Here at the VA Lead Network, secure technology and tools are a huge part of how we work and what makes us faster, better and stronger at what we do. In a way, they are the assistant to the assistants!
If you are reading this now, you are likely a busy founder or manager on the lookout for (or a recent employer of) a virtual assistant. So know this: great tools will help to automate repetitive tasks, get work done faster and save you money in the long run. They are well worth the investment to learn, and your VA can help you.
We asked five VAs from our VA Lead Network (one of the nation’s biggest and most trusted job networks) to share their favourite software, why they love it and how they use it. Let’s jump in.
5 real VAs weigh in on their favourite tech and tools to use
Roll up, roll up – straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what VAs are keeping hot in their digital toolkit.
“Asana is my go-to for all things project management” – VA Michelle
“Asana is an absolute lifesaver for all things product and project management. I often have multiple tasks on the go, and Asana’s super easy tracking system helps me know what’s due, when, and what’s waiting on me or being held up by a colleague. It keeps me out of my inbox, unnecessarily sending emails requesting or sending updates – it’s all there in one place.
I know what might be blocking a project and can read through dated notes left by other collaborators. When I’ve made some movement on something, I simply drag and drop it through the tailored progress chart I created or mark it as complete on the checklist of sub-tasks I’ve created from within a main task. For especially important things, I tag the person directly.
I actually find it so useful that I often create tasks and sub-tasks while I’m still on a meeting or call. There’s no delay to getting things moving and assigning responsibilities and activities.”
“I’d never go past Zapier for total app and software integration” – VA Sharni
“Zapier is a must-have if you have any responsibilities in looking after customer workflows or ensuring the customer journey is top-notch. Most businesses use multiple software platforms – from their CRM to accounting, training software, calendar and email, appointment scheduling, logistics or inventory management – and that’s just the beginning. Jumping in and out of each tab or app is a pain, not to mention a security risk.
Zapier is like that person at a party who knows absolutely everyone and just loves introducing them. It has over 3,000 active integrations, so everything you use is connected and will speak to each other. You can move data between plug-ins easily, and certain tasks are automated when you set up a ‘Zap’ – a workflow – to ensure that if A happens, B then happens, and C is the outcome.
Whether it be notifications for sales or conversions, automated emails at important points in a client’s buying journey, updating or creating data, moving RSS feed information into social posts, triggering an accounting event from a website purchase… really anything you can think that could be faster or more efficient, I can probably set up something for it in Zapier.”
“Slack makes communication… well, fun!” – VA Joe
“Inter-company messaging is just fun in Slack. It’s just fun. I not only work remotely myself, but many of my clients have entirely remote teams that I need to connect with. Aside from the hilarious GIFS and avatars that make life more colourful, I love it for the apps and integrations.
Personally, I help my clients create dedicated channels to use for different updates, like #newsignups, #customerdelights and #customerwins. We pipe intel in from our CRM so everyone can see when a new deal has come in and celebrate virtually. Otherwise, I help people maintain visibility with things like #bugreports, #npsfeedback and #support. Everyone across the company can feed in.
I can call a colleague quickly or start a huddle if I need a quick sanity check on something, and the bots we’ve built remind me of so many things I’d otherwise forget. Also, because I have multiple clients with their own Slack workspaces, I can toggle between them seamlessly.”
“Dropbox makes data syncing seamless and easy” – VA Gupta
“I work a lot with clientele across the videography and design space editing files, so file sharing and storing is a critical part of my work. I have to say, I love Dropbox for being able to back up literally everything I have and not have to download and save files on my desktop – or carry a physical hard drive with me everywhere I go.
It’s an easy-to-use interface, and I can set up smart sync and selective sync when there are things I don’t want to be uploaded and transferred. The built-in backup means I’ll never be responsible for losing someone’s lasting memories or footage, which would be devastating. Plus, Dropbox lets me recover anything for 30 days after I delete it. So if I make a mistake or need a file again, I have a month to use it. Phew!”
“LastPass gives me and my clients huge peace of mind” – VA Meredith
“I’m the proverbial keeper of keys in many ways, having so many logins to different apps and the holder of the admin account to so many of my client’s critical logins. I use LastPass, a virtual password management and sharing software, to keep these safe.
Because LastPass doesn’t store your passwords and instead stores them on an encrypted block of data that you synchronise among your devices, it keeps data safe from attackers. Even LastPass can’t decrypt passwords based on this logic.
I can also share passwords with other users (which, again, gives them no visibility to the password itself but allows them to log in if they need access to something). I’m very forgetful as a working mother to young kids, so I can’t remember my many passwords. LastPass means I don’t have to, and they even suggest how to make my passwords stronger, which I’ve used.”
Some other top tools and tech to aid your collaboration efforts
- Okta – Improved security and two-factor authentication.
- Canva – Cloud-based design software with useful templates and reasonably priced add-ons.
- Zoom – Video conferencing with useful group breakout space for improved collabs.
- Calendly – Instant booking software that puts the autonomy in customers’ hands.
- Time Doctor – Seamless time-tracking solutions for remote workers.
- MailChimp – Email marketing that’s simple, user-friendly and effective.
- Buffer – Write now, schedule for later. Save time on your social media content planning.
- Notion – All-in-one workspace for note-taking and task management.
- Xero – Integrated cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping.
- HubStaff – Your VA can log their hours here if you require time tracking.
- Mentimeter – Instant polls and client survey tools for instant feedback.
Just ask these business owners…
“My experience with this virtual assistant provider has been nothing short of exceptional.
The high-quality candidate selection, seamless onboarding process, and ongoing support have made them stand out in a competitive landscape.
If you’re in search of a virtual assistant to elevate your productivity and streamline your tasks, I wholeheartedly recommend this provider..”
Steven NunnCarlyle Kingswood Global
“I found my fabulous VA through the VA Lead Network and I want to keep her forever!
My business wouldn’t run as efficiently without her and I am so happy to have a VA contractor without the stress and worry of paying someone fulltime.”
Marianne CurranPet Professor
“I used this free service to advertise for a Virtual Assistant Marketing Implementation and Admin role for my No-Code Development Agency. Within 5 days I had a number of enquires from quality candidates, one of whom I have since hired.
Here were the big advantages for me:
1) I was able to limit the enquiries to Australian based VAs – which I wanted in this case. I do have offshore VAs do some work for my business but I wanted someone local for this role.
2) The process of posting was incredibly smooth and seamless.
3) I was about to pay $300 to advertise on another site and avoided that cost for what ended up being a better quality service.
4) The quality of the candidates that applied was very high so I wasn’t spending a lot of time vetting.
I would happily use this service again. Also just to clarify, I didn’t pay anything for this – but given the experience I wouldn’t hesitate to pay for one of VA Lead Network’s other services if it seemed like a good fit.”