Have you tried any new apps lately?
I’ve taken several courses since I started my virtual assistant journey and during that time, I’ve learned to appreciate apps that are designed to make life easier for my clients and me. Some apps make processes simpler; some shorten the time it takes to handle a problem or task. Whichever of these the app does, I’m a happy camper!
I thought it would be super to share a few of my favorites with you ’cause, you know, sharing is caring 🙂
Feel free to let me know what you think, or which apps have wowed you as well.
Real Quick: This post contains links to affiliate websites. This means I may earn a commission from purchases made via these links. Please note that I only participate in programs I know and trust!
Here are 5 of my favorite apps…
Love, love this app. Pocket is an app you can use to save websites that you visit. You can then read the contents of the sites you’ve saved at a later time or on a different device.
It’s convenient; just find what you want and chuck it in there!
Now, you might be thinking “well, why not just put all that in your favorites bar?”Pocket works much differently. With Pocket, you can organize your apps and sites into categories with tags just like on a blog. So everything is where you want it to be, neatly arranged for the next time you need something.
A News Feed
The Pocket app will also pull up a list of the latest posts from authors and topics you follow, so you have a constant stream of news you can use for curation purposes or to feed your mind. Just let the app know what authors or topics you’re into, and you get the feed right to your email, or you can get the feed right from the app.
Oh, and the app comes with a Chrome extension! If you install the extension, adding files is literally a one-click process. When you come across a site that you’re interested in, just click the extension button and it places that site into your Pocket list. Super cool.
Try this for yourself.
Install the chrome extension
When you come across an app or site you like, don’t stress about bookmarking or worry you’ll forget where you were.
Just put it in your Pocket!
I took a class last year, and the instructor was a huge fan of the Bear app. He raved on so much about it that I decided to give it a try.
The Bear app is fantastic! It’s clean, user-friendly, and I was hooked immediately!
Bear is, simply put, a writing app. You can use it as a notebook, journal, anything you’d use paper and pen to create.
I’ve added recipes, blog posts, shopping lists, to-do lists, and a whole lot more using Bear.
It’s neat, it’s tidy, and the setup is super-easy to understand.
There’s a core version of Bear that’s free. The Pro version will run you $1.49 monthly or $14.99 annually (at the time of writing this post). Not bad, eh?
The only drawback is that it’s currently only available on iOS, so Android users won’t be able to use it just yet.
If you’d like to give it a try, go ahead:
Even the most experienced writers make mistakes. That’s why I love Grammarly.
Grammarly looks for typos; it’ll check your syntax, making sure you’ve used commas where they need to be, and that you’re using the best choice of words for your written work.
Grammarly comes with a Chrome extension. You’ll want to install this. That way, the app will follow and check your documents in any Chrome-based environment.
Grammarly has a free version, but you can upgrade to one of their premium plans (starting at $11.66 per month billed annually) that come with additional support and features.
Check it out:
All your apps working together to automate your tasks? A service that does more so I can do fewer tasks? Sign me up!
With Zapier, you set up your apps to carry out certain tasks known as “zaps”. The Zapier system will make suggestions about which app may work best with which. You’ll also be offered a number of sample zaps that you can either set up in the same way or create your own.
As I mentioned, a zap is merely a task that you set using your apps. The idea is for the zap to carry out tasks that would be extremely time-consuming for you to do yourself. The zap performs a specific function such as importing emails from a sender in your Gmail account into a Google spreadsheet.
The zap will continue to run till you change or stop it. This saves a ton of time since this automated process means you don’t have to go in and manually do these tasks yourself or on behalf of your client.
Take it for a test run. There’s a two-week free trial; then you can upgrade to continue the service.
GOOGLE PRODUCTS OR G SUITE
It’s hard to imagine life without Google. I love Google’s products because they’re user-friendly, there’s excellent support, and they seem to have a software solution for everything. Some business owners run their entire companies using only Google products!
Google is a smart option especially if you’re bootstrapping your business, as your cost is minimal (or $0) compared to some other tools.
Most of us know of or use Gmail and Google Docs but how about Google Drive for file storage and sharing, Google Sheets for creating spreadsheets, or Google Calendar? These products are all cloud-based, so you can easily share your files while saving the space on your computer.
You can use some individual Google products which are free or you can subscribe to G Suite as a package. G Suite comes with many additional business features and support and will run you $5 a month.
Have a look:
Google Learning Here
BONUS and very honorable mention:
Of course. With this much-loved app, you can create just about any graphic. And not only designs for your social platforms either. You can easily design newsletters, business cards, banners and more.
Creating graphics used to cause me so much anxiety and I would agonize over one graphic for hours, only to redo the entire thing the very next day!
With Canva, the same tasks I used to stress over are easy and fun to create. Of course, I’ve had time to practice a little, but it’s been a huge time-saver.
Canva has preset templates you can use. Or you can start from scratch and get super creative with all the shapes and styles the app provides.
You can add your own images or use Canva’s. Or change the look of your graphics with filters and different backgrounds; you can keep on creating for hours!
If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, check it out:
How To Try Out an App.
For those of you like me (forgetting things and having to write everything down), I’ve found the best way to try out apps that automatically charge you after the trial period (like phone apps), is to go ahead and sign up, then cancel right away. If you do this, you will still be able to use the app for the allotted amount of time, and you won’t forget to cancel. This has worked well for me because if I end up liking the app, it’s easy to re-subscribe again. It’s a lot harder to cancel and get your money back once you’ve already been charged!
So, what do you think? I’m sure you have your favorites too. If you haven’t done so already, take some time to give the above apps a try.