I easily write over a thousand words each day when doing various school and blog-related tasks. One of the tools that I use the most frequently for getting writing help isn’t a website or web browser extension- it’s actually my Amazon Echo Dot and the various Amazon Alexa writing skills that are readily available. Here are my tips for how Amazon Alexa can help you write, most of which are already built-in and require no additional downloads.
Create a list of ideas
The list feature in Amazon Alexa isn’t just for creating shopping lists or to-do lists. In fact, users can create a list by saying “Alexa, create a list” and naming the list. From there, users can add items to their list by saying the phrase “Alexa, add insert item here to insert list name here.” I have a list of blog post ideas and information to remember for my classes, and frequently reference them by asking “Alexa, what is on my writing ideas list?” or “Alexa, what is on my Python concepts list?”
Use dictation with Alexa
While it isn’t perfect, users can use dictation with Alexa by asking Alexa to make a note and then saying whatever they want to say. While each individual note can only be 500 characters total, users can have an unlimited amount of notes in their profile. Alexa will be able to playback notes by saying “Alexa, what are my notes?” or by searching for notes based on keywords. Users can also edit, copy, and paste notes from the Alexa app into other sources, which I prefer over having it connected to another app since I use several different apps for recording information.
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Get spelling help
While I am typically able to type without making a lot of spelling mistakes, it’s helpful to be able to ask Alexa how to spell out words when I’m not 100% sure how to spell them, or when I am helping a friend with their writing on a call. It’s as easy as asking “Alexa, how do you spell insert word here?” and listening for the response.
Use a rhyming dictionary
Writing a poem? Amazon Alexa has a built-in rhyming dictionary so that users can ask for words that rhyme with other words. Alexa will recite a few different words that rhyme, and display additional rhymes within the Alexa app. Alternatively, users can ask Alexa again for words that rhyme, and she will provide different rhymes if available.
Write stories with Alexa Skill Blueprints
Alexa Skill Blueprints is a free tool from Amazon that allows users to create their own custom Alexa skills without any coding needed, and one of the categories for skills is called Storyteller. With Storyteller, users can customize stories across different genres and add different sound effects, expressions, pauses, and blanks so that users can make a story their own. This is a fun way to bring children’s stories to life, as well as for helping with proofreading.
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Ask for writing prompts
There are several Alexa skills that can provide different writing prompts for creative writing from a variety of sources, including Reddit, random lists, and other websites. While I do not have a specific skill recommendation, users can search on the Alexa skill website for various free writing prompt skills, though be warned that some may contain adult content.
Look up words and ask for synonyms
Amazon Alexa has a built-in dictionary so that users can easily ask what words mean, or for synonyms for different words. This can be done by asking “Alexa, what does insert word here mean?” or “Alexa, what’s another word for insert word here?” I like that asking for the definition or synonyms for a word does not pause music, as I can easily ask for information without worrying about stopping my music or losing my place in a playlist, though some users may prefer to pause their music before asking for these items.
Find music playlists for writing
I love to listen to music while writing, and frequently turn on various playlists when writing my blog posts or doing my homework. However, Amazon Music also has specific playlists for writing that users can listen to, which limit distractions and contain motivating tempos. They can be requested by asking “Alexa, play music for writing.”
For users who are looking for historical/vintage inspired sounds to listen to while writing, check out my post on how Amazon Alexa can help you listen to history linked below.
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I love using Amazon Alexa as my own personal writing assistant, and I have used many of these features to help me with everything from writing a blog post to writing code. I hope this post on how Amazon Alexa can help you write is helpful for others as well!