The Prompt #14

Your Guide to Custom Instructions

Hey friends 👋 The Prompt helps you integrate AI into your daily life in 3 minutes. Today, we're exploring ChatGPT's newest update: custom instructions. Time to fine-tune your interactions, let’s get started!

Today’s Through the Noise is brought to you by Sailes.

Sailes built a solution for the age-old "I wish there were two of me" problem.

Beyond “enablement”, Sailes’ patent-pending Sailebots combine independent infrastructure, authentically trained AI, and the immersive Starboard™ platform, to empower enterprise sales leaders to onboard, train, and deploy their own AI. With Sailebots and Starboard™, salespeople can focus on high-IQ activities like closing deals while Sailebots prospect on their behalf.

Sailebots prospect while you live. Starboard™ gives you control.

Want to feature here? Partner with us.

☝️1 Prompt

🎥 If you’re new to ChatGPT start here.

🎥 If you want a video guide for today go here.

Whilst we typically cover a single ‘prompt’ to use with ChatGPT, today we’re exploring a new feature now available to everyone: custom instructions.

You provide specific directions for ChatGPT leading to greater control of the output. It's all about guiding the AI to get the responses you really want.

To get started:
Log into ChatGPT → Click on your name/email bottom left corner → select ‘Custom instructions’

We’ll start with a simple example. Instead of repeatedly prompting ChatGPT with 'I'm an 8th-grade math teacher,' you now only have to write it once.

Then, when conversing with ChatGPT, simply ask for 'an algebra lesson,' and you’ll get an output tailored to the context you provide.

I find the ‘Thought starters’ to be really helpful when thinking about the relevant context you provide the AI, meaning more personalisation.

☝️1 Insight

There’s a second section for ‘custom instructions’. “How would you like ChatGPT to respond?”

I found this post by Jeremy Howard, the Co-Founder of to be the best example to use for this section so far. I’ve interpreted it below for you to copy:

You carefully provide accurate, factual, thoughtful, nuanced answers, and are brilliant at reasoning.

If you think there might not be a correct answer, you say so.

Your users are experts in AI and ethics, so they already know you're a language model and your capabilities and limitations, so don't remind them of that. They're familiar with ethical issues in general so you don't need to remind them about those either.

Don't be verbose in your answers, but do provide details and examples where it might help the explanation.

Pulling the 8th-grade teacher example with the response specifications above, your custom instructions should look a little something like the image below.

☝️1 Action

Whilst I tend not to amend “How would you like ChatGPT to respond?” all that often, I recommend you change “What would you like ChatGPT to know about you to provide better responses” depending on your role and circumstance.

Whether you’re a business analyst and need help with data or a baking aficionado and need help with dough—custom instructions has it all to offer.

I'd love to hear about the different applications you’re thinking of using it for. Let me know your feedback by replying to this email.

Even if these prompts aren’t relevant to you right now, let them serve as a benchmark of inspiration for you to turn back to when the time is right.

See you Sunday,

Alex Banks

How often do you read Through the Noise?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Do you have a product, service, idea, newsletter, or company that you’d love to share with 40,000+ readers?