It’s amazing how far technology has come since I first started work in admin over 20 years ago. In my first job as an Office Junior, I can remember the frustrations trying to send an email on dial-up, and sharing a document meant photocopying and handing over to a colleague!
Fast forward to today and now we have all the tools, technology and resources at our fingertips whenever we want and wherever we are.
When I first started as a virtual assistant, I had a limited budget and did not know what tools I would need to work with clients. I spent some time researching and making a list of handy tools to try out that could help me in running my business. I thought they might help you too!
These are some of the tools that I regularly use in my business, that I couldn't function without.
Obviously, a laptop, WiFi and a mobile phone. It goes without saying that these are essential in any business. I think it’s great that entrepreneurs can work pretty much work anywhere carrying their office in a bag! I also back up documents onto an external hard drive.
Office 365 and Google Apps for Work. I can check my emails on the go, schedule appointments, create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Dropbox for file sharing. This is easy to set up and very handy for sharing files and folders with clients and colleagues. It is also a good way to backup your files.
Mailchimp for e-newsletters. A great way to build your email list and keep customers up to date with news and tips.
Asana is one of many task management tools around. I have tried a few and Asana is the one that I keep coming back to.
Toggl for time tracking. It is important to track your time when working on an hourly rate or retainer packages for clients. I love how a little reminder pops up to prompt you to start the timer.
WordPress. My first website was built by a web designer and I had no access to make any changes. I decided to give WordPress a go and love how I can go in at any time to make changes.
Hootsuite for Social Media scheduling. I love Hootsuite! I can manage social media accounts and schedule posts in one place which saves me time and avoids distractions. I use Facebook scheduler for my posts rather than using a third-party tool.
PicMonkey and Canva for design. I can put together a picture quote and other images for my social media accounts. If I need anything more fancy created such as a flyer, then I pass it over to my graphic designer.
Echosign (now Adobe Sign) for sending contracts for signature. This is a great tool and was one of the first ones that was recommended to me by another VA.
LastPass for storing passwords. So many passwords! This is such a great tool for storing your own passwords and clients can share their passwords (which you don’t see) giving them peace of mind over security and sharing data.
Invoicely for managing invoices and tracking payments. This is my newest tool that I am trying out. I also have an Excel spreadsheet where I record details and a Word template for creating invoices.
What are some tools you couldn't live without in your VA business? Share them in the comments below!
Learn more about Nikki and her business by visiting her website!
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