Now that you have started your online job, or if you are on a hunt for one. You must be curious on what they actually do apart from the job description employers have posted, and you may also have wondered what online tools they use? Online tools are necessary for working remotely and virtually since it makes collaboration seamless and organizes work more efficiently. We all got used to using the ever trusted Microsoft Word and Excel at work and school. But we live in an age where everything is technologically advance and the future is all about cloud computing. There are a lot of free and paid online tools available on the internet for a specific function, such as word processing, spreadsheets, project management, note taking app, to do list, etc. If you go searching in Youtube and Google, there are tons of online apps that does the same thing, some have more features than others, or even have a different user interface, but most of them does the same thing. But what online tools does a virtual assistant need for everyday work? Below are the 7 basic and general online applications that I use for my work on a daily basis and all of them are FREE to use.
- Trello – project management app
- Asana – Task Management app
- Evernote – Note taking app
- Gmail – Email app
- Google Drive – Cloud Storage
- Google Docs and Sheets – Documentation and Database
- Canva – Photo Creation
Trello – My go to Project Management App.
I only use Trello for Project Management since I am able to track the process and flow of the project better than any other project management app I’ve tried. I always differentiate Task Management with Project Management, since I define Task Management as a simple to do list, while Project Management is more of tracking a project from start to finish. There are a lot of similar apps out there like Trello such as Asana, Basecamp, Bitrix, and Notion. Some do have a really sleek interface such as Notion but I still settled to using Trello as my Main Project Management because my workflow benefits more on using a Kanban System. Another reason why I chose Trello over the competition was because of ease of use, the simplicity of Trello got me hook to it since it’s very user friendly even for a beginner.
Asana – My To Do list App.
Asana and Trello are both Task/Project Management Apps so why do I need to use both instead of just one? Well, I use Trello as a project management app because of it’s kanban system — I like to work with cards when I’m doing a flow or process. The downside with Trello is that it just uses kanban or cards and it doesn’t have a list view which I prefer when writing my to do list. Though there are work arounds, I prefer to have my “To Do List” as a list rather than cards. That’s the reason why I use Asana, because I find the list view in Asana better for my to do list, it also has a board view or kanban view, but I prefer Trello for a board view because of its user interface. I was having mixed feelings between Asana and Notion, but I settled with Asana because I just find it much more simpler to use than Notion. And what I like about it is aside from a checklist of to do’s, you can click on the task and add more details to it on a separate tab.
Evernote – My online notebook.
I never went searching for other notebook apps aside from Onenote. And I just like Evernote better because I find the user interface simpler to use than Onenote. But I’m not saying that Onenote is bad, Onenote is actually a good note taking app if you like to deal with lots features. However, I’m just not a fan of using Microsoft apps ever since I tried other online apps that does the same thing. Because I only need online tools for basic stuff and a lot of applications out there are much more simpler and user friendly than Microsoft Apps. But if you are already comfortable with Microsoft apps and is a power user, then Microsoft is actually the only thing you need. I write my Blogs using Evernote.
Gmail – The only email I would ever use.
I don’t know with you guys, but Yahoo Mail has so much ads in their emails. Outlook on the other hand, is just so confusing for me. Gmail is by far, the best email app that I have used because the interface is clean and the ads are separated in another tab, so it doesn’t clutter your inbox.
Google Drive – Cloud Storage.
It just so happen that I have a Gmail account so it also comes with a Google Drive. But I’m okay to use Dropbox or Onedrive. It doesn’t really matter what cloud storage I use.
Google Docs and Google Sheets – I just love them, period.
Before there were only Microsoft Word and Excel, and when I got introduced to Google Apps, I never looked back. Google Sheets is enough for my need since I am not a power user and I don’t write complex formulas. What I also like about Google Sheets is that it automatically saves, unlike in Excel where you have to save it manually. And best of all, I can just send the link of my Google Sheet and send it to my boss whenever needed — no need for email attachments. Another advantage of using Google Apps is that you can access it anywhere as long as you have access to internet. I have a spreadsheet of my workout log that I edit on my smartphone whenever I am in the gym, now that is convenience. — Google Apps are free to use forever and all you need is a Google account.
Canva – quick and easy image creation
There are templates that you can choose by default, such as instagram posts, facebook posts, cover image etc. I use Canva for creating some of my Facebook posts. But if I like to tweek the designs more, I’ll either use photoshop or illustrator for that.
So these are just the general tools that I mostly use in my online job as a virtual assistant. But of course, there are other more specific apps that I use that is specifically catered for Amazon Seller Central and for my work, namely Helium10, WordPress, Manychat, Shopify, Slack, and Mailchimp, and I’ll be discussing this on another article since they are more complex.
I also played around with other tools that does the same job and I’ll be discussing them also in another article on why I settled for these apps instead.
There is no perfect app out there since a lot of companies are creating more and more apps that have similar functions, it just all boils down to what is more comfortable for you to use and what your organization is using. The apps that I am using are not exactly the best, but they have worked well for me and my workflow. There are a lot of free apps out there and I highly suggest you try them out and see what works best for you. Happy App Hunting!
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