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Cortana scans your emails to remind you about commitments

"Don't forget you mentioned this."
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
February 9, 2017
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If you've ever said you'd do something in an email then whiffed on adding it to your calendar, Cortana can now help. As it previewed last year, Microsoft's assistant will check your emails and, using machine learning tech, pick out things you say you'll do. It'll then remind you later with no effort on your part. For instance, if you tell you're boss "I'll send this report," it'll save that as a suggested reminder. If you specified a date and time, it'll automatically ping you and add it to Microsoft's Action Center.

It's now available on Windows 10 and coming to Android and iOS "in the coming weeks." To use it, you'll need enable an Outlook or Office 365 email account to give Cortana consent. The feature is proactive and will automatically pop up reminders on your PC, assuming you've set a time and date. If not, it'll collect them in the Cortana Home view, and let you create your own timed notification that will appear on any devices with the app.

Cortana already has location- and contact-triggered notifications, so as shown in the video below, if could remind you to get milk if you happen to be near the market, for example. Google has done something similar for quite awhile now with its own assistant -- it'll scan your emails for plane reservations, for instance, and post a notice in the Google app telling you when you need to leave. However, Microsoft's application seems a bit more proactive, and it'll eventually work with other email services, including Gmail, soon.

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