Many years ago, I set a goal to write at least 2500 words per day on a creative writing project or for a blog, which has helped me tremendously with hitting writing goals and becoming a more confident writer. I use a few different high-tech tools to help me with writing including browser extensions and keyboard shortcuts, and today’s post is all about how Amazon Alexa can help you write and how to use the Amazon Echo to help with writing in a variety of contexts, including blogging, creative writing, academic writing, and everyday notes.
Create a list of ideas
The list feature in Amazon Alexa isn’t just for creating shopping lists or to-do lists- I keep lists for blog ideas and things I come up with for other works in progress. Users can ask Alexa to create a list and add items by saying “Alexa, add (list item) to (list name).” If I am brainstorming for a blog post, I will create a list with the post name and add headings for sections and details as list items whenever inspiration strikes. I don’t copy and paste text from these lists, rather I listen to them as I am writing and type them manually in the WordPress editor.
- Tips To Stay Organized In Virtual Classes
- How I Write Research Papers On Accessibility Topics
- How I Outline Research Papers With OneNote
Built in writing reference tools- dictionary, thesaurus, and more
What does that word mean? What are its synonyms? What does it rhyme with? How do you spell it? Amazon Alexa can answer all of these questions with its built-in writing reference tools, including a dictionary, thesaurus, and rhyming dictionary. Users can also look up definitions on Wikipedia or search the web for additional information.
- The Best Study Tips For Low Vision Students
- How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Study
- How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Read
- Tips To Make Proofreading Feedback Accessible For Low Vision
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.
Finding ambient noise/background music for writing
I love listening to music while I write, especially instrumental music and ambient noise. Some of my favorite options for listening to writing music with Amazon Alexa include:
- Tabletop Audio ambient tracks. Originally designed for tabletop roleplaying games ((TTRPGs), these free audio tracks provide awesome ambient noise that can transport the listener to another world.
- Historical audio tracks. There are a few different skills for playing old time audio tracks and vintage music, including The Jazz Groove and playlists on Spotify
- Amazon curated writing playlists, most of which are classical music or relaxing piano tracks
- Tabletop Audio – Ambiences and Music for Tabletop Role Playing Games
- How Amazon Alexa Can Help You Sleep
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: MP3 Players
Set reminders and routines
Sometimes when I get super focused on a writing project, I forget to eat meals or take a break to stretch my legs. One of the things that has helped me is to set a writing routine on my Amazon Echo, which turns on the lamp near my desk, plays an instrumental piano station, and reminds me at given intervals to take a break to get food, stretch my legs, rest my eyes, or similar. Users can also set reminders, which will play as announcements at given intervals- for example, I set a reminder for 1:30 PM to go eat lunch.
- Ten Ways To Reduce Eye Strain From Screens With Technology
- Creating Custom Workouts With Amazon Alexa
- Ten Tech Skills Every College Student Needs For Virtual Classes
Take notes with dictation
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 unlimited 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 to and from other applications.
- Learning To Use Dictation As Assistive Technology With Low Vision
- Mainstream Technology and Low Vision: Keyboards
- Creating Custom Flashcards With Amazon Alexa
Searching for writing prompts
Alexa, what should I write about? I like the Creative Writing Prompts skill, though some of the prompts are not suitable for younger audiences since they come from Reddit. Users can also ask Alexa for writing prompts directly, or ask Alexa to search for writing prompts on the web.
More ways how Amazon Alexa can help you write
- Sometimes I need to make a phone call while writing or studying but don’t want to get distracted by looking at my phone. I added a few contacts to the Amazon Alexa app so I can call them using my Echo Dot by saying “Alexa, call mom mobile” or similar. At the end of the call, I say “Alexa, hang up.”
- Have a favorite writing podcast? Ask Alexa to play it on Spotify, which hosts several popular writing and language podcasts
- Amazon Alexa also has a translation feature, so users can ask Alexa to translate a word or phrase from one language to another, however the translations may not be 100% accurate
- Do you have dysgraphia? Learn about more assistive technology options for dysgraphia by reading Assistive Technology For Dysgraphia