As a Virtual Assistant with 56 current clients, I have lots of work coming my way.
On any given day, new tasks can come to me as a result of a phone conversation, via an email request, or through the project management software system I share with my clients (like Basecamp or Teamwork).
Here’s how I do it:
- Phone Conversations: I take notes in Evernote when speaking on the phone with clients. I keep them organized by giving each client their own note in my RocketGirl Evernote Notebook. When I talk to them on the phone, I add the newest notes to the top so I have a running record of our conversations.
I take very detailed notes for each task and add as much background information as I can. This is important because it might be a day or two before I come back to do the work and the details help me get it right. When I get off the phone I schedule time on my calendar to do the work so it doesn’t get lost in Evernote. Then I keep working though my notes, updating as I go.
- Email Inbox: Keeping your email inbox as clean as possible is a big part of successfully managing work that comes in that way. If your inbox is a mess, first get your email inbox under control. Click here to learn how.Then, as emails come in, I archive those I don’t need. This way, only emails that require my attention are in my inbox. A few times a day I “lump” the emails by client and respond and fulfill their requests.
- Project Management Software: I use Teamwork for client work that involves multiple steps (like sending a newsletter, for example). I also have several clients who want me to use their in-house project management systems. This can get tricky, of course, because there are lots of places I need to look! So I set up the systems to send me an email whenever a new task is added. In addition, I check each system once a day, sorting by due dates and taking care of the tasks that need to be handled.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed while trying to keep everything straight as it comes pouring in. But by sticking to this system for years, I know I can trust it to keep me on track!