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Alexa! Ask Notion to read my email: Amazon’s digital assistant accesses your inbox

Talk to your Email
You use it to talk to everyone else, so why not talk to your inbox itself? Now you can, thanks to Notion’s skill for Amazon Alexa. Notion got its start as a free app for Android and iOS that syncs with your inbox, then applies some fancy machine learning and artificial intelligence to make it easier to parse through all your content. Now, it’s made it easier still to interact with your inbox — with your voice by way of Alexa.

The custom Alexa skill (which means you’ll need to start each command with “ask Notion”) lets you check for new mail, delete old messages, or even sum up the most important messages you’ve yet to get to following that well-deserved vacation when you let your inbox go unchecked.

The coolest thing about Notion isn’t just its ability to drone on and on about the contents of your mailbox. Rather, Notion lets users ask about what really matters. As Guy Suter, Notion co-founder and CE, noted in a Medium post: “This works so well, I was able to leave my iPhone in the bedroom for our entire summer vacation. I was more present with my kids because I could simply ask Alexa a quick question when passing by the kitchen. If anything at work needed my attention, I’d hear about it. I got a lot less sucked in, a lot less often than I would before when constantly checking my phone.”

You can ask Notion if anyone is waiting for your response, who you’ve met recently through email, who your common connections to a contact may be, to snooze a message, or lock your inbox with a PIN. Suter admits that there’s still some work to be done. For one, you can’t dictate emails to Alexa for her to send. But don’t worry, the Notion team says they’re in contact with the Amazon Alexa team and looking for a solution.

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