Create a Google Home routine for every part of your day

Whether you're just waking up or on your way home from work, Google can make it all easier.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
4 min read

There are routines for almost every part of your day.

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When you open the Google Home app, tap Routines to get started with setting them up. If you tap any of the individual routines (Bedtime, Good Morning, I'm home or Leaving home) Google Assistant will open on your phone and tell you a few things you can set up on each routine. For example, the Assistant can set your alarm, tell you what's on your calendar tomorrow and play some relaxing nature sounds for your bedtime routine.

The point of a Google Routine is to save you time. One phrase will activate your routine and all the tasks associated with it, so you don't have to do six things when you wake up, go to bed, leave the house or get home.

Set a routine

Routines > Manage Routines > Choose the routine you want to customize

  • Choose a command to trigger your routine (you can also set a custom command)
  • Choose the order that you want your Assistant to accomplish tasks in
  • Tapping the gear icon next to most of these options will let you customize further
  • Tapping add action will let you add extra tasks
  • Tap the check mark icon to save your preferences
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Good Morning Routine

Routines > Manage Routines > Good Morning

The phrases you can say to start your morning routine include "Good morning," "Tell me about my day" or "I'm up," but you have to preface it with "OK, Google."

Your Assistant will greet you and start your routine in the order you customized it, like turning on the lights (make sure your light switch is on), then telling you what time it is and more. Google can also tell you about the day's weather forecast, what your work commute looks like and what's on your calendar.
If you set it up, Google will start a music playlist, the news, the radio, a podcast and more. You can only pick one, so there'll be no hodgepodge of Metallica and NPR going at the same time.

Bedtime routine

Routines > Manage Routines > Bedtime

The phrases you can say to start your bedtime routine include "Bedtime," "Goodnight" or "Time to hit the hay," but again you have to preface it with "OK, Google."

As with your Good Morning Routine, your Assistant will greet you and start your routine in the order you customized it -- turning off the lights (make sure your light switch is on), setting an alarm for tomorrow and more. Google can also tell you about tomorrow's weather forecast and what's on your calendar.

Why not also end the day with a music playlist or sleep sounds (i.e. rain, ocean, thunderstorms, a crackling fireplace, white noise, etc.) and set them on a timer so they don't play all night.

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I'm home routine

Routines > Manage Routines > I'm home

Say "I'm home" or "I'm back" and Google can start the I'm Home routine that you've set up. The more Google gadgets you have, the more stuff you can do with it. Your routine can adjust lights, the thermostat, remind you of what you need to do at home (wash the dishes, walk the dog, etc.) and then play your music or the news like during your Good Morning routine.

Google can also "broadcast" that you're home (or any message that you want), just tap Broadcast I'm Home. When I tested this feature, a fanfare song started playing in my house and Google announced that I was home. It then gave my husband the chance to reply with a message. Depending on how many people are in your house and where the devices are, you could have some fun (or be very annoying!).

Leaving home routine

Routines > Manage Routines >  Leaving home

The phrases you can say to start your bedtime routine include "I'm leaving," or "I'm heading out," but remember to preface it with "OK, Google." You mostly need more gadgets for this one to be useful unless you just want to hear Google tell you to have a great day.

The Leaving Home routine can shut off your lights, adjust your Nest thermostat, lock your doors and arm your security system.

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Commuting to Work routine

Routines > Manage Routines >  Commuting to work

The commuting to work routine is similar to the Leaving Home routine, just more specific. When you tap the gear icon, Google lets you input your work address. Say "Let's go to work" and Assistant will also tell you about the weather, commute info and what you have on your calendar. Before you leave, it can adjust the thermostat, shut off the lights and play music, a podcast or the news for your drive. It'll play on your phone, but if you have Bluetooth on, it will play in your car.

Commuting home routine

Routines > Manage Routines >  Commuting home

The commuting home routine is similar to the commuting to work routine, but it has a few more options. If you added your work address to Commuting to Work, it'll be on your Commuting Home routine, so you'll know the traffic home.

Say "Let's go home" and Assistant can help you read and send texts (hands-free of course), adjust your lights and thermostat at home, and broadcast to your family that you're on your way home. And of course, what's a commute home without music, news or a podcast? Google can do that too.

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