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6 surprising ways to use your Amazon Echo at work

Alexa will be your personal assistant while you're at the office.

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Use Amazon Echo to book conference rooms, check emails and more.

Sarah Tew/CNET

You use your Amazon Echo at home to control your smart home devices, and in your car to listen to music and get traffic details, but have you ever thought about bringing it to work? Your Alexa assistant can be unexpectedly helpful while you're getting work done.

Aside from playing motivating music to get your brain flowing, Alexa can check your calendar and emails for you, as well as order office supplies. The voice assistant can also schedule meetings and remind you of important upcoming events.

Note that if you're in an open office, your coworkers will be able to hear all the questions you ask Alexa. Here's how to use your Amazon Echo ($100 at Amazon) at work.

Read more: Best cheap Alexa devices for 2020  

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Ask Alexa what's on your calendar for the day.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Check your emails

Going through emails each morning can be exhausting and time-consuming. So instead of squinting to read the small print, just ask your Echo speaker to read them to you while you enjoy your morning coffee.

First, you'll need to connect your email account through the Alexa app. To do so, open the app and go to Settings > Calendar & Email > and choose Google, Microsoft, Apple or Microsoft Exchange. Follow the on-screen instructions to link your account to your Echo device.

When you're ready to check your emails, just say "Alexa, read my emails to me." If you don't want others to hear what Alexa reads, you can plug in headphones as long as the Echo speaker has a headphone jack. You can also connect wireless headphones to your Echo through Bluetooth.

See what's on your calendar for the day

If your morning work routine consists of chatting with coworkers in the break room, you might skip something that's on your calendar. So instead of accidentally missing that scheduled last-minute meeting, ask Alexa what's on your calendar for the day before you socialize.

You can link your calendar in the same settings you used to link your email account (Settings > Calendar & Email > choose your calendar provider). After linking your account, you can also add meetings to your calendar by saying "Alexa, add an event/meeting to my calendar."

Order office supplies

You don't always have time to run to the nearest office supply store when you have deadlines to meet. Fortunately, you can quickly ask Alexa to order pens, paper, staples or anything else you need for the office as you're running into another meeting.

To get started, you'll need to enable voice purchasing in the Alexa app. Open the menu and go to Settings > Account Settings > Voice Purchasing and toggle the Purchase by voice setting on. Since you're in a public setting, it's best to set up a voice code so that only you can make purchases on your Amazon Echo.

Manage to-do lists

Some things are just easier said than done -- that's why it's more convenient to tell Alexa everything you need to do for the week instead of writing it down. That way, when you come into the office each morning, you can ask Alexa what's on your plate for the day.

To create a to-do list, just say "Alexa, create a to-do list called Tuesday work projects." To add to that list, you can say "Alexa, add create a new spreadsheet to my Tuesday work projects list."

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Create to-do lists so you never forget a task. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Set reminders for important meetings or events

When you're in the zone working, you typically aren't checking the time, which may cause you to show up late to a meeting. Fortunately, Alexa can remind you when it's time to go to your next meeting (or pick up the kids from school). Just say "Alexa, remind me that I have a marketing meeting at 3 p.m." Now you won't have to worry about looking at the sticky notes that always get hidden underneath all your paperwork.

Alexa for Business

If your company uses Alexa for Business, you can have Alexa book meeting rooms (or look up room availability) and start conference calls. Just say "Alexa, is this room free?" or "Alexa, book this room for 1 p.m."

If you're running late to a meeting, you can say "Alexa, I'm running late" and the voice assistant will notify all participants to let them know. You can also call into a meeting by saying "Alexa, join my meeting." The voice assistant will then connect you to the upcoming meeting.

Ready for more surprising things Alexa can do? Check out these five unexpected uses for your Amazon Echo and these six unusual Alexa skills you should try on your Amazon Echo.

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