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Home / Tips and Tricks / Alexa routines can feel overwhelming, but these shortcuts make them a breeze

Alexa routines can feel overwhelming, but these shortcuts make them a breeze



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While still not exactly child’s play, Amazon’s new and improved ways to implement Alexa routines are much easier to deal with than before.

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Admit it. You are curious about Alexa routines. Maybe your friends or family sometimes show off their own home-brewed Alexa automations, but every time you try to come up with your own script of clever home wizardry, it blows in your face. The unfortunate and unspoken reality is that smart home routines can be cumbersome and frustrating to set up, so most people choose to live without them.

That’s a shame because routines are the pixie dust that can give your smart home setup with magic. Imagine a morning routine that can turn on the lights, play stimulating music, and start your coffee pot – and all you have to say is, “Alexa, good morning.” Or imagine a quiet evening saying, “Alexa, goodnight,” and suddenly your room goes dark and white noise or a podcast comes in to help you fall asleep. Wouldn’t that be spectacular?

Routines may look intimidating, but that may be why there are so many, you could say, “cheat codes.” Setting up a routine doesn’t have to be more difficult than simply typing a command


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What if setting up an Alexa routine took no more effort than, say, typing a command? Or as simple as scanning a QR code or clicking a link? You’re in luck, because Amazon has created four easy options for setting up Alexa routines in recent months. We’ll take a look at them all, starting with one that was already easy, but we’ve made it even easier for you.

Easiest: Follow these links for Alexa routine templates

There is simple – and then there is simplestSetting up an Alexa routine doesn’t get any easier than this. In a blog post from last fall announcing shareable Alexa routines (check out the next tip on the list for full details), Amazon not only told us how to share routines with your friends and family – it also shared some of its own. routines.

alexa app routines

Now you can create routines in the Alexa app with the same commands you normally use to speak to the digital voice assistant.

Ry Crist / CNET

You can click through to the Amazon blog and follow the links there if you want. (If you’re using a desktop or laptop computer, you’ll need to scan the corresponding QR codes with your phone to open the links in the Alexa app.) But if you’re already reading this on a phone, just keep reading – we’ve got collected them all here.

Tap one of these links and your Alexa app open automatically – then tap View Routine to edit and enable the routine. Beyond that, the most you may need to do is choose which device (smart light, Amazon Echo device, and so on) will work with the routine. That is it.

  • Family routine – This is a good one if you need to wake up the little ones in the morning and motivate everyone to tackle the day. You will receive inspiring messages, cheerful music, the weather forecast of the day and lots of other fun things throughout the day. After you tap Save say in the top right corner “Alexa, family routine“to get it going.
  • Daily fitness routine – If you like to start the morning with some exercise, but maybe need a little bit more nudge to keep it going throughout the day, this routine is for you. Say, “Alexa, start my fitness day
  • Headspace routine – For current users of Headspace guided meditation (or if anyone would like to try it), this routine will set the tone by dimming the lights, turning on “do not disturb” devices and picking up where you left off last time you meditated.Alexa, grab some Headspace
  • NPR routine – Just as it sounds. If you like to start your day with NPR news, this routine is triggered when your morning alarm is turned off – you don’t have to say or do anything else.
  • History Channel routine – Similar to the NPR routine, but for This Day in History. Activate by saying “Alexa, good morning
  • iHeartRadio routine – Ditto, the previous two, but for things you should know. Activated when you ignore the alarm.
  • Focus on time routine – 30 minutes of uninterrupted classical music to help you search for school, work or another project.Alexa, start the focus time
  • Screen time routine – Start an hour countdown to keep your screen time under control.Alexa, start screen time
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Amazon has made it easier to share routines directly with other Alexa users.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Simple: Sophisticated routines away from your friends and family

Outsourcing is the oldest productivity hack in the book, and now you can do it with routines. Start by asking your boyfriend, old classmate, uncle, dad, teenage brother or anyone else you know with Alexa about their favorite routines and, if you hear one you think you’d like, let them do it :

1. Open the Alexa app

2. Crane More in the lower left corner.

3. Crane Routines (fifth from the top).

4. Tap the routine you want to share.

5. Press More icon (three stacked dots) in the upper right corner.

6. Crane Share routine

7. Crane Continue to recognize that you may be sharing personal information with whoever you are routinely sending to.

8. Share like any other link.

From there, the recipient only has to tap the link they received, which will open the routine in its own Alexa app, where you can then save it.

Simple too: scroll through recommended routines in the Alexa app

As you might imagine (although surprisingly easily overlooked), there are some basic routines available from the Alexa app. Setting it up basically works just like the aforementioned methods, only instead of clicking links you want to navigate directly to the list in the app. Here’s how:

1. Open the Alexa app

2. Crane More in the lower left corner.

3. Crane Routines (fifth from the top).

4. Crane Featured in the upper right corner.

5. Choose which routine template to install, tap it and edit it if necessary.

6. Crane Switch in the upper right corner.

Easy: Add a custom action to an Alexa routine

If none of the aforementioned routine templates appeals to you – or if some do, but you’d like to get started inventing your own templates yourself – instead of navigating all the cluttered, layered menus with sections like Scheme Smart home Place or Alarms, just tell Alexa what you want it to do, using the exact same words you would say with a voice command, but instead of saying them out loud, type them.

A word of caution, you can only add one custom action for each Alexa routine, and it must be the last action Alexa takes in the sequence. That means if you’re using this shortcut to save yourself the time it takes to scroll through the aforementioned menus to do it the “right” way, you might want to go through that boredom and save this joker for when you get it. really need.

1. Open the Alexa app

2. Crane More in the lower left corner.

3. Crane Routines (fifth from the top).

4. Press more ticks ) in the upper right corner.

5. Name your routine and tap The next

6. Crane When this happens

7. Crane Vote in the upper right corner.

8. Type the trigger phrase you want to say to start this routine.

9. Crane Add action then tap Customization

10. Type exactly what you would say to Alexa (‘turn on kitchen lights’, ‘play Nickleback’, ‘make fart noises’, and so on), then tap The next

11. Repeat steps 9 and 10 as often as necessary to create your routine.

12. Crane Save in the top right corner, then choose which device you want Alexa to respond to (pro tip: nine times out of 10 you should choose The device you are talking to

That is it. That’s literally all you need to do to create just about any Alexa routine you can think of. Now go ahead and build your routines, never again worrying that these custom Alexa commands are too much hassle to mess with.


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