All of us have a standard way of being productive. We try to wake up early, jump on the Yoga mat, exercise, make a to-do list or check the calendar. While not all of us do all the things I’ve mentioned, I’m sure you do some of these. But do you know if you have Alexa powered smart speakers, you can automate a lot of these tasks? On that note, here are the best Alexa skills & commands to boost productivity.
Best Alexa Skills & Commands to Stay Productive
1. Morning Routine
Mornings are great to give you head start for the day. However, since the lockdown began, I’m hardly being able to follow up with my morning routine, like reading newspapers, listen to music with my coffee, browsing weather forecast, etc.
If you waste time even after hitting the alarm, you can take advantage of Alexa’s morning routine feature. You can create multiple routines and make Alexa trigger actions like, playing a song, reading the daily news, etc. Here’s a detailed guide to set up daily routines using the Alexa App.
Command – Automatically starts after you shut the alarm
2. Multiple To-Do Lists
In the previous versions, you could only create a shopping and to-do list with Alexa, but now you have the flexibility to create multiple lists of any type.
You can either ask Alexa to add a task to your to-do list and when you’re done, you can simply ask Alexa to check out that to-to by saying, Alexa “Add xx to xx list”, or remove it. For example, throughout the day, if I’ve any article ideas, I simply add them to Alexa rather than writing it down. The same way I can make a shopping list using voice commands.
Command – “Alexa, Add Milk to my shopping list”
2. Alexa Calendar Link
I mostly manually set a calendar event in Google Calenders, which means that I have to open the app, select a date, and type each event again and again. A quicker way is to simply ask Alexa to add events to the calendar.
To connect a Calender, Go to the Settings menu in the Alexa App and scroll down to Calander & Email. You can link both your Email and Calendar in the next step or choose either. Now follow the instruction and add your account and click allow. You’re done. You can link Google Calendar, Microsoft Calendar and Apple Cander using this method.
Command – “Alexa, Add Board meeting at 4 PM on July 31”
3. Set a Timer
Rather than setting a reminder on your phone, you can ask Alexa to remind you to get up and move after 15 minutes. Or even use it to set 25 mins Pomodoro timer. Besides that, you have the option to set reminders anytime in the future by simply using the voice command.
Alexa at the moment cannot set recurring reminders hourly or every few minutes, but you can do it daily, weekly, weekdays or on weekends. This is great when you have to prepare for a weekly work review meeting. You can also cancel this anytime using the voice command.
Command – “Alexa, Remind me to Turn of the burner in 15 minutes”
If you’re someone like me who loves to be updated with news in your country and globally, rather than reading it on your phone, or streaming live news through YouTube, you can use Alexa to have news briefings read out to you.
You can also use Alexa’s skills section to select specific new channels you want the briefing from. To do that, go to Alexa App, and from the sidebar tap on Skills and Games. Now go to Categories and select News. You can choose any news channels like CNN, BBC, New York Times, and more. This way you can also enable specific news skills that are specific to sports or local news channels.
Command – “Alexa, what’s on the news”
5. Play Games
Alexa has over a database of 10,000 games ranging from easy to complicated. Since it’s not very intuitive to play long-form games using voice command, you can enjoy playing various Quiz and riddle games on Alexa which doesn’t require many efforts, but guesswork or knowledge.
You can search for games in the Skill and Games section or you can simply ask Alexa to start a riddle or a quiz game. There so many games like True or False, Guess the song, Harry Poter Quiz, etc that you can try. I tend to spend most of the time playing trivia games which have general knowledge questions to test my knowledge. Go try it out yourselves!
Command – “Alexa, Start the Harry Potter Quiz”
We’ve talked about meditation before and there is nor reason for me to tell you how beneficial it is both for the mind and for the body. Out of many apps available on the app market, I use Headspace daily. I’ve also linked it to Alexa app, so I don’t have to open Headspace every time I’m in a mood to meditate.
You can do that by saying Alexa, Open Headspace or enable it manually from the skills section in the Alexa App. You can even meditate without logging in or setting up a new account. The best part is this way you get a guided meditation tour. Currently, you can only access daily meditations, a sleep guide and the meditation basics.
Command – “Alexa, Open Headspace “
Bored with your work and want to spice things up using your favourite songs or want to play lo-fi music so you can concentrate on your work? You can easily use your Echo device as a Bluetooth speaker.
To enable Go to Settings and Tap on Music & Podcasts. Then Select Spotify and link your account to Alexa by entering your Spotify account details. You can ask Alexa to play a playlist of your choice, song by an artist or a single track. You can also listen to Spotify’s curated playlists for a specific mood, genre or activity.
Command – “Alex, Play Lo-fi on Spotify”
8. Do a Workout
Working out everyone keeps your body fit, and keeps you active throughout the day. Now, you can straightaway start using your Alexa device.
You can either say, Alexa I want to work out and let Alexa guide you through various workout skill you can enable. Another quick way is by enabling workouts using the Skills section in the Alexa app. A quick top is to use the search bar to select from various workout skills, like a 7-minute workout, plank workout, push-up workout etc.
Command – “Alexa, start a 7 min workout”
These were some Amazon Alexa voice commands and skills that can boost your productivity. I mostly use the morning routing feature. This way I can set up tasks that I have to do as soon as the alarm goes off. Other than that, I keep Alexa busy with daily reminders and to-dos. If you don’t have Alexa, I highly recommend buying one.