How to create your own Alexa routines: A step-by-step guide
Smart speakers can make your lives easier by smartly automating some simple, everyday tasks. Amazon’s Echo devices, in particular, are well known for this as they work in tandem with a ton of smart home products and allow you to get things done with your voice. While it’s relatively simple to call Alexa to trigger different actions, it’s often tiring to give a command and wait for her to process the action before giving your next command. It’s particularly inconvenient when you’re, say, rushing to get ready for work or a dinner date. Well, that’s where the Alexa routines come into the picture.
With Alexa routines, you can create a single voice command to trigger a series of actions. For instance, you can say “Alexa, start my day” in the morning after you wake up to turn on the lights, switch off the air conditioner, and even prep the coffee machine. Sounds convenient, right? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to check out in this article. Here’s how to create Alexa routines to smartly automate everyday tasks:
Navigate this article:
- Getting started with Alexa routines
- How to create a custom Alexa routine
- Share your Alexa routine with others
- Closing Thoughts
Getting started with Alexa routines
If this is your first time playing around with Alexa routines, then the easiest way to get started is with Featured routines on the Amazon Alexa app. This particular app is available on both Android and iOS for free, and you probably already have this if you own and use an Amazon Echo device.
Here’s where you can find the Routines section on the app:
- Open the Amazon Alexa app and select More from the menu at the bottom.
- Now, look for Routines and select it to enter the section.
- Once you’re in, select the Featured section to see a bunch of recommended Alexa routines to choose from.
- You can select and enter any routine from the list to see what actions can be triggered with that particular command.
- Choose Enable from the top right corner of the screen to enable the routine. Once done, you’ll now see that particular routine in the Your Routines section.
That’s it, you’ve now successfully enabled your first routine. Alexa will now trigger the series of actions assigned to that particular routine when you give her the command. It’s that simple. Enabling the ‘I’m Home’ routine, for instance, will make Alexa play the news from your Flash Briefing, followed by “relaxing music” for 2 hours.
How to create a custom Alexa routine
Alternatively, you can also create custom Alexa routines to truly personalize the triggers for a particular set of actions. Here’s how you can create your Routines in the Amazon Alexa app:
- To create your own routine, open the Amazon Alexa app and select More from the bottom menu.
- Now, select Routines and look for a Plus icon on the top right corner of the screen.
- Select that to enter a page on which you can start creating your own routine.
For this tutorial, we’ve created a simple Good Morning routine that can be triggered using the command “Alexa, good morning”. Once triggered, we’ve asked Alexa to tell us something new and interesting each day after greeting us good morning. After that, Alexa will tell the date, read the weather report, and play some Lo-Fi beats on Spotify.
You can customize each routine and add any action you like. There’s a lot you can do here, really. You can write customized actions and even preview them to see if Alexa does what you intend. Additionally, there are options to make Alexa interact with smart home devices, play a book on Audible, play some content on Fire TV devices, control your TV, and more. You can even send an announcement to all the other Echo devices in your home, notifying others that you’re awake and ready for that morning coffee!
As you start exploring, you’ll notice that a lot of the actions are self-explanatory. If those aren’t enough for you, then you can also consider using IFTT (If This Then That) to create applets to perform just about any task.
Share your Alexa routine with others
Once you’ve successfully created a new Alexa routine that you think is worth sharing with others, then you can easily do that by following a few simple steps given below:
- Open the Amazon Alexa app and head to the Routines section.
- Simply select the routine that you want to share from the Your Routines section.
- Once you’re in, select the three-dot icon on the top right corner of the screen and choose Share Routine from the pop-up menu.
- The app will then generate a link that you can copy to the clipboard or share with others.
Remember that the people you share the link with will be able to see details of your Routine and use it on their accounts. We recommend not sharing Routines with private information.
There’s no doubt Amazon’s virtual assistant can do some cool things to make your lives easier, but we think you’re missing out by not taking advantage of Alexa Routines feature. It’s recommended that you start with some basic routines before creating custom ones. You can use Alexa routines with just about any Echo device. If you’re in the market to buy one, then we recommend checking out the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot (4th Gen). They’re both great options to consider as someone who’s new to the world of Amazon Echo devices.