What Can Online Office Assistants Do For You?

In today’s world of ever changing situations and technology – thinking out of the box becomes ‘the norm’. As a business owner, contractor, therapist, counsellor, business man or woman, there are definitely times when employing someone would be beneficial to yourself and the company; there is an alternative to working yourself too hard. With the use of internet, computers, telephones, and all the other modern conveniences, employing an Online Office Assistant (or virtual assistant) is a definite possibility.

Now it is possible to have an employee trained in your business, on call to your needs, and even provide you with value information to help your business grow. An Online Office Assistant is the solution. Finding a compatible office assistant can be a great addition to your business. The key is to be comfortable and confident in the person that you hire.

Here are some things to look for when finding a virtual assistant:

-What agencies are they apart of?

-Do they have any affiliations with other assistants?

- It’s always better to find an assistant that can go to others, or rely on others if they are sick, away, etc.

-Do they list the skills you are looking for?

-What time zone are they in?

-Do they offer any discounts?

The best thing to do is to talk with them, and ensure you are confident in their capabilities. Most assistants should be willing to do a ‘test run’, whether it’s a simple project or a sample of what is to come, to ensure that there is a working relationship between client and assistant. One thing to keep in mind, the more you treat this person as you would a regular employee – the more value you will get out of your relationship.

What are 25 things Online Office Assistants can do for you:

1. Schedule appointments
2. Take phone calls
3. Format documents
4. Send out information
5. Keep up contacts
6. Research information
1. Internet
2. Newspaper
3. Associations
7. Keep statistics
8. Generate reports
9. Compile data
10. Data entry
11. Create and distribute surveys
12. Interpret data collected
13. Maintain webpage
14. Send out newsletter
15. Compile newsletter
16. Maintain distribution software
17. Sort emails
18. Reply to emails
19. Create presentations
1. Handouts for presentations
2. PowerPoint slides
3. Graphics and diagrams for presentations
20. Create and maintain databases
21. Transcription and dictation
22. Form creation and customization
23. Mail-outs (traditional)
24. Create and distribute brochures
25. Coordinate advertising

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Making Yourself Memorable: Creating a Stunning PowerPoint Presentation

Did you know that using a PowerPoint presentation can be one of the most effective ways to address a large group of people? With such a variety of learning styles, using a visual presentation allows you to reach a large group of people – particularly those who need to see it to believe it. What better way than to create a stunning PowerPoint presentation?

Have the data, but lacking that polished finish? A good way to start is to look at templates to get an idea of which style suits you and your presentation. By accessing numerous templates at Microsoft.com you be able to create stunning presentations. Looking at an individual slide or downloading an entire sample presentation can inspire you to be more creative with the content that you include in your own presentation. There are many charts and diagrams in different templates that can really spark your creativity and give you additional ideas to give your presentation a professional look. While looking through the samples, consider that if you are wowed by the slides, graphics, or charts, your audience probably will be too.

What works? There is no magic formula, but there are amazing presentations. With the ability to create almost anything imaginable, there is no limit to what can be included in your presentations. Vibrant colours, sleek graphics and stylish photographs all contribute to making a great presentation even better.

What does not work? Avoid the overuse of clip-art. Although there is some good quality clip-art out there, too much in a presentation can be distracting and give it an unpolished, unprofessional look. That is not to say that there isn’t a time and a place for a cleverly placed clip-art picture. Another thing to watch out for is wordiness – before adding a slide filled with text, consider adding the supplemental information in a handout.

Handouts are another great idea because you are providing your participants with additional information which adds value to your presentation. The added bonus of using handouts is that you are giving your participants additional information, which includes your contact information (a great instrument for making new connections and contacts).

Try to tie in visual cues that will help people remember and associate images with you or your company. The key is to make yourself, your presentation, and your information valuable and memorable.

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How to Organize Your Inbox

As we all know our inboxes have turned into modern day filing systems – and just like in the ‘old’ days they can get chaotic and out of hand in no time. Attempts are made to control the unruly inboxes, but for the most part messages are swept into folders that act as catch alls for everything (unorganized amalgamations of incoherent mess – thank goodness for advanced find!).

Think of the benefits an organized, logical filing system would mean for you: referencing to emails that you’ve received, find and view attachments again, decrease your scrolling time, and if you ever need someone to go in and look for something, you will be able to point them in the right folder, rather than having them rummage through all your emails.

Now that you’re eager to change your unorganized inboxes, here are some tips to help you on your way.

Inbox: Your Inbox should be just that – an inbox, not a permanent storage folder by any means. Even if you have a ‘misc’ file off of your inbox, keep your inbox clean and tidy. If you receive emails on a subject that you’re in process of dealing with and you’re not ready to move them into a more permanent folder, create a ‘2do’ folder off of your inbox, from there group messages into subfolders.

This is a great way to keep organized and an easy reference to see what you have to do.

How to use it: When you receive an email for an ongoing or upcoming task, create a folder in your ‘2do’ folder with a name related to that task or client. Move the email into that folder, create a reminder or appointment if necessary, and —voilà!— you now have an organized inbox. When you receive more emails related to this task they can now go straight into the subfolder that you created. Once you have completed this task you can easily move all the contents to a permanent folder of your designation. The key is to keep on top of it and once you’re done with a subfolder in your ‘2do’ folder list, delete or move it. Keeping the folders after a task is over will hinder your organization and add to your electronic clutter.
Organizing your Inbox
This method will allow you to have an easy visual reference for work that has to be done, and even if some tasks are ‘back-shelved’ for the moment, you can still see them and keep them fresh in your mind. Once you are able to concentrate on the emails that are just coming in, you will be able to focus more on your business and less on your clutter.

Subfolders: Don’t be afraid to use subfolders, even subfolders in subfolders. Putting items into logical groups is a key to keeping your files organized.

How to use: For example – You may have a number of clients and a couple of different companies that you do work for, and each client/company will have multiple tasks, projects, instructions, etc. Under your Inbox, create a file for each company, under the company create a folder for each client, and under each client create folders for the number of different tasks that you perform.

Having a place to put messages as they come in is a key to staying on top of your tasks and messages. Inboxes have a way of getting large and overwhelming very quickly, putting these steps in place will help to control the unsightly messes and as a bonus keep you organized in the process.

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