Plan and review
I think that half way through the year marks an ideal time to reflect back on any goals that were set a the beginning of the year and to make plans for the remainder. So, with this in mind, I have been taking some time to go over my ‘business plan’. I say this in inverted commas, as for me, it’s not a formal process, simply a reflection and an assessment, followed by some new plans and goals. Despite virtual assistance being a growing industry, I still find it a challenge to communicate what it is we do to the wider community. The reason for this is that a virtual assistant can be so many things to so many businesses. For example, in my own scope of work I am an admin assistant, a coordinator, an editorial assistant, a copywriter, a blog writer, a social media assistant, the list goes on. For some other virtual assistants, their skills are based around creative or marketing tasks, this might be WordPress websites or sales funnels.
For this month’s top tech, I’m going old school PA and giving a mention to good old Outlook. I know that Gmail is probably now used just as widely – it’s functionality is incredible – but I am a die-hard Outlook fan. There are a couple of features that I love and that help make my admin life more efficient and organised.
- The delay delivery function. This is incredibly useful when I’m working in the early hours if I don’t want to appear to be working in the early hours. I simply write the emails then select what time I want each one to be delivered. So if I’m working away at 5 am, the emails can land with the recipient ready for 9 am when they start work.
- Tags and folders. Colour coded tags, along with folders and sub-folders help me to keep track of emails that have come in. I use the tags in my inbox to highlight the different departments each email relates to and where I am expecting a response from and the folders to file emails away once they’ve been actioned.
- Tasks and reminders. The ‘follow-up’ flags on Outlook can be set to either show as outstanding or to remind you again at a specific date. Ideal if you have something that needs dealing with in a few weeks time, it can be diarised and then filed away to keep your inbox clear.
I try to keep all of my inboxes as clear as possible by working on the ‘Four D’ principal – do it now, delay it (set a reminder), delegate it, delete it. You can read more about email tips and inbox admin here ‘Emails – Managing Your Inbox’