So, smart phones nowadays have an immense amount of apps available both free and paid and it’s time to take advantage of being able to have them at your fingertips.
I thought, as I’m off on leave soon, I’d share a few apps I’ll no doubt use frequently, to enable my business to run smoothly whilst I’m having some downtime.
Great app for scheduling tasks – a bit like an online ‘To Do List’.
Even if you don’t have a PA yourself, check it out because it’s incredibly useful project management tool.
So, say for example, you’re hosting an event soon; you have a new class starting; or you’re launching a new product – you can create a list of tasks, set a ‘due date’ for when you need to do them by, and shuffle them around, accordingly.
It really keeps you on track and I can happily go on leave and set tasks for my VA to do whilst I’m away for her to complete on or by a certain day/date in the future.
Check it out and let me know how you get on – https://asana.com/
2. What’s App
Whenever I’m on leave, for anything that needs my urgent attention; for when I’m short on time and couldn’t add a task to Asana before I left; or when I had a brain fart and had just completely forgotten to mention something quite basic to my VA, What’s App is brilliant!
It enables you to send a message, a photo, record a video, audio file and even video call someone using What’s App nowadays – it’s actually my favourite app.
My VA went to Paris to support another client just before I was due to go on holiday myself once, and we actually chatted using What’s App just to clarify a few bits and pieces on the To Do List, so we were both clear on everything before I jetted off on a plane, and she was busy with her French client.
Want to get yourself a VA? Well, you need to check out Upwork (formerly eLance).
So often other frazzled entrepreneurs trying to do everything, ask me:
“Where did you get your VA from?”,
“How much do you pay your VA?”, and
“How many hours a week does your VA work for you?”.
So there you go.
Upwork is like an agency I guess where (all types of) freelance workers list their skills and where you, as someone searching for a VA can post a job.
So, you create a list of tasks you’d like your VA to do, set an hourly rate, suggest how many hours they’re likely to work for you per week, and then you wait for someone to reply to your advert.
The reason I’m suggesting this app is because freelancers invoice their employers weekly, and if you set everything up beforehand, your VA gets paid whilst you’re away, so no need to worry about paying them in one big chunk when you’re back – it’s all taken care of.
Dropbox is an online file-sharing platform where you and your VA can create, save and work from the same version of the same document.
It’s available in the app store for free and it’s invaluable if you want to check out say your class registers to see which classes need a bit of promotion in the weeks before you return from holidays.
(Or, if you’re like me when a new client turns up to a class randomly, and you have no idea who they are, but a quick check in the Dropbox class register soon confirms she’s supposed to be starting that day; she’s paid; she’s filled in her health screening form – and you had no idea how that happened, because your VA does all the bookings for you!)
Even if you don’t have a VA, but you want to tackle your inbox in one quick succession at an internet cafe, or perhaps you’re staying with relatives and you jump on their computer, you can answer your emails using all those jazzy email templates I’ve banged on about for years – by logging into Dropbox.
No need to carry around your memory stick or external hard drive – you just log in to Dropbox and all of your important files are stored in one place that you can access whenever, wherever you like.
Bloom And Wild
And finally, if your VA does an amazing job whilst you’re away, why not reward them with a bunch of flowers, through the post, eh?
And, when I say ‘through the post’ I actually literally mean that.
They’re sent in a really thin cardboard box (a bit like when a book gets delivered from Amazon) straight through the letterbox.
No need to know the exact date they’ll be home – the flowers are picked when they’re still in bud form, and the receiver gets to arrange them in their own vase, all to their liking.
The flowers last and last and last too, by the way. Like at least 3 weeks.
And, there you have it!
My top 5 apps for increasing productivity and keeping your business on track whilst you’re on leave.
Even when you have these apps in place, you need to learn how to work more efficiently in your business, so that you can take a step back and stop feeling like you need to respond to everyone all the time.
I can help!
Check out my “Managing You HQ” program where I show you step-by-step how to improve your productivity so you can spend more time working ON your business and less time IN it.
Doors will be opening again later this year, so click here to be the first to know when they do!