After being a virtual assistant for several years now, I’ve had the “opportunity” to test out quite a few different business tools over the years.
Some have worked wonderfully and others… not so much!
Because let’s be honest, there are THOUSANDS of tools on the market. They all promise to be the one thing you need to increase your income, be more productive, grow your email list, get more likes/followers/page views/whatever else. But realistically, they can’t ALL be the one thing you need.
And that’s why I created this list of the best tools for virtual assistants. I’ve personally used (and loved) at least most of these resources and tools, and I know that they can make a huge difference in your life and work as a VA. The ones I haven’t used myself have been carefully reviewed by yours truly.
So let’s get started!
- Best Financial Tools
- Social Media Tools
- Graphic Design Tools
- Scheduling and Calendar Tools
- Website Tools for Virtual Assistants
- Organization Tools
- Other Tools for Virtual Assistants
Best Financial Tools
First, let’s start with financial tools. If you’re a VA and own your own business, you need to keep track of incoming and outgoing money. You also need to make sure that you’re in the right position while filing taxes from year to year.
Instead of worrying about your money and business finances, use one of these tools to keep everything organized.
If you’ve been here long, you may already know I’m a HUGE fan of FreshBooks.
I’ve been using FreshBooks for almost three years now and it’s easily the best money I spend in my business.
There are tons of reasons why I love FreshBooks, including that it saves me time, makes my invoices look professional, makes account and taxes easy!
HoneyBook isn’t just a financial tool. It can also help you manage projects, book clients, send invoices, and get paid on time.
It’s one of those systems that is pretty much an all in one. It has its own project management system, a client portal, and invoicing capabilities.
3. QuickBooks Self-Employed
QuickBooks Self-Employed is great to use if you’re scared about taxes and figuring out what you should be paying quarterly.
Not only does QuickBooks offer you the option to pay your taxes right through their site, but they also have an invoicing system and a way to track all of your business expenses.
Hurdlr is a great tool that can be used to organize and track your business income, expenses, and taxes.
If you find yourself driving around for your business (yes, even as a VA this can happen) Hurdlr can track your mileage for you automatically! It also offers a free option if you don’t need any of the paid features.
Wave Accounting is a free online accounting software program that offers the ability to add payroll, send invoices, have an e-commerce shop, and even store client credit cards.
You can even track your income and expenses with it and have everything organized come tax time.
Xero is a more robust bookkeeping software that helps you invoice clients and track the backend financials of your business. It is great for business owners who need more from bookkeeping software.
Xero works with over 475,000 businesses and sole accountants.
Bench.co is a great alternative to Freshbooks and Quickbooks Self-Employed. If you need to hand off your bookkeeping responsibilities, they offer a great service.
8. A Mileage Tracker
Just because you’re a virtual assistant, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to travel. Sometimes you may find yourself driving to meet new potential clients, or driving to a networking event to get your name out there. Those miles are tax-deductible, so they need to be tracked.
Here are some of the best mileage trackers that I’ve found:
All of these options have apps for your phone and offer free trials so you can test out which one works best for you and your situation.
9. Other Tax Systems
As a virtual assistant, it’s important to keep track of your financial information and make sure you pay your taxes. These tools can help.
As a virtual assistant, you’re considered an independent contractor. Because of that, you don’t get paid sick leave or vacation time. And, you have to pay for your own taxes. If all of that sounds daunting to you, Catch.co makes it easy.
Catch.co works because they follow the rules that you set. So, if you want to save 15% of each invoice towards taxes, you can connect Catch.co to your account and they’ll automatically transfer the 15% every time you get paid. Want paid vacation days? Choose how many you want and Catch.co will tell you how much money you need to save. And, they’ll even help you set up a percentage so you can save money automatically.
Want to learn more? Click here to test out Catch.co for free.
When you’re ready to file your taxes, Keeper Tax will help you find all of the deductions you may have missed, and help you file. Keeper Tax was created with freelancers and small business owners in mind, so you’re in safe hands!
