Technology changes at a break-neck pace these days, and our jobs and careers seem to change right along with it at only a marginally slower pace. Ten years ago, the tools a good executive assistant might utilize over the course of their job look completely different than the tools of today and are vastly different from the typewriter and steno pad of ancient times.
Today’s business tools are virtual apps, programs, and cloud-based software designed for specific purposes and specific industries to increase efficacy. And in the coming years, those tools will likely change and evolve yet again.
To help keep you at the top of your game, let’s take a look at some of the most invaluable executive assistant tools you’re sure to need in the new year.
What’s an executive assistant tool?
The job description of an executive assistant can vary from company to company, but there are always some points of commonality across the board.
In general, an executive assistant provides administrative support to executives in the workplace, often through taking calls and scheduling meetings or executive workflow. Occasionally, they may also be placed in supervisory positions over other lower-rung office employees.
Executive assistant tools, then, would be any device, application, or physical aid that helps the executive assistant carry out their duties with a greater degree of proficiency.
This once meant a Rolodex full of contact information, a desk blotter, and training in taking dictation in shorthand. Today, thanks to technological advancements, an executive tool can be anything from a virtual meeting app on a smartphone to a full suite of cloud-based office software.
10 types of executive assistant tools you need
Scheduling and calendar tools
Whether it’s just for a single executive or multiple workgroups within your company, having the ability to create a schedule and track it via a calendar app is a vital part of an executive assistant’s arsenal.
The ability to schedule and track all manner of business activities needs to be second nature to a good EA. Fortunately, there is a bevy of options to choose from, such as Google Calendar or Calendly. Do a little research to find the one that best fits your needs, and hit the ground running in 2023!
Client relationship management tools
A Client Relationship Manager, or CRM, performs much the same function as a little black book and a company Rolodex did back in the pre-computer days. It’s a digital system for tracking and managing any and all interactions between your company and your potential customers.
CRMs are useful for streamlining the relationship between your company and your customers and can span across multiple departments such as sales, marketing, and digital commerce. Learning to use one of these systems can help you get a leg up on keeping track of customer interactions.
Common examples of CRMs include programs like Monday or SalesForce.
Communication, whether it be conversing with your boss about upcoming events or chatting with a customer in preparation to transfer them to the appropriate department, is an utterly vital part of the job.
Some communication tools are obvious, like intra-office messaging apps or email clients. Others, however, may take you by surprise. A good teleprompter app like VODIUM, for instance, can help you maintain focus and efficacy while on video calls with potential clients or in internal office meetings.
Popular tools in this category include such technologies as Slack or Google Groups.
Project management tools
Not all executive assistants are required to oversee or participate in projects within their companies, but for those that are, a good project management tool is a must-have.
These tools are similar to CRM technologies, except where a CRM is focused outward on the customer, a Project Management Tool is focused inward on company resources. They are designed to track time and resources across various projects and can be found in every aspect of most companies.
Popular examples of project management tools include apps like Clockify or Hubstaff.
Online meeting tools
It’s almost a certainty that no one in your company is a stranger to these kinds of tools anymore, certainly not in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Online meeting tools are apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams that allow you to conduct virtual meetings, either with a client or with fellow employees or executives.
Other types of online meeting tools are those which serve to enhance the virtual meeting space. Apps like VODIUM can be used to prepare presentations in advance, and it can help you present needed information in a clear and well-paced manner so you don’t lose the attention of your audience.
Document signing tools
These tools are especially useful if your company deals with a lot of contract employees or has a rapid turnaround in terms of jobs taken on and finished. Contracts and other documents need signing, whether it be a merger agreement or a real estate sale.
And, while it is still possible to sign those documents in person, it is far more expedient if you are able to get those documents signed electronically. To this end, a good document signing application is a must-have for the good executive assistant to have in their toolbelt.
Often, these tools come bundled with other document management software such as eFileCabinet, but they can also come as stand-alone apps such as DocuSign.
Note-taking in meetings used to mean a good pen and a large notepad. Nowadays, however, especially with the virtual meeting boom, transcription is the way to go.
Often an executive assistant will be called on to transcribe what was said during a meeting, or even a video message from a higher-up to the rest of the company. When called on in this manner, having a good transcription tool in your belt will simplify matters to no end.
Programs such as Otter or Trint are popular examples of programs in this category.
Call routing tools
This is one job of an executive assistant that hasn’t changed much over the years. Calls come into your company, and often it is the executive assistant’s responsibility to route them to the appropriate person or department. And while back in the day this would require a massive intra-company phone system, now the routing can be accomplished with digital tools tied into your company’s phone line.
Applications like Zendesk or AirCall are examples of this kind of tool.
Writing assistance tools
The ability to write cogently and coherently is absolutely critical to a good executive assistant. Because these skills are so important, it’s never a bad idea to get a little help along the way. Writing assistance tools are designed to help catch mistakes you might inadvertently make in your memos or other communique.
While often these tools are of a “check” nature—spell check or grammar check or even how often you repeat certain words or phrases—the category actually encompasses all manner of tools. For instance, Dragon Speaking and Google Voice allow you to dictate to your computer, saving you from potential repetitive stress injuries from typing too much on a keyboard.
Grammarly, Google Docs, or the aforementioned Dragon Speaking are examples of writer assistance tools that are popular in today’s marketplace.
Email and social media tools
No, we’re not talking about email clients or actual social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Rather, this point refers to tools used to make interactions with those platforms simpler and more efficient. Often these tools will allow you to schedule out emails days or weeks in advance or set up automated replies to social media posts.
Email newsletters can be set up through sites like Mailerlite or MailChimp, allowing you to advertise your company or send out company newsletters to those who sign up for them.
Other tools, like a mail merge, allow you to create batch emails that are nevertheless personalized to a degree for each recipient, making even a form letter seem more personal and less cold.
VODIUM is ready to be your online meeting tool
VODIUM is a tool that should not be overlooked when it comes to assembling your toolbox of executive assistant tools. It can help make virtual meetings run smoothly and efficiently and can increase competence and confidence during even the tensest of business calls. Stop by our website to start your free trial today, and see how VODIUM can help you take your career to the next level!