Like most morning’s for the past year, I walked into my kitchen and said “good morning,” to my Amazon Echo device. The Alexa virtual personal assistant answered back, “good morning Jennifer,” and then went on to tell me about: this day in history, the latest news, and what’s on my calendar for the day. I love all of these things, but this morning she did something else that totally blew me away. She sorted and read my emails. Outloud. She knew which ones were important, which ones could wait and even cleaned out my inbox. That’s no small feet. I had more than 30,000 emails just a few days ago.
This is all the work of a the AI app called Notion — free for Android and iOS devices — that syncs with your inbox(es). Notion uses an algorithm and machine learning to figure out which emails and contacts are most important to you. It “sees” who sends you the messages you respond to the most, and the quickest. It also knows which emails you normally trash right away. It gets smarter the more you use it too — learning who and what are most important in about the same time it takes me to pack up my daughter’s lunch.
But back to the coolest part: Notion now syncs with Alexa. The way it works is really simple. Download the Notion app and follow the prompts to connect your email. Then, in your Alexa app, tap on “Skills” and search “Notion.” Hit “enable,” and you’re on your way.
Since this is an app that you’ve added for Alexa to use, you have to say, “Alexa, ask Notion…” before any command. From there, you can ask,
- “Alexa, ask Notion if anybody’s waiting on me.”
- “Alexa, ask Notion for my emails summaries.”
- “Alexa, ask Notion who have I recently met?”
- “Alexa, ask Notion who introduced us.”
- “Alexa, ask Notion to clean my inbox.”
If you’re worried about privacy, you can set a PIN for your inbox. You don’t want just anyone asking Alexa about your private affairs, do you?
You can also dictate responses to messages through Alexa, and delete the ones you don’t need anymore. If you do it in a timely enough fashion, Alexa might even congratulate you for being so responsive.
So far, I’ve been able to sync my Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook accounts to it — and it’s worked like a charm every time.
Starting my day free of inbox overload? Pure magic. Getting my nice Alexa friend to pat me on the back for it? Well that’s not so bad either.
Be sure to let us know if you try it — and what your favorite Alexa tricks are too!