I’ve said it before but Gmail is just invaluable for VAs. One reason is that they have a whole section called labs where you can find useful add-ons to make your inbox a lean, mean productivity machine. Some are simply handy, some are just for fun and others are absolute lifesavers that will make you bow down and worship at the alter of Google!
Posts Tagged Apps and Tools
Because Outlook is a crusty old dinosaur, I use Gmail as my one-stop email account. I import five other accounts into it (three of my own plus two that clients have set up for me) and I switch between all the Gmail accounts from my inbox by granting myself user access from the others. Nobody knows everything is going through Gmail and I get to use all the fantastic features that come with it – one of which is the phenomenal wonder-bomb Rapportive.
Once I needed to remotely show a client how to do a couple of things. My client had lost an email and I thought they might have accidentally clicked the ! icon which means ‘report spam’. So I took a screenshot of my Gmail inbox with this button highlighted in order to ascertain if they had indeed done this.
And I actually drew arrows on the screenshot.
When I’m trying to talk a client through a task it always helps if I can either see what they’re looking at on their screen or they can see what’s on mine so I can show them what to do. A really easy way to do this is to use the free screen-sharing facility on Skype.
If you’re a Virtual Assistant who charges by the hour then you’ll need a way of recording your time. Clients need to know they’re paying solely for the time you spend on their task, and it kinda helps if you know how much to bill them for! If you charge by the project then you probably won’t need a time tracker, but if you charge an hourly rate then you will.
Effectively and efficiently managing email accounts is a vital skill for any Virtual Assistant. From the multitude of emails you personally receive, to the ones for and from your clients, if you know how to firmly take control of all the different accounts and emails, you’ll not only be a better VA, but your clients will adore you.