Anyone who has ever heard of Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa knows she can do it all, from streaming the latest Cardi B song to set your thermostat at a cozy 72 degrees during these cold winter months. However, do you know how to get her to do any of that? Whether you just got an Echo device or have had it for a while, odds are you aren’t getting everything you can out of Alexa.
But you will once you read my Intense Alexa Skills Cheat Sheet. It breaks down, by category, all the skills you need to know and how to access them. And we have Echo skills for beginners and advanced, so there’s something here for everyone!
Ultimate and Must-Know Alexa Skills Cheat Sheet
For those new to Alexa, once you get her plugged in and you add your info into the Alexa app, here are some great commands to get you started.
- If you need help: Alexa, help
- If you don’t want Alexa to listen all day long: Alexa, mute
- To turn Alexa back on: Alexa, unmute
- To stop, play, or pause any media, whether it’s music or a video your streaming on the TV: Alexa, stop, play, pause
- To change the volume on your device: Alexa, turn up/down the volume
Alarm, Timer, and Calendar
Alexa makes a great “clock” and can be used to set morning alarms, timers and more. She can also be used to manage and access your calander, but you need to link your calendar first through the app. Here is a rundown:
- To find out the time: Alexa, what’s the time?
- To find out the date: Alexa, what’s today’s date?
- To set an alarm: Alexa, set the alarm for 7 a.m.
- To snooze an alarm: Alexa, snooze
- For a weekly or repeating alarm: Alexa, set a repeating alarm for 7 a.m. weekdays
- To set an alarm with music: Alexa, set the 7 a.m. alarm to Bruno Mars, 24K Magic
- To cancel an alarm: Alexa, cancel my 7 a.m. alarm
- To cancel all alarms: Alexa, cancel all alarms
- To set a timer: Alexa, set 30-minute timer
- To set multiple timers: Alexa, set a 2nd timer for 15 minutes
- To add to your calendar: Alexa, add an event to my calendar, Ryan’s birthday party
- To check/access your calendar: Alexa, what’s on today’s calendar?
For those who like to stay connected and up to date on the latest news a Flash Briefing is great. Flash Briefings give you a quick overview of the day’s news and any other skill content you indicate that is of interest and enable in the Alexa app.
Alexa will read text herself or plays audio that is provided by the skill you enable. Your Flash Briefing can become part of your morning routine or any other time of day you choose.
- To hear your Flash Briefing: Alexa, give me my Flash Briefing
- To hear the news portion: Alexa, what’s the latest news?
- To hear news from a specific subscription: Alexa, open USA Today
- To skip to the next part of a briefing: Alexa, next
- To go back to a previous part of a briefing: Alexa, previous
- To pause a briefing: Alexa, pause
Traffic information and Weather
- For local traffic: Alexa, how’s traffic?
- For specific traffic routes: Alexa, what’s my commute like?
- To find out the temperature: Alexa, what’s the current temperature?
- To find out tomorrow’s weather: Alexa, will it snow tomorrow? or Alexa, do I need my umbrella tomorrow?
- To get the forecast: Alexa, what’s the forecast for today/this weekend/ the next 5 days?
- To find weather for a specific city: Alexa, what’s the weather in Seattle? or Alexa, what’s the 7-day forecast for Florida?
Smart Home Commands
There are tons of smart devices to pair with Alexa, including Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, the Nest Thermostat, Fire TV and more. Here is a look at the basic commands to get you started as well as some advanced ones.
- To find and pair devices: Alexa, discover my smart home devices
- To link your phone to make phone calls: Alexa, connect my phone
- To enable Bluetooth connectivity to another gadget: Alexa, Bluetooth
- To control lights: Alexa, turn the lights on
- To control the TV: Alexa, turn the TV on
- Alexa, raise the temperature 5 degrees
- To control the temperature: Alexa, set the temperature to 68 degrees
- To control your smart lock: Alexa, lock/unlock the front door
- To control smart appliances (currently, Alexa works with GE appliances via the Geneva app and some Samsung): Alexa, tell Geneva to preheat the oven to 400
Music and TV Commands
If you have a Fire TV or love to stream music, these commands are all you need. You can use your Pandora, Prime Music, iHeart Radio or Spotify account for music. If you don’t have any accounts Alexa can still stream, but you’ll be limited.
- Alexa, play my Oldies playlist
- To have her play a station: Alexa, play the R & B station
- To have Alexa play a song of her choice: Alexa, what’s playing?
- Alexa, what’s this song?
- To play music by a specific artist: Alexa, play Madonna music
- To hear the latest songs: Alexa, play this week’s top songs
- To turn the music up or down, pause it, resume it or stop it: Alexa, turn it up/down, Alexa stop, Alexa resume, Alexa pause
- To mix your music: Alexa, shuffle my music
- To play music from one of your services: Alexa, play my House music station on Pandora/Spotify, etc.
- To save a song on Prime: Alexa, add [song name] to my Prime Music library or Alexa add this song to my Prime library
- To play a song that matches your mood: Alexa, play pop music
- To find new music to buy: Alexa, shop new music by DNCE
- To buy music: Alexa, buy The Man in the Woods by Justin Timberlake
- To watch a show or movie on the TV: Alexa, play Riverdale on Hulu or Alexa, play the Super Bowl
Order products from Amazon and Others
- To order or re-order from Amazon: Alexa, order paper towels, Alexa re-order tissues, Alexa buy liquid laundry detergent
- Add items to your shopping cart: Alexa, add milk to my cart to buy
- To track Amazon orders: Alexa, track my order or Alexa, where’s my stuff?
- To call an uber: Alexa, reserve a car with Uber
- To order a pizza: Alexa, order 2 pepperoni pies from Dominos
Once you set up your phone to link to Alexa and verify your number you can use her for hands-free calling to other Alexa devices, contacts or even your doctor’s office:
- To call a contact or place: Alexa, call my mom or Alexa, dial 718-837-0156
- To call another Echo device in your house: Alexa, drop in the bedroom
- To call another Echo in a friend’s home(you and the person must grant permission in the app): Alexa, drop in on Melissa’s Dot
- To message someone: Alexa [say message] send to [contact name or phone number for texting].
- To play a game: Alexa, play a game (Alexa will give you suggestions)
- To play a specific game: Alexa, start Jeopardy
- To hear a joke: Alexa, tell me a joke
- To hear trivia: Alexa, tell me some fun facts
- To create a list: Alexa, create a to-do list
- To make an appointment: Alexa, I need to make an appointment with the dentist
- To add to a list: Alexa, add bread to my shopping list
And there you have it, my Ultimate Alexa Skills Cheat Sheet. With this list you are sure to get the most out of your Echo. Share this with all your family and friends, so they can make the most of their devices too!