11 Apr My 5 Top Tools for my Virtual Assistant Business
I never find it hard to rattle these off. For me, these Top 5 tools make a difference every day. They save me time, cost me nothing and allow me to work as efficiently as possible. Simple, free and effective.
Toggl is a free and simple online tool to use. There are paid versions if you feel you need the extra benefits, but these only become valuable when you have a team who needs to track time by task or project. For me, I use it to track individual tasks and projects for each of my clients. It’s easy to filter and I can pull off pdf reports and attach to invoices when it’s payday.
I also use it to track all the time I spend ‘on’ my business. Training, planning, blogging, social media scheduling, and networking. It helps me, as a business owner, to see where my time demands are. I then review this data to evaluate where my time has gone, maybe where I need to trim back or perhaps schedule more time in specific areas to grow my business.
Canva is a simple and clever little tool that allows you to create some really beautiful designs and documents. Even with the free version, you have access to thousands of professional templates and pictures that can make your business really stand out from your competitors.
Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics. The desktop version is the best. The functionality on the mobile version is a bit clunky and some of the options aren’t that easy to find or use on a small screen. The options on Canva really are endless, create logos, business cards and branded images with ease.
Before I started my VA business I was a Trello virgin, in fact, I’d never heard of it. Now I couldn’t live without it – well ok I probably would just about cope, but life would be a lot more disorganised.
Trello is a task management app that gives you a visual overview of what is being worked on and who is working on it. It is best represented as a whiteboard filled with post-it notes.
It helps you organise your projects into boards. It’s colourful and visually stimulating and the easy Filter and Label function allows you to see what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.
You can add as much or as little detail to each task, set reminders or deadlines, and if you work in a team you can assign to individuals. The best bit it that this super-duper organiser works brilliantly on mobile too, so you can take it everywhere with you.
I am literally using it to type this blog into right now. Grammarly makes sure your messages, blogs, documents, and social media posts are clear, mistake-free, and effective. Trello says it’s trusted by millions every day, so something must be right!
The clever AI bots can automatically detect grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in your writing. It’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and suggests context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling, wordiness, style, punctuation, and plagiarism. Put it this way, it is a million miles better than ‘spell check’!
This is my favourite social media scheduler at the moment, it was created for Instagram but you can use it for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest too. I’m currently trialling the Free version which limits you to 30/50 posts per platform every 30 days, but I will probably invest in a paid version at some point for extra capacity and better reporting and other added features.
The best bits for me now are the Calendar View and how you can drop and drag in the Preview screen to arrange your feed. The mobile version is good too, and bulk uploading media to your Library is easy, whilst adding #hashtags to the Saved Captions speeds up your content creation. Also just to add, in the last few weeks you have been able to Auto Publish to Instagram.
So there you have it, my Top 5 tools right now.
I’m sure in 6 months, actually probably 3 months time this list will evolve as I am discovering new online tools literally every day. Everyone wants to work more efficiently, and tech companies just love to develop stuff that gives us time back. Something I’m pretty passionate about too.