In any business, getting more done is a top priority, and productivity apps can help. If you’re working with a virtual assistant, it’s important to have the best productivity apps to facilitate a virtual environment. In the past, being remote made this challenging, but technology has advanced, giving us many options.
But what does productivity really mean, and what are the best tools for the job? Let’s take a closer look!
What “Productivity” Looks Like
Working with remote teams has many benefits. Did you know that remote workers are outperforming their office-based counterparts? The absence of office distractions and the freedom to work independently allows remote workers to maximize their productivity.
When you and your virtual assistant work remotely, it’s essential to define what productivity means to your business. This can be done by setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals.
It’s important to note that productivity is not just about the number of hours worked. Clocking in and out doesn’t necessarily mean that work has been done. Instead, focus on measuring the right things, like whether you’re moving towards business goals and if you’re spending time fighting fires. This can indicate changes needed in your processes to become more productive.
Roadblocks to Productivity
Based on our experience working with multiple remote clients and team members, the most significant obstacles to productivity are:
- Not having clear direction or goals to work towards.
- Poor communication.
- Not having the right productivity tools to facilitate the remote environment.
To overcome these challenges, it’s essential to establish clear goals and directions, improve communication, and use the right productivity tools for remote work.
Top 10 Virtual Assistant Tools to Boost Productivity
When you search for productivity software, you’ll find a huge number of options. As remote work has become more common, there has been a surge in productivity apps and Software as a Service (SaaS). This can be overwhelming for someone trying to quickly find suitable solutions.
We’ve tested and used several apps over time and have narrowed down our top picks. This can help you make a decision faster!
P.S. All the virtual assistant tools we recommend come from credible companies with secure websites, so you don’t have to worry about your online privacy.
1. Canva / Pixelcut (Design)
Visual images are a great way to get attention online, and Canva is a fantastic tool to help you create them! Canva is an online platform with graphic design tools that’s easy to use. It has a library of templates and tools that make graphic design accessible to everyone, and you can find just the right image or element to complete your project.
Canva is perfect for creating professional-looking images, even if you’re not a graphic designer. They have tutorials to help you get started and create engaging blog feature images, advertisements, or images with quotes. You can share your designs with your team, and everyone can edit them too.
You can use Canva for free, and there are affordable monthly plans starting at $29.98 per user for business users who need more storage space and advanced features like team collaboration.
Pixelcut is an AI-powered editing tool that makes it easy to create product photos, ads, and other assets for your online stores. With its background remover, you can instantly remove backgrounds and add shadows to any of your shots. Using the magic eraser, you can remove objects from the foreground or background to make your picture perfect. Plus, the batch editor helps you to edit several images at once, and custom templates make duplicating your editing tasks a breeze.
Asana is a great tool for managing tasks and projects. It can help you keep track of your own to-do list and help teams stay organized. Asana is an important project management tool for businesses of all sizes because it helps teams track progress and manage tasks efficiently.
Asana has commenting features that make it a great collaboration tool. Team members can create tasks and assign them to other members. Asana also allows users to mention other users in tasks, making it easy to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that tasks are completed on time.
Communication can often be a big challenge when it comes to productivity, but Loom is an awesome tool that can help! Loom is a video tool that has three settings to allow you to communicate clearly: screen with camera, just screen, or just camera. You can use it for screen sharing or to simply record a video of yourself sending a message. All you need to do is install the browser extension, click the record button, and you’re ready to go!
One great way to use Loom is to create shareable processes for your entire team. You can easily show how something works or quickly explain how you want something done. You can save your videos to a library for future reference, making it easy for you and your virtual assistant to reference them later.
Social media management can be a time-consuming task for you or your virtual assistant. Logging in and out of accounts and coming up with daily posts can really eat into your personal and professional time.
But don’t worry, Hootsuite is a social media management tool that streamlines all of those tasks. You can manage your different social media platforms from one dashboard, which means no more logging in and out.
One of the best features of Hootsuite is that you can schedule social media posts in one go via the dashboard. You can do this for all of your accounts, even planning out a few weeks at a time. This saves you time and helps you avoid the social media “rabbit hole” that can be easy to fall down.
