Are you worried that you won’t be able to manage a virtual talent halfway across the globe? Don’t be! In today’s modern world, there are a whole host of ways to stay connected and keep work going, no matter the timezone.
But to effectively manage your virtual assistant, you’ll need streamlined workflows and even clearer communication. Without either, your virtual assistant will constantly be reaching out to you for clarification to figure out what you truly meant by “put the file in that one spot again” in your email.
How Can I Get Better at Managing My Virtual Assistant?
Lucky for you, there are some free tools out there that can help you manage your virtual assistant, and they can even help you get aligned with clearer communication and task delegation.
So how can you take advantage of free tools to manage your virtual assistant? Well, first you need to know which ones exist in the space. Second, you need to use them well!
Here we’ll explore some free tools and technologies that can help streamline workflows and enhance your productivity when managing your virtual assistant. Many of these free tools come with limitations, so please beware. I’ve tried to post the main limitations (indicated between parentheses) of each free tool so that you can have a basis for what ones you would like to investigate.
Project Management Software
Project management software is a valuable tool for organizing tasks, setting deadlines, and tracking progress. Without this, how would you ever be able to know what you’ve worked on in the past without digging through tons of emails?
Free Project Management Platforms For Managing Virtual Assistants
- Asana ← My Favorite (up to 15 users)
- Trello ← The best for kanbans (only up to 10 boards/projects)
- Wrike ← Best for creating pre-set project templates (unlimited users — 2GB max storage)
- Monday.com ← Best for spreadsheet-like features (Only up to 2 users)
These free tools allow you to create projects, assign tasks to your virtual assistants, log and track notes on each task/project, and monitor their completion status. This keeps your entire virtual team on track and ensures that everyone has a clear overview of project timelines and responsibilities.
So start using these free project management tools and let your VA do what they do best!
Platforms to Help You Communicate Fast & Clearly
Sometimes you worry about if your communication is clear enough. We all do. If this is something you frequently receive feedback on, I recommend that you use some of the tools below to help you create clear messages to set work tasks for your virtual assistants.
Writing clear instructions is one of the most key things to being an effective task delegator for a virtual assistant. Try these tools below (especially ChatGPT) to help you write clear and detailed instructions for tasks for your VA.
Free Clear Communication Platforms
- Grammarly ← Tightens up the grammar and spelling for your instructions
- Hemmingway Editor ← Gives you a ‘readability’ score for your text so you can know if your instructions are readable
- ChatGPT ← Great for helping you write out clear tasks with detailed steps, even from limited inputs
Effective communication is key when managing virtual assistants. Although using tools like WhatsApp and Gmail to do communications works well, having a tool to keep track of conversations, files, and projects works much better when managing a virtual assistant.
Free Team Collaboration Tools for Managing Your Virtual Assistant
- Slack ← The Go-to Standard (only saves messages for up to 90 days, but unlimited team members)
- Chanty (only up to 10 team members)
- Flock (only up to 20 members — only audio calls)
- You Track (only up to 10 team members)
These free communications tools provide real-time communication channels, instant messaging, calls, and file sharing. They’ll allow you to facilitate quick delegation and collaboration on projects, no matter the geographical location of your virtual assistant.
Time Tracking Software
Time tracking software helps monitor and manage virtual assistants’ working hours, ensuring fair compensation and efficient time management. It’s a necessity for virtual assistant contracts that are designed on an hourly schedule.
Free Team Time-tracking Tools for Managing Your Virtual Assistant
- Harvest (only 1 user & 2 projects)
- You Track (only up to 10 team members)
- Clockify (placing time for other team members is not allowed)
Time-tracking software enables virtual assistants to log their time spent on specific tasks, providing accurate records for billing and evaluating productivity. Time tracking software also allows you to analyze work patterns, identify time-consuming activities, and optimize task allocation.
File Sharing and Cloud Storage
Efficient file sharing and cloud storage systems are essential for a smooth collaboration with virtual assistants. They need a place to put their completed project files and access your small businesses’ documents. Pick a file storage platform that allows for multiple users and sharing, and just obviously, I recommend Google Drive.
Free File Storage Tools for Managing Your Virtual Assistant
- Google Drive (only up to 15GB) ← Clear Winner
- Dropbox Basic (only up to 2GB storage)
- IDrive (up to 10GB)
These file storage platforms enable easy sharing, storage, and access to files and documents. Your virtual assistants can upload completed tasks, while you can provide necessary resources or feedback in a centralized and organized manner. Never again keep track of your files in disparate email attachments and versioning file names, and ensure that all team members have access to the most up-to-date files.
Screen Recording and Sharing Tools
Save yourself a ton of meetings and lost “how-to”s by getting your team and virtual assistant set up with a free screen recording tool. From gif recorders to full-screen/audio recordings, these can help you document processes, share fixes, and keep visual records of how some things get done. Additionally, they’ll save you hours of meeting time and make meetings occur only when they need to.
Free Screen Recording Tools for Managing Virtual Assistants
- Loom (<25 videos in free version)
- Screen to Gif (Open Source — Can only create gifs and send)
- Clip with ClickUp (up to 100 MB storage)
These free video/screen recording tools will enable your virtual assistant to create your business’s video tutorials, demonstrations, or presentations for clients. They can use these videos to update you on their progress, and you can use the tools to show your virtual assistant exactly how a process should be done.
Recording your screen to explain processes step-by-step will save you hours and keep your business’ knowledge base intact. It also clarifies a lot about certain tasks like “put the file in the folder on the top”. Well… there are many folders on the top. Which one exactly? Free screen grab tools like these reduce the chance of misinterpretations like that by a lot.
There are a bunch of free tools. Will you use them?
You need great tools to manage your virtual assistants, so why not start out with these free ones if you don’t have them already? By leveraging project management software, communication platforms, time tracking software, file sharing, and cloud storage systems, online project management boards, and screen recording tools, you can create a seamless and efficient work environment that fosters collaboration and maximizes outcomes.
Remember, choosing the right tools and technologies that align with your specific needs and the preferences of your virtual assistants is key to achieving optimal efficiency and maintaining a productive working relationship.
Where Can I Find a Virtual Assistant for My Business?
Want to find a great virtual assistant to keep you on track? Global Hola can help. We match you with the perfect VA for whatever types of projects and processes you may have.
Contact us today for a free discovery call.