50+ Tools For Profit-Turning VAs (2021 Edition)
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Are you looking for the top virtual assistant tools to run your business?
In this post, I’m sharing over 50 virtual assistant tools that you can start using in your business right away.
And the best part–most of them are free!
If you haven’t met me yet, my name is Abbey Ashley, the founder of The Virtual Savvy. I’ve helped thousands of students get started with their very own Virtual Assistant business, and I’m so excited to share with you the best tools for your business.
Prefer the video version? Watch or listen here!
If you’re looking for the best advice for starting and growing your own Virtual Assistant business, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the bell to be notified every time I go live with a new video!
Alright — I’ve got over 50 tools that you will want to use in your virtual assistant business, so let’s get started. 😉
Best Invoicing Tools for Virtual Assistants
1. WAVE APPS
I totally love Wave Apps. It’s completely free and a great way for you to invoice your clients. One feature that I really love is the ability to set up recurring invoices, which really saves time and helps ensure you’re getting paid on time.
Some people love to invoice via PayPal because their clients can simply pay with a PayPal account. If that sounds appealing to you, PayPal Invoicing would be my second choice for sending invoices as a new Virtual Assistant.
Freshbooks was the very first invoicing software that I ever used as a virtual assistant and I loved it. I was able to keep track of my time and invoice right inside of the Freshbooks software. They also have a free trial you can check out HERE.
Dubsado is a little newer to the scene, but Virtual Assistants are going CRAZY over it. In fact, I polled my community of over 60,000 virtual assistants and Dubsado was the number one tool that my Virtual Assistants love! It’s not only a way to invoice and to track time, but it’s also a workflow management system, and again, comes with a free trial. Be sure to at least check out the free trial and see if it’s a tool that you would like to use in your business.
Dubsado does have a bit of a learning curve, however, the company has great resources on their blog (and a FREE course) to help you learn how to use its features.
Another great tool that VAs in my community LOVE is HoneyBook. HoneyBook is a fantastic option for VAs offering creative services and also comes with a ton of other amazing features like the ability to send contracts, proposals, and create a pipeline.
The cool thing about Dubsado and HoneyBook is you can create a form to embed on your website, and anytime someone inquires about your services it will automatically add them to your database. From there, you can set up automated emails to streamline your onboarding process as well.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one, but SIMPLE tool for invoicing, sending proposals, getting contracts signed, AND tracking-time…And.Co is the perfect tool for you.
While And.Co has some awesome features, the learning curve is not as steep as with Dubsado or HoneyBook, so you can get set up very quickly. Navigating the And.Co dashboard is very intuitive!
Best Time Tracking App for Virtual Assistants
Toggle is an easy-to-use time tracker, and I absolutely love it because it’s free. (Who doesn’t love free, right?)
Free tools like Toggl enable you to start running your business right away without any kind of initial investment in your business.
It’s really easy to categorize the time tracked by task and send a timesheet to your clients to show them what you’ve been working on. I think this tool pairs really nicely with Wave Apps when you’re starting out.
Read more about why I love Toggl here.
Best Graphic Design Tools for Non-Designers
You don’t have to be a graphic designer with a degree to start your own business. In fact, you don’t have to have a graphic design bone in your body, but I would suggest checking out some of these great cloud-based tools that are perfect for non-designers.
I primarily use Canva, however, I have heard from different sources that PicMonkey is a great option if you want to do graphics as well as photo editing. They do offer a free trial, so you will be able to test out their features and see how they measure up with other tools like Canva.
Canva is my personal favorite tool for graphic design, but definitely try out other tools and see which one you like best.
Canva will enable you to make your own social media graphics, logos, banners, and now you can even design WEBSITES!
Anything you can think to design, you can do inside of Canva. They also have printing abilities so you can print business cards straight from the platform. I totally recommend checking it out.
They do have a paid option, but you can get started with just the free plan. If you decide to upgrade your plan, you’ll get access to additional stock photos to use in your images, as well as the option to download your images with a transparent background and other features!
10. ADOBE SPARK
I still think Canva is the best choice for creating simple graphics, but Adobe Spark might be worth checking out if you’re interested in offering creative services and want to experiment with different tools.
Best Stock Photo Sites for Virtual Assistants
I love using stock photos! You can use them on your website and in your social media posts–there’s a lot that you can do with them. Here at The Virtual Savvy, we also like to use them inside of our YouTube videos.
You will notice (as you’re researching) there’s a lot of really great tools you can use to download free stock photos.
