An Echo Show is great for watching videos and viewing photos, but did you know it can also double as a digital wall calendar? The available features vary based on the type of Echo you have, though all Echo Shows have a calendar feature. For instance, the Echo Show 15 serves as the ideal blend of smart calendar and typical Echo device.
Create a Digital Wall Calendar With Echo Show 5, 8, and 10
Most Echo Show users have the standard block-like Show in a 5, 8, or 10 inch variety. These sit on a counter, table, shelf, etc. They’re a little trickier to turn into a digital wall calendar, but it is possible to get at least some calendar features to keep you on track at a glance.
The first thing to do is set up your desired calendar. Currently, Alexa supports Alexa, Google, Microsoft, and Apple calendars. Obviously, Alexa is the default.
To sync a third-party calendar, open the Alexa app on your phone/tablet, and go to More -> Settings -> Calendar. Click the + button in the top right, and select your calendar provider. Follow the prompts to link your Alexa and calendar accounts.
When prompted, select your desired calendar as your default. Your calendar will show up in the Alexa settings, allowing you to change notifications or even unlink it.
The only problem with using one of these devices is you can’t leave your calendar on the screen at all times. Instead, you have several other options:
- Turn off all options in Settings -> Home Content except your calendar
- View a list of upcoming events on the Home screen by saying “Alexa, home.”
- Say “Alexa, show my calendar” or “Alexa, show me my schedule.”
- Use Alexa’s Silk browser, log in to your favorite calendar, and simply say “Alexa, launch browser” to open your calendar at any time
You can also set up a routine. Open the Alexa app, and go to More -> Routines. Tap the + button in the top right to set up a custom routine.
Add a name. Tap Add an event under When. Select Voice, and enter a keyphrase. Alternately, select Schedule to have Alexa announce your schedule at a set time. Set up multiple routines with the Schedule option to announce your schedule throughout the day.
Select Add an action under Alexa Will. Tap Calendar. Choose from Today’s Calendar, Tomorrow’s Calendar, or Next Event.
It’s not a perfect digital wall calendar, but smaller Echo Show devices weren’t really designed for this purpose. For something closer, you’ll want to use try the Echo Show 15, which looks like a thin photo frame you can hang in portrait or landscape mode.
Digital Wall Calendar with Echo Show 15
The Echo Show 15 works as a regular Echo Show, Fire TV, and smart calendar all in one. If you’re looking to upgrade, wait for seasonal deals, as it retails for $280. Thanks to being able to hang it, it works well as a calendar.
Before you create a digital wall calendar using your Echo Show 15, you have to link your desired calendar using the same steps mentioned in the previous section. Also use the same commands to display your calendar and have Alexa tell you about upcoming events.
As an added benefit, this device lets you customize your screen with widgets. While Echo Show 8 and 10 models have widgets, they don’t stay on the screen, and for many users, they don’t work at all. For example, I can add widgets on my Echo Show 8, but I can’t swipe to view them or remove them.
On the Show 15, swipe down from the top edge of your screen, and select the Calendar widget. Widgets are added to the home screen. If this screen isn’t displaying, say Alexa, home, then long-press on the Calendar widget, and select Resize Widget. Resize it to Large to have it take up the single large position on your screen to make it easy to see, or any other size to rearrange it where you want.
This device also works well for small businesses. Sync your Google Calendar, and quickly view appointments, show when you’re out of the office, and quickly add events with just your voice. Of course, Google Calendar on its own is great for businesses.
Echo Show Limitations
As already pointed out, on smaller devices, there isn’t a way to show your calendar at all times. You have to ask to see it. Plus, everyone shares the same calendar.
Even with the Echo Show 15, you can’t change the calendar view. For instance, if you want to see an entire month of events at one time, you can’t. Amazon really prefers you to do more with your Show than manage a calendar.
If you just want a digital wall calendar, check out Mango Display. It’s an app that lets you turn many smart TVs, tablets, and even your browser into a customizable display. The free version doesn’t support calendars, but calendar access starts at just $2.99/month.
Another option is DAKboard. You can purchase a full display to show a full calendar and your own photos. The basic plan is free and includes your calendar. You can even buy a CPU to turn an existing monitor into a DAKboard ($99 versus $499 to buy a display). Or, if you like building things with Raspberry Pi, buy a preloaded SD card for just $24.95.
If you don’t really like the Echo Show’s digital wall calendar, manage your events on your phone or in your browser using your favorite calendar app. If you still want a paper copy or want a custom calendar design, try these Google Sheets calendar templates.
Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.
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