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  • Writer's picturePaul Baier

How to Get Started with ChatGPT in Two Minutes for Non-Technical Folks

Welcome. This short note is for non-technical people who want to try this amazing tool called ChatGPT. It uses non-technical language. The world has 4.9 billion people accessing the internet, and each of them can easily use ChatGPT.

Step 1: Understand the basic ChatGPT terms

  • “ChatGPT” is the name of an online product developed and sold by a company called OpenAI. It uses advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) to answer questions and follow directions that you enter. ChatGPT offers a free version and has paid options

  • “Prompt” means a search phrase. (Don’t be intimidated by the term “prompt engineer”, it just means an expert user of ChatGPT)

  • “Generative AI” is the name of a new, exciting group of AI products, of which ChatGPT is one

Step 2: Set up a free account

In your browser, go to to set up a free account (unlike Google, ChatGPT requires an email address). You will need an email and mobile phone number.

3. Type in your first search phrase or instruction

This is what the front page looks like. Type in a search term or phrase at the bottom.

Here is an example to cut and paste or manually type. The words in italics are the ones you put into the ChatGPT box.

  • Write a poem about the Boston Celtics winning the NBA championship this year

    • After you get the results, enter:

      • now re-write the poem with an Irish accent

Play around with it. There is no right or wrong way to enter requests or to phrase what you want. Keep asking follow-up or refinement questions for each “chat” or search session, or start a new “chat” with the button at the top of the left sidebar. ChatGPT saves each session so you can return to it later.

Creative writing (poems, stories, essays, job descriptions, emails). Start a new chat after each

  • You are an expert at writing job descriptions. Write a job description for a senior software engineer with 8+ years of experience and experience with enterprise software and offshore development. Specify that the work is hybrid with one day in the office each Wednesday. The job is in Boston, MA

    • Tell it to rework the result:

      • now write it in Spanish

  • Write 10 tag lines for Tide laundry detergent, emphasizing the convenience of the new packaging, and the new lower price.

    • And refine it:

      • re-write the tag lines in 5 words or less

  • Write a 1,000 word essay on Catcher in the Rye


  • Which companies are the leading credit bureaus in the United States for small business

    • Ask it to create a table

      • Now list the results in a table

      • Now add a 4th column which list the major differences among each credit bureau

Automate simple tasks

4. Note these tips and cautions

  • ChatGPT appears highly confident and writes well, but it is only correct 60-80% of the time. It will make up the names of books, URLs, research papers and websites. Fact checking is a must. Book club cheaters be aware

  • Your “chats” or searches are saved in the left column, even after you close the browser. This is a great way to “return to the conversation”

  • Note that ChatGPT incorporates previous information within each “chat” session, so if you are not getting what you want, start a New Chat to reset

  • ChatGPT is not connected to the live internet, so it doesn’t know the weather for tomorrow, the score of the Boston Celtics game, or other data recently added to the internet. In general, its information is at least two years old, although this may change in the future

  • When in doubt, start at a high level and talk to it like a human

    • You are an expert in gardening. I've never had a garden before but I want to try. I want to start small and inexpensive. I'd like to grow some veggies. I don't know anything about fertilizer or how much to water or how much sunlight. Create a plan for me to start and include a shopping list

5. Learn More

Attend our weekly ChatGPT Learning/Jam session via Zoom (all skill levels are welcomed). Signup at Meetup. Email me questions to



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