Three of my favorite sites are Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels. All three of these are really great tools.
You can search each platform using a keyword and download the photo you want to use completely free.
Since each site has different photos, you may find a wide variety across all three with just one keyword you’re searching for, so check out more than one site if you want access to more stock photos for your keyword.
Want more free stock photo resources? Here’s a list of 50+ sites I love for free stock photos!
Best Project Management Tools for Virtual Assistants
I know that as you’re getting projects from your clients, you need to figure out your workflows.
You may be thinking, “How am I actually going to accomplish these tasks with my clients? How am I going to collaborate with them?”
Well, I’ve got some really great tools up my sleeve to help you with workflows and collaboration.
I absolutely love Trello. My team used Trello when we first started out for practically everything. You can use it to house SOP’s (standard operating procedures), goals, or use it to delegate tasks.
If you want a full tutorial on how to use Trello, you can go to thesavvyvault.com. We have an entire course in our tech training library all about it!
Asana and Teamwork have both been around a little bit longer for project management, so you’re going to find that these have more robust features than other tools out there. They are made for project management, so definitely go and check them out.
Right now, there is another new kid on the block called ClickUp. My community is crazy about ClickUp right now…and my team and I are too!
This is what we currently use here at The Virtual Savvy, and we are completely obsessed with its capabilities. We can literally house everything for our company within ClickUp including our daily tasks, quarterly goals, employee records, and so much more.
I really can’t say enough good things about Streak. It works a little different than Trello, Asana, or ClickUp, but its worth checking out for sure.
One feature I really love is the email tracker. Streak will let you know if your email was opened, and how many times it was read. This is great if you’re doing outreach to market your business, or just want to keep tabs on prospective clients and proposals.
I’ve found that freelance writers especially LOVE Streak because it helps them keep track of their pitches (although it’s a great tool for ANY service-based niche).
Best Tools for Client Communication
These tools are all about how you can communicate back and forth externally with your clients or internally with your team.
The communication tool I love the most is Slack, and it’s what my team also uses.
One of the features I really like is the ability to have various “channels” that can be used for specific topics. For example, we have a “celebrate” channel, and every time something great happens in the business we share it in that specific thread. It really helps keep conversations organized!
I can also message my team members privately OR message my entire team all at once.
Having a Slack channel for one or all of your clients is a really, really great way to communicate back and forth quickly and easily. It will also help you manage your own team if you decide to bring on subcontractors or employees.
Have you ever had somebody say, I’ll “vox” you?
The first time somebody said this to me, I literally had no idea what it meant. I had to Google it and found out that Voxer was an app to send voice messages back and forth (walkie-talkie style).
I really like Voxer because it integrates well on my computer and on my phone. If I just want to send a quick voice message to somebody, Voxer is one of the best ways to do that.
I know that a lot of virtual assistants will use Voxer to communicate with their clients, especially when their clients have ideas or need to brain dump. Their client might say, “Hey, here are a couple of ideas I just thought of for some new blog posts.” Then, you can take that voice message and import it into your project management system.
Let me tell you about my love for Loom. It seriously changed the way that my business works (plus, it’s free!).
Loom enables you to screenshare in a video so I can share my computer screen (maybe an email or project that I’m going through), and what’s really nice is you have the option of even having your camera in the corner so you can see me talking, but still also see my screen and what’s going on.
My team and I use Loom for almost everything, and it makes communication super easy.
I will use it to talk back and forth about a project so I can show my client what is actually going on. I will also answer emails this way.
It’s really awesome when somebody sends you a written email and they get a video back. They think it’s the coolest thing, and it took me way less time to send the video than it would have been to write a two-page email.
It’s also really great if you need to film SOP’s (standard operating procedures) or tutorial videos, and you’ll notice that I do this a lot. I will shoot a tutorial video, “Here’s how you do something,” and that will most likely be in a Loom video.
Check out Loom, as it will totally change your business!
Best Tools for Sharing & Storing Files
Dropbox is a pretty popular tool, so you may have already heard of it.
It’s a way for you to store documents on a cloud so that you can save space on your computer. It’s always a way to share documents, especially really large files,
One of the advantages of Dropbox is that so many people use it. So you’ll find that it’s really easy to share and collaborate.
One of the downfalls of Dropbox is that it can start to add up. It can be a little pricey, especially if you’re always dumping really, really large files into it, which is why I love Sync as an alternative.
A lot of people don’t know about Sync, but personally, I’m obsessed with it.