The best part is that Keeper Tax is free to get started, and their filing fee of $89 is cheaper than most tax filing services. And, if you want to make your quarterly payments online, you can use their monthly membership for just $12/month.
Social Media Tools
Social media tools are essential for most virtual assistants. As a VA, clients may ask you to manage their social media, or you’ll need to manage your own if you have a website that corresponds with your business.
Here are some of my favorite tools to help automate social media and make it easier to manage.
Tailwind is the ultimate tool for Pinterest scheduling. If you have a client that wants to up their Pinterest game or stop wasting time pinning on Pinterest, Tailwind can help.
Tailwind allows you to schedule and post pins during optimal times on Pinterest to increase engagement, get more eyes on your pins, and even take away the need to constantly pin in order to stay in Pinterest’s algorithm.
It takes the guesswork out of figuring out what works and what doesn’t on Pinterest.
I like to think of it as a cheaper version of Meet Edgar, and it can be a great tool to use if you’re just getting started and need to keep costs low. It has a content queue which means you only need to fill it once and it will recycle your posts, again and again, saving you tons of time!
If your client needs help with Instagram, or if you want to automate your own, you can sign up for Planoly.
It offers the option to schedule Instagram posts and stories that automatically post for you. It even lets you enter in your caption and hashtags so you can set it up and forget it.
Planoly offers a free plan up to 30 Instagram posts a month, or you can sign up for their paid plans starting at $9/month.
Hootsuite is a scheduling tool that you can use to automatically share Facebook posts, Instagram photos, and tweets. While there paid plans may work for you, a free plan was all I needed when I used it.
It’s easy to use, and you can get your social media up and running in no time.
If you plan on using Hootsuite for clients, you may have to upgrade to a paid plan to hold all of the accounts you’ll be working with. Or, you can have your client sign up and give you their username and password to schedule on their behalf.
14. Post Planner
Post Planner is a cloud-based social media planning tool. It allows you to pre-schedule Twitter and Facebook posts, and even allows you to schedule Facebook Group posts.
However, Post Planner doesn’t have some capabilities like setting up seasonal posts, rescheduling posts at a certain time, and setting up categories. Basically, when you schedule, that’s what will post, and you don’t really get to decide when. However, with a starting price of just $3/month, Post Planner is one of the cheapest and easiest options to start with if you need to schedule social media posts.
Graphic Design Tools
Graphic design may be a part of your business as a virtual assistant because you might be creating graphics from time to time for your clients. Here are some of the best graphic design tools I’ve used.
If you’re not ready to commit to Photoshop just yet, Canva is a great way to create marketing images, flyers, and more. It’s user-friendly and is super easy to learn how to use, even if you aren’t tech-savvy.
The paid option for Canva also allows you to create GIFs, transparent images, and even logos. So if you have clients who need these services, or if you want to create digital items for yourself to market your services, Canva is the way to go.
And, it’s more affordable than Photoshop, without lacking in quality. Get Canva Pro free for one month here.
16. Deposit Photos
Along with creating graphics, you may need to find royalty-free stock photos to use for yourself or clients. I’ve used Deposit Photos for years because their photos are royalty-free, commercially available, and they’re much cheaper than trying to buy photo use on other websites.
You can either pay per photo, or utilize one of Deposit Photos plans that they offer. Their flexible plan offers 30 images a month for just $29.
Scheduling and Calendar Tools
Do you find yourself talking to clients a lot via meetings or phone calls? If so, you may find out that it’s difficult to coordinate a lot of meetings and projects. Here are some scheduling tools that you may want to try instead of going back and forth over email to get a meeting scheduled.
Acuity is great for any VA that finds themselves scheduling different types of appointments like discovery calls and regular check-in calls with clients.
It even offers the option to text a client to remind them that they have an appointment with you.
If you have forgetful clients, or if you need to charge for your time, Acuity offers great options for paid and free calls.
I use Calendly to schedule all of my appointments. I love Calendly because it syncs with my Google calendar, which is pretty much my life (and business) scheduling tool.
