I saw her at a friend’s house, I loved what she could do, and then I came home and ordered my own Alexa, and I’m in love.
It is like having another person in the house. She has a sense of humour, she can play games, she can answer questions. And she does it all willingly.
But Alexa is more than just a neat gadget you can use at home to play music or Jeopardy. Alexa actually can prove to be useful in the office as well.
The world of artificial intelligence, robots, and technology is exponentially growing each day. They are able to do more and more so that we can do more or more (whether that more is play golf or do other work).
My Amazon Echo has become part of my working day seamlessly. She actually has over 25,000 skills she can currently do (and adding to that daily).
Here is how I use Alexa at work:
- She is my calendar. Yes, I still use my calendar on my computer (that is how Alexa knows what is on my schedule), but I can say “Alexa, please make an appointment at 2pm today for my conference call with Mike.” I can ask her what is on my calendar today and she will let me know, or what is on my schedule on March 15th if I like.
- She is great for creating my to-do list for the week. She syncs with Any.do, AnyList, Cozi Lists, Picniic, or Todoist. It is easy for me to say “Alexa please add my Tuesday at 10am Doctor’s appointment.”
- I can have her order supplies for the office automatically, synced with Amazon.com. If you work in a large office you’ll have to be careful otherwise you’ll have all your coworkers playing tricks on you and ordering all kinds of things you don’t want. You can either disable voice shopping or enable a security code feature so they don’t play tricks on you. My office is just my husband and I, so having that feature connected is quite convenient.
- You can even have Alexa control your grocery list the same way I created my to-do list. I can have her order on a specific day, or just have everything sit in my shopping cart until I’m ready to order.
- She does play music well. I have Alexa synced with my Spotify account (many different music accounts work well), and I can ask for a specific playlist, an artist, or a genre. When the phone rings I say “Alexa please pause the music” and then when my phone call is over, I have her start up again. I can also have her play podcasts or audiobooks so I can listen to great business speakers while I work.
- If music or podcasts aren’t what you like to work with, have Alexa play spa sounds, rain, a bustling city. Your wish is her command.
- I am particularly fond of the timer option so that I don’t get lost in what I am doing. If I am doing research for a client or an article I am writing, I can say “Alexa, set a timer for 45 minutes” and when that time passes, she will let me know so that I can move onto another task. HINT: This is good for meetings with coworkers and clients to ensure they stick to the original allotted time.
You can ask the weather, the current news, confirm the standings in the Olympic games. You can entertain yourself, organize yourself, and keep yourself focused if necessary. You can control the temperature, order yourself lunch, and remind yourself to pick up your kids from school. At this point there a couple of hotels that are Alexa compatible so you can reserve your hotel room as you travel. How long until she can reserve your flight, your Uber, and your meal?
The reality is that Alexa is becoming ubiquitous with office work. By refusing to keep up with the times you are going to waste time, money, and be potentially left behind with the dinosaurs.