14 Alexa Routines for Every Part of Your Day

Routines can completely change the way you use your Amazon Echo. They take Alexa from a simple voice assistant to a smart home automation machine that can perform an almost infinite combination of actions.


We’ll show you how to fit Alexa routines into every part of your day.


What are Alexa Routines?

Alexa routines are a set of one or more tasks grouped together so that you no longer have to ask Alexa to do each individually. Routines consist of two components: triggers and actions. For example, you can make a routine of turning on a desk lamp and playing the radio when you enter the room or say a certain phrase.

To start creating a routine, open the Alexa app (available for iOS and android) and tap More along the bottom row, then routine. press the Plus in the top right corner, then enter a name and choose your trigger below When this happens. You can now choose as many actions as you want to link together under Add action.

To learn more about creating routines, check out our Alexa Routines Beginner’s Guide.

1. Wake up

Starting your day with Alexa can make your mornings much more enjoyable. After your alarm goes off, you can set up a routine to gradually turn your smart lights on, start your Flash Brief, then play your favorite playlist or radio station to get ready for the day ahead. If you’re traveling to work, you’ll also hear the best route and how long your commute is likely to take.

Not sure how to set up a Flash Briefing? Follow our guide on creating custom Flash Briefings.

2. Around the breakfast table

While you’re having breakfast or your morning coffee, you can prepare for the day ahead by letting Alexa read your schedule from your connected calendar, followed by your to-do list and the weather forecast. If you have a smart toaster, kettle, or coffee maker, try activating this routine as soon as you flip the switch.

3. Out the door

When you’re ready to leave the house, you can set a trigger like “Alexa, I’m leaving” and have all connected devices, such as your TV, lights, and appliances turn off. If you have a connected thermostat, set Alexa to turn off the heating or air conditioning. You can also have Alexa lock your door or activate your smart security system if you have one.

4. Keeping Your Home Safe

Haven’t taken the plunge and are tired of a pricey security system? You can still settle for Alexa’s built-in security features. The fourth-generation Echo and Echo Dot devices both have the ability to detect motion using ultrasound, while the Echo Show uses its camera to detect when someone enters the room.

You can set up a routine that detects motion for a certain period of time, say from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and if motion is detected, Alexa will send you a notification. You can also play sirens or the sound of barking dogs if you like. With the Echo or Echo Dot, you can then drop in and hear what’s happening in real time or check out your Echo Show’s camera in the Alexa app.

5. Clean the house

Instead of having Alexa perform a function when motion is detected, Alexa can also perform an action when no motion is detected. Alternatively, you can use location detection, which uses your smartphone’s location to trigger a routine.

If you have a smart vacuum cleaner, set Alexa to start your vacuum after you leave the house or if no movement is detected after 30 minutes. Make sure you specify that this should only be active during the day.

6. Working from home

Maybe you work from home and don’t need Alexa to monitor the house or turn off your lights. In that case, if you have an Amazon Echo in your work environment, you can use a phrase, a specific time, or even a light that comes on to start a work from home routine.

For example, you can set your Echo to not disturb, turn down the volume, and play music or a podcast while you work. For fans of the Pomodoro method, you can set timers and use the wait function to set timers throughout the day.

You can discover more about how to increase your productivity in our comprehensive guide to the Pomodoro Method.

7. Coming Home

When you’re done with your day job and on your way home, you can use a location-based trigger, a phrase, motion detection, or a specific time to get your house ready for the evening. Alexa can turn on your smart lights, turn on the heating or air conditioning, and turn on the TV just in time to get home.

You can even get Alexa to open your front gate, preheat your smart oven and disable your security system if you own one of these connected devices.

8. Dinner is ready

Instead of yelling, “Dinner is ready” and hoping everyone hears it, save your energy and tell Alexa instead. You can then have Alexa announce your message on any device, ideal if your kids have an Echo in their room. You can still send a notification to their phones if they don’t.

After everyone has announced it’s time to eat, Alexa can turn on the lights in the dining room and play some mood music, or turn on the TV, whichever you prefer.

9. Bedtime for Kids

Need help getting your child to bed on time? Try setting up a routine that activates at a specific time and signals that it’s time for them to brush their teeth and go to bed. If they have a smart bulb in their bedroom, you can dim it and turn it off after 10 minutes.

This routine is best paired with an Amazon Echo Kid’s Edition, which can play a lullaby or audiobook to put them to sleep. You can also tell Alexa to wait for 30 minutes and then announce from your main ultrasound if your child is still getting up and walking around.

10. Getting ready for bed

After the evening is over it is time to go to bed. Use a trigger like “Alexa, good night,” or, if you’re one to stay up later than you should, a specific time to have Alexa turn off the lights in your living room and turn on the hallway and bedroom lights.

You can also take this opportunity to have Alexa turn off the TV, lock all windows and doors, and wait five minutes before playing an audiobook as you get ready for bed.

11. Goodnight Alexa

When you’re ready to turn off the lights and go to sleep, you can use a phrase like “Alexa, time to sleep” to have Alexa turn off every light in the house and hear a calming sound from the Sleep Sounds skill. You’ll need to use a custom command to do this, such as “ask Sleep Sounds to play thunderstorms for an hour.”

This would also be the best time to arm your smart security system and have a night light or hallway light on when motion is detected.

12. Garden lighting

Take smart home automation outside with a routine that automatically turns on your connected garden lighting. The best trigger for this routine is after sunset, which Alexa can detect automatically. Alternatively, you can save energy by activating garden lights only when movement is detected outside or when someone enters the room leading to the garden.

13. Movie Time

There’s nothing like shooting a good movie on a rainy Sunday. Let Alexa do the legwork and dim the lights (or turn them off altogether), draw the curtains or close the blinds, turn on the TV, and put all Alexa devices into do not disturb mode.

With the help of a custom action, you can even have Alexa recommend the best movies on your favorite streaming service — if only Alexa could bring the popcorn, too.

14. Nap Time

If you need a quick afternoon power nap, there’s a routine for that too. After you say “Alexa, nap time,” have Alexa turn off the lights, close the curtains or blinds, and hear a relaxing sound from the Sleep Sounds Skill. Set a timer to go off in 30 minutes and use the hold function to play some energetic music after 30 minutes to wake up with an extra spring in your step.

The possibilities are endless with Alexa routines

As you can see, Alexa Routines are an incredible innovation that can simplify every aspect of everyday life. Combined with multiple smart devices, such as lights, security systems, and appliances, you can turn your home into the smart home of your dreams.

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