17 hidden secrets of the Amazon Echo

Amazon’s voice assistant can do a lot more than just play music and tell you the weather.

Use IFTTT with Alexa

You probably already know about the free-to-use automation service IFTTT - there's a guide to some useful business applications here. What's perhaps more handy is the numerous Alexa integrations the service now offers.

To get started, point your browser at ifttt.com/amazon_alexa and click Connect. Provide your password on the Amazon page that appears and authorise the connection. You can now use the pre-rolled applets to link Alexa to a huge range of services and devices - from a Roomba vacuum cleaner or a WeMo coffee maker to Facebook Messenger and Google spreadsheets.

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In our view, one of the most useful integrations is between Alexa and Todoist: although Alexa has a native shopping-list feature, Todoist is more flexible and works across almost every platform imaginable.

To set it up, search IFTTT for "Todoist"; you should see an result entitled "Add your new Alexa to dos to Todoist". Click the Turn On toggle switch, and on the next screen, sign into your Todoist account to link it with IFTTT.

Next, select which Todoist project you'd like Alexa to add new entries to - we'd suggest the all-purpose 'inbox' list - and hit save. Now every time you ask Alexa to add an entry to your to-do list, it'll automatically appear in your Todoist inbox.

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Click through to find out how to program custom Alexa command sequences...

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