If you’re just starting out in business, whether it’s as a virtual assistant, business coach, freelance accountant or web designer, having the right tools in place at the outset will save you lots of time in the long run.
I’ve selected the top 10 business tools I use to run my virtual assistant business day to day. I couldn’t run my business efficiently without them and wanted to give you a little insight into each one so you can see just how awesome they are!
1 | LastPass 🔐
I’d say LastPass is one of the first tools you’ll want to download. WHY? Because it’s a secure vault where you can store ALL of your passwords so before we move onto the next 9 tools, download LastPass as you’ll need somewhere to store all of these log in’s and passwords.
Since becoming a virtual assistant I now have more log in’s and passwords than ever before and LastPass is the perfect place to store them.
Once you’ve created an account LastPass does all the hard work for you – for instance, if you are signing up to a new website and need to create an account, LastPass will automatically pop up and ask if you want to save the log in and password.
Inside LastPass you can create folders to keep everything organised. I used it to store ALL my passwords and the best bit – it’s FREE.
2 | Free Agent ⏱ 💷
FreeAgent acts as my accounting software. Think Xero or QuickBooks, Free Agent is similar. I use it to track time when I’m working for each of my clients, I create invoices, record expenses and my bank account is connected so that I can do my bookkeeping.
I like the dashboard feature so that I can see how much I’ve invoiced per month, what invoices are outstanding and my incomings/outgoings and total profit for the year.
My accountant has just sorted a discount for me so I’m now paying £10 per month (I think the usual subscription is around £20).
3 | Asana 🗂
You knew this one was coming didn’t you 😍 I talk about Asana a lot as I really love it as a workflow and task management tool. I use the free version and it works perfectly for my needs.
I not only use Asana to organise and keep track of my client tasks but I also use it for my personal life for meal planning, birthdays, my Christmas list, my dream home and interior project as well as having a vision board.
It’s such a great tool for keeping everything under one roof! I will admit I did find it a little hard to use in the beginning but like anything, you need to keep using and practicing and you soon find your way around.
If Asana is a tool you would like to use but you’ve been overwhelmed by exactly how to use it – I do have power hours which can help and you can find out more about those here.
4 | Acquity Scheduling 📆
Acuity Scheduling is a cloud-based appointment scheduling software solution that enables business owners to manage their appointments online. You connect your own calendar and then people can use your link to book times that are available.
I’ve also connected my Zoom account so that when I have new enquiries I can easily send my Acquity link and the person can book without us having to go back and forth trying to find a date.
5 | Zoom 🖥
Zoom has TAKEN OFF these past few month due to COVID and everyone now conducting their meetings online! I’ve used Zoom from the start and it’s still my favourite virtual meeting tool above Microsoft Teams.
I only have a FREE account which means I can speak one on one for as long as I want but if there are 3 of us on the call, you only get 40 minutes. It’s a great tool for client calls as means we can share screens to go through work.
6 | ConvertKit 📝
Convertkit is my chosen software for sending newsletters. I do have a paid for subscription (whereas there are free versions out there e.g. Mailchimp or Mailerlite).
I was recommended ConverKit and I really love it as it’s simple to use. I can pre-write my newsletters and schedule them to go out.
7 | PLANN 📲
It’s taken me a little while to find a social media scheduling tool that I really like. I started off using Planoly and most recently was using Meet Edgar but I found it really expensive and I’m just not organised enough when it comes to putting my content together.
PLANN was a little limited as it did only support Instagram. However, they’ve recently introduced automatic scheduling to Facebook and LinkedIn which works perfectly for me.
PLANN is free for one platform but any more you need to pay. I pay $9 a month for 3 platforms and I get 30 posts each a month which is plenty enough for me.
8 | Canva 🖍
I think almost ALL business owners have dabbled with Canva. It’s such a great tool for creating beautiful social media graphics. I use it to create all my graphics as well as using it for client work.
I do have the pro version ($90 for the year) and that’s because I like the option of having the branding pallets for all my clients, it makes it easier having all their HEX colours to hand. You also get unlimited storage and access to loads more images and graphics.
9 | Cloud Storage (GoogleDrive + OneDrive) 🗄
In order to keep things super organised you need somewhere to store all your files and documents. I did start out by using DropBox but soon used up all the memory and kept getting notifications asking me to pay.
I now use my OneDrive and GoogleDrive storage. I love being able to create folders and upload documents. It’s so easy to keep things clean and tidy.
10 | Loom 📹
Loom is one of the most recent tools I’ve started using as I’ve been recording various “how to” videos for my YouTube channel (which is a working progress). It’s super simple to use and I have it as a chrome extension so all I need to do when I want to start recording my screen is push the loom button.
Before you start recording there’s the option to have your face in a small circle in the bottom left of the screen which I find is good as helps whoever is watching to connect with you.
This is another free tool.
So there we have it, the top 10 business tools I use to run my virtual assistant business.
If you need help with any of the above tools then please do give me a shout as I know my way around them quite well now!
You can contact me by email – firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting me via my contact form.