It’s basically just like Dropbox, except it is much more affordable.
You can still share documents back and forth. You can still have it hosted on your computer and drag and drop the files in. They also have a referral link (here’s mine) that you can use to earn more space–so every time somebody signs up with your referral link, you get more storage.
I also love that every time my team tells me something is “in Sync,” It brings me back to my 90s glory days (N*SYNC Baby!).
24. GOOGLE DRIVE
It’s highly likely that you’re familiar with Google Drive already, especially if you have a Gmail account–but I couldn’t keep from including it on this list because it’s seriously awesome.
Not only is it a great way to store and share files, but I love the fact that you can create and edit documents, spreadsheets, or slides and store them on the cloud for later use.
If you don’t have Microsoft Office on your computer, it’s a great alternative (and it’s free!).
Best Scheduling Tools for Virtual Assistants
Say somebody wants to schedule a meeting with you, and the two of you are going back and forth through email. Can you meet at this time? What about this day? No, that doesn’t work for me.
It’s a headache, right?
These two tools will totally save you time and headaches in regard to scheduling.
You can check them both out and see which one you might prefer. Both tools make it really easy for somebody to pick a time and a day to meet with you.
You can also ask them a few questions when booking so you know how to respond to their meeting request, and set up automatic emails to remind them about the meeting.
These are really awesome options for booking discovery calls with potential clients.
(If you happen to use Dubsado, they do have the capability to create a scheduler…so you can save a bit of money by using that instead.)
Best Tools for Signing Documents Electronically
These next tools are all about getting your documents signed electronically.
(By the way, what documents would you need to be signed? …Your contract!)
Please, please, please do not start working with a client unless you have a good contract in place. (Yes, we do have a done-for-you virtual assistant contract on The Virtual Savvy website!)
Let’s talk about getting those contracts signed.
These are three tools that I recommend for getting your contracts signed (Hellosign, Docusign, Eversign).
All three of these tools operate mostly the same way. You upload a PDF of your document (your contracts in this instance) and then you mark the places where a signature is needed.
You can sign it, and then you can send it to your clients so they can sign it as well.
They’ll have to check a little box saying that their digital signature does actually count as their real signature, so these tools do all the legal legwork for you.
Now we all love free, right? The way that most of these tools make money is that you get a certain number of signatures or a certain number of documents for free, and then any signatures or documents beyond the free limit will require payment.
(Again, if you use Dubsado, Honeybook, or And.Co, you will be able to get your contract signed within the system…so it might be worth checking out one of those tools if you want something that’s all-in-one.)
Best Tools for Social Media Scheduling
When you’re posting to social media for yourself or on your client’s behalf, it’s a really good idea to batch those posts.
What does that mean?
That means you are going to schedule out social media posts for the entire week or the entire month. Yes, you CAN pre-schedule most of the posts that need to go out on various social media platforms, so here are some of my favorite tools to use for scheduling.
I really love Hootsuite, plus it has been around forever.
What’s great is you can manage multiple accounts inside of it. If you’re a social media manager who is posting for multiple clients, this might be a good option for you.
Smarterqueue and MeetEdgar both work very similarly. With these tools, you can still schedule a post and say, I want this specific post to go out on Wednesday. But my favorite feature with these tools is that you can create a library of posts. So you can say, every Tuesday I want an inspirational quote to go out on my Facebook page.
Basically, you have an entire folder of inspirational quotes, and Smarterqueue and MeetEdgar will automatically pull one of those quotes and schedule it for a Tuesday. It’s great because it recycles all of your content. It does take some time to build up these libraries, but once you’ve done the groundwork, it puts your social media posting on autopilot.
Both of these tools are really worth looking into to save you some time in the long run.
If you’re active on Facebook and/or Instagram, you’re definitely going to want to check out Facebook Business Suite. What I love about it, is that it helps you manage everything in one place and makes it super easy to keep track of your comments and DMs.
Not to mention, you can manage engagement and content from both platforms in one simple dashboard.
Facebook creator studio is a management tool used within Facebook that allows you to post, manage, and keep up with the performance of your content. It’s also a great tool if you’re looking to monetize your content as well.
While Creator Studio and Facebook Business Suite do have some similar functions, you’ll want to test both of them out to see which one works best for you!
Best Instagram Schedulers for Virtual Assistants
Now, if you have a Instagram business account you have the option to schedule your social media posts (previously, this could only be done manually). Here are some of my favorite tools for doing this.
