Top 6 Basic Tools of a Virtual Assistant

I started online freelancing as an Administrative Assistant in August 2013. Thank goodness to Mr. Google, blogs and various Facebook support groups about online freelancing, I was able to get into the outsourcing bandwagon in no time. I've had my share of rejections and declined applications, way too much I think, but it did not stop me from trying again (and again).
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Clients expect their virtual assistants to be ready for the project and already know what to do. Do not expect your client will hold your hand and spoon feed you because aside from having the technical knowledge, a virtual assistant is expected to be creative in finding solutions.

Working remotely is so much more - graphic designer, web developer, writer, social media marketer, etc. But for the purpose of this list, I will use the term "virtual assistant" loosely.

Email - This is a no-brainer but it is nice to point out that it should be a professional sounding email. Leave out the word "sexy" or any other word that will give a client a wrong impression or image of yourself. Remember, for virtual professional relationships, first impression starts with your email name.

Skype - This is the most used, and highly recommended, messaging app. Aside from email, this is the second mode of communication between you and your boss (sorry, I still have the corporate slave-master hangover) client.

Skype features:
  • Like buttons for social media 
  • Cheap international Skype-to-phone rates 
  • Conference call capability 
  • Video conferencing 
  • Computer screen sharing options 
Again, be reminded to get a professional sounding Skype name. You can sign up for Skype here:

Screensharing and Remote Access Tool - Gone were the days that your boss can breathe down on your neck and watch what you're doing on your screen all the time. For a virtual assistant, the only way that both you and your boss/client see each other's screen is through the use of the screensharing app. This is very helpful during training sessions, online meetings, demos, and collaborations to remotely access each other's desktops.

I currently use Teamviewer and Join.Me but there a lot remote access tools out there that you can use. You can check's Top 10 Free Remote Access Software That Let You Share and Access Files from Another Computer to see what fits your needs.

Task Manager - To make sure that everyone is on the same page, a task manager is highly recommended. This app manages the project's calendar, collaborations, and progress -- the team's meeting place.

Timetracker - In hourly projects, this is very important tool to track your progress. Normally, online job portals like oDesk and Elance, to name a few, have a downloadable time tracker. Time trackers take periodic snapshots of your screen that you can review to assure both parties that only project related tasks are billed.

Password Manager - Don't forget this. For obvious reasons, it is not sensible, in fact it is plain stupid, to get a generic password for all your accounts. For sure, it's going to be hard to keep track of passwords across your accounts so a Password manager is a very helpful tool.

Cloud Drive - This very useful for storing backup files. In the event that your working PC or laptop crashes, you can still retrieve your files from other computers and continue working.

There is a lot cloud storage but my top 3 is:

  1. GoogleDrive
  2. Dropbox (if you sign up using this link, I get 500 MB bonus space =) )
  3. SkyDrive 
These are just basic tools that will surely get a new virtual assistant started.

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