12Apr 2017

Top 5 Productivity Boosting Apps for Virtual Assistants

Today the fabulous Jo Harrison writes for us. Jo is one of my first online VA (virtual assistant) friends. Back when I ran my VA company I wanted a couple of other excellent VA’s to bounce ideas off and share workloads with. When I closed my VA business I referred a number of clients to Jo – she’s great at what she does.

Anyway today Jo shares 5 of her favourite productivity apps for VA’s – well actually most of these are great for any online business.

Top 5 Productivity Boosting Apps for Virtual Assistants

Top 5 Productivity Boosting Apps for Virtual Assistants

Most entrepreneurs and startup owners – who have taken a brilliant idea and made it into a successful business – find themselves increasingly busy as their companies continue to thrive.

This increasing workload can become overwhelming and lead to petty tasks taking up too much valuable time. As a result, core business activities don’t get the attention they deserve and productivity ultimately takes a hit in the long run.

That’s why so many business owners take the decision to employ the services of a professional virtual assistant (VA); enabling them to again focus on the activities that drive real business value and become productive once more.

But rather than talk about the tasks you can assign to a VA to free up your own workload, I wanted to look at some of the tools I use with my clients that make our working relationships both efficient and productive.
Here are my top 5 (in no particular order):

I’ve used quite a few different task management apps, but always seem to go back to Asana because it’s the most well-rounded of all of them.

Asana keeps track of everything I’ve got to do for my clients, as well as any projects I’ve outsourced to other individuals, such as design work or content creation.

Its real-time updates help keep my inbox clutter free and let me know what the status of every task is at any given time.

Google Calendar
As a VA, one of my primary responsibilities is the management of my clients’ calendars. Google Calendar makes this so simple and straightforward.
Even though it is mainly accessed via the Internet, Google Calendar also syncs seamlessly with Outlook, making it perfect for many of my clients.

There’s even a Google Calendar app which allows me to update and monitor my clients’ appointments while out and about.

Google Docs/Drive
Collaborating on documents is made so simple with Google Docs/Drive. If I or one of my clients creates a spreadsheet and we want to share it so that other people can work on it, Google Docs/Drive facilitates this beautifully.
Any updates occur in real-time, which means you are always looking at the most up to date version of the document. There’s also a chat feature so you can talk about specific aspects while you are still in the document.
The bottom line is that Google Docs/Drive saves me from having to email documents back and forth, and allows me to access said documents from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.

How many passwords do you have to remember on a daily basis? Imagine what it’s like if you’re a virtual assistant with multiple clients.

Storing passwords in a spreadsheet is both unsecure and counter-intuitive. While I can search through and find the ones I want, updating such a spreadsheet becomes a task in itself. Also, I’d never even dream of storing any of my clients’ information in such an unsecure repository.
With LastPass, all my own passwords are saved in a secure, encrypted vault, which I can access with my master password. The really clever part though is that my clients can share their passwords with me via LastPass too. This means I can login as them and carry out my work without ever needing to even know their passwords. Furthermore, if they change their passwords in LastPass, it automatically updates at my end too, meaning they don’t have to inform me every time they make a change.

Working remotely means I have to keep in communication with people all over the world. And while Skype’s video and audio calls make discussing certain projects easy, Slack is the messaging tool I’ve come to use the most.

The channels that you can create within Slack make conversations so easy to manage and help you keep track of your different work streams. Slack also integrates with tonnes of other apps, such as Asana, Dropbox, Trello and MailChimp (to name a few), which makes it powerful, as well as fast and effective.
These are just 5 apps that I use on a day-to-day basis which help boost my and my clients’ productivity. The reality, though, is that I regularly use a whole bunch more than just these.

Do you have any apps in particular that help boost your productivity or make your working day more efficient? I’d love to hear from you.


Jo Harrison Virtual AssistantJo Harrison is a virtual assistant from the UK who works remotely from the French countryside. As well as a full range of professional virtual assistant services, Jo also offers a highly sought after eBook formatting service and has authored her own guide for people looking to successfully market their own self-published eBooks.
Check out Jo’s blog. It’s a treasure trove of information on productivity, time management and social media tips.

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