Essential tools for virtual assistants

December 5, 2023
Essential tools for virtual assistants

Virtual assistants can help with so many tasks like administrative, marketing, sales and project management tasks. Check out this blog “Tasks to delegate to virtual assistants” to see some of the tasks that virtual assistants do. Since these tasks are done virtually, they depend on online tools to make the work seamless and efficient. In this blog, we will look at some of the essential tools for virtual assistants. Whether you are a new virtual assistant or you’ve been working in the field for a while, knowing these tools will help you have more to offer to your clients and can also help you set your own systems to manage your virtual assistant business. We will cover tools used for  marketing, sales, project management, admin, time tracking, AI, messaging, meetings and password management. 

We also feature case studies on how different virtual assistants use these tools and what they like about using these tools. The virtual assistants featured are members of Runnovate Professional Community. This blog is a recap of our November, 2023 virtual event.

Tools for specific virtual assistant tasks

Marketing tools for virtual assistants

Virtual assistants do a range of marketing tasks like content creation, social media management, email marketing, video production and editing, brand outreach, among others. Check out this blog, “Marketing tasks for virtual assistants” to check out some of the common marketing tasks for virtual assistants. To be able to do these tasks well, virtual assistants need different tools. We will explore some of the common marketing tools used by virtual assistants below. 

Examples of marketing tools for virtual assistants

Content creation and graphic design tools


Canva is an easy-to-use online design tool that enables users to create a variety of visual content, including social media graphics, presentations, posters, and more.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud includes a suite of creative tools, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and others, providing powerful solutions for graphic design, photo editing, and multimedia content creation.


InShot is a mobile video and photo editing app that allows users to easily create and edit content for social media platforms.


CapCut, is a video editing app that provides a range of features for creating and editing videos on mobile devices as well as some PC devices.

Social media management tools 


Hootsuite is a social media management platform that allows users to schedule posts, track social media performance, and manage multiple social media accounts in one place.


Buffer is a social media management tool that simplifies the process of scheduling and publishing content across various social media platforms.


Later is a visual marketing platform that specializes in scheduling and managing content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Meta Business Suite

Meta Business Suite is a set of tools designed for businesses to manage their presence on Meta platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.


Metricool is a social media analytics and management tool that provides insights into social media performance, audience engagement, and content optimization.

What Runnovate members said about some of the marketing tools


I use Inshot to edit videos. I like it because it is user-friendly and easy to learn while still having all the necessary features.

I use Canva to create content for all social media platforms. I like it because it has a lot of templates to work with regardless of the poster orientation you want.


My favorite tool is definitely Canva Pro. This has made my work so much easier when it comes to designing social media posters and presentations. And what's more apart from my regular clients, using the platform, I have been able to secure side gigs from one time clients.


Meta Business Suite is beneficial to me as a social media manager. It enables me to manage both IG and Facebook posts and Marketing promotions from a central place. I like it because I can effectively manage my small business client’s social media accounts without any extra cost.

I use Metricool for social media Analytics and Reporting. It helps me save a lot of time because it unifies all the accounts in one space, and I can share Monthly Reports in the shortest time possible. I monitor post performances across various platforms and share the same with the client. I get value for money as it is a lot cheaper than its rival tools.

Sales tools for virtual assistants 

Virtual assistants do a range of sales tasks like lead generation, order processing, CRM maintenance, sales follow up, among others. Check out this blog, “Sales tasks for virtual assistants” to check out some of the common sales tasks for virtual assistants. To be able to do these tasks well, virtual assistants need different tools. We will explore some of the common sales tools used by virtual assistants below. 

Examples of sales tools for virtual assistants

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a comprehensive customer relationship management system that helps businesses manage and organize customer information, interactions, and sales activities.

Mailchimp CRM

Mailchimp CRM is a customer relationship management tool integrated with Mailchimp's email marketing services, allowing businesses to manage customer data and interactions.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management platform that enables businesses to streamline their sales processes, automate tasks, and track customer interactions.

Invoicing and financial management


QuickBooks is a popular accounting and financial management software that helps businesses with invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting.


