If I'm looking for a virtual assistant to do things like:
Help me with my personal schedule; perform searches on the internet for various purposes - business and personal; help me manage 3-4 contacts that pertain to mini-projects that I am involved in; and, if possible, a bit of website management.
How will communications with this assistant be accomplished? Email, mobile, Skype, platform from the company providing the VA? How does that work - where will the bulk of communications be carried out?
I suppose it depends on the company you choose. I am the owner of Eolas Office Solutions, and we provide off-site administrative, writing and research services to small businesses. We use a variety of tools to communicate and collaborate. The tools we use vary depending on the client's need. For many projects, phone, email and IM will suffice. We also use Skype, Facetime, etc. However, for more complicated or involved projects, we often use online applications such as Freedcamp and Asana to stay in communication with clients. These sites allow documents to be uploaded, updates to be posted, tasks to be created and assigned to particular users, etc.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply!
I will second what Kate said. We do it differently for each client. I will say that most of our contact is done through email just because it seems that most everyone can access their email from anywhere anymore. Also, by using email, it creates a "paper trail" of sorts, and if we can't remember a certain detail, we refer to the email.
I hope this helps!
Thanks very much Kate and Sarah. I do want to be able to go through what has been done at any point in the past, but I'm lousy at creating coherent archives. I'll ask some other questions privately.
No problem Stephen. Feel free to send any questions our way!
Are you still in need of a VA? I am new to bonfire and just came across your post. I am a VA. :)
If you can find the audio book by Tim Ferriss http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ In this book/audio he talks about VA and some of he best ways to use them. I've used a couple on elance.com and fivver.com. What I've learned form Ferriss book is you need to give precise instructions, then request the VA reiterate the job request back in their words to make sure they know what they're to do. Then set a time limit, 2-5 hours and review their work to insure they are doing what you want. Make adjustments and have the continue or stop. You don't want them going down the wrong path researching and doing work you A) don't need and B) cannot used. Plus you're going to have to pay for it.
Hi, Thanks all. I have met my needs with a couple of VAs. I'm still learning how to work with them properly, but this is a step in the right direction.
Stephen -- you can't go wrong if you follow the advice Dale shared with you above. Remember you are in charge and have specific expectations, and to make sure those expectations are met you need to give clear instructions. Good luck!