Who is Alexa and Why Would You Want Here in Your Home?

Alexa turns your Amazon Fire Tablet, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, or Amazon Echo, Tap, or Amazon Echo Dot into a voice-controlled device that connects you to Amazon as well as plenty of other 3rd party providers to make your life easier. Right out of the box, you can order from Amazon by voice and access your Prime features like Prime Music and add-ons like Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks, and more. Plus you can listen to radio stations through Tune+In as well as podcasts and more.

Organizing My Life with Alexa

Where Alexa shines for me is that by connecting her to my Google account, I can have her set an alarm by saying, “Alexa, set my alarm for 8 hours from now” (or the actual time). Then when I wake up in the morning, I silence the alarm by saying, “Alexa, alarm off.”). Then I can check my schedule, “Alexa, what’s on my calendar?” Plus I can get weather and traffic just by saying, “Alexa, what’s the 1-, 3-, 5-, 7- 14-day weather forecast?” Or, “What’s the news?” for today’s headlines.

I also enjoy playing Alex’s Daily Jeopardy Challenge. It’s just six questions, so it only takes a few minutes and entertains me while I wait for the timer to go off or just before bed. She’s also an excellent  Twenty Questions; kids will love it as much as I do. There are a lot of other 3rd party games that I haven’t tried out because they’re of no interest me. I’m sure as others are added, I’ll find more that fit my lifestyle. There are also a plethora of quotes, inspirational words, and more plus niche offerings.

 Alexa’s Best Deals

Alex Deals - Amazon Prime Members Save up to 40% on Daily Deals that Can only Be order via Alexa (by voice)

Did you know that if you’re an Amazon Prime member and have Alexa, you have some fabulous deals available to you? If you already have Alexa and Prime, head on over to see today’s Alexa Deals. Please note that these deals which include an additional Alexa discount are limited to one per customer and one per device, and you must be a Prime. Additionally, some items may be fulfilled by Prime Now.

If you don’t have Prime and/or Alexa, you’re missing out! First, find out more about Amazon Prime by reading, “Amazon Prime New Features for Gamers, Readers, & Audiobook Users here.

Making My House Work for Me

I have connected several smart home products I already own like the Nest Thermostat and WeMo switch which allow me to control certain aspects of my home. For example, by connecting Alexa and my Nest Thermostat, I can now control my home’s heating by voice. “Alexa, set the heat to XX,” is currently the only option; however,  I’d love to be able to ask her what the temperature is set to.

I can also turn on the lamp in the living room from anywhere I can access the Alexa App via my smartphone or one of the Amazon Echo Dot’s in my home for added security. A simple, “Alexa, turn on the WeMo (or rename it something like living room lamp),” and no one knows I’m not here.

My New Personal Assistant Saves Me Time

Alexa isn’t about being lazy. It’s about saving time for the things that are important instead of doing a million little tasks. And it gives you an easy way to organize myself.

Commands like,  “Alexa, start a shopping list,” means that nothing is forgotten because as things are needed, someone in the family just says, “Alexa, add milk to the shopping list. Then when someone is ready to do the grocery shopping, the final list can be printed, emailed, texted, or read online at the store. I’m also using her To-Do List skill (skills are equivalent to apps – it trains her how to do new tasks) to record when I take my medicine, so I avoid accidently overdosing myself. We’re doing the same for both of our dogs who are taking medication as well. No more waiting to check in with each other before we give them their next dose. I do wish there was a dedicated skill to track medication with even more features. There’s one promising skill that allows you to record whether or not you’ve fed the dog, which can then be accessed by anyone else in the family, so the dogs don’t get over fed or worse, missed. Right now it’s limited to the dogs and the dishwasher which aren’t helpful for me, but it may be exactly what you need to keep track.

Our Amazon Alexa Love Affair

I’ve just started scratching the surface of all of the things the Alexa can do; even my technophobe husband LOVES the Alexa and how much easier she’s made his life too. He’s constantly trying to stump her with stupid questions and math problems, and yes, she has some kind of funny answers to his very inappropriate questions and if she repeats the curse word he used, she bleeps herself which I find hilarious. I’d love her to be a bit sassier and talk back to me in a snarky tone. Maybe add some new voices and personalities.

What could Alexa do for you and your family’s needs?