August 1st, 2018 | Updated on April 3rd, 2020
With the advent of the Internet of Things comes several innovations that help companies save time and money. One of the coolest of these is the rise of the “cyber secretary,” or virtual assistant.
Rather than paying a hefty salary, offering bonuses, and dishing out more benefits to an in-house employee, you can now reduce costs by hiring remote employees and investing in virtual assistant software programs to streamline your processes.
If you are a busy entrepreneur, hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to get tasks done and free up time to focus on core business strategy.
The integration of Smart Virtual Personal Assistant (SVPA) platforms into apps by tech giants Google, Apple, and Yahoo is a clear sign of the demand for an affordable sidekick in a time when productivity is harder to maintain than ever.
Every professional could use that virtual assistant to save them time and money while freeing up more personal time, and these VA software and apps are the best options for doing just that.
However, unless you manage the process carefully, hiring and managing a virtual assistant can cost more time and resources than the results are worth.
You also have to find ways to ensure you’re getting consistent, high-quality work, at a fair value for the price.
These considerations are the reason you should implement best practices, the right procedures and employ the best systems to hire a VA.
If you follow tried-and-tested processes in employing and managing VA, you can empower both your VA and your business to succeed. A virtual assistant, virtual team is critical to helping your business scale, but you need to take a step back to fully guide the process.
If you are keen on the idea of using a virtual assistant software, but don’t exactly know where to look, this article is for you. Here is a quick review of the top virtual assistant software programs that will help you with task automation.
The following are top best virtual assistant software that will help you manage the VA process better and ensure seamless collaboration with your work and services.
A suite of collaboration products for teams and small businesses. Web conferencing, file sharing, and scheduling in the cloud.
Review: In my company, we use g suite from the beginning. The advantages offered by the service for us is that for being of the initial user’s everything was free.
We manage our business emails and other services (docs, sheets) and they have always worked great. The integration of all platform services is very useful. And we use them every day.
Dropbox Business is a central workspace that helps teams stay organized and keep their work flowing.
All your teams content is in one place, making it easy to collaborate and focus on the work that matters.
Dropbox Business is trusted by over 300,000 business teams worldwide and over 50% of the Fortune 500 for its industry-leading file sync, collaboration, and extensive administration and security features that scale as teams grow.
Review: Dropbox is so easy to use that even the most technologically challenged clients can usually sign up for their free account, upload files and share them easily. It also makes keeping all the content, image and graphic files necessary for my projects organized a breeze.
Huddle provides the industry’s most secure document collaboration solution for government and enterprise.
With Huddle, you get an easier way to collaborate and co-edit documents, control file versions, and organize team tasks. Built-in approval workflow means you’ll never miss a deadline again, and our free mobile app keeps you connected even when you’re on the road.
Review: The aspect I like most is the ease of sharing. the platform allows me to share documents and folders with colleagues however it also allows me to assign to certain people what they can or can’t view and can or can’t edit.
15Five is a fundamentally new way for businesses to unlock the potential of their entire workforce.
Through a lightweight weekly check-in, 15Five delivers everything a manager needs to impact employee engagement and performance, including continuous feedback, objective (OKR) tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and reviews.
Over 1,200 forward-thinking companies on lists like Best Places to Work and INC. 5000 use 15Five to scale their culture and bring out the best in their people.
Review: I like the goals checklist of things and how things move over from your Goals into your 1on1s. I like the percentage of goal completion tool. I like the 1on1 tool.
I like the layout of 15Five. I like being able to see my team. I like the email it sends us after submission to help ensure that myself and my direct report is on the same page on a topic of a discussion point.
pCloud Business – Secure Cloud Storage Solution for Small Companies – One place to store, sync and collaborate on your business files with your colleagues – 1 TB storage and pCloud Crypto now included for each user in the Business Account – Share your business documents securely with colleagues, partners and clients – Easy to use tools designed to help you control and optimize your workflow You can try pCloud Business – Free for 30 days
Review: pCloud is like another drive for your computer and you can treat it as such. It comes with super fast speed so uploading and downloading files are done in a breeze.
The process is also resumable, so you can set it and forget it. The service also lets you upload online files directly to the online pCloud drive and it takes mere seconds even for large files since the process is server to server.
Time Doctor is an accurate time tracking and time management software that helps you know if your team is really productive.
It’s especially suited to team from 20 to 500 employees. It is a web-based solution that provides time tracking, computer work session monitoring, reminders, screenshot recording, invoicing, reporting tools, integrations and so much more.
Review: I can very easily add new projects, new task and also assign a team member to it very quickly.
We can also easily create access for our clients which is big benefit for us as 95% of clients requesting to have an overview of our worked time and also screenshots.