This helps avoid double-booking myself and missing appointments or having to re-schedule and seem disorganized.
You can even connect it with your payment system to accept payment for coaching sessions before they’re scheduled.
I used to use Skype for my online meetings, but now I use Zoom for all of them!
It works way better than Skype in my opinion, with less dropped calls and lag time. It’s great for team meetings, client meetings, coaching calls, and more.
I record my screen to share training with my team members, and it’s how I recorded the bonus interviews for my course, $10K VA.
Plus, it integrates with Calendly, so whenever someone books a call with me, they are automatically given the Zoom link for our meeting.
Website Tools for Virtual Assistants
Having a website is crucial for virtual assistants to market their businesses and showcase their work. Here are some of the best website tools for VAs.
20. Web Hosting
As a virtual assistant, your portfolio is worth gold. And, potential clients need an easy way to contact you, see your services, and see what you’ve been able to accomplish. So why not build your own website? Even if it’s just a one-page website, it can make a huge difference in proving your credibility as a virtual assistant.
You could even start a blog to build more trust and likeability with potential clients, but first, you have to build your website.
Related Post: 9 Best Website Hosting Companies in 2020
21. Expert Technical Services
One thing I’ve paid for since the very beginning of my business is technical help.
I use Grayson from iMark Interactive and he is amazing! He always keeps things up-to-date on my site, and is constantly on the lookout for new bugs, hackers, viruses, and things I probably don’t even know about.
He willingly shares his knowledge with many Facebook groups and other online communities when there are security threats they need to be aware of. Plus, he’s always willing to help any other technical issues I run into too!
If you don’t know how to protect your website yourself, you need to hire someone to do it for you. Because my site serves as my largest body of work, a portfolio, and a landing page to many people who are seeking my course and my virtual assistant services, I know it’s important to protect it. If my site were to go down for too long, it could mean a huge loss in income.
One of the most essential skills every VA needs to have is the skill of organization. Here are some of the best organization tools for virtual assistants.
I use Google’s G-Suite for everything, including email, my calendar, documents, spreadsheets, document sharing with my team and my clients, and more!
It syncs well between my phone and computer, plus it works great with Asana too.
Without Google’s suite of tools, I’d definitely be a disorganized mess in my business!
While I prefer G-Suite, Dropbox is another great organization and storage option for virtual assistants.
It’s also great to use if you have multiple clients and want to keep their info separate from each other. All you have to do is create a folder for each client and share a link to the folder with them!
Other Tools for Virtual Assistants
Besides all the tools already listed above, there are a few other tools for virtual assistants that I highly recommend.
24. A Project Management System
Here are a couple of quick reasons why Asana is my personal favorite.
- It’s free! (There is a paid version, but I’ve never used it!)
- It has multiple views, including a calendar view, a board view, and a list view.
- Creating sections and color-coding helps keep things organized.
- You can create secret projects so not every team member has to have access to all of your information.
- The duplicate task feature saves me a ton of time!
I’ve been using Asana for years for my business and many of my clients use it too.
If you haven’t used Asana, I recommend checking out this course from my friend Matt. It’s super in-depth and only $99!
If Asana is not your jam, or if you want to try out some other project management systems to see what works best for you, I have a ton that I’ve used and liked (although Asana is my personal favorite):
Click Up – This system works similarly to Asana, but it’s great if you’re managing multiple clients or high-level projects that need a lot of attention.
Focuster – Want to “automate” your to-do list and save time planning every month? Focuster does just that! It offers integration to your calendar, automates your tasks, and more, so you have time to focus on more important things.
25. A Business Credit Card
I believe it’s super important to keep your personal and business expenses separate, even if you’re just starting out. Keeping mine separate makes filing my self-employment taxes so much easier, and it allows me to see exactly what I’m bringing in and spending each month.
If you aren’t really sure how to separate business and personal money, try signing up for a business credit card.
You can use it for business expenses to keep all purchases and extras that you spend on your business separate from your personal expenses, like food, rent/mortgage, and gas for your car.
