When I got started in the VA game, I knew nothing. I accidentally fell into this line of work and got so busy, so quickly that I started spinning my wheels, wasting time with all the options out there. I had a few simple goals: get organized, keep my clients happy, and be more productive. Today, we’re sharing 10 resources virtual assistants need to use in their business.
I wrote this from the perspective of, “If I were getting started, what would I want to use?”
So, here you go, my list of the top 10 tools every a-player VA should be using…
Simply put, FreshBooks is invoicing software. Meaning, if someone wants to book a launch project with me, I send them an invoice with the payment due, they pay it, and then I receive the payment via PayPal or Stripe. PayPal is also a free option but I like FreshBooks because it integrates with time tracking software (I use Chronomate) and you can track your expenses. The reporting tools are also great.
Dropbox is file storage “on the cloud”. Last night, I was nursing my son and he let go, turn to his side, and projectile vomit all over my computer. It was awful. My computer shut itself down. I wasn’t too stressed because I backup all my files to Dropbox. I knew worse case scenario, my stuff was safe. Use Dropbox before it’s too late and you wish you had setup Dropbox.
I like to use Zoom for video calls. I think it’s just a bit more reliable than Skype and my computer doesn’t run slow when I’m on calls and screen sharing.
This tool lets you record what you’re doing on your computer screen (called screen recording). If I need to work with a designer and show them changes, create a tutorial on how to complete a task, etc. I use this tool.
Everyone says this but do not wait to start building your email list, even if you’re a service provider. I prefer Active Campaign because I can setup segmenting, tagging and automations. If you don’t want to spend the money, Mailchimp works fine to get started.
You must have a place to record everything you need to do. Point blank. No excuses. Sign up for Asana (or Trello, Todoist, Teamwork, something!). Use it daily. I check Asana first thing in the morning when I get to my desk, when I’m back from eating lunch, and before I log off for the night. Why rely on your brain to remember everything? Free up space and put it into Asana.
Evernote is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of note-taking apps. I use it to write out ideas, plans, checklists, copy, save swipe files, collaborate with clients, etc. It auto-saves what you’re working on, which is a super important feature to have when you’re working with technology because we’ve all had those random moments when your computer goes on strike and doesn’t want to cooperate.
Slack is an instant messaging tool, like AIM, but cooler. I don’t like receiving a bunch of emails or text messages so all of my clients get loaded into my Slack channel. I let them know that my phone number is for true emergencies and that we’ll use Slack to communicate so we always have a record of what’s been discussed for the day in one nice, neat, organized space.
Be a true a-player and skip the back-and-forth emails trying to figure out timezones and scheduling when making a call. When someone wants to chat with me, I tell them, “Great! You can book a time to chat with me at your convenience here: (insert link)”. Pressure off, no back and forth, pro status.
Brain.fm plays binaural beats (think of instrumental music) that helps you to focus, relax, or sleep better. Working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I easily get distracted by the refrigerator, laundry, and everything else going on. I plug in my headphones, usually select the “intense focus” channel for 30 minutes or 1 hour, and then see how work I can get done in that 30 mins to 1 hour.
Do you wish there was a tool that would block certain sites from your computer AND phone? Wish you could be more productive and stop scrolling on Instagram, watching Scandal, or getting sucked in the FB vortex? Use this app (you’re welcome). Use the code JULY4 to get 40% off.
I love LeadPages. It’s a tool that captures email addresses in a professional and polished way. My personal site isn’t a real site, it’s a LeadPage. It’s great for free offers, live trainings, popup boxes. Get it once you sign up for Active Campaign or Mailchimp.
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