FreshBooks is an invoicing and accounting software designed for small businesses, offering features for invoicing, expense tracking, and time management.

Data analytics and reporting

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics service by Google that provides detailed statistics and analytics for websites, helping businesses understand user behavior and website performance.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that allows users to perform data analysis, create charts, and manage large sets of data.


Airtable is a cloud-based collaboration platform that combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet with the complexity of a database, providing flexible tools for data organization and collaboration.

What Runnovate members said about some of the sales tools


HubSpot CRM plays a pivotal role in my sales and lead magnet strategies, orchestrating seamless campaigns, proficient email marketing, and comprehensive reporting. The unparalleled convenience it provides is what stands out the most, significantly simplifying my workload and enabling me to execute marketing initiatives with efficiency.

Project management and operational tools for virtual assistants

Virtual assistants do a range of project management and operational tasks like project planning, process documentation, workflow optimization, database management, among others. Check out this blog, “Operational tasks for virtual assistants” to check out some of the common project management and operational tasks for virtual assistants. To be able to do these tasks well, virtual assistants need different tools. We will explore some of the common project management and operational tools used by virtual assistants below. 

Examples of project management tools for virtual assistants


A popular and user-friendly project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help teams organize and prioritize tasks.


An all-in-one project management platform with customizable features, allowing teams to manage tasks, documents, goals, and more in one centralized space.


A work operating system that powers teams to run projects and workflows with confidence, providing a visual and intuitive interface for collaboration.


A comprehensive project management and issue tracking tool by Atlassian, commonly used for software development but versatile enough for various project types.

What Runnovate members said about some of the project management tools


I use  Asana. It is a project management tool. I craft project boards, set due dates and share the tasks with a team if a client has any. The communication with the team is done either via email or any platform the client requires. The team is able to update their progress on Asana so all of us work together in unity. This has greatly helped me organise myself and set priority to tasks so as to achieve more within the given time.


As a virtual assistant, Asana serves as my cornerstone for efficiently handling project management tasks and overseeing team dynamics. What distinguishes Asana is its remarkable ability to simplify and organize my responsibilities, making the intricacies of task management and team coordination seamlessly integrated into my workflow, ultimately enhancing my effectiveness.


I use Asana to manage the process flows for different projects handled by different team members. What I like most is that it allows us to collaborate, track, and set notifications for each project's due date/time. It also allows us to share documents and files among relevant team members for a specific project.


Click up is a tool that is very handy when I have projects that I’m involved in. It is crucial in project planning and management because it allows you to allocate tasks and even collaborate with your team members. I like Click up because of its friendly UI, and it also allows team members to leave comments on the work as it progresses.

Administrative tools for virtual assistants

Virtual assistants do a range of administrative tasks like email management, client management, file organization, appointment scheduling, among others. Check out this blog, “Administrative tasks for virtual assistants” to check out some of the common administrative tasks for virtual assistants. To be able to do these tasks well, virtual assistants need different tools. We will explore some of the common administrative tools used by virtual assistants below. 

Examples of admin tools for virtual assistants

Calendar management and scheduling tools


Simplifies the process of scheduling appointments and meetings, making it easy to coordinate availability with others.


A simple scheduling tool that helps users find the best time for group meetings or events by polling participants.

Acuity Scheduling

A powerful appointment scheduling tool that allows businesses to automate and customize the booking process.


A modern scheduling platform that facilitates easy and flexible appointment booking for individuals and businesses.

Google Calendar

A widely used calendar application that allows users to schedule events, set reminders, and share calendars with others.

Document management and sharing tools

Google Drive

A cloud-based file storage and collaboration platform by Google, enabling users to store, share, and collaborate on documents.


A popular file hosting service that allows users to store and share files in the cloud with seamless collaboration features.


Microsoft's cloud storage service that provides file hosting, synchronization, and collaboration features for individuals and businesses.

Email management tools


Google's widely used email service known for its intuitive interface, powerful search capabilities, and seamless integration with other Google services.

