Publication Date: 11/1/16 – Since the Echo first launched, consumers have wanted the ability to create Alexa reminders: to have Alexa record a reminder or other message and play it for someone else at a specific time. That functionality isn’t yet available, but there’s an easy way to fake it using the Alexa mobile or web app.
I was aware of this capability and may have even mentioned it in passing in a past article, but full credit goes to Amazon Discussions member Grapes&Wrath for really spelling it out in a recent thread. Grapes uses this trick to play reminders and messages at specific times on an Echo that Grapes installed in the home of an aging parent. No more worries about Mom forgetting her medication, appointments or special days, and a friendly, “Hi, Mom! Hope you’re having a great day!” is never more than a click away.
In a nutshell the process involves: recording your own messages and reminders, saving them to your online music library so Alexa has access to them, then using the Alexa web or mobile app to play them on the Alexa device. Here’s the super-detailed step by step:
How To Create Alexa Reminders
1. Record each message you need and save each file in .mp3 format with a meaningful name (e.g., “Dad 3pm Pills,” “Feed The Dog,” “Happy Birthday Mom,” etc.). There are many free audio recording apps, and your computer’s media player probably has this capability too.
2. Upload the saved files to your Amazon Music Library. You can upload to your Amazon Music Library via Amazon > Your Account > Your Music Library in a web browser, or via the free Amazon Music mobile app. Every Amazon customer has an Amazon Music Library and (as of this writing) you can upload up to 250 personal tracks to it for free.
3. When you want Alexa to play one of your messages:
a) Open the Alexa web or mobile app.
b) Click the Music & Books tab (red arrow above).
c) On the Music & Books tab, select the device you want to play the message from the drop-down menu at the top (yellow arrow above), then click to select My Music Library (blue arrow above).
d) When your Music Library loads, look up the reminder or message you want to play and launch it. It will play on the Alexa device you’ve selected.
Gussy It Up
When it comes to messages intended to cheer someone, wish them a happy birthday or anniversary or anything similar, get creative! Get the whole family to sing the birthday song into the mic. Play music in the background as you record your messages and reminders. Use funny voices. Include sound effects. Get pets into the act, if they’re the talkative type. Beatbox.
Do whatever will make the person listening to your message smile!