There are thousands of skills available for Amazon Alexa. But sometimes you want a little more customization and personalization. With Alexa Blueprints, you can do just that.
We’ll show you six Alexa plans you can set up and use around the house in minutes.
With the Babysitter Blueprint, you no longer have to create instruction pages or hope your babysitter remembers everything you tell them. Instead, you can develop a voice-activated skill that gives them an answer to any question they might think of.
The first is the ability to provide the caretaker with morning, afternoon, and evening schedules. You can also store information about allergies, medications, and any special notes that Alexa will suggest when prompted. There are customizable options if you want to tell the babysitter where things are and how to do things. You can also give a list of emergency contacts that Alexa will relay.
Now, if your babysitter needs a hand finding your baby’s diapers, they can simply open the skill by saying, “Alexa, open My Babysitter” and ask, “Where are the diapers?” Alexa will then give them the location you specified during setup.
2. Pet sitting
The Pet Sitter Blueprint is very similar to the Babysitter Blueprint. After all, caring for a pet can be a lot like caring for a child. Like the Babysitter Blueprint, you can provide details on:
- Your pet’s morning, afternoon and evening schedule.
- Any allergies, medications or special notes that you need to tell the sitter about.
- Where to find things.
- How to do things.
- Emergency contacts, such as your veterinarian.
If your pet sitter wants a list of emergency contacts, for example, they can say, “Alexa, open My Pet Sitter” and ask, “What are the emergency contacts?” Alexa will go through the entire list, giving each entry’s name and phone number.
3. Who’s Next
Whose Turn is a practical plan for resolving arguments about who should do something. Instead of long discussions about why someone should or shouldn’t do the dishes, let Alexa decide randomly from a predetermined list. Alternatively, it could make a great addition to a party or game night where random selection is part of the fun.
There’s also the option to choose the next person on the list, which is great if you have a set rotation of tasks or aren’t sure whose job it is to do the grocery shopping. You can also add many names – there seems to be no problem adding 30 names when setting up the Blueprint.
To make the skill a bit light you can also customize the phrase spoken when a name is selected and the sound played. To use the skill you created, you can simply say “Alexa, open Whose Turn” and Alexa will choose someone from your list.
4. Chores Chart
Like Whose Turn, the Chore Chart Blueprint can resolve conflicts by integrating Alexa into the mix. It’s a new method for removing a chalkboard stuck on the fridge and could encourage kids to take a more active role in their chores by using Alexa to help them.
First you list all the members of your household, then all the tasks they could perform. Then you assign tasks to each member of the household. This Blueprint gives you the ability to schedule tasks for particular days and can even offer reminders on specific devices at a set time.
If your child has an Amazon Echo Kids in their room, for example, you can set a reminder for them to take out the trash at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Once the chore is completed, you can log that an individual has completed a chore. Plus, you can quickly check which tasks are pending by requesting a household member’s task list.
Alexa will also keep track of the number of tasks completed throughout the week by assigning a point to completed tasks. If you ask for the weekly score, Alexa will return who completed the most tasks that week, which could spark some healthy sibling rivalry.
If you want to make household chores easier with technology, check out our article on the five best Android apps for household chores.
Maybe you don’t live in a family home and instead share your home with other adults. In that case, the Flatmate Blueprint might make homesharing a little easier. Similar to Babysitter or Pet Sitter plans from before, the Flatmate Blueprint is a guide for your home.
You can set rules for different areas of the house, such as the kitchen or the living room. For example, you could give a list of rules for the living room, such as turning off the lights and cleaning up after yourself.
There’s also the ability for Alexa to give out contact information when asked. Instead of giving a list, this skill requires someone to ask for the details of a specific person, like the owner or maintenance manager, before Alexa gives them a phone number. You can also add email or physical addresses to this contact information if you wish.
Finally, you can provide instructions on how to perform particular actions like paying rent and where to find things. Now your new roommate can use Alexa to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings by saying “Alexa, open My Flatmate” and answering any questions they may have.
The Sidekick Blueprint lets you craft a light skill that mimics an actual sidekick. In the setup, you can provide questions you might ask Alexa and then the answer you want her to give.
While developing the skill, you will see many questions and answers that can be used to inspire you. For example, the question “Alexa, do I have any flaws?” is set to “Yes, you’re almost too good looking.” It can be distracting. You can offer different variations of questions to make the process more natural.
There is also a wide range of sounds that complement your response. In the example above, the response is given before a melodic chime is played. Overall, this skill can brighten your day and put a smile on your face, with Alexa telling you exactly what you want to hear every time.
Simplify life at home with Amazon Alexa Blueprints
No more complicated chore lists or instruction pages for your babysitter. Using the Alexa Plans above, you can have a virtual taskmaster or home assistant relieve the daily pressure of home life and spend more time doing what you love.