Being an expert in the voice space wasn't always my calling - I was previously in the finance world as Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy at a global alternative investment firm where I spent eight years.
I had been on the sidelines of emerging tech for many years because my husband is in the tech space, and I saw a huge opportunity in the voice industry. I believe it's the next frontier in tech and will be as important as web and mobile and as a way we interact with technology -- after all, speaking is the most natural way that we communicate. Voice is one of the fastest adopted technologies ever -- just 5 years after Amazon first introduced the Echo in 2014, 1 out of 4 adults in the US has a smart speaker
. It's also on the cusp of a huge wave of monetization as smart displays with screens get in the hands of more consumers. Voice commerce is where mobile commerce was, not that long ago!
As a consumer, I also noticed the disconnect between, on the one hand, the fast adoption and remarkable capabilities of smart speakers with built-in voice assistants like Alexa, and on the other hand, how people were using their smart speakers. Half of smart speaker owners have never even tried a third party voice app
(that's like saying half of iPhone owners have never downloaded an app from the App Store).
It was clear to me that the millions of people with Alexa in their homes are not unlocking the full potential of Alexa and other voice technologies -- and that they needed a trusted third party resource to help guide them. That's why I started VoiceBrew
as the first-ever digital media company fully dedicated to helping people get the most out of Alexa. We're a one-stop shop for everything you need to know to get the most out of Alexa.
VoiceBrew offers comprehensive guides on a range of Alexa features and devices, advice for users, and a variety of simple and insightful tips & tricks for unlocking Amazon Alexa's full potential - and it's a great resource for busy female professionals.
Here are VoiceBrew's tips on 4 easy ways Alexa can help boost productivity:
#1. Alexa flash briefings provide your daily news in just a few minutes
If you find that your mornings are crunched for time, but still want to hear the latest news before starting your day, you'll love listening to your Alexa flash briefing
Alexa flash briefing
s are short, 2-4 minute clips from your favorite news sources. Whether you prefer to listen to NPR, BBC or even your local TV station, there are thousands of briefings to choose from! And since the clips are so short, you can easily enjoy a few as you go through your morning routine.
You can easily start listening to flash briefings with one minute or less of set-up.
To add your favorite news sources' flash briefings to your personal flash briefing list: Open your Alexa app, tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner > tap "Settings" > (scroll down and) tap "Flash Briefing" > tap "Add Content" > search for a flash briefing by tapping the magnifying glass in the top right corner > tap "Enable to Use" > repeat for additional briefings.
To listen: Just say "Alexa, play my news" to hear your daily briefing.
#2. Linking your calendar to Alexa enables hands-free time management
Need to add a new event to your calendar? Put your phone down and give hands-free a try! Gone are the days of picking up your phone, opening the calendar app, creating a new event… you get the idea. Alexa integrates with all popular calendars, making it easier than ever to hear your daily schedule or even create an event.
To link your calendar to Alexa: Open your Alexa app, tap the hamburger icon in the upper left corner > tap "Settings" > (scroll down and) tap "Calendar & Email" > tap "Add Account" > tap your calendar service name (Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.) > toggle "Calendar" on > tap "Connect Account" button > follow simple linking instructions.
To get or add calendar info: For a birds-eye view of your schedule, ask "Alexa, what's on my schedule today?" And the next time you need to schedule an event, just say "Alexa, schedule (appointment name like lunch with Kathy) on (date) at (time)."
#3. Let Alexa guide you through a five-minute workout
Crunched for time, and finding it hard to sneak in even a short workout? Alexa can help. Whenever you're ready for a small burst of activity, use Alexa's Five Minute Workout skill for five minutes of fat-burning fun.
The best part? These exercises can be done in a small area, making it perfect for a 3pm pick-me-up at the office — or even a morning workout in your hotel room when you're traveling (you can always access Alexa via the Alexa app on your phone).
To get started with your workout, just say "Alexa, open five-minute workout."
When you're ready to step it up a notch, set an automatic Alexa reminder by saying "Alexa, remind me to exercise every day at 3 pm."
#4. Calm your mind and increase focus with a meditation led by Alexa
And if you're new to meditation, don't worry: the Headspace Alexa skill has everything you need to get started. The first time you use it, Alexa will walk you through a brief demo to bring you up to speed.
Then, just say "Alexa, open Headspace" to get started.
To unlock more meditations, create a Headspace account (or connect an existing account by following Alexa's prompts).