Microsoft Outlook

A versatile email client by Microsoft, offering features for email management, calendaring, and task organization.


A collaborative email platform that enhances team communication and coordination within the context of emails.


An email management tool that streamlines the management of multiple email accounts and integrates with various productivity apps.

Note-taking and organization tools


A widely used note-taking app that allows users to organize, capture, and share notes across devices.


Microsoft's digital note-taking application that offers a flexible canvas for users to capture and organize ideas.


An all-in-one workspace that combines note-taking, project management, and collaboration tools in a single platform.

Google Docs

A cloud-based document editor by Google that enables real-time collaboration on documents with others.


A writing assistant tool that checks grammar, spelling, and provides suggestions for improved writing clarity and style.

What Runnovate members said about some of the admin tools 


With Calendly, I am able to connect it to my other calendars so I don't miss any event I set on any of them or get double booked for any meeting. I'm also able to automate communication and above all schedule meetings instantly.


Google Drive is my best tool as it is easy to attach files to email and can also assist in creating databases, documents, presentations and survey forms.


For media storage, I use Dropbox. With this tool, I got up to 2GB of free storage when I was starting as a Transcriber, but even now when I pay for storage I can say it is affordable for me as a freelancer. All the files I receive from my clients are backed up and there is no need for me to keep so many files on my laptop.


Now everyone knows Gmail for its efficient communication service. It is very easy to navigate and you can see a notification anytime someone emails. I'm able to reply as soon as I can no matter where I'm at. So it helps me carry my work with me and I still keep communicating with clients or teams whenever possible. I also got rid of a lot of spam subscriptions to clear up the purpose of it for my work-related tasks.


Shift is a great tool for email management. It allows me to access all emails, from one dashboard. It has a friendly UI and so is easy to navigate. It is an all-in-one basket that reduces the hustle of continuously having to log in on your browser.


I use Grammarly which helps me to detect spelling mistakes, hence improving the quality of work/content. I normally use it when doing editing and proofreading tasks.

Time tracking tools for virtual assistants

Time-tracking is essential for virtual assistants as it helps virtual assistants to monitor and analyze the time spent on various tasks, meet deadlines, make informed decisions to improve overall time management and foster a greater understanding of work patterns and project timelines. It is also important for virtual assistants to track time in order to bill clients per hour. We will explore some of the common time tracking tools used by virtual assistants below. 

Examples of time-tracking tools for virtual assistants

Toggl Track

Toggl Track is a simple and intuitive time-tracking tool that helps individuals and teams track their work hours and improve productivity.


Harvest is a powerful time-tracking and invoicing tool designed for businesses, allowing them to easily track billable hours and manage projects.


Clockify is a free time-tracking tool with versatile features, suitable for individuals, teams, and businesses to monitor work hours and generate reports.


Everhour integrates with various project management tools to provide seamless time tracking and reporting, enhancing team efficiency and project management.


DeskTime is an automatic time-tracking and productivity tool that offers insights into how time is spent, helping organizations optimize workflow and efficiency.

My Hours

My Hours is a straightforward time-tracking tool that caters to both individuals and teams, providing features for tracking billable hours and generating reports.


Hubstaff is a comprehensive time-tracking and productivity management tool with features for time tracking, employee monitoring, and project management.

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a time-tracking and productivity management solution designed to help businesses monitor work hours and improve team efficiency.


RescueTime is a personal analytics tool that tracks how users spend time on their devices, helping them understand and optimize their digital habits for increased productivity.

What Runnovate members said about some of the time-tracking tools 


My time-tracking and Invoicing tool is Toggl. I can track different projects at a time. Being a transcriber, I charge by the hour and this tool helps to show how long it takes me to do a project and my clients are satisfied with the charges since I have data to account for what I charge. It has also helped me with research on which projects I can take for a hurried job and which I would recommend for more time.
After my work is done I generate my invoice from Toggl by looking at the billable hours I have.I believe I will continue using these tools and many more when I do finally find my footing in a wider field in virtual assisting.

