With technology and social media ever increasingly advancing, it’s important to roll with the punches. Various applications and programs are popping up everywhere, designed to optimise work and business. Which are a help and which hinder though? This 2 part blog article gives an overview of my most valued programs in terms of time management and productivity as a virtual assistant.
Please note, this is only an overview of the free versions of these programs.
This handy little time tracking tool can be essential in ensuring that you are prioritising your time on the tasks that matter most. Beneficial for both freelancers and clients, Toggle is just a simple time management tool with no hidden tricks.
With it’s simple, clean interface, it is easy to track your time in one of two different ways. The most efficient way is by using the simple timer function whenever you begin a task. The other way is mainly for if you forget to start the timer, so you are able to manually create a time log instead.
Toggl allows reports to be compiled and downloaded to show all timed projects. You can sort projects into different folders with tags and named users to make reports even more easy to break down. You can even sort out the billable projects from the non-billable.
The date function for reports timespan is fully adjustable and Toggl will also pop up with a reminder if it feels you are doing a task and haven’t clicked the timer. Likewise, if you have been idle for a certain amount of time while the timer is running, it will remind you and ask if you wish it to continue.
As well as the web browser version, there are two other ways to work with Toggl. There is a Google Chrome extension, which is extremely handy to have, especially if working online as it logs the last five tasks you have worked on and gives you the option to continue the timer on these. There is also the desktop version which is similar in that it has a pop-up, allowing you to log your most used project times.
Overall, this tool is an excellent addition to your productivity as it is simple, easy-to-use has a free version and enables you to continue with getting the important things done.
There are many different social media scheduling tools, HootSuite, Loomly and many more. As a virtual assistant, working predominantly on other business owners social media, my personal preference, however, is Buffer.
This is an excellent, simple to use social media scheduling app which can be used across all devices with real-time syncing. There is a free version for one user and with it, you can register up to 3 social media platform options with 10 daily posts each. It works with the main social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn and has just recently added Instagram to the mix. In the more premium version, you can also choose Pinterest.
With the premium versions you can add teams to streamline your social media scheduling even more, but the free version is ideal for personal users and very small businesses.
Buffer has a google chrome extension which is extremely helpful in quickly grabbing articles and links for adding to your social media schedule. It also has an add-on, Pablo which creates free images with quotes as an extra resource for your schedule.
With advance scheduling and the simple, easy to use layout, it is hard to go wrong with this particular app.
Although at first, this just seems like a glorified notebook, I find for me, it is much more. Unlike the notes app on IOS, you can see at a glance all of your notes laid out. Unless of course, you are like me and have hundreds!
One of the best functions of this app is that you can colour code each note according to the subject matter. You are, unfortunately, limited to the number of colours you can use and you have no way of categorizing your notes into folders, but for anyone who likes their notes looking pretty and colour coded, this is certainly the tool for you!
You can pin the most important notes to the very top of your screen and move them around on your board. You can also store notes you need but don’t necessarily want to see on a daily basis, in an archive file. Pictures and links to websites and social media can also be added to your notes to keep everything together.
Definitely a win for anyone who likes to see their workings laid out all at once in an aesthetically pleasing manner!
Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!