Which tools do you use to work from home?

By now you know why there is so much hype around work from home or remote working tools among businesses! The Covid 19 outbreak is affecting millions of people and businesses globally as countries are going on lockdown, markets are closed, business operations have been halted, and much more. 

Quarantine will end. Remote work could be here to stay. And when all this is over, a lot of those workers would like it to stay this way.

As a lot more people are working from home now, I’ve decided to share a list of some of the tools we use as Virtual Assistants. Hopefully these will be able to help you with being productive at home. The thing about tools is, you use one tool then before you know it, a new and better tool is already available. Some have worked wonderfully and others… not so much! There are THOUSANDS of business tools on the market. They all promise to be the one thing you need to increase your income, be more productive, grow your email list, get more likes/followers/page views and whatever else. But realistically, they can’t ALL be that ONE thing you need.

This is a list of tools that I’ve used personally and I know that they can make a huge difference in your life and work especially while you work from home.

Project Management

Project management involves with effective plans and systematically organization of work. It includes defining the project objectives, making schedules and assigning tasks, in order to accomplish a successful goal. There are many tools that make project management more effective and efficient.

Asana is a great tool that allows you to assign and manage tasks with a team of up to 15 people completely for free! You can toggle tasks, move them around the different stages of completion on your kanban board (assigned – in progress – done), assign them to team members, send them email reminders, and see the work-in-progress either as a kanban board, to-do-list, or a calendar.

Trello is known for visualizing project tasks on a cardboard-like dashboard that’s great for managing short and quick everyday assignments. You can create an unlimited task list; you can share files and images and organize your lists by dates and priority.

ClickUp is kind of like if Asana and Trello got together and had a baby. ClickUp is a project management platform that’s focused on efficient task management.  ClickUp’s fully customizable features make it a must-have for agile teams of all sizes and in all industries that want to keep everything from design to development in one intuitive place.

Social Media Scheduling

Hootsuite is a scheduling tool that you can use to automatically share Facebook posts, Instagram photos, and tweets. Since people are staying at home, Hootsuite implied that social media usage will increase as they won’t be spending much time anywhere else. So, you must have a proper management tool for social media platforms.  It’s easy to use, and you can get your social media up and running in no time. You can also manage your social media activities such as managing your content, generating analytics reports, find & filter social conversations that matter, and much more

Social Pilot is a social media scheduling and marketing platform developed specifically for agencies and social media professionals. It is designed to help users enhance the efficiency of their online marketing strategies and efforts, and save time and money. It helps you increase brand awareness and traffic to your profiles.

MeetEdgar works with multiple platforms and it categorises your content for better organization. You can post content from it, schedule posts, and send posts repetitively. However, it doesn’t let you interact with your audience directly.

Sked Social helps over 10,000 companies from small businesses through to global brands to collaborate, plan and publish their social media content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They visually plan, schedule and analyse Instagram posts and stories to engage your followers and convert more customers.

Buffer manages your social media activities across multiple accounts and platforms which can be time consuming and monotonous. The app streamlines the process with an intuitive social media management platform designed to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively.
You can easily create and schedule posts across all of your accounts. Buffer then publishes them according to the posting schedule you select for each of your social media accounts.

Scheduling and Appointments

Acuity Scheduling  is great for any VA that finds themselves scheduling different types of appointments like discovery calls and regular check-in calls with clients.. Acuity  is your online assistant, working 24/7 to fill your schedule. Clients can quickly view your real-time availability and self-book their own appointments—and even pay online, reschedule with a click, and eliminate 100% of the drudgery. It even offers the option to text a client to remind them that they have an appointment with you. If you have forgetful clients, or if you need to charge for your time, Acuity offers great options for paid and free calls.

Book Like A Boss is an all-in-one scheduling platform for you to take appointments, sell your services and manage your business.

Calendly is an amazingly simple (free-mium) online tool that allows you to create availability time slots and allow people to choose a meeting time from a link. It syncs with your Google and Apple calendar and sends you (and the person you’re meeting) email reminders to your email – so you never forget a meeting again. You can set different meeting types (although only one type can be used at a time in the free version).

Payment Tools

Paypal is the most popular platform because many clients are aware of it and it has the biggest presence worldwide. The main downside is the high fees it charges for its services. is an alternative worth considering because it has a presence in many countries.

Invoicing Tools

Paypal Invoicing allows you to customize your invoice, add a logo. Schedule invoices in advance to be sent on a certain day. Accept partial payments. Allow clients to leave a tip. Send payment reminders. Process credit card payments with per transaction fee.

Slickpie can manage accounting for multiple businesses from one account. Client login portal. Payment processing through Paypal, Stripe, or credit cards. Set up recurring invoices. Automatic payment reminders. Send quotes or estimates for project. Expense tracking. Connect your bank account for easy accounting. Attach receipts to projects and invoices. Profit and loss and tax reports available.

File Sharing Tools

Microsoft One Drive provides you with 5GB of free space when you sign up. It has security features like password protection and expiring links.

Dropbox allows you to share files with one another person and they are continually improving service with many features. Once you add a file to your Dropbox account, you can get a link to the file and share it with your colleagues. You can also create a shared Dropbox folder that both you, your colleagues or employees have access to. It’s simple and easy to use.

Communication

Skype-Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. The best part is you avoid the hassle of travel. Make use of this application for individual and small group meetings. For example, you can do a conference call on Skype if you have a weekly management meeting.

Loom enables you to screen share in a video so you can basically look at my computer screen (maybe an email, maybe a project that we are going through), and what’s really nice is you have the option of even having your camera in the corner so you can see me talking, but still also see my screen and what’s going on.

Zoom works way better than Skype, with less dropped calls and lag time. It’s great for team meetings, client meetings, coaching calls, and more. It integrates with Calendly, so whenever someone books a call with me, they are automatically given the Zoom link for our meeting.

Photo by NEOSiAM 2020 on Pexels.com

Email Host

G Suite-I use Google’s G-Suite for everything, including email, my calendar, documents, spreadsheets, document sharing with my team and my clients, and more! It syncs well between my phone and computer, plus it works great with Asana too. Without Google’s suite of tools, I’d definitely be a disorganised mess in my business!

Password Management

Last Pass-This is a password management program that allows you to share my passwords and login credentials with virtual workers, while reducing your security risk. You can communicate this information in one of two ways. If you give them a password, they can see it and use it. If you share it, they can’t see it (it remains masked), but they can use it.

Graphic Design

Crello and Canva are the most versatile tools for Virtual Assistants. They are an all-in-one graphic design tool that lets you create graphics based on thousands of templates in many formats: for infographics, social media, cover images posts, profile pictures, posters,  leaflets, PDFs, presentations, eBook covers etc.

All templates come in the right dimensions for the different platforms– which saves you time figuring out what dimensions you need for different social media. And if you need to resize your already-created graphic – you have the magical resize tool in the paid plan.

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