AI tools for virtual assistants

AI tools can really help virtual assistants get more done. By integrating AI tools into their workflows, virtual assistants can streamline tasks, optimize workflows, and achieve more. Check out these AI and virtual assistant blogs to learn more about how virtual assistants can use AI to optimize their work. We will explore some of the common AI tools used by virtual assistants below. 

Examples of AI tools for virtual assistants

Bard AI

Bard AI is an AI-powered writing assistant that helps users generate high-quality content and improve their writing with advanced language generation.


ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a language model that uses advanced natural language processing to generate human-like text and engage in interactive conversations.

Otter AI

Otter AI is an AI-driven transcription service that automatically transcribes and summarizes spoken words, making it a valuable tool for meetings, interviews, and note-taking.

What Runnovate members said about some of the AI tools


I use Bard AI to come up with content ideas and get captions and hashtags. Do a lot of research. The best part about it is that it  is an up-to-date AI tool unlike Chat GPT which is dated up to January 2022.


I use Otter AI for transcription. I have several meetings in the week, and even during the day. What I appreciate most about Otter is that it gives me a summary of the key points that were discussed in the meeting, and the exact minute they were spoken. This means that I may not necessarily have to listen to the recording from A-Z. I can easily go through the summary and get the information that I am looking for.

Messaging and meeting tools for virtual assistants

Virtual assistants handle a lot of communication and correspondence tasks. Messaging and meeting tools provide essential communication channels, facilitating seamless interaction with clients and team members. These tools  enable virtual assistants to exchange real-time information, discuss project details, and coordinate tasks efficiently. With these tools, virtual assistants can enhance collaboration, maintain clear and instant communication, and ensure that their virtual work environment remains responsive.

Examples messaging and meeting tools for virtual assistants


Slack is a popular team collaboration platform that offers real-time messaging, file sharing, and integrations with various productivity tools.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaboration platform that integrates chat, video conferencing, file storage, and application integration within the Microsoft 365 suite.


Discord is a communication platform primarily used by gamers, offering text, voice, and video chat channels for communities to collaborate and connect.

Google Meet

Google Meet is a video conferencing tool by Google that provides secure and high-quality virtual meetings, suitable for both personal and business use.


Zoom is a widely used video conferencing platform that allows users to host virtual meetings, webinars, and collaborative sessions with various interactive features.

What Runnovate members said about some of these messaging and meeting tools 


Slack makes my work easier, it eases communication between me and clients.


I leverage Slack as my preferred platform for communication and team collaboration. The user-friendly interface and extensive features offered by Slack contribute to its appeal, enhancing my virtual assistant capabilities and streamlining interactions for effective virtual teamwork.


Video conferencing is awesome in so many ways. For this challenge I will pick Zoom as my tool. This tool enables you to deliver the information you need without a visit to any field office all over the world. Remote participants can join from their personal devices and take part in meetings as if they were in the room. It provides live chats, content sharing among other features.

Password management tools for virtual assistants

As a virtual assistant, you are going to handle a lot of sensitive information from your client. For example, your client might need to give you their email password so that you can manage their emails. It is not advisable to send passwords and other sensitive information via a messaging platform or email. That is why we need password management tools. 

Examples of password management tools for virtual assistants


LastPass is a widely used password manager that securely stores and manages passwords, offers password generation, and facilitates easy and secure login to websites.


1Password is a robust password manager that not only securely stores passwords but also provides features like secure document storage and two-factor authentication.


Dashlane is an intuitive password manager that helps users generate and store complex passwords, manage payment information securely, and monitor account security.


Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that offers secure password storage, syncing across devices, and the option for self-hosting for privacy-conscious users.


KeePass is a free, open-source password manager that stores passwords in an encrypted database, allowing users to manage and access their passwords locally on their devices.

While this article covers some of the main tools that virtual assistants use, this list is not exhaustive. In the coming blog series, we will have a deep dive on specific tools for different niches. Join Runnovate’s Professional Community to continue the conversation with other remote professionals and if you are looking to learn and get more 1:1 support in your virtual assistant journey, fill out this interest form.

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