Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: A Complete Guide

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills

Alexa productivity apps are a good thing. But first things first: Amazon Echo and other Alexa products like the Echo Dot and the Amazon Tap are pretty dang cool. Amazon’s smart assistant is easy to use and, before you know it, becomes a regular part of your life. The smart speakers sit silently in your living room or kitchen until you say “Hey, Alexa,” and then come to life.

Alexa and the Amazon Echo are also extremely helpful for productivity. Although you might not think about it when you’re purchasing an Alexa product, they can make your work life much easier. Right out of the box, you can use Amazon Echo and other Alexa products for things like setting timers and to-do lists. But–even better–there are third-party apps for Alexa, called Skills, that can integrate with everything from your store’s inventory to your bank account to hailing a car to take you to a client meeting.

By using Alexa and the Amazon Echo, Tap, or Echo Dot, it’s easy to super-charge your productivity. When you have a voice-activated personal assistant alongside your computer and smartphone, new ideas and work skills unfold right in front of you.

Combine Alexa’s powerful built-in capabilities with the added strengths that Skills add, and you have a productivity powerhouse.

This list is current as of January 2017, and we’re adding new information to this page on a regular basis.

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: Built In Functions

Setting An Alarm: Sometimes, the simplest ability is the most helpful. Say “Alexa, set an alarm in XX minutes,” or “Alexa, set an alarm for X o’clock,” and your Amazon Echo or Dot will automatically set an alarm for you.

Accessing Your Calendar: After integrating your Google or Outlook Calendar with Alexa, say “Alexa, what is on my calendar?,” or “Alexa, what are my appointments?” to access your calendar.

Accessing Your To-Do List: Alexa lets you integrate your Google to-do list, your Any.do to-do list, or your Todoist list directly into your account. Say “Alexa, what is on my to-do list?”or “Alexa, what do I have to do today?”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: Banking and Finance Skills

Bloomberg Market Data and News: Bloomberg Market Data and News provides security quotes, indices updates and the latest episode of Bloomberg Market Minute, as well as updates on stock prices of all US companies and the latest episode of Bloomberg Market Minute.

To install: Add Bloomberg Market Data and News or tell Alexa “Enable Bloomberg Market Data and News Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Bloomberg to play market minute,” “Alexa, ask Bloomberg for market updates,” “Alexa, ask Bloomberg for price of AAPL,” “Alexa, ask Bloomberg to give me Tesla’s latest price.”

Capital One: Capital One’s Alexa skill gives information on credit card, checking, savings, auto and home loan accounts. It also has a feature called “How much did I spend?” that gives info on users spending histories.

To install: Add Capital One or tell Alexa “Enable Capital One Skill.”

Invocation examples: “How much did I spend at Target last month?,”  “What’s my checking account balance?,” “When is my car loan due?,” “How much is my next mortgage payment?”

CNBC: NBCUniversal’s CNBC skill has the latest fast, accurate, and actionable business news, financial information and market data.

To install: Add CNBC or tell Alexa “Enable CNBC Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, open CNBC,” “Alexa, ask CNBC how are the markets doing?”

Currency Xchange: Currency Xchange, by Sudhi, supplies current currency conversion rates for most of the world’s famous currencies.

To install: Add Currency Xchange or tell Alexa “Enable Currency Xchange Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa ask currency Xchange,” “Alexa ask currency Xchange from USD to INR.”

CryptoCoin: CryptoCoin, by Cerro San Luis, returns the current price that Bitcoins are trading at, as well as the percent change in the past day.

To install: Add CryptoCoin or tell Alexa “Enable CryptoCoin Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask CryptoCoin what’s bitcoin’s price?,”  “Alexa, ask CryptoCoin what is the current value of bitcoin?”

The Dave Ramsey Show: The popular Dave Ramsey Show has an Alexa skill for listening to their popular financial literacy program. It plays current and previous episodes.

To install: Add Dave Ramsey Show or tell Alexa “Enable Dave Ramsey Show Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, open the Dave Ramsey Show.”

Earnings Calculator: Earnings Calculator, by Imperium Apps GmbH, quickly calculates how much money you make if your app is downloaded a certain number of times.

To install: Order Earnings Calculator or tell Alexa “Enable Earnings Calculator Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, Open Earnings Calculator.”

Fidelity Investments: Fidelity’s Alexa skill gives market updates and information.

To install: Add Fidelity Investments or tell Alexa “Enable Fidelity Investments Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, Ask Fidelity to get me the market update,”  “Alexa, Ask Fidelity how is Amazon doing today.”

The Motley Fool: Finance website the Motley Fool’s Alexa skill lets users create watchlists of stocks, and get instant share price and performance news.

