Savvy office management professionals like myself have a wealth of useful tools in our toolbox. These tools help with productivity, for ourselves AND our clients, in several ways, and we often have our favourite ones.
Here, I share 6 of my personal favourite organisational tools and why I like them so much:
Oh Canva, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Canva (www.canva.com) is a very well-known online image editing application. From adding text to photos to creating PDFs and social media images of all sizes, Canva knows no bounds. A free account lets you accomplish a lot all by itself, but a paid account allows you to include a team on your account, unlimited folders, more brand colours, and access to a lot more elements than a free account does. Having said that, the free account is perfect if you’re just starting out with image design.
My personal favourite use for Canva is: being able to create such a breath-taking social media images, from either Canva templates or my own uploads, and giving them a truly professional and branded look. Canva is great fun!
Outlook Calendar Overlays
If you’re an admin/virtual assistant who is required to oversee multiple client calendars, this feature is a complete no brainer; seriously – it will change your life! See multiple calendars at once, side-by-side or in a stacked view. This allows you to see availability across multiple calendars all at the same time. Read more about it here.
How this feature has personally saved ME time: I have several calendars now. Examples are: VOB calendar (for my client work), a family calendar (I share with my ex-husband), a utilities calendar (this shows me when bills are due out), a bills calendar (for VOB finances/subscription renewals), a school calendar (for school activities, events, payments etc.), one for Harper my cockerpoo (for vets, tablets etc.) and one self-care calendar for me, to make sure I get booked in early for my hair, dentist etc!
Part of Microsoft 365 and as handy as an online calendar, an online to-do list is perfect for sharing with others and the mobile app means that you can add something to your list on the go. To-do allows you to stay focused on your tasks and managing them even easier. Check it out here.
My personal favourite way to use this app is: Creating folders for my to-do list and the reminders function. If you are a Microsoft Premium subscription holder, this also integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM system. A former client didn’t know (neither did I), until I recommended the Microsoft To-Do list and by complete coincidence it integrated with the CRM he had already been using for a couple of years!
Admins of all kinds know, when you need to log into a client’s account, sharing passwords securely, without the need to reset them, is a huge timesaver. But it’s more than just a password manager – you can store credit card information, shipping information, digital records and it even helps you to generate strong passwords for your accounts. What about data breaches? LastPass will notify you immediately if there is ever a chance your personal information is at risk. Learn more about it here.
How LastPass saves me time: I was forever having to re-set my passwords via email. Every time I created a new password, it was a logical choice and I would never forget it. Until the next time I forgot it. Now I have LastPass as a Chrome extension on my laptop. I also access LastPass via my mobile app for a quick password reminder. I now have over 190+ passwords stored and would not be without it.
Sharing content on social media is the BIGGEST time suck there is, but luckily, I’ve found one of the best applications around to help me manage my social media without pulling out my long post lockdown hair.
SmarterQueue connects with all of your social media platforms, allows for evergreen content, direct publishing to Instagram, and so much more. Analytics help me to stay on top of my post’s performance, filters to easily find my scheduled content quickly, and it even has an in-house content search for sharing other people’s content. Get a double-length trial of SmarterQueue by following this link and signing up for a free trial!
What I personally love most about SmarterQueue: The libraries keep me feeling organised. I can see my content, categorised in each social media platform. I love that my content is Evergreen and I just keep adding to it. It has saved me so much time in my own business, I speak from experience!
Time-tracking has never been so important as it is these days when so many professionals are working from home. But before the pandemic, freelancers and business teams used applications, such as Toggl, to track their work time.
With one-click, background tracking, calendar integration, as well as integrations with popular task applications such as Trello, Asana, Todoist, and more, connectivity couldn’t be any simpler. Send your clients great-looking time-tracking reports in a variety of formats, too!
How Toggl saves ME time, personally: This little gem keeps me on track. Sometimes I can enjoy a client task so much it would be easy to let time run away with me. The report feature than Toggl can generate is hugely helpful to clients who want to manage the cost of the support they are investing in, and what tasks are the biggest time sucks.
I truly hope that you find these organisational tools as helpful as I do.
Do you have any favourites you’d like to share with me? Let me know via email: shirley @ virtualofficebox dot com