Delegate, Focus, and GROW Your Business

3 Must-Have Tools to Make the Most Out of the Cloud

Concept of a businessman that works over a cloud

Concept of a businessman that works over a cloud

When working as a virtual assistant, using the cloud is one of the best ways you can get the most from your contract and do the most for your client. You’ll maximize your time with the right cloud-based tools and you won’t waste your billable hours tracking down files. After all, VANetworking reports that more than 87 percent of virtual assistants charge on an hourly basis instead of on retainer or project-based pay schedules. It is critical that you have the capacity to quickly and easily share files, communicate and manage your digital assets with your clients. Here is a look at just a few of the tools you should be using to get the most out of the cloud and your time.

Cloud Storage

Being able to get files, documents, records and other resources into the hands of your client is key to making your workflow seamless. Dropbox is easily the most popular cloud-based file sharing and storage app on the market, and with good reason. It is easy to use, and has a mobile app that allows you to share and receive files on the go.

The basic version of Dropbox is free to use, and gives you two gigabytes (GB) of space to use. For personal use it is usually sufficient but chances are that your business will need more space. The Pro Plan offers 100 GB of storage, but the Dropbox for Business plan gives you unlimited storage for five or more users. For a virtual assistant who will be sharing Dropbox space with clients regularly, the business plan is the best bet. A service like Dropbox will make it easy to share files and receive them from your client whereever they may be.

Digital Asset Management

Digital asset management, or DAM, is an effective way to organize, search, retrieve and share your digital assets. Think of digital asset management software as a digital library that organizes your resources so that they are easy for colleages, clients, and contractors to use. A business’s digital resources include video, audio, images, presentations and documents, and there are probably more of these resources than you suspect. That’s where digital asset management software comes in. WebDAM is the lead digital asset management software on the market, offering workflow automation, back-up features, archival search and storage all in one. For a virtual assistant, being able to quickly search through a library of resources and find the digital assets you need can save a tremendous amount of time.

Cloud Chat

Working with remote clients means building ideas and communicating deadlines frequently, often without ever meeting in person. To make this work, you need to be able to make sure everyone is on the same page, and cloud-based chat software is a great way to do so. While there are many chat programs available, cloud-based Hipchat offers more than just a chat window – it features file sharing tools that function on the desktop, mobile, and web versions of the application. HipChat is free to use for the first 30 days, so you can try it out and see if the software is right for you. Because HipChat charges for additional users to be added to the plan, it is easy to add and remove users as needed and keep your costs low.

Posted on August 6th, 2015 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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