To install: Order The Motley Fool or tell Alexa “Enable The Fool Skill.”

Invocation example: “Alexa, ask The Fool for Apple,” “Alexa, ask The Fool how my watchlist is doing.”

Sales Tax Calculator: Sales Tax Calculator, by Aubtin Samai, quickly generates total prices that include sales tax.

To install: Order Sales Tax Calculator or tell Alexa “Enable Sales Tax Calculator Skill.”

Invocation example: “Alexa, Ask Sales Tax Calculator For Sales Tax At One Hundred Ninety Nine Dollars And Ninety Nine Cents At Four Percent.”

StockTicker: StockTicker is an app, by RoyEr, that lets users look up the price of any stock with their voice. It also includes after-hour or pre-market data if prices change by more than 1%.

To install: Order StockTicker or tell Alexa “Enable StockTicker Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Stock Ticker for Facebook”, or “Alexa, ask Stock Ticker the price of Tesla.”

TD Ameritrade: Financial giant TD Ameritrade has a very useful Alexa skill which provides quotes for all US-traded stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and major US indices. The skill can be used by anyone, and doesn’t require a TD Ameritrade account.

To install: Order TD Ameritrade or tell Alexa “Enable TD Ameritrade Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask TD Ameritrade for the price of Amazon,” “Alexa, ask TD Ameritrade to get a quote for symbol A-M-Z-N.”

Warren Buffett Quotes: This app by davefogo offers randomly generated quotes from “The Oracle of Omaha.”

To install: Order Warren Buffett Quotes or tell Alexa “Enable Warren Buffet Quotes Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, start Warren Buffett quotes,”  “Alexa, ask warren buffett quotes to give me a quote.”

YNAB: Popular budgeting app YNAB (You Need a Budget)’s Alexa companion lets you track spending through your Amazon Echo.

To install: Order YNAB or tell Alexa “Enable Why Nab Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, tell Why Nab to record a new transaction.” “Alexa, tell Why Nab to log 25 dollars and 64 cents in Eating Out from Checking,” “Alexa, tell Why Nab I just spent 9 dollars and 32 cents.”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: Education Skills

Chineasy: Chineasy is a popular Chinese language learning app that guides users through a new Chinese sentence very day.

To install: Order Chineasy or tell Alexa “Enable Chineasy Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Chineasy for today’s lesson,” “Alexa, ask Chineasy what tomorrow’s lesson is about.”

Hardcore History: Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is one of the most interesting and fun history podcasts around.

To install: Order Hardcore History or tell Alexa “Enable Hardcore History Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, play Hardcore History,” “Alexa, open Hardcore History.”

The Joe Rogan Experience: Comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast has a custom Alexa skill which lets users listen to his popular and fascinating podcast.

To install: Order The Joe Rogan Experience or tell Alexa “Enable The Joe Rogan Experience Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, play The Joe Rogan Experience,” “Alexa, start The Joe Rogan Experience.”

Alexa For Productivity: Entertainment Skills

Bravo TV: Bravo is one of the first television channels with their own Alexa skill, which gives listeners a flash briefing on the latest celebrity gossip.

To install: Order Bravo TV or tell Alexa “Enable Bravo TV Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

General Electric Podcast Theater: GE’s Alexa skill is an unexpected one: It offers a long roster of science fiction podcasts to listen to through your Amazon Echo.

To install: Order General Electric Podcast Theater or tell Alexa “Enable General Electric Podcast Theater Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, open GE Podcast Theater,” “Alexa, tell GE Podcast Theater to play LifeAfter.”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills

Alexa For Productivity: News Skills

BBC: TuneIn’s BBC app provides flash briefings of the latest BBC World Service News.

To install: Order BBC or tell Alexa “Enable BBC Skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

CBC News hourly updates: The CBC’s news skill has hourly news updates with the latest Canadian and global headlines.

To install: Order CBC News hourly updates or tell Alexa “Enable CBC News hourly updates skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

CNBC Flash Briefing: CNBC’s Flash Briefing has hourly business news updates.

To install: Order CNBC Flash Briefing or tell Alexa “Enable CNBC Flash Briefing skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

CNN: CNN Interactive offers an Alexa skill with real time updates and breaking news stories.

To install: Order CNN or tell Alexa “Enable CNN skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask CNN for the latest news,” “Alexa, ask CNN for the top stories.”

Daily Tech Headlines: Daily Tech Headlines, by Diamondclub.tv, gives essential tech news Monday – Friday day in 10 minutes or less.

To install: Order Daily Tech Headlines or tell Alexa “Enable Daily Tech Headlines skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Digg: Digg’s official Alexa skill offers top stories on Digg right now, including news, politics, technology, entertainment, and sports.

