Different ways to use Gemini

Discover the versatility of Gemini for everyday tasks and personal assistance.

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Learn how to use Gemini

This tutorial is part 3 of our free 'Learn how to use Gemini' course.

In this tutorial we'll cover:

  • What can Gemini be used for?
  • The basics of prompting Gemini
  • How to use Gemini as a personal assistant for a range of tasks

What can Gemini be used for?

If you think Gemini is just good for question answering or copy-pasting homework, think again. Gemini is an empty canvas. It's like having a super-powered personal assistant that can help you with all sorts of things, big or small.

When you log in, Gemini presents you with a range of suggested queries (called prompts) to inspire you. These are great examples of the type of use-cases Gemini can handle well.

On the topic of prompts, let’s take a look at what prompting is and how to do it well.

Prompting basics for Gemini

The queries and requests you send to Gemini are called prompts. Prompts work slightly differently than search queries that you type into a search engine. Instead of being short and fragmented, e.g. “weather in Houston TX”, prompts work best if they’re longer and more descriptive, e.g. “what is the weather usually like in Houston TX at different times of the year, and why?”.

When you’re prompting Gemini, imagine you’re talking to a real-life assistant or co-worker. Your prompts should follow the rules of basic human communication:

  • Make it clear: The clearer your instructions, the better Gemini can help. Avoid vague or open-ended questions. For instance, instead of asking "What should I make for dinner?", try something like "I have leftover chicken, rice, and broccoli in the fridge. Can you suggest some recipes that use those ingredients?"
  • Guide Gemini: Imagine Gemini as your helpful, but sometimes slightly clueless, intern. Guide it towards the results you want. Instead of simply saying "Write a poem," try "Let's write a short funny poem like a Haiku."
  • Provide context: Sometimes, Gemini needs a bit of extra information to reach its potential. For example, if you ask "Can you find me hotels in Paris?", you'll get better results if you include your travel dates, budget, what you want out of the local area, and preferred amenities. Doing this helps Gemini narrow its suggestions to match your needs.

We'll go into a much deeper dive on how to write effective prompts later on in the course.

Gemini as a personal assistant

Since Gemini is an AI chatbot, it's easy to dismiss it as "useful for only work-related tasks." Gemini is much more than a work tool and can be used for a ton of use-cases outside work.

Writing every day

As we learned, Gemini is powered by an LLM, short for Large Language Model. It stands to reason then that it is great at writing. It can help you find the right words to craft thoughtful messages, be creative in your birthday wishes, or create entire stories from a single idea.

Here are a few examples of how to use Gemini in your day-to-day writing. We’ve included the prompt text so you can copy-paste it into Gemini yourself.

Creating custom birthday wishes:

My friend Sarah loves puns, cheesy jokes, and gardening. Can you help me write a funny birthday message for her that includes those things?

Nailing the tone of your message:

I have to finish this work project for next week and I can only choose one: the party or the project on the weekend. How do I decline a party invite but not sound arrogant?

Creating night-time stories for kids:

Tell me a very long story about the daily life of a robot puppy that does all the housework, can talk etc. Use positive themes that will make it feel normal to my 3-year-old kid.

Planning everyday tasks

Meal planning, vacation planning, day-to-day scheduling… We all know how much smoother life goes when there’s a plan in place. But who has the time to do all this planning? You! With Gemini by your side, you can plan anything, from daily tasks to large-scale trips and events.

Thanks to its understanding language, Gemini can handle your custom requests and constraints, beyond templates and standard responses you usually find on the web.

Meal planning:

Guide me in planning meals for an entire week, for 2 adults and 2 kids aged 6 and 8. We like healthy food with lots of vegetables and fruits, and little-to-no dairy. Include where possible how we might use left-overs the next day, if there are any.

Planning a beginner fitness schedule:

I'm a beginner when it comes to fitness. Can you design a simple workout schedule for me that includes 3 cardio days and 2 rest days? I'd like to start with 30-minute workouts and gradually increase the duration.

Summarizing lengthy articles

Don’t have the time to read every word of that 3,000 word article? Gemini’s great at finding the key takeaways from  a lengthy piece of writing and summarizing them in your preferred format.

Summarize this article as detailed bullet points: [insert article text]

Note: Gemini can access some URL links, but it’s not 100% reliable.

Asking elaborate questions

Google search is good for answering simple queries, but when you have an elaborate query or multiple questions linked to each other, you need something better. Something like Gemini.

What are Bouclé Sofas? Why are their prices higher than regular sofas

Getting custom recommendations

Since Gemini has been trained on a massive amount data, including comments/reviews on the web on just about everything, you can use it to discover new things you might love.

I love classic sci-fi movies but I'm looking for something more obscure. Can you recommend a few hidden gems from the 70s or 80s?

Translation and language learning

Gemini knows multiple languages and can translate content between them.

I'm traveling to Paris next month. Can you teach me a few basic phrases in French, like how to order coffee or ask for directions?

You can also follow up with a further prompt, and Gemini will understand it in the context of your previous question:

That's helpful. Can you suggest any youtube channel for pronunciations? Or any app. Not Duolingo please.

Getting familiar with Gemini

Now it's your turn! Think of five tasks where Gemini could be your helpful assistant. These could be related to hobbies, making everyday life easier, or just being curious.

Examples:

  • Ask Gemini to help you create grocery lists based on your favourite recipes.
  • Ask for a summary of a long email thread you’ve been copied into discussing a trip with your friends, and if there are tasks you’re meant to do.
  • Have Gemini explain the best way to stop a young puppy jumping up at visitors, and offer a 4-week training plan.

For each task, write at least one prompt you could give Gemini. Try to follow the tips we’ve given you throughout this tutorial. Enjoy!

Now we have a handle on using Gemini for personal tasks, let’s dive into using it for work.

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