Another great feature for small business owners and virtual assistants is the content curation section. This allows you to store pre-approved content in a cloud-based file, which your virtual assistant can use for social media posts. So, if you come across something while browsing, you can add it to the file.
Your virtual assistant can also monitor and respond to your social media followers via the Hootsuite dashboard. It also comes with analytics so you can track your social media performance. Hootsuite is a great tool that can help you save time and manage your social media accounts more efficiently.
Sometimes having too many online tools can actually hinder productivity, especially if they don’t work together. The more you can automate repetitive tasks in your processes, the more efficiently you can operate. If you’re constantly logging in and out of different apps or manually entering data from one app to another, it can be inefficient.
But there’s a solution! Zapier is a great productivity app that can help you create more effective processes. It acts as the “middle man” between apps that don’t have in-built integrations with one another to make automations happen.
For example, you can use Zapier to create a link between Asana and Gmail, allowing tasks to be created in Asana from emails in Gmail.
Zapier gives you the ability to automate all kinds of common tasks so that you can focus on other things. It’s available in both free and paid plans, depending on your needs for features and integrations. Zapier is a great tool that can help you streamline your online tools and make your work more efficient.
Toggl is a great time management app that’s easy to use. It has a push-button timer that lets you track your time easily. You can break down your data in different ways and see exactly how you’re spending your time. Toggl works on all devices and lets you track how much time you’re spending on the other tools it integrates with. It’s a great tool for tracking your time and making sure you’re using it effectively.
Have you ever struggled to log into your apps or programs? It can be a huge productivity killer and waste a lot of time doing resets and confirmations.
But don’t worry, Lastpass is a great password management app that can help. It remembers your passwords for you and works in the background to automatically update them for any changes.
LastPass also offers an enterprise plan with features like single sign-on, two-factor authentication, password auditing, and more. With LastPass, you can get into your productivity tools the first time, every time! Say goodbye to the frustration of incorrect usernames or passwords and hello to a more efficient workday.
Every business needs a good accounting software, and we highly recommend Xero. It’s a popular accounting app that’s packed with productivity features and can help automate key functions.
Xero allows you or your virtual assistant to do many things quickly, like reconciling accounts, sending purchase orders, managing inventory, bills, and processing invoices. It also integrates with many other apps, so you can easily hook it up with something you already use.
Xero is a great tool that can help you manage your finances more efficiently, saving you time and making your work easier.
9. CRM Software
If you have clients, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a must-have productivity app. It helps you manage your customer lists, remember important things about them, and keep track of their preferences and activity. A good CRM software can make it easier for you to build strong relationships with your customers and keep them happy.
We’ve got three great options for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that we really like:
- Ontraport – This fully-featured option allows you to map out the entire customer journey, set up your sales funnels, automate emails, track your marketing, and get a range of data. It integrates with many other apps, so you can build the customer-focused system you need.
- ActiveCampaign – If you’re looking for email marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is a great choice. This CRM tool helps with contact management and the timing of your emails too.
- Infusionsoft – This tool provides a central point for all of your customer data. You can easily manage sales stats and task updates in one place, making it a great option for streamlining your customer management.
These three CRM software options can help you manage your customers more effectively, automate key functions, and keep track of important data
Almost every business will have the following questions, how could I have more leads/prospects to connect. Leadsourcing is a great productivity tool that can help with LinkedIn lead generation and auto-connect function. It’s a great tool for businesses or individuals who want to expand their network on LinkedIn.
With Leadsourcing, you can easily find potential leads and connect with them automatically. This saves you time and helps you build your network more efficiently. You can also use the tool to manage your leads and keep track of your interactions with them.
Leadsourcing is a great tool for anyone who wants to grow their network on LinkedIn and generate more leads. It’s easy to use and can help you save time while increasing your productivity.
To conclude, managing productivity is important, especially when you’re working remotely. To help, you should use some top productivity apps. But don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to use too many at once. Start by choosing your top few apps that you need the most.
As you become more comfortable with these apps and your workflow develops, you can add in other features. This way, you’ll have the right productivity apps to help your business run smoothly without creating extra work for yourself. Prioritizing your essential apps first can help you manage your productivity better and make your workday more efficient.