To install: Order Digg or tell Alexa “Enable Digg skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Fox News: The popular news channel’s Alexa skill gives the latest audio news from Fox News and Fox Business.

To install: Order Fox News or tell Alexa “Enable Fox News skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Fox Sports Radio: Iheartradio has created an extensive skill for Fox Sports Radio that offers the latest sports news.

To install: Order Fox Sports Radio or tell Alexa “Enable Fox Sports Radio skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Hacker News: Moogs’ Hacker News app offers the latest headlines from the popular tech news site.

To install: Order Hacker News or tell Alexa “Enable Hacker News skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, open Hacker News,” “Alexa, ask Hacker News for top stories.”

Quartz: Business magazine Quartz brings the most important and interesting news from around the global economy, three times daily.

To install: Order Quartz or tell Alexa “Enable Quartz skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

TheSkimm: Email newsletter TheSkimm breaks down what’s going on in the world with fresh editorial content.

To install: Order TheSkimm or tell Alexa “Enable TheSkimm skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Spiegel Online: German newspaper Der Spiegel offers English-language German news on Alexa.

To install: Order Spiegel Online or tell Alexa “Enable Spiegel Online skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Top Reddit Posts (Unofficial): This unofficial app from Josh Jones turns Reddit’s top posts into an Alexa flash briefing.

To install: Order Top Reddit Posts (Unofficial) or tell Alexa “Enable Top Reddit Posts skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Twitter Reader: Twitter Reader, made by Twitter itself, can read your Timeline, Mentions, Retweets and Likes. It also lets you search tweets by location.

To install: Order Twitter Reader or tell Alexa “Enable Twitter Reader skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Twitter what is happening,” “Alexa, ask Twitter for trends.”

The Wall Street Journal: The Wall Street Journal has one of the most full-featured newspaper Alexa skills, with the latest news, podcasts and market updates.

To install: Order Wall Street Journal or tell Alexa “Enable Wall Street Journal skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask The Wall Street Journal for a news summary,” “Alexa, ask The Wall Street Journal for the latest podcasts.”

Washington Post: Unsurprisingly, the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post has a great Alexa skill with headlines, columns, quizzes, and more.

To install: Order Washington Post or tell Alexa “Enable Washington Post skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Washington Post for headlines,” “Alexa, ask Washington Post for a news quiz.”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: Professions Skills

Code Comments: If you’re a programmer, Amanda Rice’s Code Comments skill is for you. The simple-but-useful Alexa skill provides an explanation of how to comment in a user-supplied programming language.

To install: Order Code Comments or tell Alexa “Enable Code Comments skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa ask CodeComments how do I comment in Java,” “Alexa ask CodeComments in Bash”

Edmunds: Auto publisher Edmunds’ Alexa skill is perfect for anyone in the market for a car, and provides Edmunds Expert Reviews about any car you may be considering.

To install: Order Edmunds or tell Alexa “Enable Edmunds skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Edmunds about the Tesla Model S,”  “Alexa, tell Edmunds I want to lease a Toyota Camry”

My Property Manager: This Alexa skill from Appfolio allows tenants to easily communicate with their property managers.

To install: Order My Property Manager or tell Alexa “Enable My Property Manager skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa ask my property manager for their contact information,” “Alexa ask my property manager how much money I owe.”

Real Estate: Voiceter Pro’s Real Estate skill lists homes for sale or rent through Amazon Alexa.

To install: Order Real Estate or tell Alexa “Enable Real Estate skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Real Estate to find me a home,” “Alexa, tell Real Estate to sell my house.”

Shopify: Ecommerce service Shopify has a very helpful Alexa skill for online stores. Shopify’s Alexa app lets users find out about orders, inventory, and store performance summaries.

To install: Order Shopify or tell Alexa “Enable Shopify skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Shopify for my summary,”  “Alexa, ask Shopify for my best selling products”

Weed Buddy: If you live in a state that has legalized or decriminalized marijuana use, the Carepackage Club’s Weed Buddy Alexa app offers access to a dynamic strain database.

To install: Order Weed Buddy or tell Alexa “Enable Weed Buddy skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa ask Weed Buddy to look up Purple Haze,” “Alexa ask Weed Buddy to describe the flavor of Fruity Pebbles.”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: Reference Skills

Alexa Things To Try: Amazon’s Alexa Things To Try is one of the best guides around to new and useful Alexa apps and skills.

To install: Order Alexa Things To Try or tell Alexa “Enable Alexa Things To Try skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?,” “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Curiosity: Curiosity’s Alexa skill delivers some of the most interesting facts and perspectives which ignite natural curiosity and keep your brain sharp.