There is also a very useful function which is a mobile app. We are using this app to check our team if they reach daily set working hours.
Buffer is an intuitive, streamlined social media management platform trusted by brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive meaningful engagement and results on social media.
We have a suite of products for publishing, engagement, analytics, and team collaboration.
Our products are carefully considered and highly refined in order to help social media marketers and teams work more efficiently and effectively.
Review: I like that I can manage my business social profiles at once. Also, it’s great because Buffer scan your audience to check and find the right time to post. You can of course program the posts so you do not have to follow every profile every minute.
A social media scheduling tool that organizes your social media updates into a searchable library.
Review: I’ve used Edgar and am a huge fan. It’s the best solution that I’ve found to date that allows you to recirculate web content and easily add new content.
You’d be surprised how valuable it is to republish past articles and information from your website to drive more traffic. It’s user-friendly and a great asset.
Create presentations and social media graphics using graphic design tool with drag-and-drop functionality and professional layouts.
Review: Canva is amazing. Canva has provided solutions to quite a range of marketing and artistic needs.
From business cards to certificates to posters, letterhead and more! You could lose an entire afternoon (in a good way!) just cruising through the, seemingly, endless supply of templates on Canva.
The templates have given me dozens of new ideas for projects I’ve been working on. Canva is easy to use and delivers exceptional results!
Content curation, social media management and employee advocacy platform. Connects with Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook accounts and cuts down social media management effort by up to 90%.
Key features- multiple account management, collaborative social media management, content suggestions, RSS feed addition, content library, advanced post scheduling, group account scheduling, hashtag and @mention suggestions, engagement and click-through metrics, URL shortener, employee advocacy with analytics
Review: DrumUp is very intuitive and easy to use. the ability to post and schedule content posting is something that makes life very easy, especially when you want to advertise or post on a regular basis.
It is a great time saver and allows one to have more exposure on social media. Another great benefit is the ability to have the recommendation engine help you out!
The recommendation engine allows you to see what is recommended to post so that your followers get more engaging content.
Post Planner makes it easy for people to find and share amazing content consistently – to get predictable, measurable, and remarkable results with their social media posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Makes it easy to find & share amazing content consistently-to get predictable, measurable, & remarkable results on social media.
Review: I absolutely love Post Planner! I have used quite a few social media schedulers, but this it the only one I have tried that actually helps you to curate content as well.
The scheduling tool you’ll actually use. Find a date for a meeting 2x faster by polling the participants and choosing the date with the most votes.
It is a drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied.
Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be composed of random and abstract lines, generally without ever lifting the drawing device from the paper, in which case it is usually called a “scribble”.
Review: This program is really intuitive to use and very user-friendly for recipients of the poll.
Anyone who is filling out the poll doesn’t need to make an account, which in my opinion means that people are more likely to fill it out since there’s little to no effort needed.
All they have to do is fill in their name and info and select when they are available – it literally couldn’t be easier!
Built for Getting Things Done Nirvana is a cloud-based task manager, meticulously designed to help you capture, clarify, organize, reflect and engage with intent, everywhere life happens.
Review: Nirvana is very slick. It looks, feels, and does exactly what I would expect the application to do.
I’ve never had any trouble with slow load times, hangs, or other random problems. Being a software developer, there’s a lot I learned from using Nirvana.
Nirvana helped me sort out all of the priorities I had in my life after reading GTD. Since I started using Nirvana with GTD, my supervisor has mentioned a dramatic increase in the volume and quantity of my work.
Most of that is due to the fact that I know I can safely store all of my priorities in Nirvana, organize them properly, and tackle them when I’m ready. This dramatically reduced the cognitive load I dealt with everyday.
If you need guidance, Nirvana provides clear, concise, tutorials for doing everything you need.
Float is an award-winning cash flow forecasting, cash budgeting and cash management tool exclusively for use with Xero, QuickBooks Online or FreeAgent.
View your cash flow on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, scenario plan at the click of a button and forecast up to 3 years into the future!
Because Float reads amounts and expected dates on every bill and invoice, you get granular, actionable insights into your cash flow, that you can then share with your bank, investor or board.
Review: Float easily integrates with Xero, allows you to easily configure which banks get synced for display purposes, and provides excellent insight into the sources of cash and also where cash is being spent.
The invoices due and bills to pay reports are an easy way to access overdue bills and invoices without clicking through the accounting system.
This is ideal for anyone who wants to get an idea of their cash flow history and projections.
Join.me is the fastest and easiest way to connect and collaborate. Anyone can share ideas instantly with screen sharing, audio, video, whiteboard and chat.
