The 9 Best IFTTT Applets For Alexa

IFTTT Alexa: Recipes to get the most from your smart home assistant

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Whether you use Amazon’s personal assistant service on your Echo, your iPhone, your Android or another compatible device, you know how useful Alexa can be. When you combine the power of this digital assistant with the trigger-and-action recipes of IFTTT, Alexa can help you save even more time, stress and effort. Once you activate an IFTTT applet, you can activate Alexa skills to automatically perform many tasks. 

What is IFTTT and How to Use It

IFTTT, which is an acronym for If This, Then That, is a free, third-party service that automates repetitive tasks with a variety of devices and services using simple scripts, also known as "recipes." Learn more on the official IFTTT website.

Getting started with IFTTT is easy. All you need to do is visit the IFTTT website (linked above) and click Get Started. You'll be prompted to sign in with a Facebook or Google account or to create a site specific username and password. Once that's done, you're asked to pick three or more devices/services that you use often. These include options like Android, Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon Alexa, as well as several others. Once you've made your choices, you click through to a page of suggestions where you can browse IFTTT applets based on the options you selected. Choose one you like and follow the onscreen instructions.

Note: You may need to enable IFTTT capabilities on your smartphone, apps, and other devices before an applet can be turned on. If this is the case, the IFTTT site will notify you with instructions on how to continue. Follow the instructions to continue enabling the applet. 

Once you have used one IFTTT recipe, you might find yourself looking for more ways to use more of them. Although there are some complex applets out there and you can even create your own, many simple yet handy recipes do exist. This list of extremely useful IFTTT recipes will help you automate mundane tasks, lighten your load and have some fun, as well.

Turn on the Lights When the Alarm Goes off

Your alarm might be loud, but the bed is so cozy and your room is nice and dark. Alexa can help you get up on time by switching on the lights as soon as your alarm begins to sound.

What We Like

If you are already using Alexa's alarm feature to wake you up (and you really should be; they're super easy to set and you can even have a celebrity voice wake you), adding this smart light bulbs feature is a snap and it helps you beat the morning sluggishness that leads to oversleeping.

What We Don’t

If you’re a fan of hitting the snooze button, those extra 9 minutes might be a bit less enjoyable with the lights blaring, and waking to sudden bright lighting could definitely be a bit jarring.

Works With

Make a Cup of Coffee

You can have a fresh, hot pot of Joe waiting for you when you step out of bed if you have an Alexa-connected brewer. All you have to do is say, "Alexa, trigger brew coffee,” your coffee maker will start.

What We Like

No need to crawl out of that nice warm spot in bed to get the coffee brewing. Instead, you can have it ready to go as soon as your feet hit the floor. 

What We Don’t

We haven’t (yet!) found an applet that reminds us to add the coffee grounds and water the night before, although you could probably create one. Also, Alexa-enabled coffee makers are still new, so there isn't a large variety of them available and the ones that are cost about as much as other high-end coffee makers. 

Works With

Find Your Phone

Get the applet: Tell Alexa to Find Your Phone.

How often do you set your phone down somewhere or unknowingly lose it between the sofa cushions? When you enable this applet, you'll have to provide your phone number and then accept a phone call  from IFTTT to get a pin number. Enter the pin number and then choose whether to create a custom command or use the default command to activate the the skill.

If you use the default, then when you need to find your phone, you simply say, "Alexa, trigger find my phone" and she will call your phone. 

What We Like

This applet is compatible with any type of phone, from iPhone, to Android, to Windows and beyond, since it works by simply calling your phone for you.

What We Don’t

If you have your phone on vibrate, you might not be able to hear the buzz of it vibrating from the depths of the living room furniture. And if the phone is on silent, it won't ring at all, although there is also an applet to unsilence your phone, that's a common problem for you.

Works With

  • Any Mobile Phone

Adjust the Temperature

A smart thermostat, like Nest, connects to your smart home network and can be programmed to adjust automatically on a schedule you define. But what if it's still too warm or not warm enough? With this applet, all you have to say is "Alexa, trigger Nest to 72" (or create a custom trigger phrase) and Alexa will adjust your thermostat. 

What We Like

You can set up one or more custom phrases, so setting the perfect temp quickly is a breeze, no matter how hot or cold it might be outside.

What We Don’t

Depending on whether your thermostat is set to Heat or Cool mode, it’s possible you might not get the result you were hoping for. 

Works With

Pause Your Kid’s Internet

Homework, chores or dinnertime? If you also have the Circle with Disney device and app, you can restrict your child’s screen time simply by saying, "Alexa, trigger pause [kid's name]." Circle will shut off internet access for that person’s device.

What We Like

If you have any Circle with Disney smart device and app, there's no need to download additional software to set up this applet, and pausing internet access is one sure way to get your child's attention.

What We Don’t

If your kids are savvy enough, they can use another IFTTT applet to unpause their internet (or even to block yours!). 

Works With 

Send Your Shopping List to Your Phone

You’re on your way home and decide to stop at the store to pick up items you’ve been needing when you realize you don’t have your list. Thanks to IFTTT, Alexa can send your shopping list to you as a text message so you don't have to shop by memory.

What We Like

Creating a shopping list with Alexa is as simple as saying things such as, "Alexa, I need to buy milk" or "Alexa, add shampoo to my shopping list," so you don't have to remember to write items down. With this applet, you don't have to remember to carry a list with you, either. 

What We Don’t

This only works if you have an Android phone and you used Alexa to create your grocery shopping list.

Works With

Lights Blink When a Timer Goes Off

Want to listen to an audiobook while your tea steeps or rock out while your cake bakes? With this applet, your Philips Hue Lights blink blue when your Alexa timer goes off. So leave the earbuds in. You won't miss your timer. 

What We Like

Connecting your Philips Hue lights to IFTTT only takes a minute, and you can set timers for any length of time with a simple, "Alexa, set a timer for X minutes.”

What We Don’t

Blue is the only option, which may not be especially noticeable during the day.

Works With

  • Philips Hue Lights

Lock Up at Night

Get the applet: Tell Alexa to lock up at night

If you've ever laid in bed at night wondering if you locked the front door, closed the garage up, or turned off a light, this is the skill for you. Once enabled, all you have to do is say "Trigger lock down" (or set up your own custom phrase). Alexa will lock up the house by turning off the lights, closing the garage door and even muting your phone.

What We Like

If you are using any other Philips Hue applets, you will only need to provide access to your Garageio controller. Setting up your phone is simple, as well

What We Don’t

This applet does not apply to smart locks, which would round out the recipe nicely. It also only works with Android smartphones, so if your an iPhone user, this won't work for you.

Works With

Lights Out at Bedtime

Get the applet: Lights out at bedtime

If it feels like you spend 10 minutes wandering around turning off lights before bed each night, you'll love this recipe. All you have to say is, “Alexa, trigger bedtime,” and all connected lights will turn off immediately.

What We Like

A quick setup with no special software needed makes it easy to shut off the lights after you climb into bed. You can add all of your lights to a single group if you want to, so this recipe shuts them all down at one time.

What We Don’t

You will have to set up groups and adjust the settings if you want to turn multiple lights out at once.

Works With

  • Philips Hue lights

Get an Email when New Alexa Applets are Publsihed

If you find that you love these applets, there is also an applet that notifies you if a new IFTTT applets for Amazon Alexa is published. That makes it easy to check out any new recipes. As you become more familiar with IFTTT applets, you may also wish to try more complex recipes.