To install: Order Curiosity or tell Alexa “Enable Curiosity skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, open Curiosity.”

The Tim Ferriss Show: Popular self-improvement podcaster and author Tim Ferriss has his own Alexa skill, which lets users listen to episodes of his program.

To install: Order The Tim Ferriss Show or tell Alexa “Enable The Tim Ferriss Show skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, play the Tim Ferriss Show.”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills

Alexa Productivity Apps & Skills: Work Skills

AT&T Send Message: AT&T’s Send Message skill lets AT&T customers send text messages through their Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot speakers.

To install: Order AT&T Send Message or tell Alexa “Enable AT&T Send Message skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask AT&T to text Mike,” “Alexa, open AT&T.”

Bulletin Board: The Bulletin Board app from Blrdev lets users leave voice messages for other Amazon Alexa users.

To install: Order Bulletin Board or tell Alexa “Enable Bulletin Board skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Bulletin Board to leave the message Walk the Dog for John,” “Alexa, ask Bulletin Board what are the messages for John.”

Conference Manager: Vonage’s Conference Manager skill interfaces with Google calendar to identify your next conference call.

To install: Order Conference Manager or tell Alexa “Enable Conference Manager skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, tell conference manager to start my conference,” “Alexa, tell conference manager to start my conference call.”

Due-Date Reminder: Austin Seven Horning’s Due-Date Reminder skill lets you track due dates for assignments.

To install: Order Due-Date Reminder or tell Alexa “Enable Due-Date Reminder skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa ask due date to set Austin’s engineering paper due date to tomorrow,” “Alexa ask due date what Austin has due tomorrow.”

Expense Tracker: Expense Tracker, from FutureOfVoice, keeps track of your costs with a personal Alexa expense manager.

To install: Order Expense Tracker or tell Alexa “Enable Expense Tracker skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, tell Expense Tracker that I paid 10 dollars for food,” “Alexa, ask Expense Tracker to add the category travel.”

Find My Phone: TrackR’s Find My Phone skill pairs your phone with Alexa, and then notifies you of your phone’s location if you lose it.

To install: Order Find My Phone or tell Alexa “Enable Find My Phone skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask TrackR to find my phone,” “Alexa, ask TrackR to ring my phone.”

Glympse: Glympse is an Alexa skill which lets family and friends notify each other of their location in real time.

To install: Order Glympse or tell Alexa “Enable Glympse skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Glympse where is she headed?,” “Alexa, ask Glympse when will she arrive?”

Goal Tracker: Hoogalit’s Goal Tracker is designed to help you and your family achieve goals and projects.

To install: Order Goal Tracker or tell Alexa “Enable Goal Tracker skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Goal Tracker to add a goal,” “Alexa, ask Goal Tracker to add one to jogging.”

Motivate Me: Motivate Me, by Praveen Modi, offers the timeless advice that the world’s great thinkers, billionaires, writers and business people have to offer.

To install: Order Motivate Me or tell Alexa “Enable Motivate Me skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, Motivate Me,” “Get me a quote.”

Notion: Notion is an app that lets you read and write Gmail emails through Amazon Alexa.

To install: Order Notion or tell Alexa “Enable Notion skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Notion what is new,” “Alexa, ask Notion to clean my email.”

Task Master: Task Master is a voice-operated interface for the popular to-do app Wunderlist.

To install: Order Task Master or tell Alexa “Enable Task Master skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask task master what is due today?,” “Alexa tell task master to add pickup dry cleaning to inbox.”

TaskPenguin: TaskPenguin, from Intelligent Labs, is a simple to-do list app for Amazon Alexa.

To install: Order TaskPenguin or tell Alexa “Enable TaskPenguin skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask Task Penguin how many tasks do I have,” “Create a new task buy milk.”

TaskRabbit: Popular assistant service TaskRabbit has an Alexa app that lets you order cleaners, organizers, furniture assemblers, and more through your Amazon Echo or Dot.

To install: Order TaskRabbit or tell Alexa “Enable TaskRabbit skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask TaskRabbit to find me a handyman,” “Alexa, ask TaskRabbit to clean my house.”

UPS:  UPS now has an Alexa app that allows you to track a package, find a location, get a shipping rate, and more.

To install: Order UPS or tell Alexa “Enable UPS skill.”

Invocation examples: “Alexa, ask UPS to track a package,” “Where is the nearest UPS location?”

Have an Alexa skill you think should be on this list? Let us know!

(Photos courtesy Amazon)