How to Use Alexa Routines – The Basics

With Amazon Alexa Routines, you can automate certain tasks using a single voice command or have a series of tasks run at a specific time. For example, “Alexa, Good morning” could turn on the coffee pot, kitchen lights, and, start playing your favorite morning radio station on the Amazon Echo in your kitchen. Yes, you can now add music playlists, radio stations, or Podcasts to your Alexa Routines. Alexa Routines work with all of Amazon’s line of Echo Devices as well as some third-party Alexa-Enabled Devices. We’re going to show you how to set up a pretty basic morning routine below.

Alexa, good morning.

walnut

How Do I Setup Alexa Routines?

Alexa Routines simply make your life easier. They allow you to group together multiple activities for Alexa to complete using a single voice command. To get started with Alexa Routines you will need the Alexa App on your smartphone. You can only create Routines in the Alexa app on your smartphone. Let’s get started.

HF-refresh_c3_300x250

Open the Alexa App on your smartphone and go to the Menu(Three bars in the upper left), from there you can select Routines

Skitch_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Great, this is where you can add new Routines and also edit existing Routines. Let’s add a new Routine. Click the + sign in the upper right corner.

Skitch(1)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Here we see a screen with a few options. ‘When this happens‘ is where you will go to pick a new phrase such as “Alexa, good morning”. You will also go here if you want to set up a Routine that occurs at a scheduled time.

Example:  You could have a Routine that occurs at 9:00pm every night and turns off the Lights in the kid’s room and starts reading a bedtime story to the Echo Dot in the kid’s room.

Skitch(2)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

1062163_us_audible_sanamd_homestead_medium_rectangle_3_300x250

Moving along, you see here what we were talking about above. We’re going to make an Alexa Routine that works with a specific phrase.

Skitch(3)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Now, you can add your phrase after Alexa. We chose Good morning. Click save at the bottom.Skitch(4)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Great! Now we have a phrase that we can say to Alexa when we want our Routine to run. But, what’s Alexa going to do? Let’s add some ‘Actions’.

Actions are the different things we want Alexa to do for our Routine such as: Turn on lights, lock doors, or give us the weather.

Skitch(5)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

When you click on Actions, you are presented with a variety of different choices. Let go over a few of them.

  • Alexa says – This is if you would like Alexa to respond a certain way when you ask for your Routine. Options include Good morning phrases, jokes, stories, songs, and more. Check it out in the app if this interests you. We will not be using one in our Routine.
  • Music – Here you can select Artists, songs, radio stations, and even Podcasts.
  • News – This is your Flash Briefing
  • Smart Home – Here you will find the options to control smart bulbs, switches, etc.
  • Traffic – This will read you the traffic information for your daily commute. (Assuming you’ve set one up)
  • Volume – Lets you set a specific volume for your Echo during your Routine. Say, you want to have it play music at bedtime but you don’t want it to play very loud.
  • Weather – This will have Alexa tell you the weather for your location.

Feb_Assoc_112015_300x250._V299486423_

We’re using the Traffic option to get my commute time if the morning.

Skitch(6)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Next, you just need to confirm you want to add a traffic report to your Alexa Routine.

Skitch(7)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Awesome! We now have our Alexa Routine phrase and our first Action. Time to add some more Actions. The whole point of a Routine is to add together multiple actions using a single phrase with Alexa.

Skitch(8)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

How about the weather? That seems pretty useful for when I get up. Then I can know what to wear, right?

Skitch(9)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

And again, we’ll confirm that we want to add the weather report, we do.

Skitch(10)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Okay, now we’ve Alexa telling us the traffic and the weather for our Routine. How about some music. Or, in our case, one of our favorite morning radio programs. Repeat the steps above to add another action and this time click on Music.

Skitch(11)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Now you prompted with a couple of things. First, Play: this is what you want Alexa to play for you Routine. You can type in an Artist, a Genre like Country music, a podcast, or like we did a Radio Station. Then you need to tell Alexa what Music Service to play it on. We picked TuneIn Radio. Then click Add.

Skitch(12)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Here we get the same confirmation that we did with Traffic and Weather but with one important difference. If you look at the screenshot below you’ll see we circled ‘Preview‘. We recommend you always try ‘Preview‘. In our testing with some more obscure Radio stations and especially Podcasts Alexa did not play what we wanted.

Skitch(13)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Email_020116_Taylor_300x250_v2._V298797861_

Yay! We did it! In our Alexa Routine, we added a traffic report, the local weather, and some noise to help wake us up. All that’s left is to click Create. Creating the Alexa Routine will take a minute or two depending on how many actions you’ve added and what those actions are. Now, you can try out your brand new Alexa Routine.

Skitch(14)_pixel_very_silver_portrait

Alexa, good morning.

It worked! Alexa told me how long my commute is going to take, what the weather is like(it’s HOT! We’re in Phoenix, it’s always hot), and started ESPN Radio. Let us know what you use Alexa Routines for on our Facebook Page.


As always, feel free to check out our Facebook Page and let us know any questions in the comments below. And, we’re supported by our links to Amazon. So, please click the buttons below to shop for your next Amazon Echo or Alexa Device.

button (7)

button (8)

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s