5 Must-Have Programs For Virtual Assistants
Being a virtual assistant for a person or companies means you need to be super organized with all of your files and communications, as well as have the storage space to house all the files (if there are any).
Here are my top 5 programs I use everyday with my clients and all are free, yes FREE, to use.
If you’re not using gmail and all it’s free programs, then you are really missing out! You need to go make yourself account — like now. You will have access to SO many applications that will make your business thrive and allow you to share content easier. Also, the applications autosave in real time and allow multiple people to work on the same document at once.
Among the list of Google apps are:
Docs for word document, Sheets for spreadsheets, Slides for presentations, Drive for storage, Hangouts for communication via text or video, and Forms to collect data, just to name a few.
You can find them all in your gmail account at the top right; it’s the square icon made up of small squares. See my beautiful screenshot below.
Gmail allows you to have up to 15G of storage for free before having to upgrade to a paid account, which is a pretty sweet deal. Upgrading will get you more space and also a custom email domain like firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t heard of this program, it's a cloud storage program. It allows you to have a free account up to 2G to store files and share with others. This is a program that I use with companies to share digital files back and forth and make edits to.
My virtual assistant company focuses on marketing and design tasks, so a lot of my design files are housed in dropbox. The program allows you to have a DropBox folder on your desktop for file storage so that it doesn’t eat away at your computer storage. Absolutely great for design files, those can get pretty large. See how it's located right on my computer? All I do is make folders within it and it stay up in the DropBox cloud.
Through DropBox you can share your clients on certain folders by using their email, so they will have real time access to all of your files in that folder. Say goodbye to having to constantly email and attach documents for review. The person on the receiving end can go right into the file and view/edit the document.
DropBox offers paid options as well in case you need more storage for your files. I use the $9.99 a month plan that holds up to 1TB of storage — those design files add up quick. It’s worth the investment every month because it let’s me share files easily with clients rather than the constant back and forth with attachments.
If you’re new to the working online world, this program will probably sound foreign to you — it did to me. Asana is like a digital planner. It’s absolutely amazing for organizing your tasks and never missing a deadline.
In the program you’re able to create tasks with due dates and even add sub-tasks and attach documents and notes to tasks. Asana is very visual; you can view it as a calendar or in a list.
This is a great tool to keep yourself organized while managing your clients and even your own business tasks. Asana allows you to create projects, so you can keep all your related tasks under one project and create a new project for a different set of tasks. Also, it has the capability to add team members so multiple people can be working on the same projects with different task assignments. This is great when working with other companies.
There’s a free plan and paid plan for Asana. I HIGHLY recommend creating a free account and messing around with the program until you come to the realization that Asana is a game changer. There’s also an app for your phone, so you’ll never have to worry about missing a deadline.
We all need to get paid some how, am I right? My go-to is PayPal. With a business account through PayPal you’re able to send invoices to your clients for free. The downside is the fee that is taken out when you’re client sends money to you, but now-a-days every payment processing system takes out fees.
The fees are around 2.9% per transaction, which is pretty standard across other platforms. Once you’re logged in to our business account, you’ll be able to view and track all your invoices on one dashboard. You’ll also be able to send out reminders when a client is late on their payment, which can be sent via email or text.
Once the money starts coming in, you can easily transfer your funds to your bank account with one button. The process is very easy. They will even send you a free credit card attachment for your phone so you can easily accept payments on your phone in seconds.
Now my choice is PayPal, but there are other options out there you can choose from. The main idea is to have a payment processing system in place so your clients can send you money! In my experience PayPal has been the most common used with companies, so I decided to stick with it.
If your business involves any design at all, I’m talking even the littlest of design, like a report cover, then you’re going to want to check out Canva which is a very simple design program. You can spice up any piece of work by using this program. It is very simple to use and full of thousands of templates for just about any project.
In Canva you’ll be able to access and edit templates to your project needs and then download them into different file formats when your done. I highly recommend checking it out — you won’t be disappointed.