Alexa Reminder Lifehacks

Alexa can offer us reminders at last, and I’ve got a few Alexa reminder lifehacks to extend that functionality in some useful ways.


Remembered The Reminder


1. In households with more than one Alexa device, use reminders to fake an intercom system.
You’ll need to use the Alexa app for this one. Recall that the new Add Reminder form looks like this:


Alexa Reminder Form


Select the device you want to send your message to from the drop-down device list at the bottom. Enter the message you want to send in the “Remind me to…” box at the top. Set the date and time, hit the Save button and your message is queued up.

Don’t let the date and time settings throw you. You can choose today’s date (it’s the default value when you open the drop down) and set the time one minute in the future to have the message sent right away. Consider brief “Remind me to…” messages like:

“I’m leaving for the store now.”

“Dinner’s ready.”

“Please move your laundry.”

“Your package arrived.”

Or any other thing you’d usually have to walk upstairs or down the hall to say. When the timer goes off Alexa will say, “This is a reminder,”* followed by your message. A little awkward, but it gets the job done.

*The wording seems to have changed since the time reminders launched.

Pro Tip: If the person on the receiving end of your fake intercom messages shares an Amazon account with you (meaning, they have the password for the account), they can install the Alexa app on their own phone or tablet, register it to the same Amazon account and send messages back to you the same way.


2. Use reminders to help get the day off to a strong start.
It’s often the element of surprise that makes Alexa’s messages so charming. When you’ll be away, whether traveling or already out of the house for the day, a reminder can start a special or potentially stressful day off right for a loved one who has an Alexa device in the bedroom. Use the method described above to create your reminder on the desired Alexa device, and set it to go off a few minutes after the regular wake up alarm has sounded: when you know the recipient will be awake, but hasn’t yet left the room.

Remember that when the reminder goes off Alexa will say, “This is a reminder,” before she says whatever your message is, so bear that in mind when composing your messages. Consider brief messages that will result in Alexa reminders like these:

“This is a reminder. You’ve got this.”

“This is a reminder. That you rock.”

“This is a reminder. To kill it at work today.”

“This is a reminder. You’re going to be fine.”

“This is a reminder. To have a happy birthday.”

You get the idea.


3. Use reminders like a virtual bulletin board.
This is very similar to the To Do List hack I shared a couple months back.

Use the reminders function to have Alexa read messages that may or may not be actual reminders at times when you know other household members will be around to hear them. You can schedule brief messages like these, taking Alexa’s, “This is a reminder,” introduction into account:

“This is a reminder. Sarah is working late tonight.”

“This is a reminder. The mail is on the kitchen table.”

“This is a reminder. We’re out of milk.” To prevent those regrettable dry cereal incidents

“This is a reminder. Doug paid the cable bill.”

Et cetera.


Every time a new Alexa feature is added, ask yourself: is there anything else you can do with it?


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