5 Essential (And Free) Tools For Working With Virtual Assistants

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Hiring your first virtual assistant can be both an exciting but also very stressful experience. After all, handing over some of your daily tasks to someone else may free you up to grow your business at a faster rate, but it also changes your job role from general worker to manager.

So while hiring a VA may be one of the most beneficial moves you can make as your business grows, here are some of the most useful tools to help make the transition as smooth and effective as possible.

Jing

Jing is a free screen capture and screen recording application which can be a very effective way to quickly create tutorial videos for your new employee.

By creating videos of your computer screen as you use software, create content, market your site and so on your VA will be able to quickly understand the key processes in your business and how to implement them most effectively.

Even better, rather than trying to train your VA on a one-to-one basis, if you add new VAs to your organization in the future, or your current virtual assistant moves on to other opportunities you’ll have all the training materials you need already created and ready to train a whole new employee.

5 Essential (And Free) Tools For Working With Virtual Assistants

Google Docs

Google Docs can be a great way to maintain a central “library” of information for both you and your VA to refer to. By providing your VA with access you’ll be able to collaborate more easily, as well as ensuring your VA has all the information they need to complete regular tasks such as blog passwords, social bookmarking account details, content planning and more.

Skype

Sometimes even with the power of shared documents and video tuition it’s necessary to chat in person to your VA and Skype is one of the best ways of all to do this. Even better, if you both have Skype installed on your computer or smart phone then it’s free to use – even if your VA is half way round the world.

Online Storage Services

Online storage services that allow you to not only store important documents (think of all those Jing videos you’ll be making) but to also share them with others without the need for emailing large files. Dropbox is arguably the best known of these though there are plenty of other options.

Simply install the Dropbox application on your computer and you’ll gain access to a special folder that you can share with other people. Then, when you want to send a large file to your VA, simply drag and drop it into your Dropbox folder and it’ll appear on their computer like magic.

Equally, if your VA is creating content for you, they can simply copy finished articles into the folder ready for you to inspect and publish at any time with minimal fuss or effort.

Project Management Software

Project management software is so much more effective than email for managing your employee(s). It allows you to create projects, delegate them to specific individuals, set time-limits, collaborate in real time and more. In other words it provides a central resource from which to manage all aspects of your staffing and makes for an efficient and smooth-running operation.

While Basecamp may be the best-known project management software available, there are free alternatives that work just as well. To start your search, I strongly recommend you take a look at ProofHub and Freedcamp – both of which will amaze you.

Richard reviews and tests ecommerce software for a living over at TechToucan.