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Plan Your Time More Effectively With Shared Calendars

Plan Your Time More Effectively With Shared Calendars

We’ve all been there—stretched too thin, with more work than we have time, and suddenly an important deadline is missed. And if you’re a busy VA with lots of clients, that might happen more than you like, unless you have a trusted system for tracking due dates.

Google has the answer for you: Shared calendars.

All Your Important Appointments in One Place

Few things are a bigger time-suck than having to check and reconcile multiple calendars and apps just to see what’s on task for the day. When clients use different project management systems to record their deadlines, it can be challenging to remember to log in and check on your due dates.

But Google calendars synchs with any app that creates an iCal feed, so you can easily “subscribe” to your task lists and have them appear all in one place.

Not only that, but by sharing a calendar with clients, you can see what projects and appointments they have in the works as well, so you can plan accordingly. If your client is presenting at a telesummit, for example, you’ll know ahead of time and can keep that in mind when scheduling her social media or creating blog posts.

Time Blocking Ensures Critical Work is Completed On Time

Aside from knowing what’s on everyone’s schedule for the coming days and weeks, a calendar is a fantastic tool to help ensure all your important work is done. By setting aside time in your day to actually complete projects using a system known as time blocking, you’ll know exactly when you can get to that next project. No more guesswork or late nights trying to catch up when you overbook yourself.

Time blocking works by actually setting appointments with yourself. If you have a project to complete, and you know it will take you two hours to do, you make an appointment. The key though, is that these appointments are sacred. You cannot use time blocking as a suggestion, you have to treat it as an unbreakable appointment, otherwise it becomes just background noise that you’ll ignore.

Set your “appointments” with a reminder (either a pop-up or an email) and you will never have to ask yourself “What’s next?” You will always know, and you’ll find that you’re much more productive and efficient, too.

Access Anywhere for On-the-Go Productivity

Not in your office? No problem. Google calendars are available at any time from any of your devices, so you’ll always know what’s happening. Unlike printed planners, you won’t have to remember to take it with you, you can’t lose it, and you can check appointments and tasks not only for yourself but your clients as well, no matter where you are.

A calendar is a basic tool that every productive virtual assistant should master. Sharing calendars with your clients will make your job easier (and make you a superstar in their eyes), but you have to make use of it. Getting in the habit of using a calendar can be a challenge. If you’re not accustomed to it, then make it a point to check your calendar first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Set reminders for yourself if necessary, until it becomes a habit. You’ll soon find that you truly cannot live (or work) without your calendar.

Working with Chronic Illness: A Virtual Assistant’s Success Story

I am very proud to be featured as a guest blogger at Mind over Meniere’s (mindovermenieres.com) as a virtual assistant working with chronic illnesses. Read below for more:

Working with Chronic Illness

Recently, I was lucky enough to connect with an amazing woman named Kathy McCabe.

Kathy is an internationally recognized virtual assistant who also happens to suffer from Meniere’s disease, as well as several other chronic illnesses. Her story is remarkable. In the face of tremendous adversity, she has found success as a virtual assistant and has been able to continue to work and provide for her family. 

I invited Kathy to share her story with you all today, and to explain a little bit more about what a virtual assistant is, and how you can become one, too.


I’m Kathy and I have Meniere’s Disease.

Actually, I have bi-lateral Meniere’s disease, Migraine with Aura and chronic pain. But up until almost 3 years ago, I was normal. (Or at least I tried to be normal). Then, one day, out of nowhere, I had vertigo for the first time as I was walking across the room.

My Tinnitus, which I’ve had in both ears for many years (and has also caused hearing loss), now roars during attacks, which can happen at any time, with little or no warning.

I went to my walk-in clinic and they sent me to the hospital where doctors weren’t sure what was wrong or if I was having a stroke, so they admitted me for observation. I left thirty hours later still dizzy and on my way to a neurologist.

He was the first doctor to mention Meniere’s disease to me, although he said he was sure I didn’t have it since both my ears were affected, but he was at least open to the possibility. He sent me to other doctors for more tests and opinions. It took nearly a year and a long line of doctors before I finally got a diagnosis from Dr. John Carey at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He is an amazing doctor, and really listened!

Read more…

Virtual Assistants vs virtual assistants

  • Virtual Asistants vs virtual assistantsVirtual Assistants vs virtual assistants (Photo by Kathy McCabe)

    If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you’ve heard of virtual assistants. If you’re into technology with the latest and greatest phones and tablets, chances are, you’ve heard of a virtual assistant. Are they the same thing?  Not n a million years.

    A Virtual Assistant is a human being. A virtual assistant is a bot – a thing created using tons of coding. Virtual Assistants are entrepreneurs working with clients. While virtual assistants are basically speech recognition apps that can recognize some basic commands. I mean seriously, you will NOT be able to ask a virtual assistant to log on to your computer and try to show your client how to do whatever it is they are trying to do. I know this because I asked Cortana and Siri and they couldn’t.

    The term virtual assistant being used for a bot causes confusion with our potential clients. We, Virtual Assistants, have been around for a long time – well before the term virtual assistants began being applied to bots.

    For those who aren’t sure, list below are examples of how Virtual Assistants can assist clients:

  • 10 Qualities You Need to Keep Your Virtual Assistant Clients Happy – Entrepreneur

    Entrepreneur10 Qualities You Need to Keep Your Virtual Assistant Clients Happy Entrepreneur Holding on to the clients of your virtual assistant business requires loyalty, and that means you’ll need to demonstrate other skills besides expertise and knowledge. It’s time to review the traits outside your specific marketable skills that will …

  • How to Make the Most of a Virtual Assistant – WealthManagement.com

    WealthManagement.comHow to Make the Most of a Virtual AssistantWealthManagement.com Higgins is one of a growing number of advisors using virtual assistants for administrative work ranging from sending birthday cards to filling out client paperwork. They’re doing so partly thanks to cloud-based systems and other technology that make …Virtual Assistant – Why do you need one for your business?The IndependentWhy Virtual Assistants Are CoolTheSequitur.comall 3 news articles »

  • And if you’re in ay doubt as to what a virtual assistant – bot – is you can read te below for more information including future projections of these apps:

  • Why a virtual assistant needs a back story – The Australian Financial Review

    The Australian Financial ReviewWhy a virtual assistant needs a back storyThe Australian Financial ReviewUntil recently, Robyn Ewing was a writer in Hollywood, developing TV scripts and pitching pilots to film studios. Now, she is applying her creative talents toward building the personality of a different type of character – a virtual assistant, animated …and more »

  • And finally, remember, virtual assistants will NEVER replace Virtual Assistants.

     

    Kathy McCabe, MVA

    Master Virtual Assistant, VA Certified
    Ethics Checked VA
    Hilltop Secretarial Service
    Part of The Hilltop Group, LLC

    877-897-1859 Office   888-364-8949 fax

    kathy@thebestva.com  www.thebestva.com

    Geography is no boundary!  Complete Virtual Office
    Assistance – we’re what you need! 

    Thomas Leonard International Virtual Assistant of Distinction Award 2013

Customer Comments

"Hiring Kathy was one of the best business decisions I have ever made! From answering the phones to doing research to working on documents, Kathy has completed everything in a timely manner. My clients have made numerous comments on how nice she in on the phone. I would recommend Kathy to anyone looking to expand their business with a Virtual Assistant."
Janice Russell, Minding Your Matters Organizing, www.mindingyourmatters.com (On Linkedin.com) -

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