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As soon as my family started integrating our new Amazon Echo into our household it felt like we had an assistant at every turn – from cooking to taking care of daily tasks I was amazed at the variety of skills Echo’s Alexa provides at a simple call away. We focused on integrating Alexa into our everyday activities in the house, including weekly chores and our to-do lists. I especially have trouble remembering everything that’s on my plate because I’m terrible at getting it all on paper (or on the same piece of paper!) so having a digital assistant help me remember things is a huge help. I moved the Echo around the house, from the living room and kitchen to the workspace in my bedroom, testing out Alexa’s variety of features.
I quickly figured out the specific skills that were most helpful to me and my family, and we have started using those ones regularly, but in the beginning all we had to do was say “Alexa, make my life easier” to get a little help figuring out the multitude of ways Alexa could help around the house. With a simple set-up and intuitive conversation, Alexa was so easy to start integrating into our household. Check out our favorite skills below!
One of my favorite skills we installed is HouseTracker, which connects to a website that helps track chores and household tasks. It’s been a busy summer for my sisters and I, and it’s harder than ever to keep track of the chores that need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. As the name suggests, HouseTracker helps us keep track of the chores that need to be done and even includes a playful point tracker that awards points when chores are completed. When we all leave at different times in the morning, it makes it much easier to make sure the dog gets fed and the dishwasher run or unloaded with HouseTracker recording our tasks.
Alexa has a lot of built-in features that make cooking easier and more hands-free, like setting a timer or keeping track of the shopping list (and even ordering directly through Amazon!), but there’s also a fun skill we enabled called ChopChop that helps out when we’re trying to chop a new fruit or veggie. This skill adds voice-guidance for proper chopping instructions, which adds a fun interaction in the kitchen and makes cooking new produce much more approachable.
I’ve also been exploring skills to help me out in the office, because frankly I can use all the help I can get! I enabled Lyfe Trak to keep my life goals in focus and Budget Bot to keep track of my purchasing behavior and track expenses. I often don’t take the time to write things down, but when I can simply say it aloud, it makes it much easier to get things done. Plus, I enabled Nag Me so I can say “Alexa, start nagging me” to make sure I don’t procrastinate on things at the top of my to-do list. It definitely helps to have someone to keep you accountable – even if your assistant is digital!
What skills would you enable on your Amazon Echo at home?