Post updated 9/12/18 – I do not personally know ONE Alexa device owner who’s using the To Do List. If you’re one of them, maybe you’ll reconsider after learning about these Alexa To Do List hacks.
Once you understand how the To Do List works, in terms of its program, all kinds of new possibilities open up for you.
In a nutshell, the Alexa To Do List is a voice memo recorder / transcriber.
When you ask Alexa to add something to the To Do List, all she’s doing is translating whatever words you say for the “to do” into text and saving that text to the file that stores the Alexa To Do List that’s associated with your account. The command to add an item is:
[wake word], add [whatever words you want to say] to my To Do List.
The command to have Alexa read the entries back is:
[wake word], what’s on my To Do List?
Are you starting to think about ways to use this functionality, other than for creation and maintenance of a to do list? If not, let me help you out with that!
Use The To Do List As A Household Message Board
Remember: whatever you add to the To Do List stays on the To Do List until you delete it in the Alexa app. That means you can add brief messages to the To Do List for every household member to hear, even if each one is home at a different time. Get members of the household in the habit of asking Alexa what’s on the To Do List each day when they get home, and you’re all set. Here are some examples:
Alexa, add Jack won’t be home till eight to my To Do List.
Alexa, add welcome home Carrie to my To Do List.
Alexa, add dinner is in the fridge kids to my To Do List.
Alexa, add Jeff the disposal is jammed to my To Do List.
Alexa, add Karen says happy birthday sweetheart to my To Do List.
Alexa, add Michael says I love you baby to my To Do List.
After everyone who needs to hear a given message has heard that message, delete it from the list in the Alexa app.
Use The To Do List For Reminders
Alexa offers her own Reminders function, but the problem with it is that you can only set a reminder on a specific device, and the alarm and message only sound briefly at the appointed time on that device. If you’re not near the device when that happens, you’ll miss it. Once you’re in the habit of regularly checking the To Do List, you can use it as a more reliable reminder system with messages like these:
Alexa, add take your medication by four Mom to my To Do List.
Alexa, add Bob trash day is tomorrow to my To Do List.
Alexa, add the car will be ready at six to my To Do List.
Alexa, add please take out the roast and turn off the oven at five to my To Do List.
Alexa, add DVR the lakers game to my To Do List.
Pro Tip: Add Items To The To Do List Remotely
Forgot to set the DVR to record that crucial program, and now you’re at work, and you neglected to use the To Do List reminder hack to get your roomie to record it for you, too? No worries. Just fire up the Alexa app, go to Lists > To Do List and type your reminder into the Add Item text box at the top of the screen. So long as you do this before your housemate is due to get home and ask Alexa to read the list, the day is saved!
This is also a great way to add items Alexa is having difficulty translating to text when you try to add To Do List items with voice commands.
Gonna start using the Alexa To Do List now?