Many of our clients at Trusty Oak delegate professional and business-related tasks to their virtual assistants - from invoicing and payroll assistance to marketing support. But our virtual assistants also perform many personal tasks for clients, particularly busy managers, executives, and entrepreneurs.
If you’re finding you have a tough time keeping up with your personal life and wish you had more time to rest and spend time with your family and friends, a personal virtual assistant may be right for you. Since virtual assistants are generally unable to provide in-person task completion, they’re not a good fit for tasks such as dry cleaning drop-off, standing in line at the post office for you, or other in-person duties. However, there is so much a virtual assistant can do for you remotely. Here are some tips for working with a personal assistant and an example task list of work our assistants do for their clients to get your wheels turning.
Tips for Working with a Personal Virtual Assistant
It can seem overwhelming to delegate personal tasks to an assistant, particularly because the processes and knowledge needed to complete these jobs are in your brain. To simplify working with your virtual assistant on personal tasks, you can lean on shared tools for collaboration.
1. Use Shared Trello Boards
Trello offers many different formats and potential templates for collaborating with your personal assistant. Whether you create a simple board your virtual assistant can use with lists like “Top Priorities This Week,” “In Progress,” and “Done,” or have more detailed boards for each topic, there are plenty of ways to use Trello to make coordination easier.
2. Create Shared Lists and Documents
Simple Google Docs, Sheets documents, or even iPhone notes can function as ongoing lists and task trackers. Share and build lists as you go to make delegating to your personal assistant a breeze.
3. Share Passwords and Payment Information Securely
Your personal assistant will likely need even more access to your information and login credentials than a business-focused assistant. Keep security top of mind when sharing your personal information, especially credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. Use password vaults like LastPass to make this process secure and easy.
Example Tasks for Personal Virtual Assistants
1. Ordering Groceries and Menu Planning
With today’s easy online grocery ordering and delivery, your virtual assistant can easily become your personal shopper and even assist in meal planning. Create a shared list of recipes or pantry items you want on hand and share it with your virtual assistant for them to fill your online grocery cart. With a little coordination, you can have groceries delivered to your doorstep without having to lift a finger.
2. Ordering Household and Pet Supplies
You can keep a running list of items you need around the house - cleaning supplies, pet food and medication, light bulbs, etc. - and have your assistant handle ordering them. This can save you a significant amount of time if you set up a shared running list and have your assistant regularly order items you need often.
3. Ordering and Sending Gifts or Handwritten Cards
Do you wish you were that person who always sends a thank you note, a thoughtful gift, or a handwritten card? With a virtual assistant, you can be. Have your virtual assistant order gifts for you through services like Amazon to go straight to your desired recipient. Your VA can also address and send cards with your personalized note inside - some services, like PunkPost, can even deliver handmade cards with your heartfelt sentiment inside for that personal touch.
4. Scheduling Appointments and Making Reservations
Are you two years late for your dental cleaning? Oops. Busy people often struggle with the administrative side of managing appointments and reservations and planning ahead. Have your virtual assistant schedule your appointments for you to keep up with your health, your hair, your financial advisor - whatever it is you’ve been too overwhelmed to schedule. Your VA can also help you manage the work of a special night out or a party you’re planning by making restaurant reservations, handling transportation to and from events, or communicating with event vendors.
5. Research Tasks
Maybe you know you want to invest in a new product or service but don’t have the time to comparison shop, research, and make a decision. Or maybe you’re looking for a new primary care provider, but you’re too busy to read reviews and see who accepts your insurance. Your virtual assistant can research things like this for you, make detailed notes and comparisons, and present their findings so you can make an informed decision without spending hours researching.
6. Scheduling Services
Plumbers, yard maintenance, pest control, home repairs - these “adulting” duties stack up for active and busy people. Have your virtual assistant help you find, hire, and manage providers for household and personal services. Your VA can help ensure payment, as well, and communicate scheduling needs with these vendors to make your day simpler.
7. Pay Bills and Track Expenses
Your virtual assistant can assist you with paying bills and invoices and setting up auto-pay. Offloading this chore can give you hours back and peace of mind. Your virtual assistant can also track your personal or professional expenses, keeping you on top of your finance-related tasks.
8. Email Management
Emails are overwhelming, often both personally and professionally. Have your virtual assistant manage your inbox and start by clearing the clutter and unsubscribing you from all those mailing lists you don’t need. Inbox zero is in sight!
9. Organize Digital Files and Photos
Is your Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud account giving you heartburn? A virtual assistant can help bring some organization to the chaos and get your files organized - and even give you some storage space back by reducing unnecessary clutter.
A virtual assistant can help make your personal life more structured, manageable, and calm so you can focus on what really matters to you. Ready to meet your virtual assistant?