Raise your hand if you could use an assistant. If I could get just a pinch more backup with errands, kid pickups, home management, meal planning, laundry, organizing my mom’s life and someone to blast a couple of emails, I would be money! My life as a non-stop mom/full-time career woman/side-hustling blogger doesn’t leave much time for any bologna. All business over here. (Okay, that isn’t entirely true. I find time to blow off some steam. But, the days of strolling down every aisle at Target “just because” are gone.) My current version of shopping is Amazon Prime and clothing subscriptions. And, even though my ability to multi-task is impressive, I still find myself fantasizing about the day when I will be able to hire an assistant. A girl can dream! This may come as a shock to some of you, but I am full-on embracing the technological world in which we live. I am all for technology if it means taking some of the pressure off of me and simplifying my life. Lord knows I need it. We all need it! But, until my dream of employing a co-pilot becomes a reality, I am going to have to make do with what I have.
Alexa is my smart-speaker with voice recognition and she rules. She is what Siri is to Apple, but better. These days, I think it is pretty fair to assume that the word Alexa is a household name. At the very least, people have heard about her or seen her being advertised every time they click to open their Amazon Prime account. And, if you don’t have a Prime account you need to get with times and sign up for one. It is 2018 people! Alexa has become a versatile and handy little addition to my kitchen. I have the Echo Plus. She stands about 9 inches tall, sleek in her appearance and always listening for you to call out her name, “Alexa!” Seriously, she may be working for the government, but what do I have to hide? I’m keeping her. I don’t think people are fully aware of her many talents and all of the capabilities she has to offer. Let me tell you, she can do all kinds of things. After all, she is female. Wink, wink…
Alexa’s skills and abilities have no bounds. These are all of the things with which Alexa helps:
- set timers and alarms “Alexa, set a timer for 25 minutes.”
- give a daily newsflash briefing “Alexa, what’s in the news?”
- set reminders “Alexa, remind me to water my plants every Wednesday at 7am.”
- play an audible or podcast
- read from Kindle
- tell a joke
- add items to a shopping list
- order items from Amazon (Only if you are a prime member. If you arent, get with it.)
- play music from Spotify, Pandora, etc…
- make a phone call “Alexa, call Ryan.”
- control smart devices i.e. lights, thermostats, etc…
- order an Uber
- answer any question
- recite a recipe
- make fart noises (the children’s personal favorite skill)
Alexa is a dream assistant. She is consistent. She is never late. She is always reliable and never talks back. She does occasionally misunderstand my commands–could be selective hearing. Or, perhaps my accent. Either way, we always find our way. She really does feel like an assistant when I am cooking 11 things at a time and my hands are full and I need to set a timer. If she isn’t reminding me to make a phone call or to pay a bill, she is playing my favorite playlist or the podcast of the day. We were so pleased with the Echo Plus and so sick of our children yelling out for Alexa to play a song for 97th time, we gifted our kids with their own Echo Dots for their birthday. Money well spent. Now my children have their own music source/alarm clock/reminder tool/personal robot right next to their bed. Problem solved.
Should you decide to bite the bullet and get the gift that keeps on giving, I promise you will not be disappointed. Your startup will consist of downloading the Alexa App which is as easy as 1-2-3 and from there you can manage all of Alexa’s skills. If you aren’t sold but teetering, purchase the Dot for $40 and see how you like it. You will find this techy gadget to be some pretty cool ass shit.
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