Millions of people have brought intelligent devices and AI assistants into their homes but many don’t use them to their full potential. The beauty of such helpful assistants is that you can automate many tasks simultaneously from different locations, with different keywords, or at other times.
Automating such tasks makes things easier as you can just use a specific phrase to activate several tasks rather than listing off several actions for your Alexa to perform. It can help simplify your day, stay on task, or just make running your house easier.
What Are Alexa Routines?
The Amazon Alexa app has a page on the menu that takes you to where you can create routines. Routines are several actions performed by an Alexa at the trigger, which you can set to a keyword, time, day of the week, location, or another smart device like a sensor.
For example, you can go onto an app and set a routine to the phrase “TV Time” when you say the word, and your Alexa can turn on the TV to your show or streaming service, dim the lights, and set devices to Do Not Disturb.
This means all you have to do is say the phrase rather than state each action individually, saving time so you can sit back and relax faster. Of course, this takes a bit of time to set up, but it saves a lot more time in the long run once you have it set up.
You can set up routines on your Alexa to make life easier for you and your housemates, and if you have a lot of intelligent devices and Skills on your Alexa, the number of things you can do positively explodes.
Alexa Skills: Getting the Most Out of Your Alexa
Alexa Skills are essentially apps for your Alexa. Skills can help you with cooking, news, weather, intelligent devices, or whatever else you need. You can purchase them through the app on a subscription basis, but many have free versions that you can take advantage of.
If you have some computer skills, you can even develop simple skills using the Alexa Skill Development kit. Or You can search for a Skill in the store to find one that suits your needs.
Skills improve the functionality of your Alexa, from cooking assistance and meal prep to security measures and coffee orders. Whatever functionality you want in your Alexa, chances are there’s a skill for it, from taking complete control over your TV to giving accurate traffic and weather conditions for your commute.
Combining Skills and Smart Devices to Get the Most Out of Routines
Combining the Skills on Alexa with various smart devices around the room can upgrade your routines. For example, connecting a Skill for meal prep and a smart oven can allow you to remotely turn on your oven as a part of a routine triggered by location, for example, when you’re getting home from work.
Or you can have an app on each family member’s phone where Alexa can send out notifications and alerts as a part of a routine. For example, you can alert them to schedule changes, when meals are ready, or even when you get home.
So take some time to see what skills you can use to augment your existing routines or apps you can use to create new ones. You’re sure to find some that fit your lifestyle, and using them is essential to get the most out of your routines.
Smart devices are connected and can be controlled directly from your Alexa. One of the most useful intelligent devices is locks. Your Alexa can remotely control smart locks, so you never have to worry that you forgot to lock the doors and can check remotely.
Connecting smart devices to routines allows Alexa to control more actions. If you hook up a smart strip to a coffee machine, Alexa can automatically start your coffee in the morning. Automated coffee is just one advantage of integrating smart devices into your routines, so experiment to find what works for you.
Great Smart Home Routine Ideas
If you’re just starting with your Alexa or want to begin using routines to automate your day, here are some of the best smart home routine ideas. You can set routines for any time of day, from when you wake up in the morning to when you go to sleep at night.
One of the best Alexa smart home routines to perform is a Good Morning routine. You set it to your wake-up time and have Alexa perform actions that help you wake up and get ready for your day.
So you might start the routine by turning the lights on and playing a favored song, radio station, or other media that can help get you motivated and out of bed. Then it starts the coffee maker, and when you begin to eat breakfast, it reads off the scheduled events for the day, the weather, commute, news, or whatever information you’ll need to know for the rest of the day.
All of your actions help you start your day off right. You can even include a meditation or workout session if that’s how you like to start your day.
A goodnight routine can help put kids to sleep or help you sleep easily, knowing everything has been taken care of by an automated assistant. In a goodnight routine, Alexa can lock the doors, turn off all the lights, read bedtime stories, sing lullabies, or play white noise to help you fall asleep.
You can set Goodnight routines for specific times, like children’s betimes, or put it for a particular phrase, like “Alexa Goodnight,” when you’re ready for bed. These routines can help you set a bedtime for yourself, fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer, so it’s good to have a good night routine for good sleep health.
You can use meal prep and planning Skills on your Alexa by combining them with a mealtime routine. A smart fridge can alert what ingredients you have, and a cooking Skill can give you recipes you can make.
Once you’ve got your recipe, you must follow along and prepare the meal. Then to top it all off, Alexa can notify households and family members to tell them when it’s ready.
You can use a mealtime routine for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works for you.
Leaving the House
This can be a tremendous location-based routine, or you can set it for a phrase when you’re ready to leave in the morning. Once you set the routine, Alexa can lock your doors, turn off the lights and appliances, turn off AC or heat to save power, adjust the thermostat, or more.
You can even add Skills like ordering Starbucks or setting timers for pet appliances while you’re gone for the day. Essentially, this routine ensures your home is quiet, locked up, and saving money while you’re away. Best of all, you can set it for when the last family member leaves home, so your kids can head out after you do, and you can be sure everything is locked up as it should be.
You can also set a routine for when you’re away for more extended periods, like weekends and vacations. You can turn the lights, TV, and other appliances on and off periodically to make it seem like someone’s home. Setting it to a phrase like “Alexa, goodbye” ensures you’re set for when you get back.
Don’t forget to install security measures, such as Alexa Guard that will listen for the sound of breaking glass while you’re away. You can also play dog sounds or people noises to make it seem like the house has someone in it.
Hooking your Alexa up to smart locks, security cameras, floodlights, video doorbell allows you to set strict security routines to protect your house while you’re gone. You can set security for extended vacations, going to be routines for when an intruder is detected.
For example, an intruder’s routine may consist of turning on the lights, sounding the alarms, and Alexa exclaiming, “What are you doing here? I’m calling the police!” Any would-be robber would be sent packing then.
You can set a routine for when you return home. Perhaps when you get close, Alexa kicks on the heat or AC so you’ll have a relaxing time when you get home, starts the oven for dinner, then plays your favorite song over the speakers when you get inside.
Alexa’s Full Potential: Automate Your Life
Alexa can make your life infinitely more convenient, but to get the most out of your Alexa, you should try to use routines in your everyday life. Have a routine that starts with coffee in the morning and gives you your schedule, a schedule for leaving the house that helps you save electricity, or a routine that helps you relax in the evening.
Once you’ve established a routine, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. They’re convenient, keep you on task, and are flexible, and you can always modify them if there’s something you don’t like. So dig deeper into your Alexa to create schedules and routines for your own life.
What Are Alexa Routines?
An Alexa routine is a set of actions combined to create a specific flow. It can be triggered by voice, specific time or location. So you can for example create a workout routine where when you say “workout time” Alexa turns on your favorite playlist, turn the AC on and sets your treadmill workout.
Where can I find the routines on the Alexa app?
Click the menu button on the top and choose routines.