How to Use the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot to Build a Daily Writing Habit
Recently I watched a great YouTube video from Ingrid Sundberg about how to build a daily writing habit. She talks about first working on small things, like getting up, then getting your coffee (or whatever you drink in the morning), etc. But what If you already are a morning person and don’t have a hard time getting up? One tool that I’ve found that’s great for building a daily writing habit is my Echo Dot. In this post, I’ll explain how I use it to build a daily writing habit.
The first thing I do is I use the Echo’s timer feature to set a timer for however long I want to write — it could be as short as 5 minutes, if I want to do a short writing sprint to see how many words I can write, to a longer timer if I want to work on a specific project for a while. I love using my Echo Dot to do this because I don’t like looking at physical timers — they’re too much of a reminder of how much time I still have left to work. When I don’t have a timer to look at, I can work with fewer distractions.
Getting a Writing Prompt
I rarely have a hard time coming up with ideas for my writing, but if you do, and especially if you’re a fiction writer (which I’m not, but I may try to get more into fiction writing again eventually) the Echo and Echo Dot have great writing prompt skills. One that I’ve tried out is simply called Writing Prompts. After you’ve enabled the skill, ask it for a writing prompt. If you don’t like the one you’re given, ask it for another writing prompt.
If you like to write in journals, another good skill to try out is called Daily Journal Prompts. Just ask it to open Journal Prompts, and it will give you a prompt to write about in your journal.
For times when you have more time to write, like on the weekend, you may not want to restrict yourself to writing for a short period. If you want to use the Echo to keep track of how much time you’ve spent writing, you can use the Work Time Tracker to keep track of the time you’ve spent working on writing. You can ask it to start tracking, then while you’re working you can occasionally ask it how long you’ve been working if you want updates. Or, you can wait until you’re finished working and ask for the total time you worked. If you like to keep track of the amount of time you’ve spent working on different projects, you can use a spreadsheet or Word document to keep track of how long you’ve worked on different writing projects.
Keeping Yourself on Task
If you’re the type that can’t write for long periods of time without some kind of background noise, you can also use the Echo and Echo Dot for that as well. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, there are a few Prime Playlists, Nature Sounds for Focusing and Classical for Focus, that play music and sounds you can listen to while you write. There are also a few other skills you can enable if you don’t have a Prime membership — Ambient Noise provides different noises you can play, such as rain sounds or ocean waves, among others. Ask it for a specific ambient noise, and then if you want to change noises, just ask it to change to a different ambient noise.
What if You’re a Night Owl?
These tools and Echo/Echo Dot skills are also great for nighttime writers.
Those are different ways I use my Echo Dot to help build a writing habit. If you have an Echo or Echo Dot and use it to keep yourself on task and productive when writing, comment with your ideas and suggestions below.
And if you’re just getting in the habit of building a writing habit, and want to watch the video I mentioned earlier, here it is: