29 Alexa Skills to Hack Your Morning Routine & Get Back to Work

James “JP “ Poulter
Aug 29 · 4 min read

September creates serious back-to-school (and work) vibes. Voice can help make waking up and getting out of the door as easy as possible.

Wake up

Gone are the days of compulsory bee-beeps. Radio station, song, or suitably surprising noise — your Alexa device can play whatever you tell it to.

Say: “Alexa, wake me up to [song name] by [artist] at [time]”.

To further automate your morning routine, go to the Alexa app and set up, well, an Alexa Routine. Using smart home actions could see your device turning the lights on, boiling the kettle, or playing the radio. Delay steps with the Wait action.

Check news and weather

Nothing like optimistically donning your most summery shirt to make the skies darken. Check in with Big Sky or the Met Office skills to know whether you’ll need that umbrella.

Get ahead of what’s happening in the world — locally, nationally, and internationally — with your Flash Briefing. Customise in the Alexa app to include, for example, BBC Minute, The Telegraph, and even the latest updates from Princeton Tigers.

Move your body

You might now be more vertical than horizontal, but getting the blood pumping is a sure-fire way of actually feeling awake.

Get the kids involved with Animal Workout. If you have a few minutes to yourself, try the 7 Minute Workout, Easy Yoga, or The Body Coach.

Failing that…


If the dried instant granules just aren’t cutting it, try out the Workshop Coffee skill (proudly built in collaboration with Vixen Labs ;-) — more on that here). Brewing guides take you through how to use an Aeropress, V60, Moccamaster, French Press or Clever Dripper.

Or if you’re in a rush? Skip the drip and use Starbucks Reorder (coffee quality may vary...).

Keep the kids occupied

The multi-award-winning BBC Kids skill from our pals at the BBC Voice + AI team has stories, games, and songs from your little one’s favourite CBeebies shows — as well as special guests. Perfect to keep them entertained while you sort out the packed lunches.

Sidestep arguments

If tension is brewing over whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher or feed the cat, ask Alexa (of course).

Whose turn is it? is a deceptively clever skill which can either make the decision for you or walk listeners through a process.

Every day’s a school day

I mean… thank goodness it’s not. We all need weekends, but regardless of the day, we can all learn about something different.

Learn Something Radio is an intelligent podcast curator, whereas Curiosity appears to have its own library of information. Alternatively, add Word of the Day to your Flash Briefing to quickly expand your vocab.

TED Talks is a good one to have on in the background while eating breakfast.

Brush teeth

Encourage kids to brush for the full recommended 2 minutes with Chompers. The Amazon Alexa skill gamifies dental hygiene by counting brushes to build up streaks while telling stories and jokes.

Grab your stuff

In the final rush out of the door, it can be easy to forget whatever combination of PE kit, musical instruments, and books are required on, say, every alternate Wednesday. Alexa does allow users to make lists and set reminders, but School Kit is a nifty skill which helps keep track of necessary accoutrements a little more effectively.

If you want happenings visually accessible too (say, a Sports Day), promptly add something to your calendar with Quick Events.

Check the commute

No one looks forward to meeting congestion on the school run or way into work. Get ahead of the game by asking Alexa for updates via National Rail, UK Roads, Tube Status, and Bus Times.

Running super late? Grab yourself a Lyft or order an Uber.

Aaaaand breathe

Getting everyone up and awake — even if that’s just you — can feel stressful. Come back to a calm and prepared self with five minutes of Mindful Meditation, or play Qigo’s Focus Game with kids.

As we wrote in our post about creating the skill with Workshop Coffee, voice-enabling everyday tasks is a hugely valuable way to make use of the nearly-1 in 4 homes in the UK with a smart speaker.

If you’re looking to position your brand as useful, enjoyable, and trustable, creating a practical aid to people’s daily routines is possibly the most efficient way to do so.

If you’re thinking of bringing your business into the Voice First landscape, we at Vixen Labs offer design services as well as workshops.

Vixen Labs

News and perspectives from the Vixen Labs team. Voice First Strategy, Experience and Marketing specialists.

James “JP “ Poulter

Written by

CEO and Co-Founder of Vixen Labs, Innovation and Marketing through voice and conversational technology. Professional Podcast Host & Speaker.

Vixen Labs

News and perspectives from the Vixen Labs team. Voice First Strategy, Experience and Marketing specialists.

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