Tech Guide

How to get Alexa to answer certain questions exactly how you want it to

Key Points
  • Amazon launched a new tool on Thursday that lets you create custom responses from Alexa on your Amazon Echo.
  • Alexa can now remind your babysitter when your kids should go to bed, tell a house-guest where the best pizza place is and more.
  • We'll teach you how to create custom Alexa responses in this guide.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

Amazon rolled out a new set of tools called "Alexa Blueprints" on Thursday that let you create custom responses for its Alexa smart assistant on an Echo.

You can use it to tell the dogwalker where you keep your leash, for example, or to have Alexa provide a house guest with information on where to find the best pizza in town. You can even use Alexa Blueprints to create custom trivia games.

It's a fun tool that will help you get more out of your Amazon Echo. Here's how to do it.

  • Go to the Alexa Blueprints website and log-in with your Amazon account.
  • Pick a Blueprint

There are lots to choose from, including custom templates for what you might use for a house-guest, a birthday trivia game customized to the birthday boy or girl, or instructions for a dog sitter.

  • For the sake of this tutorial, select the "Custom Q&A" option.
  • Now tap "make your own."

The page will look like this, with pre-filled questions and answers that you can customize:

Customize the questions and responses:

  • Tap in the first box under "When you say 'Alexa'."
  • Enter in the phrase you'll want to ask. You can make it fun or useful: "What time should the kids go to bed?" might be useful for a babysitter. "Who's the best mom in the world?" Could be a fun one for your kids to ask.
  • Enter in the answer you want Alexa to give. If the kids go to bed at 8pm, write that in the next box. If the best mom in the world is you, put your name there.

Everything should look like this:

  • Next tap "Create Skill" on the top-right of the page.
  • Tap "Update account."

That's it! After a few minutes the skill will be added to your Amazon Echo units. You can disable it at any time through the Alexa app on an iPhone or Android phone.