Debby Notes skill - Users Guide

The Debby NotesTM skill can be used by itself or as an extension of the Debby Notes mobile app.

When the Debby NotesTM skill is linked to the account created on the Debby NotesTM mobile app. Use the same username and password from the mobile app as input to the link account page on the Alexa app. This will enable both the skill and mobile app to be connected to the same private storage space created for the account.

The Debby NotesTM skill can also be used without linking account. An unlinked account storage space will be created for the skill where the items and their location information will be kept. This writeup will cover the features that are available on the Debby NotesTM skill.

Launch skill

A user launches the Debby NotesTM skill by saying something like: “Alexa, open Debby Notes”. Alexa will check if account has been linked and provides the appropriate introduction. If an account is linked, Alexa will check and tell the user the number of items found in the unlinked account. The Debby Notes skill will remain open waiting for further commands. In this open state, users can interact with Debby Notes directly by saying “where is the spare car key?” instead of saying something like “Alexa, ask Debby Notes where is the spare car key?”.

Hint: The introduction is intended for first time users and could be rather lengthy. To get Alexa to take another command while she is doing the introduction, you will have to use the wake up word, for example, say “Alexa, ask Debby Notes where is the spare car key.”

Personal greeting

You can say something like “Alexa, ask Debby Notes to say hello to Mary”. If the Debby NotesTM skill has already been launched, you just say “say hello to Mary”, “this is Mary” or “this is John” to introduce someone or “I am Henry” to introduce yourself.

Remember where things are

To remember where something is, say “Alexa, tell Debby Notes that the spare keys are in the bottom drawer of the desk in the studies.” Again, if the Debby NotesTM skill has already been launched, just say “ the spare keys are in the bottom drawer of the desk in the studies.” Alexa has been given key words and phrases as a guide to understanding what to remember. Alexa will repeat what you asked her to remember to seek for confirmation before storing the information.

Alexa will repeat what she thought you told her. You can either confirm that she heard you correctly or you can repeat what you told Alexa again.

Hint: If Alexa has trouble understanding, try rephrasing the sentence. A more reliable way would be to use the Debby Notes mobile app to make notes of where things are.

Note: The skill does not differentiate objects that belong to different people, for example. “Mary’s iPhone”. While the skill might remember the item as “Mary’s iPhone”, it might refer it as “the Mary’s iPhone”.

Where is something

To find out where you have placed something, say “Alexa, ask Debby Notes where are the spare keys?”, or if the Debby NotesTM skill has been launched, just say “where are the spare keys?”.

If Alexa could not understand what you asked or if she was looking for the wrong thing, you might have to repeat the question again.

Hint: One thing to keep in mind is that don’t forget to link account. Alexa will not know what you have noted on the Debby NotesTM mobile app unless you have linked the account.

Use Passphrase

It is nice and convenient to be able to find things by telling Alexa to ask the Debby NotesTM skill. However, there is one drawback. There might be things that you would rather keep private, like, where you might have stashed some emergency cash.

On the mobile app, you can mark the “emergency cash” to be kept private. Anyone asking where the emergency cash is, will have to know what passphrase to use to release the information. When Alexa notices that something was marked “keep private”, she will ask what passphrase you want to use to release the information.

Hint: Please note that while it is possible to just say, for example, “3 monkeys” when asked what passphrase to use to release the private information. It is best to say “use 3 monkeys”. Not saying the word “use” first could sometimes confuse Alexa.

Sync account

You can start using the Debby NotesTM skill first and then download the mobile app to set up an account. After you linked the account in the Debby NotesTM skill, you can say “Alexa, tell Debby Notes to sync account.” and all the information about where things are will be moved to the linked account. All the items from the Debby NotesTM skill will appear on the Debby NotesTM mobile app item list when you restarted the mobile app.

Note: If the name of the item already exists in the linked account, the item will still be moved. However, it will be marked with an asterisk (*) after the name and “*duplicate” will be appended to the location information for the item.

Closing the Debby Notes skill

While the Debby NotesTM skill has been launched or you have been using the skill, you can always say something like “stop” or “done” to terminate the skill. Actually, if Alexa is waiting for a response and you have not responded, Alexa will repeat her request one more time. If there is still no response, Alexa will close the Debby Notes skill.

Note: The Debby Notes skill can only do limited functions. When asked to do something that Alexa does not understand,  Alexa could potentially just close the Debby Notes skill without providing the correct response.

We can improve the skill together

We are continuously trying our best to help Alexa provide a natural but accurate verbal interaction for the Debby NotesTM skill. And, Alexa is improving on her own from interactions with users. If you happen to come across any situation where you cannot get Alexa to understand what you are trying to tell her, please send us an email at [email protected] with the issue you have. Maybe we can add additional hints for Alexa to resolve the issue you came across.