The two tools that I prefer for Instagram scheduling are Later and Planoly. These are both really great tools for scheduling and will save you so much time.
Best Photo Editing Tools for Virtual Assistants
We all want nice professional headshots, right?
But it can cost money to get those. This tool enables you to take one of your own photos, whether it’s done with a professional camera or even with your iPhone (whatever you took the picture on), and it automatically removes the background for you in five seconds.
When you’re done, all that is left is an image of you (or a client). You can put this on different social media posts or you can put it on your Facebook backgrounds. It’s a really, really great tool and I really recommend it if you haven’t taken the time or the finances to get professional headshots yet.
(Canva also has this feature, so if you use that platform you can do it all within the same tool. Just access it by going to “effects” and then click on the background remover option.)
Best PDF Tools for Virtual Assistants
38. PDF ESCAPE
39. I LOVE PDF
Both of these tools are ones that you can use to manipulate PDFs. That means if you have a block of space inside of a PDF, you can actually make it to where the user can fill out and type inside of that PDF. You can add checkmarks, radio dials, and many more. They’re really awesome!
Best Banking Options for Virtual Assistants
If you’re just starting out your virtual assistant business, opening a business account can come with some hefty fees. Thankfully there are some great options that now allow you to bank for free!
I used to recommend Azlo, but now that they’ve closed, I’ve found two alternatives worth looking into…BlueVine and Novo.
BlueVine is a great banking option to consider because not only is it free, but you can also earn up 1.0% on your checking account balance up to $100,000!
You also get free access to ATMs at up to 38,000+ MoneyPass® locations.
Since we all love to have options, I also recommend checking out Novo for your banking needs.
Similar to BlueVine, there are ZERO monthly maintenance fees OR minimum balances. The difference with Novo is that rather than having free access to an ATM, you will have your ATM fees refunded to you (still, how cool is that?).
If you’re new to Novo, you can also get up to $3,000 in Google Cloud credits, $150 toward Google Ads, and 40% off the first six months of QuickBooks Online.
I highly recommend checking out both BlueVine and Novo to see which will work best for you.
Document Storage and Sharing
42. GOOGLE DOCS
I really love both Google Docs and Evernote for storing and sharing documents. Google Docs is definitely my favorite. I can create a document, share it with someone, and we can literally be typing on the document and making visible changes at the exact same time.
It’s really awesome–check it out if you haven’t already. I mean, we are probably all Google people already, but I have to include it as one of my favorite tools for virtual assistants. 🙂
Best Screenshot Tools for Virtual Assistants
I love Skitch. Skitch is a way that you can take snapshots of your entire screen or just a small part of your screen, and you can mark up the screenshot (like creating boxes around certain elements). You can blur things out using Skitch, too.
It’s really great for testimonials or blurring out parts of a conversation.
The blur feature is one of the things that Skitch is really, really great at, so check it out for editing your screenshots.
Full Page Screen Capture is a chrome extension, so you will have to have the Chrome browser installed in order to use it, but I really love this tool.
Maybe you’re trying to take a picture of a website (you might be a website designer yourself, or maybe you’re getting inspiration from different sites).
Instead of having just to screenshot one little part at a time, you can take a screenshot of the entire page. I’ve even taken screenshots of sales pages that are so, so long, but it captures it perfectly in one nice screenshot. I really, really love this extension.
Best Form Creation Tools for Virtual Assistants
47. GOOGLE FORMS
If you have a questionnaire that you want to send out to your email list or to your clients, I would recommend using either Typeform and Google Forms. These are both really great tools to use in order to capture information or to create surveys, so check them both out.
Best Email Service Providers for Virtual Assistants
I am a huge fan of starting an email list as soon as you start your business (even if you only have one email subscriber and that one email subscriber is your mom, haha).
Start an email list and slowly start to build it as you also build your business.
MailerLite and MailChimp are awesome because they are easy to get started with. It’s what I recommend you use at the very beginning. You can have 1,000 – 2,000 free email subscribers with MailerLite and MailChimp, and so I recommend checking them out as you’re getting your first email subscribers.
What I love about MailerLite is that it’s not very expensive to upgrade to a paid plan, and they offer a bunch of advanced features on their free plan.
ConvertKit now allows you to have up to 1,000 subscribers on its free plan, however, it is a bit more expensive to upgrade your plan, and the free plan will not allow for some of the features that you get with Mailerlite (like setting up automated emails).
