We’re in the midst of a revolution when it comes to productivity.
Thanks to large language models like ChatGPT and other generative AI tools, desk workers (for lack of a better term) can now outsource mind-numbing, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks for little-to-no cost.
With the functionality of AI-powered work assistants like Bloks, employees can draft emails, write blog posts, create speaking notes, summarize meetings, research competition, and get organized for their day—all in a fraction of the time.
But, like any emerging technology, understanding how (and when) to use it can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting out.
→ Read More: A Beginner’s Guide to Engineering Prompts
So, rather than force you to scan through hundreds of articles, Tweet storms, and Reddit threads trying to find the best AI prompts, we’ve done the hard work for you.
Here are five types of AI prompts that will help you be 10X more productive at work 🚀
1. Prompts for Understanding Complex Topics
Try treating AI assistants like they’re your tutor.
Say you’re a salesperson trying to pitch your software to someone whose business builds hydrogen fuel cell systems for use in electric cars, but you have no idea what that involves and don’t want to seem clueless the next time you meet.
Well, you could write a prompt like this:
Prompt: Explain how hydrogen fuel cell systems that replace conventional batteries in equipment and vehicles powered by electricity work
And you’ll get something like this:
Still confused? Add the words “at a high school level,” “at a middle school level,” or “at a grade school level” to your prompt, and you’ll get increasingly easy-to-understand explanations.
And you don’t have to stick with topics. You can also summarize books, academic papers, and articles, making them easy to scan and understand.
Prompt: Summarize the key concepts found in the article [insert title] written by [insert title]
For this example, I wanted to get a basic understanding of “Language Models are Few-Shot Learners,” written by T. B. Brown.
Here’s what I got:
2. Prompts for Condensing Information
One of the most powerful abilities of AI tools like ChatGPT is their ability to condense large amounts of information.
Bloks, for instance, can take an hour-long meeting and condense it into a summary with all the key points.
(Pro Tip: You can do the same with podcasts, webinars, and YouTube videos.)
Bloks can also condense written information.
Take a few bullet points or paragraphs of text and shorten them into easy-to-read sentences by using…
Prompt: Write a newspaper-style paragraph out of the following:
Prompt: Condense the following [bullet points/sentences/paragraphs] into a few sentences:
This is super handy if you’re doing an update, like an investor report or newsletter.
Here’s what happened when I got Bloks to condense one of Apple’s recent quarterly reports:
Now, it’s much easier to read and scan through.
3. Prompts for Editing
Chances are you probably use a built-in spell checker or editing tool like Grammarly to quickly copyedit anything you write—even if it’s a quick email or text.
But you can use AI to help you correct more than typos or basic grammar mistakes.
Here’s a little trick I gleaned from The New York Times’s Kevin Roose:
Ask the AI to provide suggestions for editing text based on the main principles of a popular writing guide.
Prompt: Using the principles of Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style,’ suggest edits to the following text:
I used this prompt to edit the intro to this blog post, and although I don’t agree with all the suggestions it made, many of them were helpful (especially the ones that helped make the copy shorter and clearer).
You can also use the same prompt but with different references to make your writing more engaging and personal.
Here’s an example:
Prompt: Using the principles of Ann Handley's book 'Everybody Writes,' suggest edits to the text:
Try it to spruce up everything from slide decks to tweets.
4. Prompts for Role-playing and Practice
Depending on your role, you may have to interact with a lot of people.
Conversational AI tools like ChatGPT can be used to prepare for tons of different (and difficult) scenarios you may encounter in your day-to-day role.
For a startup founder, you could make it pretend to be a VC, so you can practice answering hard questions from investors after a pitch.
Or, if you’re in HR, you could role-play a tough conversation, like letting someone go at the end of their three-month probation.
Or, if you’re looking to switch organizations, you could practice for a job interview.
The opportunities are endless (you could even practice convincing your co-workers that pineapple is the #GOAT of pizza toppings).
5. Prompts for Maintaining Momentum at Work
Sometimes you hit a roadblock—you don’t know what to do, how to do it, or have the motivation to complete it.
AI can be helpful when you need a hand filling in the gaps.
If you’re a marketer, you can start writing a blog post and get it to fill in the rest or provide suggestions for an outline.
Prompt: I'm writing a blog post on [insert subject]. Suggest an outline for additional sections to include based on the following intro I've written for the blog post:
Or, if you don’t know where to start, get it to suggest some headlines based on a certain topic.
Have a complex task you need to complete, but don’t know how to do it? Use AI to flesh out a game plan.
Prompt: Provide me with a step-by-step plan for getting my startup certified as SOC 2 compliant
Or provide advice on the pros and cons of doing it.
Prompt: What are some pros and cons of getting SOC 2 certification?
If you’re hiring, you could get ideas to help onboard people remotely.
Prompt: Give me ten fun ideas for Virtual Social Events that I could do for recent hires
With AI, the opportunities, as always, are endless.
Want to learn more about the best ways to engineer prompts? Read this blog. And, if you still need to sign up to try Bloks, get early access.
Sources and Inspiration:
- Much of this blog post was inspired by a no-nonsense article on using AI chatbots, written by Kevin Roose
- I first started experimenting with using ChatGPT and Bloks to condense information after reading this article in The Atlantic
- Fast Company’s 15 useful ChatGPT prompts for startups is, IMO, too surface level, but worth a read if you’re new to this