From scanning business cards to managing meetings across different time zones, administrative assistants are bombarded with tasks of varying complexity every single day. Here are six categories of office tools that can help you switch between these tasks seamlessly, and manage your day more easily.
1) Scheduling Tools
Planning a meeting over email can be such a pain! This is where Scheduling Tools come to your rescue. They help you reduce the back and forth which often happens when both parties are trying to decide on a time convenient to everyone.
Scheduling Tools can be integrated with your existing calendar, making planning much simpler. This also helps ensure that none of your meeting slots are double-booked. In fact, there are several tools in the market which let you set caps on the number of meetings that can be scheduled per day.
Most of them come with features like cross-device support and intelligent timezone detection. This helps in scheduling meetings with people from all over the world without having to mentally calculate or look up the local time every time you need to send or accept a meeting request.
2) Call centre software
Are you tied to your desk all the time because of your office phone? Call centre software are cloud-based phone systems that enable you take to calls on your laptop or desktop. This means, you don’t even need to be in office to take calls and patch them to your executive. They can be accessed from any computer that allows you to log in, just like your emails.
Call centre software are armed with multiple capabilities like call recording and provision to take notes within the application itself. You can also set up call flows based on the business hours of your office.
3) Scanning Apps
Scanning invoices and business cards after your manager returns from a networking trip can eat up a lot of time, especially if your office printer/scanner is an overworked piece of machinery. Scanning Apps let you scan and upload documents using your mobile phone. All of them come with basic features like perspective and shadow-correction. This way, you needn’t worry about how professional your final output will look. You can also save yourself from the wrath of your colleagues for monopolizing the printer.
4) Expense Management Apps
Submitting documents for reimbursements is yet another activity that can make you pull your hair out. Submitting them on time is even more essential. Expense Management Apps automate all the steps of creating an expense report. Some of them have features similar to scanning apps. But their work doesn’t stop at just scanning. They read the scanned receipts and invoices to create smart reports. These smart reports can be then sent to the accounting software used in your organization from within the application itself. This way you can get reimbursements done in real-time.
5) Project Management Tools
Project Management Tools not only help you manage the multiple projects that you are working on but they also help you time and manage your daily tasks at work. You can also use them to manage tasks that are shared with other teams or among members of your team. Every time someone shares a status update, you’ll be notified in real-time helping you keep track of progress.
These applications also help you create and manage checklists. You can also set timelines to each item on your checklists. This way, you can always create reminders for deadlines and ensure that all the activities are finished on time.
Project Management Tools also help you record your learning from older projects, allowing you to improve and avoid mistakes made in the past. You can assign labels and categories to tasks within a project allowing you to access or search for them easier at a later date.
6) Enrichment Tools
Enrichment Tools are usually used by Sales and Pre-Sales team to understand a lead or prospect better. These tools provide information that has been collected from a contact’s public or social profiles. This information is then used to build more contextual conversations and business communication.
Don’t you think that Enrichment Tools can meet certain requirements of an administrative assistant as well? In fact, they can be used on both the inbound and outbound communication you are involved with. With the information you gather, you can brief your manager if this is an important piece of communication that deserves more of their attention. Also, if you’re reaching out to a client you can easily inject icebreakers or add a touch a personification in the way you communicate with them.
If you look into each of these categories, you’ll find specific tools that suit your requirements. With a bit of customisation according to your preferences, they can work along with your existing operations and speed them up manifold.