bots available on Facebook Messenger today’. That’s up from 33,000 last September (2016).

We’ll be updating you on progress… and I look forward to your suggestions on more automations!


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