June 10, 2023
Amazon Alexa routines can make your life easier.  Here's how to set them up

Amazon Alexa routines can make your life easier. Here’s how to set them up

This story is part 12 days of advicehelping you get the most out of your tech, your home and your health this holiday season.

You know how it goes. We want Alexa a command, then wait for it to process the action before giving your next command. But did you know there is an easier way? One that can automate your whole day with a few simple voice commands?

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Giving Alexa one command at a time can be inconvenient when you’re pressed for time (we know how chaotic it can get when you’re getting ready for work). Fortunately, you can create routines on your Amazon Echo so you can have multiple commands performed at one time. For example, when you wake up in the morning, you can have Alexa Turn on the lightread the daily headlines and start the coffee maker by simply saying “Alexa, hello”.

Custom Routines can also include making the lights brighter in the morning, signaling traffic for your daily commute and playing your favorite songs – basically automate all the things you would usually do anyway. The goal of Alexa Routines is to make your day flowing and productive. Here’s what you need to know to get started. You can also learn which Alexa settings you need to change ASAPand five tips for setting up your new Echo device.

How to Create an Alexa Routine on Your Amazon Echo

1. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device.

2. Faucet Routines.

3. Tap the plus sign (+) in the upper right corner.

4. To select when it happens and choose how you want to trigger the routine. Here are your options:


Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

  • Voice: Your voice command will start the routine. For example, “Alexa, I’m awake” or “Alexa, start my day”.
  • Program: Set a time for Alexa to start your routine. You won’t need a wake up word for that.
  • Device: Alexa will perform the actions using your Amazon Echo Hub.
  • Location: When you arrive somewhere, like home, Alexa can start your routine for this place.
  • Alarm: When you dismiss an alarm, your routine begins.
  • Echo button: Press your Amazon Echo button to start a routine.

5. Then press Add action and select whatever you want Alexa to do during this routine.

6. Choose Of to select which of your Amazon devices will control the routine.

7. Strike To create.

Hey, Alexa, help me wake up

Alexa can start your morning routine before you’re even awake. Set a schedule that tells Alexa to slowly start turning on the lights and start brewing your coffee. Once you’re awake, say “Hey, Alexa, good morning” to trigger your morning routine. Set actions for Amazon Echo to read you the weather, give you a summary of your email, list what’s on your calendar for the day, and let you know what’s happening in the news.

The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) is a solid smart speaker with great sound. In fact, it’s our all-time favorite smart speaker on the market. It combines all the smarts of Alexa with a speaker that sounds great too.

The speaker will connect to dozens of smart home devices – from lights to locks to sensors – which can be configured with voice commands. The Echo is even useful when you’re away, as Alexa can send alerts if your smart speaker’s microphones pick up the sound of breaking glass or a smoke detector. While the list price is $99.99, you can often find the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) on sale for much less. Read our Amazon Echo (4th Gen) review.

You are receiving price alerts for Echo (4th Generation) | With premium sound, a smart home hub and Alexa | coal

Alexa can make your commute more enjoyable

Your favorite morning commute playlist is essential for waking up (aside from all the coffee you just drank). You can tell Alexa to start playing your wake-up music, and if you’re moving around a busy city, it can also be useful for Alexa to read the traffic report.

Use a voice command such as “Hey, Alexa, I’m going to work” to activate Alexa. You can also add an action that tells Alexa to turn off your lights and smart plugs as well, just in case you forgot.

Read more: Music on your Alexa speaker may sound better


You can make sure your lights come on when you get home.

Tristan Rinehart/CNET

Alexa can turn on the lights when you come home

Wouldn’t it be nice to arrive home to a well-lit house, rather than trying to climb the dark stairs to your front door? You can set up a voice routine, but we like the location routine for this one.

You just have to select Location from the options and enter your home address so that approaching your home triggers the routine. Once you’ve completed this initial setup, you can add actions to the routine, such as turning on the porch lights when you arrive home.

Alexa can help you fall asleep faster

Once you’re comfortably settled in bed and ready to nap, start your bedtime routine by using another trigger phrase – it could be something like “Alexa, I’m ready for bed”. For this routine, you’ll need to make sure you’ve enabled the action that lets Alexa turn off your lights.

If you usually have a hard to fall asleepUse the The music action to play rain sounds or relaxing music. You can play songs and playlists from your library, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn. Don’t forget to set a timer to turn off the music so it doesn’t play all night.

Want more Amazon Echo Pointers? Here is tips for getting the most out of your Alexa timers and alarms. We can also help you decode what all those colored lights on your Amazon Echo mean.

More Alexa tips:

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