Alexa can do so many things and it's really helping this mom organize her busy life!

10 Ways Alexa is Organizing My Life

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Life is busy with a family of seven. There are extracurricular activities, errands to run, events to attend, deadlines to meet, the list goes on. Until recently, things were chaotic and I wasn’t doing well with keeping up. We were late or things were forgotten entirely, our house was messy, and I just couldn’t juggle all of it. One of the things that has helped me to improve my organization skills is our Amazon Echo.


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We got Alexa for fun, to ask her about the IMDB history of actors while we watched a movie or to play our favorite songs on-demand. I had no idea how much Alexa would help me to get organized! In what way is our little robot contributing to the structure of our home? Here are just some of the ways:


Alexa can access my Google calendar. I just tell her “Alexa, add event to calendar,” and she’ll ask for the date, time, and title of event. You can connect the Alexa to other calendars (Apple and Microsoft) but I only use the Google calendar and I like it because I can also access it from my phone. Every day I can ask her “What am I doing today?” and she’ll tell me what’s on the schedule. Currently, it’s not supported to ask her what’s on my schedule for the entire week but I’m hoping they add that option soon.


It’s alarming (look, the pun wasn’t intended but it came out so I’m leaving it there!) how useful this feature is to me. When we cook, we’ll often forget to turn off the timer on the stove and then we have to listen to beeping until somebody feels like leaving their hot dinner to go shut it off. The Alexa timers make that easy because everything is done verbally.

The timers help for time-outs or keeping the kids on task. One day, my son asked if he could keep playing cars. I told him he could have five more minutes and set the Alexa alarm. When she announced that his time was up, he happily picked up all of his cars and put them away. Somehow, being told by the Alexa made it a lot more fun than being told by Mom. We set timers for the kids to pick up their toys before bed or to make sure that they’re actually reading their homework for 15 minutes like they should.


Maybe some of you share this problem with me in which I make a million paper to-do lists, all consisting of new things because I can’t find the other one and I came up with more tasks for myself. Now I just tell Alexa to remind me to turn my daughter’s expander or to give the baby her ear infection antibiotics twice a day. I can list all of the things I’ll need to do that week and have it read back to me.


My husband does the shopping in our home and while he does very well with it, there’s some inventory that only I will know. If we run out of laundry pods or dryer sheets, that’s my department. I tell Alexa that we need more and he can access it from the Alexa app on his phone.


The smart appliances are incredibly appealing and so fun. There’s a light in my living room with a blocked switch so I purchased a TP-Link SmartPlug and now I just tell Alexa “turn off living room light” before we head in to bed. We’ve got a Samsung washer on its way and I’m excited to be able to tell Alexa to start or pause the washer or how much time is left before it’s finished. There are tons of different appliances that are compatible with the Echo so it’s worth looking into!


Last month, a few packages had been delivered without my knowledge and I don’t know if they were delivered to the wrong place or someone swiped them, but they never made it to me. Particularly with Christmas coming and packages flowing, it’s nice not to have to crack open the laptop or phone to inquire about when my packages should be here.


Part of a personal goal for me is to read more. While I don’t technically count audio books as reading, the resulting information gained is the same. I can ask Alexa about Bible verses or Bible verses about something specific (I.E. feeling sad). Books about organizing can be read to me while I clean out a closet!


The AllRecipes skill on Alexa can sift through tens of thousands of recipes to help avoid making the same seven dinners week in and week out. You can ask for recipes with chicken or anything in particular you’re looking for.


If I were as organized as I hope to someday be, I would not ever lose my phone. However, that’s still just a goal. Last week, I really found my phone in the fridge. Mommy brain is permanent after you have five kids, I guess. Anyway, IFTTT is an extremely nifty app that helps connect all of your apps to each other. I can tell Alexa to unsilence my phone and then to find it. It calls my phone and then I can locate it on the top of a random dresser or inside the couch.


Planning your day is so much easier when you know what the traffic or weather will be like.  My kids are constantly asking Alexa “what’s the weather today” so they can figure out whether or not to wear short sleeves or long sleeves. You can decide whether or not your typical route to work will get you there on time.


All of these awesome features have made our lives so much easier. Multitasking is a breeze when someone (or something!) else can do some of the job for you! We listen to the weather forecast while we get dressed. I check the time without looking up from what I’m doing. I can work while I determine how much time until the next load of laundry can go in.

We bought our Amazon Echo (first generation) on sale and I saw that there had been a deep discount on Amazon Echo Dot last year around Christmas so not only do I recommend picking one up for yourself and/or as a gift, but I also suggest keeping an eye out for the sales!

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