I’ve been a ConvertKit user for years and it has really helped me keep list growth a priority, so they are my favorite platform to use personally.
Flodesk is newer to the scene, but makes it so easy to create beautiful emails that I just had to add it on here! (BTW–if you use this link to sign-up for Flodesk, you will get 50% off, FOR LIFE!)
While they don’t offer a free plan, they do offer a 30-day trial (PLUS, you get a discount using the link above). Flodesk only offers one plan, but you get to have an unlimited number of subscribers rather than paying more as you grow your list. They also make it really easy to set up automations.
Want to know the difference between ConvertKit vs. MailChimp vs. MailerLite vs. Flodesk? Read my in-depth breakdown HERE
Best Tools for Landing Pages
Leadpages allows you to create beautiful landing pages for email opt-ins or sales pages for a productized service or digital product (i.e. ebooks, templates, courses). This is what we use here at The Virtual Savvy, and I just love how user-friendly it is with its drag and drop system
If you want to create something professional in a short time frame, Leadpages can help you do that.
Local Business Advice for Virtual Assistants
If you live inside of the U.S., did you know that you have access to free business advice using SCORE?
SCORE is local, meaning that they know the laws and requirements and best business practices for your specific state and county.
They won’t know all the ins and outs of growing a virtual assistant business (so that’s why you’re here with me 😉). However, if you want to know about the state, county, and city requirements that you need to adhere to in order to do business, definitely google SCORE or find out where the closest SCORE office is to you. Then, you can have a discussion with a mentor to see what the applicable regulations are.
Best Tools for Finding Virtual Assistant Clients
If you want to know where some potential clients are hanging out, one of the best places to go is Meetup.com. This is where you can find local networking groups.
These are entrepreneurial and business-based meetups, so you can go and meet potential clients.
I’m not sure how their in-person meetups are being conducted due to the pandemic, but they are currently hosting a number of virtual events you can start attending right away.
I wasn’t always a fan of UpWork, but I’m a huge fan now!
It can get a bad rep sometimes because there are people that will do work for $1 or $2 an hour, but that doesn’t have to be you.
There’s a specific way you can filter your search for jobs that are for experts (which are the ones you want to be looking for). Check out Upwork — there are tons of jobs posted every single day for Virtual Assistants.
56. FACEBOOK GROUPS
If you’re not already using Facebook Groups to find virtual assistant jobs, you’re seriously missing out!
The great thing is there are many niche-specific groups now where jobs are being posted daily.
Our Facebook group, Virtual Assistant Savvies has over 60,000 members and you can easily find opportunities to apply to by typing #jobopps in the search bar.
Best Apps for Hosting Virtual Meetings
I am obsessed with zoom. It’s is how we handle all of our meetings inside of The Virtual Savvy.
Anytime I want to meet with a potential partner, client, or have team meetings, Zoom is my go-to!
It’s a free way to talk face to face with colleagues. I love the fact that you can screen share, and you can have a chat in the corner if you need to send links.
If you decide to use a paid plan, you get the ability to record your calls as well–which is great if you want to send the audio to a transcription service and have call notes done for you quickly!
58. GOOGLE MEET
If you’re just in love with all things Google, you might want to consider trying out Google Meet. Formerly known as Google Hangouts, Google Meet is a simple, free alternative to Zoom for video conferences.
It has some great features as well, like screen-sharing, live captioning, and noise cancelation.
Just like Zoom, there is a free version with limited features. If you want to upgrade to a paid plan by signing up for Google Workspace, you can start for as little as $8 a month, versus Zoom’s paid plan which starts out at $14.99 per month.
If you’re looking for video conferencing only, Zoom is definitely my number one option. However, if you’re looking to use the additional features that Google offers, that might be a better option.
Best Resource for Virtual Assistants
We always have to save the best for last, am I right? 😉
If you’re REALLY serious about starting a virtual assistant business, The Virtual Savvy has so many free resources to help you get started.
We have blog posts, a YouTube channel, and a Facebook group with over 60,000 virtual assistants where you can ask questions and find new job opportunities daily.
Also, if you enjoyed these tools and you would like this list (plus some extra bonuses that I didn’t include in this post!), my complete list of all the tools you need to get started in your business is at thevirtualsavvy.com/resources.
Are you itching to turn your service-based business into a full-time, profit-generating machine? Maybe you desire to finally quit your 9-5 and live the VA dream, but you don’t know how to even start scaling. Or maybe you’re booked out with clients already but have NO TIME left to actually grow your business. Regardless of…
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