After figuring out what kind of virtual assistant you need in this post last month, we’re talking this month about expediting your communications with your VA with the best and most effective tools.
Communication with your new virtual assistant is something that keeps a lot of people from hiring — not knowing the best way to actually communicate with them on a daily basis, and thinking it will take too long to figure out. To dispel this fear, I want to walk you through the three best applications I’ve found (and that I use with my clients, plus my own VA) for daily communication.
The best part about all of these applications? They aren’t email — so you won’t be sending emails back and forth with your VA, wondering where to find that one thing you need from them to finish a major project.
Let’s get into the applications:
Asana is probably my FAVORITE business tool, and especially when it comes to client communication.
When you use Asana with your VA, you’re able to:
- assign tasks and deadlines
- keep everything in one place (seriously! Asana can house everything from your CRM system to files to a calendar with all of the deadlines)
- communicate instantly on specific tasks
You can also bring other people in on projects in Asana, so if you’re going through a launch and you need to assign your VA tasks and plan a joint-venture webinar with a co-host, it’s super easy to do that in the same workspace. With the ability to see exactly who is assigned to each task, Asana makes it super easy to see who is responsible for what, and when the deadline is.
Asana gives each member their own “My Tasks” view for their specific tasks — so your VA will be able to see everything you need them to do in one single window. No more miscommunication, missed deadlines, or worrying that they won’t know what they’re supposed to do.
I’m also a sucker for a great mobile app, and Asana doesn’t disappoint. It’s beautiful (as is the application in general!) and super easy to use on the go. It works wonderfully on every device I’ve tried, and I know you’ll love it too!
Slack is really great for instant messaging (think AOL messaging from back in the day but minus the deep song lyric statuses) with your VA. It’s super customizable — you can create channels for specific facets of your business (for example, you could have a #blog channel, a #newsletter channel, a #virtualassistant channel) where you put all communication about that specific thing.
You can also upload files into Slack, so if you need to share a document or image files or videos with your VA, it’s super easy. Slack integrates with a lot of online services, such as MailChimp, Stripe, HelloSign, Asana, Trello, etc. So you can have Slack automatically pull updates from the other online services and applications you use on a regular basis so everything is a central hub.
I love Slack because of the instant messaging feeling of it — it’s super fast, effective, and keeps everything organized.
The only downside to Slack is that you can’t assign tasks to your VA like you can in Asana or Trello, and there’s no calendar view. But it’s great for just communication and file sharing!
Trello is a great way to communicate with your VA as well. I like to think of it as Pinterest for project management — it’s comprised of boards (which can be for different projects, and you can have one just for you and your VA to share), which then have lists inside of them. The image above shows what the inside of a board looks like.
You can create different lists for different stages of a project, or for different projects you need your VA to help you with. Then you create cards inside the lists and you can add checklists, labels, due dates, and even attach things like Photoshop or InDesign files for your VA to download and use.
I personally use Trello for my editorial calendar and share the board with my VA. Since she does all the scheduling of my newsletters and blog posts, Trello makes it really easy to create a template card for a blog post or newsletter and then just add in the relevant info for the specific item she needs to schedule.
Trello also makes it really easy to bring other people in on projects, especially if you create a different board for the project. It allows you to stay on top of your projects and communicate easily with your VA.
I would recommend trying out each one before you hire your VA and seeing which one you personally prefer. Having a feel for an application such as Asana, Slack, or Trello will make it a lot easier when you start using it with your VA.
If you don’t know which one you prefer, or you don’t want to make the decision — ask your VA what they use. Chances are they use one of these three applications and will be more than happy to set you up on their tool of preference for easy communication and project management.