20 Useful Amazon Alexa Skills

By Steve Hall

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Smart Speakers have been incredibly popular for years and chances are if you are reading this then you may have gotten one this past holiday season. Whether it was a Google-based one or in this case an Amazon Alexa based one. Well, I’ve got 20 unique and useful Amazon Alexa skills you might not have heard of for the year 2020. 

1. Setting A Recurring Alarm

This first Alexa skill is very useful for a person like me who goes to bed late and wakes up late on weekends, and basically never gets anything done. So I can say “Alexa set a recurring alarm for every weekend at 10 a.m.” and there you go now I will actually get stuff done on Saturdays and Sundays.

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2. Find The Location of a Phone Number

Our second skill is pretty useful if you have a home landline where you get weird calls and you can’t quite figure out where they’re coming from. You can say “Alexa open phone check” and it will identify the location of a phone number.

3. Identify Unknown Music

Skill number three is pretty cool! If you ask Alexa to play some random music for you (for example asking her to play a particular radio station) and you happen to like a track that’s playing. You can ask “Alexa what’s playing”, and she will tell you the artist and song title.

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4. Guard Dog

Skill number four is home security related. While a guard dog is not a replacement for a security system, they can definitely help scare burglars off. The Guard Dog skill, which plays sounds of dogs barking and growling will help you keep away unwanted intruders.

5. Donate

Our next skill is for kind-hearted souls. You can donate money to your favorite charity, like the Humane Society by saying “Alexa, donate to the Humane Society” and then it will ask you how much you would like to donate. It’s that simple.

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6. Upcoming Movies

The next Alexa skill is really nice if you’re somebody who is an avid movie watcher. We can say “Alexa what movies are coming out next month?” and Alexa will read off a list of upcoming movies.

7. Sweet Dreams

Skill number seven is a pretty nice one as well if you’re somebody who cannot sleep in silence. You can actually use your Alexa as a sort of sound machine. You can say “Alexa open sweet dreams” and once the app opens it will give you options for ambient sounds for meditation or forest sounds, etc. Whatever it takes if the silence is just too scary for you, and you need to sleep.

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8. Podcasts

Alexa skill number eight is for podcast listeners. If you’re feeling like something humorous you can ask “Alexa, play a funny podcast”. Alexa will then choose a funny podcast for you to listen to. 

9. Radio Stations

The 9th Alexa skill is pretty useful if you’re somebody who likes to listen to the radio. So I can say for example “Alexa play 100.3”, and it will find the local radio station for me to listen to.

10. IMDB Rating

Our next skill here is for film enthusiasts who want to know the IMDB rating of a particular movie. So I could say “Alexa, what was the IMDB rating of the Joker?” and it will tell me it’s IMDB rating as well as it’s the rating of G, PG, R, etc.


11. Set an Alarm

Skill number eleven is for people who actually use alarms with this device. So I can say, for example, “Alexa set an alarm for 8:20 p.m”. That way if you are lazy like I am and you want to sleep in a little more you can say snooze for six minutes. So you can get your six minutes in without falling asleep and opening your eyes two hours later.

12. Announcements

Skill number 12 is pretty popular and you may have even heard of it. But in case you haven’t, you can get Alexa to announce certain things on other Alexa devices that you might have throughout your house. You can say “Alexa why did my light just turn off?” … and it will announce what you just said throughout all the Echo devices in your home.

13. This Day In History

Alexa skill number 13 is pretty cool, you can actually learn about the history of the exact day that you’re living in right now. You could say “Alexa, launch this day in history” and it will tell you about all of the events that happened on whatever date in history you give it.

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14. Flip A Coin

Our next skill is one that I have actually used many times. If you can’t make a decision you can say “Alexa flip a coin” and Alexa will randomly say heads or tails.

15. Jeopardy

This 15th Alexa skill is one that I really enjoy. It’s a game that you can play with this device. You can say “Alexa, let’s play Jeopardy”, and you can play a quick game of the Jeopardy game show with your Echo device.

16. Ted Talks

Our 16th skill is for people who like TED talks, we can say “Alexa, ask TED Talks to play at the latest talk”. Once activated it will tell you what the newest TED Talk is and play it for you.

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17. Kayak

This is great for people who are always traveling or wanting to know the price of plane tickets. We can say “Alexa ask kayak where I can go for five hundred dollars”. Alexa will then ask where you want to fly out from for around $500? Once you tell it a location, it will tell you where you can fly to with that given budget.

18. Pump Up The Bass

Our next command is great for people who listen to a lot of music with their Alexa device and want more bass. You can say “Alexa, increase the bass” and now your music will have more of a bass sound if you want it to sound like that.

19. Motley Fool

Our 19th command is one of my favorites. With the Motley Fool app, we can learn about stock prices and current figures. So you can just say “Alexa, ask the fool” and the Motley Fool app will open and tell you the current financial state of your favorite stock or company. You can learn the current price of any stock without having to touch my phone. How bout that?!

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20. Allrecipes

Whether you have experience cooking or are a newbie behind a knife, the Allrecipes skill is incredibly useful while working in the kitchen. It gives you access to over 60,000 recipes on the Allrecipes website. It can also read the instructions out loud to you while you work.

You’ll also be able to keep your favorite recipes or get recipes sent to your phone or printer. This useful skill also allows you to see customer reviews of each recipe. To use this skill you just say “Alexa, open all recipes”.


I hope you find these top 20 useful Alexa skills as helpful as I did. While you are here make sure you check out some of the other smart home guides I have and maybe bookmark us and check back to see what’s new in the world of smart home.

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Steve Hall

Steve Hall is the founder of this website, a certified technology professional and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices.

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