Review by Celina Lucas
The A to Z of Virtual Assistant Tools by Helen Stothard (of www.trainingforvas.com) is a succinct and snappy little eBook, which is nevertheless packed full of useful information sure to be of interest to both fledgling and established virtual assistants. Helen takes us through the most useful tools in the resources that she uses regularly in her business. She lists them in an easy to read directory and giving a quick but thorough run-down of what each tool does, how best to use it and providing useful links to take you straight to the appropriate website or contact details.
There are a variety of different resources here; from the ones you may have heard of (Amazon, Skype and, of course, SVA) to the more obscure but still very useful Cloud-based applications or downloadable software such as Pixlr, a free online graphics tool, Nefsis, for webinars or Mirror.me, showing you your word and tag cloud from your tweets.
Although Helen does include several ‘off line’ resources, touching on such subjects as networking, setting up a comfortable and efficient office space and taking care of your health, the emphasis is on digital and online resources so if you’re a complete beginner at computing, you might find some of it a little hard to comprehend at first.
For those of us who are more au fait with the online world, there are plenty of suggestions here that offer the opportunity to up your online services and improve your web-based skillset. There’s a nice review of several different gadgets such as the iPhone and Kindle which will be useful to anyone deciding which one to settle for.
There are many resources that Helen lists here that offer free trials so you’ve nothing to lose by doing a bit of investigation yourself and seeing what’s on offer. I found it an easy and enjoyable read and there are several tools mentioned in the book that I am now eager to get to grips with – my first task will be to investigate the video recording software, Jing, that Helen describes very clearly.