There are thousands of skills available for Amazon Alexa. But sometimes you want a little more personalization and customizability. With Alexa Blueprints you can do just that.
We’ll show you six Alexa Blueprints that you can set up and use at home in minutes.
With the Babysitter Blueprint, you no longer have to create pages of instructions or hope your babysitter remembers everything you tell them. Instead, you can develop a voice-activated skill that will give them an answer to any question they can think of.
The first is the ability to give the nanny morning, afternoon and evening schedules. You can also save information about allergies, medications, and any special notes Alexa will offer when prompted. There are customizable options if you want to tell the babysitter where items are and how to do things. You can also provide a list of emergency contacts that Alexa will relay.
If your nanny needs a hand to find your baby’s diapers, they can simply open the skill by saying, “Alexa, open My Nanny” and asking, “Where are the diapers?” Alexa will then give them the location you specified during setup.
2. Pet sitting
The Pet Sitter Blueprint is very similar to the Babysitter Blueprint. After all, taking care of a pet can be a lot like taking care of a child. Like the nanny blueprint, you can provide details about:
- Your pet’s morning, afternoon and evening schedule.
- Any allergies, medications, or special notes you need to notify the sitter.
- Where to find things.
- How to do things.
- Emergency contacts, such as your veterinarian.
For example, if your pet sitter wants a list of emergency contacts, they might say, “Alexa, open My Pet Sitter” and ask, “What are the emergency contacts?” Alexa goes through the entire list and provides the name and phone number of each item.
3. Whose turn?
Whose turn is a useful blueprint for resolving arguments about whose turn it is to do something. Instead of lengthy discussions about why one person should or shouldn’t do the dishes, Alexa lets them decide randomly from a pre-determined list. Alternatively, it can be an excellent addition to a party or games night where random selection is part of the fun.
There’s also the option to pick the next person on the list, which is perfect if you have a set number of tasks or aren’t sure whose turn it is to run errands. You can also add many names – there doesn’t seem to be a problem with adding 30 names when setting up the blueprint.
To lighten the skill a bit, you can also adjust the phrase that’s said when a name is selected, and the sound that’s played. To use the skill you’ve created, you can just say, “Alexa, open Whose Turn,” and Alexa will pick someone from your list.
4. Chore card
Like Whose Turn, the Chore Chart Blueprint can resolve disputes by involving Alexa. It’s a new method of dealing with a card taped to the fridge and could encourage kids to take a more active role in their tasks by using Alexa to help.
First you list all your family members and then all the possible chores they could do. Then you assign tasks to each member of the household. This blueprint gives you the ability to schedule chores for specific days and can even offer reminders on specific devices at a set time.
For example, if your child has an Amazon Echo Kids in their room, you can set a reminder to take out the trash on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM. Once the job is done, you can register that a person has completed a job. Plus, you can quickly check which tasks are still open by querying a household member’s to-do list.
Alexa also tracks the number of tasks done during the week by assigning one point to completed tasks. Asking for the weekly score will return Alexa who has done the most chores this week, which could lead to healthy sibling rivalry.
If you want to make chores easier with technology, check out our article on the five best Android apps for household chores.
Maybe you don’t live in a family home and instead share your home with other adults. Then the Flatmate Blueprint might make sharing a house a little easier. Like the Babysitter or Pet Sitter blueprints of yesteryear, the Flatmate Blueprint is a guide to your home.
You can set rules for different areas of the house, such as the kitchen or living room. For example, you could provide a list of rules for the living room, such as turning off the lights and cleaning up after yourself.
There is also the option for Alexa to provide contact information when prompted. Rather than providing a list, this skill requires someone to ask for the details of a specific person, such as the landlord or maintenance man, before Alexa gives them a phone number. You can also add email addresses or physical addresses to this contact information if you wish.
Finally, you can provide instructions on how to perform certain actions, such as paying rent and where to find things. Now your new roommate can use Alexa to get acquainted with their new environment by saying, “Alexa, open my roommate” and blasting away with any questions.
6. Side kick
The Sidekick Blueprint allows you to create a light-hearted skill that mimics a real sidekick. In the setup you can ask questions you could ask Alexa, and then the answer you want to give.
As you build the skill, you’ll see plenty of questions and answers that can be used for inspiration. For example, the question “Alexa, do I have any flaws?” is set to ‘Yeah, you look almost too good. It can be distracting.” You can specify different variations of questions to make the process more natural.
There is also a wide variety of sounds that complement your answer. In the example above, the answer is given before a melodious gong is played. Overall, this skill can brighten up your day and put a smile on your face, with Alexa telling you exactly what you want to hear every time.
Simplify family life with Amazon Alexa Blueprints
You no longer need complicated job lists or pages of instructions for your sitter. By using the Alexa Blueprints above, you can have a virtual task master or home assistant ease the daily pressures of family life and spend more time doing what you love most.