Are you looking for ways to make your life easier? Maybe you want a better way to make your smart devices help you create the smart home that works for you. Google has a host of great tools and features that can help. And one of our favorites is Routines. With Routines, you can create custom commands that run multiple actions with a single voice command. This can save you time and hassle in the morning, during your commute, or when you’re winding down for bed.
If you’re not using Google Routines right now, you’re doing the whole smart home automation thing wrong. In this guide, we’ll show you all of the best Google Routines. We’ll walk through some of our favorite routines. Whether you’re looking to get organized, stay in the know on news and weather, or just want an easier way to do things around the house, check out these fun and effective Google Routines ideas.
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Google Routines 101
Before we get in too deeply on these, let me explain what a Google Routine is in the first place. Some of you reading this might be thinking, ‘What the heck is a Google Routine?’ They’re actually a pretty easy concept to understand. They’re even easier to implement as well. Straight from the Google website, it says, “A routine is a series of actions you want your devices to take automatically when prompted by voice command or through the Google Home app. You can speak the command through a Nest speaker or display (Nest Audio, Nest Mini, or Nest Hub Max ) or even your phone.” I’ll add to that by saying that it’s simply a set of actions you want smart devices in your home to do based on criteria that you personalize. You need other smart devices (and a Google Assistant) to be able to work together to perform these routines. For example, when I walk through the front door I could say, “Hey Google, I’m home.” From there, the lights in my living room turn on, the TV turns on to ESPN, and the smart thermostat temperature gets set to 73. Pretty cool, right? Here’s why a function like Google Routines is so important, it’s because it allows you to really control the tech in your life instead of the tech controlling you.
And here’s the extra bonus with Routines, you don’t have to be at home to do them. For example, if you aren’t home and you can’t remember if you locked up the home, you can tell your Android phone (or using the Google Assistant app) “Hey Google, secure my home” and all the actions assigned to that Routine will deploy: locked doors, Ring camera armed, thermostat set at 68, flood lights turned on, and the garage door closes (if left open). And it doesn’t have to be voice-activated either. If I’m on vacation, I can set this Routine to deploy every night at 9 PM.
Some Of The Best Google Routines
There are seriously thousands upon thousands of permutations you can employ with Google Routines. As long as the device connects with Google Assistant, you’re good to go. I’ve seen some really interesting Google automation and routines. Some I think are fun to say or fun to imagine, but I’m all about practicality.
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I personally use “Okay Google, Good Morning” almost every day. It’s a schedule routine that operates as a functional or informational alarm clock. If I wake up before the scheduled alarm goes, I have to manually say the words. For this routine, my speaker has a set volume (louder than when it’s at night), reports the upcoming weather for the day, gives me the news (from the source I want), tells me what I have on my calendar, reads to me my reminders, and takes my phone off silent. Boom…with one extensive routine, I’m hitting the ground running and ready for my day.
A couple of neat things you can do with a good morning routine if you have the technology is to open or close your curtains or you could have shades open or close. You can also have your coffee start to be made the minute you wake up as well.
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Secure The Batcave
I’ve mentioned this one before. It aligns with this idea of mixing home automation devices in your life to really make tech work for you. I simply say, “Hey Google, Secure the Batcave.” Then all my doors lock (you need smart locks ____I personally have Kwikset SmartCode 916 deadbolt on all my exterior doors, including the door leading to the garage ), my Ring camera is armed, my smart floodlights are enabled, all the lights in my house are turned down, and the temperature is set at a cool 70 degrees by my smart thermostat.
I’m Going Downstairs
I have a personal den. It’s where I like to hangout. Sometimes I work there. Sometimes to get away. When I go downstairs, I can say, “Hey Google, I’m going downstairs.” My den lights get turned on to a specified brightness. I have a set of string LED lights that turn on. My TV turns on to my favorite streaming channel. And a portable fan turns on. I’ve thought about having an air freshener or air purified turn on, but don’t know yet if that’s taking this overboard 😉
I’m Getting Ready For Bed
This is one I didn’t think I’d use that much, but I’m finding that I love it more and more. I find I use it about 30 minutes to an hour before my head hits the pillow. I’ve also found new tweaks to add to this routine as well. I’ll say, “Hey Google, I’m Getting Ready For Bed.” From here, all the smart lights in my home drop 30% brightness. My bedroom fan turns on at low speed (I like fresh air when I sleep). And each of my kids gets a notification that they need to get ready for bed.
When we watch movies, this one is fun. I can say, “Hey Google, It’s movie time!” The lights in our living room get turned off, (if I had them) the smart blinds could close, the TV turns on to Netflix (or your favorite streaming channel), and we’re ready to watch our favorite flix.
This is another go-to favorite. When engaged, my Phillips Hue lights (color versions) will light up and flicker in my bedroom and living room with various colors during the night until about 1 am. From the outside it looks like someone is literally watching TV (I could have the TV turned on as well in this Routine as well, but I like the way the Phillips Hue lights work). Then at various times during the night different lights will come on and off making it look like someone is up and moving around. This is a clever Google Routine trick, but it’s effective.
Why I Love Google Routines
There are so many things to love about Google Routines! They are one of the most important factors in making your home truly smart. First of all, they make it super easy to manage your day-to-day tasks and make your tech work for you. With just a simple voice command or a click, you can create and edit your routines, schedule reminders, turn a light on or off, lock doors, enable your security cameras, set goals, and a slew of other amazing combinations. Plus, the Google Home interface is extremely user-friendly and the features are constantly updated. But perhaps my favorite thing about Routines is that they help me stay in control of the tech in my home and allow me to leverage what smart devices are really intended to do.
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Yes, it’s cool to be able to turn lights on or off with a simple prompt. But to say, “Hey Google, I’m stressed,” followed by my lights being dimmed, a relaxing tune then being played from my smart speaker, followed by my doors being locked, and outside cameras turned on is the key to unlocking the “smart” in our tech.