Getting a Helping Hand

It's hard to find time in a day to get everything done, especially when little things (and little people) get in the way. Personally, I've often let something slide for way too long because I didn't want to deal with the minor hassle.

Knowing people who have had success with Fancy Hands, I decided to give it a go. Its basic service is 5 requests for $25. That's $5 for each task and there's no hourly fees associated with those tasks.

My initial foray into using it turned out to be a failure. I asked it to find me a babysitter. I asked twice. Both times they came up empty. I asked for flights for a trip. Instead, I found flights with another airline with a better itinerary. On the upside, they did find me a house cleaner. 

One for four isn't a great track record, though.

Second chances

With poor results, I wasn't thrilled but I forgot to cancel the service and had another five requests to use up. And so I asked them to find a hotel. And they did. I asked them to find contact info for someone at a particular company. And they did.

Today, I sent in three more requests. Two of them required phoning up a government agency and confirming some nuance of a policy. And in both cases, they did. Lastly, I asked them to calculate interest based on various criteria. And they did.

In all of these cases, no tasks took more than 20 minutes but collectively saved me well over an hour in time and research. That was worth $25 for me.


With my being in Canada, one of my biggest concerns was dealing with a company (and I assume the people that perform the tasks) based in the States. To avoid issues, I try to point them to resources that are likely to yield better results. For example, here in Ottawa, Kijiji is better than Craigslist. When I asked to find a house cleaner, I told them to check Kijiji first. And they did.

I'm going to continue using Fancy Hands.

Published June 08, 2012
Categorized as Other
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Martijn said on June 09, 2012

Are you saying FH is aimed at the USA and is therefor unusable for someone like me, living in Holland? (or anywhere else outside the USA?)

Jonathan Snook said on June 09, 2012

@Martijn: It's not that it's unusable. It's that you're asking people who may not be familiar with your particular region to perform tasks. They might not have enough context to understand what works and what doesn't. Hence why I try to edge them in the right direction by providing resources that are more likely to yield better results.

Is a language barrier going to make it more difficult? I don't know but I certainly expect it might complicate things.

The service is definitely marketed to Americans but I've had success with it, even though I'm in Canada.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.