Because You Deserve a Secret Weapon, Too!
Behind every successful Executive is his/her secret weapon: YOU. As an Executive Assistant, you handle the behind-the-scenes work to make your Executive as efficient as possible. But if someone were to ask you what your secret weapon is, what would you say? If you’re thinking, “Oh no! I don’t have one, but I sure could use one!” then we’re glad you’re reading this.
Here’s the cool part. In the SF Bay Area, we live and work in the heart of technology and innovation. Heck, maybe you even work for one of these cutting-edge companies that plan to change the world. So why not take advantage of the tools that are designed to make your life easier, the products that have been built with you in mind.
Let’s break it down and say that the five overarching aspects of an administrative role include scheduling, travel coordination, event planning, expense reporting and task management. We’ve picked out our five favorite apps that meet these exact categories, so if you haven’t already, download these five game-changing apps. You deserve to have a secret weapon, too!
1. Calendly [Scheduling]
You and I both know that an EA isn’t an EA without some mad calendar management skills. And, believe us when we say that our clients are looking for a calendar guru – someone who can schedule in their sleep. An Executive Assistant without a scheduling app to make their life easier is like a dog walker without a leash… you get the point. Rather than emailing back-and-forth with your Executive, with Calendly, you’re the one in charge. By indicating your Executive’s availability, invitees are able to view your Executive’s schedule and select a time that works best for them. Voila!
2. Travelocity [Travel Coordination]
Travel Coordination to the Executive Assistant role is like peanut butter and jelly: you can't have one without the other. Whether you’re organizing domestic or international itineraries or planning accommodations from start-to-finish, Travelocity is the tool for you. You know you’ll probably have to book a last-minute flight to Chicago, or Hong Kong, or Los Angeles, so before you panic or scramble (and/or blow your entire budget on one trip), remember that Travelocity is an online travel agency that will help you with the logistics AND the deals!
3. Asana [Event Planning]
If you’ve ever planned an event, you'll be the first to say that you need some way to organize your thoughts, get your creative juices flowing, assign tasks to others and, at the end of the day, just make sure all your ducks are in a row before the big day. Introducing Asana, your new best friend. Why? Because Asana lets you execute all of the above. From checklists to timelines, you’ll look like a professional event planner in no time (and hopefully you won’t have to encounter any Executive-zillas!).
4. Expensify [Expense Reports]
One of the most dreaded projects EAs talk about is managing expense reports (especially if your Executive is constantly traveling). Dread no more: Expensify is your new secret weapon. Simply upload screenshots or iPhone photos of your receipts and boom, consider it done. Say goodbye to itemizing because this app automatically records and submits your expenses. And if you haven’t watched their 2019 Superbowl commercial yet, you’ve been missing out. YouTube. Now.
5. Slack [Task Management]
When you’re expected to juggle multiple projects and adapt to ever-changing priorities, you need Slack in your life. No matter how much of an office ninja you are, I can bet you could use a task management tool to keep you sane and to keep your Executive on task. Slack centralizes your communication through channels organized by project, topic, team, or your Executive’s favorite sports team... it’s up to you! With Slack, the ball is in your court and you’ll never miss an important task.
As an Executive Assistant, you already have enough on your plate, but thankfully there’s this thing called technology that’s designed to make your life easier, your stress lighter and your Executive more efficient.
PS: The majority of these apps are free, but if not, it’s on the company’s dime. ;)