What Are Some Amazon Alexa Useful Tricks?


Just wondering what useful tricks everyone has programmed their alexa to do?

I've got an echo show 5 - only thing I use it for now is controlling my lifx bulbs, telling me the time and sometimes watching movies.

Just wondering what other useful things people are using? Browsed through some of the skills but seem limited and not that many reviews.


  • You can whisper it commands and it will whisper the response back. This is good for when it's late at night and you don't want to wake anyone up.

  • I have the echo show in my bedroom and even on the dimmed screen it is too bright. You can tell Alexa to "turn off display" (or screen) which makes it absolute black.
    It lights up again as soon as you talk to Alexa.

    • ah yeah I have this problem as well.. is there a way to make it stay turned off at sometimes it lights up by itself

      • I haven't found a solution to that yet. :(

        • When my useless new 'toys' are too bright, I get out the black texta.
          If that is not enough, use masking tape.
          If that is not enough, use masking tape and then black texta.
          If that is not enough, I use black electrical tape; but if you want a better job, tear the thing apart and paint it black

          I hope you get it dark. I used to live in the bush and I was the only one around so I was the only light source.
          So when I went to bed and turned the light off, I could put my hand an inch from my face, and I would not see it.
          I must have it pitch black to sleep. Don't talk about the noise things make at night thou, that is another story

    • You pretty much had it there, just needed to add in the DND timer to stop the screen from being triggered.

  • "Alexa, are you connected to the CIA?"

  • Have you looked into IFTTT?
    (However, they've recently started charging monthly fees and I'm starting to move my things off it).

  • I use it as an alarm clock/s
    a countdown timer
    since I got the fireTV, I can also use it to turn the TV on & off
    I can get it to do a shopping list
    a list of things to do (or is that never do?)
    I make it phrase back to me, but it bleeps out the good words :(
    I get a weather report for that night and also current conditions outside
    if you got Prime, it will play music; I wish it would understand my Aussie accent better thou

  • "Alexa, what sound does a fart make" :)

  • "Alexa, What time is it?"

  • Alexa, how's the serenity?

  • A lot of the functionality has already been developed into routines, which you can add your personal touches to, such as:

    " start my day"
    Plays weather forecast, runs through my work schedule (using OGSync to sync my Outlook to Google calendar), play the news from ABC, SBS and CNN, and starts the kettle boiling (Kogan SmartHome Kettle). Usually play this when I'm in the shower, so can catch up on the news and my day ahead. Also reminds me of any bills that due/being paid today, and if I need to put the bins out.

    " start my commute"
    Advises of traffic conditions on the main routes, weather forecast (in case I had not activated the previous routine) then plays a choice of songs, podcasts, news or Audible books

    " good night"
    Switches off all the lights in the house so I don't have to go through a litany of commands when I go to bed, dims the displays (the bedside unit is also set to DND from 10pm to 6am in Settings)

    " nearly home"
    (Custom routine) Opens garage door, turns on garage and lounge lights, and start playing the Chilled Out playlist for 30 minutes on the lounge speakers. In the summer, I'll set this to turn the A/C on as well.

    " All Bright"
    (Custom routine) Turns on all lights in the house at 100%

    "Ask Plex to play music on group Everywhere"
    As the title suggests, plays music from my media server on all the Echo devices throughout the house

    " what times does the gym/Woolworths/BigW close ?"
    No mystery on what this does

    "Add xx to my shopping list/add to my To Do list"
    Using a prebuilt skill, links to my shopping list and Toodledoo task list

    "set timer/set second timer"
    Useful if you need to time two things, as well as name the timers

    "resume/pause/next/rewind/add song to playlist"

    The routines are good for basic functionality, but other good places to set up your own routines are IFTTT, which has recently started (not unreasonably) charging a tiny amount for unlimited apps and also VoiceMonkey.io

    • this is epic great comment alot of upgrades I need to do over time

    • Magpye; I can't work out how to add "Dim display" to the 'good night' routine…. I can only do it as a command. Any hints?

      • Did you see what I wrote above to dim the lights?

      • You can do a double duty on it insomuch in the Goodnight routine you can:
        add DND until xx.xx
        also use the custom command "turn off screen"

        This will stop news alerts and product updates from turning the screen back on, whilst still giving you voice control if you need it.
        Should you have to use it during this time, it will action the command and then revert back to DND mode, and you can manually issue the "turn off screen" command.

        • Solved…
          This problem happens when you have Ambient clock mode turned ON.
          Tell Alexa to "turn OFF Ambient Clock"
          Now when you set Do Not Disturb in either a routine or set it up as a schedule in settings the display will become totally black.

  • “Alexa, play the 'Amazon Holiday' playlist”
    Kick off the festive season with Justin Bieber, Mary J Blige and more singing your holiday favourites.
    “Alexa, what are my Black Friday deals?”
    “Alexa, what’s the UV index in Brisbane today?”
    Help protect yourself from UV radiation before you leave home.
    “Alexa, what time is it in Rome?”
    “Alexa, brighten my day”
    “Alexa, how far is Brisbane from Perth?”
    “Alexa, do not disturb”
    Enable 'do not disturb' mode when you don't wish to receive any Alexa calls or messages. To disable it, just say "Alexa, turn off 'do not disturb'".
    “Alexa, tell me a Star Trek joke”
    “Alexa, how does my day look?”
    Sync your calendar with Alexa to check your upcoming appointments or add new events.
    “Alexa, read Audible everywhere”
    Listen to your audiobook from every Echo device in your home.
    “Alexa, remind me to call home every Sunday night”
    “Alexa, what are your latest skills?”
    “Alexa, play My Flow in Deezer”
    Link your Deezer account in the Music section of your Alexa app settings.
    “Alexa, start my workout”
    “Alexa, how's the serenity?”
    “Alexa, add a to-do”
    “Alexa, announce breakfast is ready”
    Ask Alexa to make announcements on all compatible Echo devices in your household. Learn more.
    “Alexa, how do you say 'happy birthday' in Mandarin?”
    “Alexa, what should I cook tonight?”