Skip to main content

The best Google Home routines and how to use them

The main selling point for smart home devices is to make your life easier. They can do this in many ways — by showing you information, controlling other devices, or just playing music. There are plenty of Google Home tips and tricks to try. One of the best ways for them to be helpful is to automatically do a set of tasks. Whether these tasks are time-sensitive or voice-activated, only having to trigger one thing to set off multiple actions is more manageable than repeating each individual request. In the Google Home ecosystem, these automated sequences are called routines.

As stated, routines are commands that trigger multiple actions from a single command. The Google Home or Google Nest Hub can connect with tons of accessories, from smart light bulbs and smart plugs to speakers and more, all from different manufacturers. You can set them up to toggle on and off, change colors, or send audio and video. A Google Home also comes with built-in routines.

Google routines

Image of Google Home, 16:9 scale.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google has added a few basic routines to every Home device. For example, one of the routines is a Good Morning routine that you trigger by saying, “Hey Google, good morning,” “I’m up,” or “Tell me about my day.” The routine then has Google Assistant tell you the local weather, calendar events, reminders, and if your phone battery is low; lastly, it will start playing the news. This is an excellent example of what a routine can do, but before we get into some other ones, let’s talk about the setup process.

Luckily, as with many things involving Google Home and Assistant, the setup process is pretty straightforward. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone, and select the Set Up Home & Away Routines button near the top of the app.
  • Select your trigger or Starter. This is what will activate the routine. It could be a voice command, a specific time, or whatever is sunrise/sunset time for that particular day.
  • Pick the actions or what this routine will actually do. Your set of actions will depend on the smart home devices you have set up within Google Home, but they range from adjusting devices to controlling media and everything in between.

Be careful of the order that you set for your actions. You’ll want to place them in the right order initially because readjusting the order can be difficult. While there are endless opportunities routines you can create, we’ve rounded up some of the best routines to get you started.

Morning routines

Good Morning: Google has a default Good Morning routine, but let’s customize it a bit more. You can have Google turn on your lights or open smart blinds to aid in getting up and out of bed. This routine can also turn on a music playlist and tell you about your work commute.

School Time: This routine is easy to set with a timed trigger. For example, you can use the Say Something action to have Google Assistant announce how much time the kids have to get ready and have it raise the volume to ensure they don’t sleep through any alarms.

If you have smart plugs or appliances, you can even incorporate the automated activation of turning on a coffee machine or waffle maker to add a savory aroma to either routine.

Evening routines

Bedtime: Of course, the opposite of a Good Morning routine would be a Bedtime or Goodnight one. This routine turns off all the lights; it also arms the alarm and locks the doors. You will need to utilize the Adjust Home Devices action for this routine and use a voice command to trigger it.

Evening Noise: If it’s getting late in the evening but you’re not quite ready to shut everything down, this routine may be one for you. Set the routine to lower the volume on the smart speakers, lower the brightness of the lights, and put on a specific playlist with low-energy music.

Anytime routines

Seasons Greetings: With the holidays upon us, not mentioning this routine would be a crime. First, it’s easy to trigger this routine with the sunrise/sunset starter. When the sun goes down for the day, you can have this routine turn on the lights for any Christmas tree you may have, outdoor lights or yard decorations, and play some holiday music. You can also retrofit this routine for any holiday that you celebrate throughout the year.

Movie Time: This routine could be fantastic for any family or date night. You can use this to close the smart blinds or lower the lights, turn on the TV, and even open Netflix or some other app to find something to watch. Set a voice command like “set up movies” to start this routine.

Reminders: Google will already remind you of anything you ask, but it only does that with a light and a tone emitting from the speaker. For any constant (non-daily) reminders you may have, like feeding a pet, taking out the trash, or laundry day, use a time-based routine. Have it announce that it’s “[reminder] day” and even turn the lights a particular color for a moment.

Gym Time: The last routine is ideal for those with a home gym. This routine can cover a lot of actions. Set up the routine to turn on the lights and fan (powered by a smart plug) in the gym room, put on an intense playlist to help get you in the zone, and start a timer for the first workout.

Those are some of our favorite and most used routines. What are the most used or crucial routines that you have set up in your home?

Editors' Recommendations

Keyan Riddick
Keyan Riddick is a freelance writer based in the mountains on North Carolina. When he isn't writing you can find him behind…
The best smart plugs of 2023: What is a smart plug, and which do I need?
A Wemo Indoor smart plug on a table.

Smart home devices have come a long way over the past few years. Walk into any home improvement store or supermarket, and you’re bound to find a wide variety of smart lights, smart locks, smart thermostats, and an assortment of other “smart” gadgets. But one often overlooked category is smart plugs – tiny devices that plug into your electrical outlet and give your “dumb” electronics the versatility of a modern smart home device.

Beyond giving you remote control of your outlets, many smart plugs allow you to set timers or monitor your electricity usage. This makes them surprisingly versatile while still carrying an affordable price tag. Plenty of big names (like Amazon and Wyze) are producing smart plugs, but they’re far from your only option. Here’s a closer look at the best smart plugs of 2023.

Read more
Best Keurig deals: Get perfect coffee every time for under $100
The Keurig K-Duo coffee maker sets on a kitchen counter.

If you want the convenience and speed of instant coffee without the gritty taste, you need a Keurig. Keurig is the original K-Cup coffee maker, and no other brand has quite caught up. Keurig coffee makers come in a lot of varieties, from single cup brewers to espresso machines. They range from cheap to rather expensive -- we've found Keurig deals on all types of models. Check out the list below, and make sure to compare what you see against the best coffee maker deals and the best Nespresso deals.
Keurig K-Slim Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker -- $99, was $130

Another slimline fit but one that offers a bit more functionality, the Keurig K-Slim Single Serve K-Cup Coffee Maker has a removable 46-ounce reservoir so you can easily brew up to four cups before refilling. With three different cup sizes, you can opt for an eight-ounce, 10-ounce, or 12-ounce cup of Joe at the push of a button. It all takes minutes to do with a removable drip tray that accommodates travel mugs and deals with any accidental spillages too. It also has multistream technology so it can extract more flavor and aroma with every brew.

Read more
Google Home and Google Nest deals: Hub, thermostat, cameras on sale
Google Nest Home devices.

Google’s Home and Nest lineups of products always make for some of the best smart home devices, and include a range of cool tech such as smart speakers and smart thermostats. Google Home deals and Google Nest deals are also some of the best smart home deals you can shop, as they’re pretty easy to come by and are often pretty substantial discounts. This is definitely the case right now, as a huge variety of Google Home and Google Nest products are seeing significant price drops. With prices as low as $60 and savings as high as $160, these are the best Google Home and Google Nest deals you’ll find right now.
Google Home — $60, was $130

Google Home is a smart speaker and smart assistant that should catch the eye of anyone on the lookout for a smart device. It can control features and devices throughout your smart home setup, and allows you to easily have questions answered, have music played, have your calendar arranged, and have entertainment played. It has Chromecast built in, which allows you to play music and other media from compatible devices. Google Home can even sync music across speakers throughout your home.

Read more