As an entrepreneur, there is an endless list of things that need to get done. Unfortunately, the list never gets shorter it only gets longer and more time sensitive.
You could hire an actual virtual assistant who would manage your day-to-day, but there is a cost associated, not to mention the learning curve. And many entrepreneurs are looking to save money with little time to train a virtual assistant.
But there is an alternative. It's a solution that is always with you and will, for the most part, help you for free. Your smartphone.
Now by itself the smartphone is rather useless but if you install the right combination of applications -- you could have a rather useful assistant.
Now the list of applications that can help you manage your day can vary a great deal, so this list is in no way inclusive. But my hope is that you find at least one application that will help you manage your day more effectively.
The (electronic) Personal Assistant Advantage
Google Voice is your phone and voicemail management service by Google. The service helps solve the issue of everyone calling you on your cell phone. Instead of giving out your cell number, you would give them your Google Voice number. This allows you to send unimportant phone calls to voicemail while taking those important phone calls.
Slack is your team communications platform. Slack aims to solve the struggles that some teams have with clear communications, by having all team communications in one place. Just image how much more effective your team will be when everyone is on the same page?
Google Drive is your cloud storage service. You are not always at the "office", but you always need your documents with you. Drive allows you to store your documents, videos, and photos online. It also serves as a Microsoft Office alternative. So the next time you need that "very important" client document it will be waiting for you on your phone.
Gmail is your free email service. You need a simple and quick method to manage your email, but nothing so far works well enough. Gmail is a Google service that allows you quickly and simply access to your email.
The Web Developer Will See You Now
Squarespace is your content management system (CMS). A blog is a requirement in today's social economy and the last thing you need is to worry about your blog. The CMS manages all the technical aspects of your blog so you can focus on what you do best. Squarespace consists of a website builder, hosting service and blogging platform. So it can easily and quickly handle your most pressing CMS needs.
Google Analytics is your analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. If you don't understand why you're receiving traffic or from and where, then you can't make informed decisions. Google Analytics can help you understand the why and where. All you need to do is grab the analytics code and add it to your website. Once you understand how your visitors are interacting with your site, you are better equipped to help them.
The Accountant Is In
PayPal is your online payments system. You're too busy for traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. PayPal makes that issue disappear by becoming your electronic alternative. All you need to do is sign up, setup your account and PayPal will help you make your financial life a little simpler.
FreshBooks is your a cloud-based accounting service. Your business is growing, but you're having a hard time keeping track of who owes you money. Freshbooks is designed to you get paid for your time and expertise. Once you are all setup with an account, you will have the peace of mind that Freshbooks is helping you out.
Who Needs A Proofreader
Grammarly is your a writing-enhancement platform. Writing for the web is a major part of your content strategy so your articles must be grammatically correct. Grammarly adheres to more than 250 grammar rules and will proofread your articles. All you need to do is upload your article to Grammarly and the service will make sure that your content is error free.
The Notetaker Will Get Things Done
Evernote is your notetaking service. You use pieces of scrap paper to take notes so it's no wonder you can't find "that" note. Evernote replaces traditional paper. You can capture any piece of formatted text and save it to Evernote. The "note" is then synchronized with your Evernote account so you will never again lose that "piece of scrap paper."
Todoist is your cloud-based method for getting things done. You have a ton of stuff that needs to get done, but your to-do list is disorganized. Todoist can help you manage your tasks and can act as your project manager. Once you are all set up, Todoist will help you stay on task.
Where Is You Social Media Expert
Hootsuite is your social media management system. You are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr, and Mixi, and you can't keep up. Hootsuite takes all those social networks and supports them in one dashboard. Once you have installed Hootsuite, the management system will easily keep your social media life in order.
The life of an entrepreneur requires a great deal of work and sacrifice. It's difficult to keep a handle on everything that goes on in your life. But with a smartphone and a handful of applications you better manage your busy day.
Question: What application can you not live without? I would love to read your comments here.