Millions of Alexa Devices were sold this past holiday season with Echo and Echo Dot being the best-sellers. Were you one of the millions? Have you been using Alexa as a novelty or a productivity tool? If you haven’t already, you should consider Alexa to be one of your productivity and time management partners. Why?
Voice technology can be really handy in helping you get items added to your To-Do Lists or Calendar quickly, efficiently and without typos! Say goodbye to sticky notes and scraps of paper to create reminders. Say goodbye to looking for your reading glasses before you can type something into your smartphone or tablet.
Take advantage of telling Alexa what you need and when you need it. You will have neat, organized lists that are easy to read, that can be shared with others and that can be accessed on your smart device anywhere you go. Here’s how.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you have downloaded the Alexa app to your smartphone. Follow the basic screen instructions to pair your new Alexa device to your smartphone and you are off and running! It’s that easy! If you are using Alexa at home, you can pair devices for other members of your household as well. A simple voice command tells Alexa which device you want to access in order to add items to your To-Do list or events to your calendar.
Alexa has her own generic To-Do List which, at first glance, seems to be ideal for things like personal reminders and shopping lists. If you are interested in using Alexa for business purposes, there are a quite a few options available. The options I am providing below assume that you would like to integrate your To-Do list and your calendar. If you don’t know why that is a good idea, give me a call!
First, you could consider linking one of the two, third-party applications that are available by default. Currently, these are Any.do or Todoist. Of these two, Todoist is certainly the more robust option for business purposes. The Free version will allow you to integrate Gmail and your To-Do list while the Premium version ($28.99/year) will also allow integration with Google Calendar. Any.do has its own calendar app and currently does not allow users to sync with their existing calendar programs. Hopefully, other commonly used lists like Wunderlist and Trello will be made available in the (near) future.
Second, you could get a little more technical and use an IFTTT command to have Alexa add a new task to your favorite application such as Evernote, Reminders or Wunderlist. PC magazine has an article that gives you more details and links on how to do this.
Once you have chosen which To-Do list you are going to use, simply tell Alexa what information you would like to have added and to which list. Because the program is web-based, your lists will be automatically updated and synchronized.
If you simply want to add an event to your Google calendar, without actually making it part of a To-Do List, you will need to add the “Quick Events” “Skill” to your Alexa account. Alexa has a number of “skills” or apps that can be added to enhance functionality. In the Alexa dashboard, look for Skills and then search for “Quick Events”. Enable this skill and then make sure you have also added your Google calendar in the account settings tab.
Once you have completed the set-up, simply tell Alexa you would like to “add a quick event”. Alexa will check to see if a conflicting event already exists and will ask for confirmation before adding a new event. Alexa will prompt you for information about the event including date and time. By default, events are scheduled for 50 minutes unless you specify a length or end time.
Have you found a great way to integrate this voice technology into your current daily processes? Please share in the comments section of this blog. Looking for some help with your most recent technology purchase? The Streamlined Office loves working with new gadgets to find ways to help you improve your efficiency and time management. Contact us for a FREE consultation. 480-221-0588.