Last updated: August 2019
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Be more productive with Alexa
In today’s busy world, we can’t add more hours to the day, but we can still increase our productivity if we have the right assistance (or perhaps I should say “assistant!”).
Here are 4 easy ways Alexa can help:
#1. Alexa flash briefings provide your daily news in just a few minutes
If you find that your mornings are crunched for time, but still want to hear the latest news before starting your day, you’ll love listening to your Alexa flash briefing.
Alexa flash briefings are short, 2-4 minute clips from your favorite news sources. Whether you prefer to listen to NPR, BBC or even your local TV station, there are thousands of briefs to choose from! And since the clips are so short, you can easily enjoy a few as you go through your morning routine.
You can easily start listening to flash briefings with one minute or less of set-up.
To add your favorite news sources’ flash briefings to your personal flash briefing list: Open your Alexa app, tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner > tap “Settings” > (scroll down and) tap “Flash Briefing” > tap “Add Content” > search for a flash briefing by tapping the magnifying glass in the top right corner > tap “Enable to Use” > repeat for additional briefings.
To listen: Just say “Alexa, play my news” to hear your daily briefing.
#2. Linking your calendar to Alexa enables hands-free time management
Need to add a new event to your calendar? Put your phone down and give hands-free a try! Gone are the days of picking up your phone, opening the calendar app, creating a new event… you get the idea. Alexa integrates with all popular calendars, making it easier than ever to hear your daily schedule or even create an event.
To link your calendar to Alexa: Open your Alexa app, tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner > tap “Settings” > (scroll down and) tap “Calendar & Email” > tap “Add Account” > tap your calendar service name (Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) > toggle “Calendar” on > tap “Connect Account” button > follow simple linking instructions.
To get or add calendar info: For a birds-eye view of your schedule, ask “Alexa, what’s on my schedule today?” And the next time you need to schedule an event, just say “Alexa, schedule (appointment name like lunch with Kathy) on (date) at (time).”
#3. Let Alexa guide you through a five-minute workout
Crunched for time, and finding it hard to sneak in even a short workout? Alexa can help. Whenever you’re ready for a small burst of activity, use Alexa’s Five Minute Workout skill for five minutes of fat-burning fun.
The best part? These exercises can be done in a small area, making it perfect for a 3pm pick-me-up at the office — or even a morning workout in your hotel room when you’re traveling (you can always access Alexa via the Alexa app on your phone).
To enable the skill, tap/click here > tap/click the “Enable” button.
To get started with your workout, just say “Alexa, open five-minute workout.”
When you’re ready to step it up a notch, set an automatic Alexa reminder by saying “Alexa, remind me to exercise every day at 3 pm.”
#4. Calm your mind and increase focus with a meditation led by Alexa
Exercising the mind is as important as exercising the body. Research has shown that meditation can help you make smarter choices and increase your ability to focus by 14%. Even a short meditation equal to the time it takes to grab your afternoon coffee can work wonders.
And if you’re new to meditation, don’t worry: the Headspace Alexa skill has everything you need to get started. The first time you use it, Alexa will walk you through a brief demo to bring you up to speed.
To enable Headspace, tap/click here > tap/click the “Enable” button.
Then, just say “Alexa, open Headspace” to get started.
To unlock more meditations, create a Headspace account (or connect an existing account by following Alexa’s prompts).