Using Amazon Alexa to text you to-do list reminders at scheduled times & dates
How to Use:
- Tell Alexa to "Text me (task description) at Time & Date"
- You will receive a text message at the specified time/date from a Twilio phone number
- You must then respond to Alexa by responding to the text message. If you do not do so, she will remind you to complete the task every fifteen minutes via text
- Text back with the any of the words "complete, completed, done, accomplished" to let her know to delete the task from your list
- If you cannot complete the task at that moment, simply respond with "postpone until (specified date & time / amount of time)" and she will send you a reminder text at the new time
We're constantly writing todo lists, reminders and notes to ourselves, and just as often forgetting about all these plans we've made. What we really need is someone there to bug us and remind us of our tasks. Enter TextList.
What it does
TextList leverages Amazon's Alexa digital assistant to provide you with a friendly source of reminders. Ask Alexa to text you a reminder at a certain time and date in the future, and when the time comes receive a text reminding you. If you fail to respond, Alexa will follow up and make sure you stay on top of your tasks.
How we built it
TextList works through an Alexa skill with an accompanying web app. The skill was written as an AWS Lambda Function that is executed when you speak with Alexa and adds reminders to our Firebase based backend. The web application made with React.js then pings Firebase for reminders that need to be sent, and uses Twilio to text you any reminders that are ready.
Challenges we ran into
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Alexa understands the user and adds reminders to the database for variety of input sentences!
What we learned
So much about Alexa, React and Twilio
What's next for TextList
Full-scale deployment, certification for our skill and mass adoption by people who are tired of forgetting to do their chores.