Another perk to this is if you’re ever audited by the IRS, or if you ever need to show proof of business income and expenses, it’s easy to go through your business credit card vs. sharing all of your personal financial information.
26. Business Cards
Contrary to popular belief, business cards are still a thing! If you plan on networking, or if you have friends and family that can spread the word about your business, having business cards on hand can mean a lot more business from future clients.
Another great option for business cards, especially if you have a certain look that you’re going for, or want specialty cards, is Moo.
Since not all virtual assistants are also bloggers, you may be thinking you don’t need an email marketing program. But, if that’s what you’re thinking, you’d be wrong.
There’s a lot more you can do with email marketing other than sending newsletters to blog subscribers.
I use my email marketing program to keep in touch with my blog readers (of course!), my coaching students, $10K VA course students, my course affiliates, and even my clients from time to time.
Email marketing makes it easy to pre-write any updates you need to send out. You can schedule them, or even set up automated sequences.
For example, you could set up a client welcome sequence.
I’ve used a lot of email marketing programs on behalf of my clients over the years and ConvertKit is by far my favorite.
If you want to take ConvertKit for a test drive, they have a free option available. Just click this link to get exclusive access.
But, if you’re serious about your email marketing, ConvertKit’s paid plan offers the best bang for your buck.
28. A Spell-Check/Writing Tool
As a virtual assistant, spell check capabilities and proper grammar are important. You need to sound professional, approachable, and of course, smart (because you are). Grammarly is a free “grammar assistant” that checks for typos, grammatical errors, and more.
Another great option if you’re serious about your writing (or if you offer freelance writing services as a VA) is Scrivener. Scrivener is one of THE main tools that authors and writers use to keep track of their books and articles.
You may be wondering why you need video storage as a virtual assistant, but I’ve found that it’s come in handy many times in my business.
First, if you decide to hire subcontractors to help with your workload, or if you decide to use video as a marketing tool to help you find clients for your virtual assistant business, a video storage solution will be very helpful.
You can record training videos for your subcontracts and store them. Or you can record videos testimonials with your clients and use them to market your business on social media or on your website.
I use Vimeo because it’s pretty affordable and is way more professional and secure than just using YouTube and having videos be “unlisted”.
30. High-Quality Headphones
Every virtual assistant needs a good pair of headphones. They are essential for drowning out outside noise, talking to clients, and more. I have over four pairs of in-ear and on-ear headphones and highly recommend these from Urbanista. They’ve been getting tons of good reviews and press.
31. A Phone Number
As a virtual assistant, there may be times where you need to have a meeting or a call with your clients. If you’re not ready to have a business phone, you can get a dedicated phone number through an app like Sideline.
Sideline offers a phone number that you can use as your business line, but it will ring to the phone you already have. So it’s great to stay organized and not have to pay a small fortune for a new phone. And, Sideline even offers texting, so you could text clients through your business number as well.
For just $9.99 a month, you can have a business phone number, look professional, and keep your sanity.
32. A Standing Desk
To avoid becoming sedentary when you work from home, a standing desk is a great tool that you can use.
My favorite is this motorized standing desk. It comes in several different color options and is under $500.
It also includes 4 memory buttons, that way, everyone in the family can use it but won’t have to worry about their own settings being moved.
Want more ideas on standing desks? Check out the 20 best standing desks I’ve found.
33. A Great Support Group
While not technically a tool, a great support group can go far. I’ve been very blessed with the friendships I’ve formed in the digital space and many of whom I’ve in person at least once or twice.
Without a support group, entrepreneurship can get lonely, especially if you work online.
Here’s a thank you to those of you who have offered support to me and my business over the years!
Even though being a VA can mean low overhead to start your business, I have found that these tools have really helped my business grow beyond what I imagined it would be. If you’re looking for some great tools for virtual assistants, these are some of the ones I’d recommend!
Do you have any of these tools or resources for your business? Are there other tools for virtual assistants that we should include?