I Hired a Virtual PA, Here’s How the Cloud Helped with our Workflow

As my business has changed over time new challenges have emerged. Not only is most of the software I use 'virtual' but so is my new personal assistant, Becky.

The geographical distance between us precludes regular meetings, our working days precludes regular phone conversations and although an obvious solution, email does present it's own challenges.

I wanted a way to assign tasks to Becky so she could pick them up at her convenience. I also wanted an easy way to attach reference material and some method by which she could provide feedback.

I had tried using Trello before, but with this challenge it really hit the mark. I was able to create project boards and share them with Becky. Within the board I was able to create a list for tasks I wanted to assign to her. Each task took the form of a 'card' within Becky's task list.

We soon modified the process to add a 'for review' list; a list for Becky to move completed tasks to when she was ready for me to check them.

Trello provides an excellent method for giving feedback on individual tasks. In much the same way as Twitter, Becky is able to add a comment to a task card and 'tag' my username in the comment. This causes Trello to alert me to check the task.

There was one more thing, one more obstacle to overcome. Now and then we both needed to work on the same document. Becky would create a new document, I would add notes and she would complete it. How could we do this in our virtual world?

The answer lay in the other side of Google Apps. It's not just a great system for managing email. Google Apps also includes Cloud based tools for creating Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Forms and Drawings.

I'm not going to pretend that these tools are as fully functional as Microsoft Office because they're not. They do fulfill 95% of the features you might use everyday though.

Becky and I are able to securely share documents and spreadsheets using Google Apps. This sharing facility and Google's way of tracking document changes allow us to easily collaborate in the creation of a new document.

For the rest of our requirements, for instance sharing large audio files of recorded telephone conversations, we are able to use Dropbox.

So there it is, a working 'virtual' system of software to aid workflow and allow me to work with a virtual PA.

If any of these scenarios ring a bell then please get in touch. Let’s have a 5 minute chat and find out if X10D can help your business be the best it can be.

Posted by on Tuesday, 24th June 2014 at 1:17pm Comments: 0