Join.me is a personalized meeting experience where users can personalize participant bubbles, URLs, backgrounds and more!
Review: Join.me allows me to write on my screen and images appear on my clients’ screens.
This means I can coach, teach, tutor, and guide individuals who don’t live in my area and it is as though I am there with them.
I am still learning about the different things I can do while working with a client online. The ability to change pens with ease, create shapes, draw, and highlight makes my job much easier.
The ability to record the session makes it cheaper for my client because he or she knows that repeating what I explain is not as necessary as it was before.
I’m looking forward to whatever improvements the join.me team will come up with next.
UberConference changed online meetings forever by killing PINs and making it simple for people to join.
With powerful call controls, seamless screen sharing, and HD calls, its easier than ever to stay connected no matter where work finds you.
Review: It has all the tools that we are looking for in a conferencing software ie. Web UI, Android and IOS native app, provides a generic room URL, locking room etc. Also can be integrated with a CRM software that we use on a daily basis so it helps us automating the email invitations.
Skype is a telecommunications application software product that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches via the Internet and to regular telephones.
Review: What I like most about this wonderful tool is the fact of being able to maintain communication with people, regardless of where they are located.
Having both its desktop application and its application for smartphones makes it a versatile tool.
The Skype interface is very intuitive so it makes it easier for the user to manage their functions, video calls are free and you can also do group video calls and who does not like this? It’s great being able to call your colleagues without having any cost, just a good internet connection and that’s it!
CA Flowdock is a collaboration tool for teams. CA Flowdock integrates a team inbox and chat, and is integrated with over 50 tools and services.
Prioritize work, solve problems, search and organize across teams, locations and timezones.
Review: I find Flowdock to be a nice, easy to use tool for collaboration and chatting within the team.
The web and mobile interfaces both work well, are easy to use, and seem intuitive. I like the way you can separate it into many different chats and move easily between them.
Brosix is an Instant Messenger for companies and organizations that helps teams improve productivity by having collaboration features delivered in a single package.
Review: It’s very affordable! We pay about $3/user/month, and for what it offers that’s hard to beat, short of running your own XMPP server or something.
It does offer pretty good cross-platform support, and the product support staff is well-intentioned.
It’s also oddly endearing. Our office lovingly uses the verb “Bro” to mean use Brosix. There are funny (quirky – check out “milk”) themes too.
HelloSign is a management suite for digital signage applications. from ET Media, a leading provider of embedded media software which is very Fast, Secure, and Legally Binding eSignatures for Business.
Review: I love the idea of being able to send out contracts for clients to sign.
They love the ability to sign right online and the notifications on a daily basis keep the signing of the contract always at the top of their minds. Having multiple signees as well is amazing!!
World Time Buddy (WTB) is a world clock converter and an online meeting scheduler that helps foster productivity.
Users can compare multiple time zones at a glance, plan conference calls, webinars, international phone calls, and web meetings. It also aids with business travel and tracking of market hours.
Review: Has been 100% thought to be able to compare the time difference between cities, and does it in a simple and intuitive way.Organize meetings with people from different timezones.
When I need to know the time in other cities to organize a call or if I’m going to travel there
Siri is Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant and she, or he, has been around for several years now.
The assistant first appeared on the iPhone 4S but Siri is also available on iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, AirPods, HomePod and the Mac (macOS Sierra and later) – check out our guide to Siri on macOS.
Review: Our Apple Siri review is a must read if you’re choosing a smart assistant. Despite being one of the last of the three major players to debut a physical product for their smart assistant – Siri – to be controlled from, Apple certainly didn’t disappoint when the Apple HomePod was eventually released.
ContentStudio is a multi-use social media management and content marketing tool that allows you to discover, compose and share the best content.
It has a suite of products for content discovery, publishing, planning, analytics and automation to help marketing teams work and collaborate efficiently.
It is the perfect tool for discovering trending content, managing multiple social media networks, recycling evergreen posts, analyzing performance, collaborating with the team and a lot more.
Review : The team behind ContentStudio is amazing. I am one of their early adopters and I have loved this tool. As I mentioned above, I use this tool heavily to find relevant contents.
Google Now is a Web-based service provided by Google that serves as a day planner. It works on tablet devices and smartphones that run Google’s Android OS.
Google Now keeps track of a user’s behavior as data is input to the device, and then later, at appropriate times, passively displays information that the user might find helpful in planning trips, keeping appointments, and conducting daily activities.
Review: Google Now used to be really useful. It used to be so good that I only used Google Now Launcher on every phone because I needed to have Google Now just a swipe away on my home screen. Any other launcher felt like it was keeping me disconnected from information that I relied on every day.