20 software tools every administrative assistant should know about
The job of an administrative assistant is a very busy one. Staying on top of calendars, deadlines, and information in general the way the executive assistants do takes a lot of skill, there’s no doubt about that. However, nowadays it takes some help from technology, too.
If you’re ready to try new tools and software for different administrative tasks and situations, from working on files collaboratively to coordinating a team or increasing productivity, here’s a list of the best software for administrative assistants that will make your life a lot easier.
Day-to-day business essentials
The must-have suite of office tools in any administrative assistant’s arsenal
The world’s leading desktop programs used by businesses around the world, any administrative assistant has these and probably uses them on a day-to-day basis. Microsoft Office Suite includes Microsoft Word for word processing, PowerPoint for visual presentation design, and Excel for spreadsheets that include advanced features.
Google’s suite with all the productivity apps you need for your daily work
Google Workspace, previously called G Suite, includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Meet, and more tools for your everyday work. One thing to note is that Google Workspace is no software: it’s accessed directly from your browser.
The great thing about Google Workspace being a cloud service is that all files can be easily shared thanks to Google Drive’s cloud storage service. Another plus are the real-time collaboration options it offers, which are great for working in teams.
Your emails easily organized and accessible
Generally included in the Microsoft Office Suite, Outlook is usually installed by default on all Windows computers. Some of the useful functionalities that Outlook offers, apart from email management, are calendaring, task managing, contact managing, and note-taking.
Outlook’s email interface can be customized to suit different company needs, and it’s an ideal tool for companies with a large number of staff members.
The world’s most popular email client
There’s probably no need for introduction when it comes to Gmail, the email client used by over 1.8 billion users worldwide. Some of its users’ favorite features include a modern and user-friendly interface, the possibility to schedule emails, a built-in translator, as well as a spell checker and auto-suggestions that will give your communication skills a hand when needed.
File sharing made easy thanks to cloud storage
If you and your team need access to shared folders, or need to share files often as part of the job, you probably know that sending them by email every time is not a great idea. Here’s where Dropbox comes in!
This cloud-storage service allows you to sync selected files and folders across all devices, making file sharing extremely easy as well as secure thanks to safe file-sharing options. Dropbox’s free plan includes up to 2 GB of storage, while their paid plans offer up to 2 TB.
Software and tools for video conferencing
Say goodbye to phone calls and in-person meetings with the most popular video conferencing tool
Its name has definitely become part of our popular culture during the pandemic. When all business meetings had to take place virtually, this cloud-based video conferencing service became one of the market’s favorite options.
Fast and easy to use, Zoom allows to host high-quality video and audio calls for up to 100 participants with their free plan, and up to 1,000 with a large meeting license. It works by downloading the Zoom app on your computer and accessing meetings using the meeting’s ID.
Easy video calls and live streams
Google Meet is Google’s video conferencing tool, previously known as Google Hangouts. The great thing about Google Meet is the fact it can be accessed from your browser, without the need to download and install any app. All you need to start using Google Meet is a Google account.
It can be used to share your desktop and presentations with colleagues and clients, or even do a live stream for up to 100,000 viewers. The only downside of Google Meet is that free accounts have a call limit of 60 minutes per meeting.
Software and tools for travel
Business travel made simple.
TravelPerk’s travel and expense management platform makes it easier than ever to plan, book, manage, and report business trips. When employees plan and book trips, TravelPerk makes sure all information is reported in one place, incorporating control spending, policies, and approval processes into a powerful booking tool.
The wide range of booking options available, its intuitive and easy-to-use interface, as well as the reporting and policy enforcement tools it offers make it the ideal tool that combines the freedom that travelers want and the control companies need. Including a free plan and a mobile app, TravelPerk truly is the future of business travel.
The entire expense report process made simple, from receipt scanning to reconciliation
This expense management system offers everything you need to keep track of all expenses, including travel expenses.
The tool can be set up to automatically flag expenses for review or automatically approve others, and it also offers an app which allows employees to take photos of receipts, which are then uploaded to the database.
The easiest way to digitalize and keep track of receipts
Smart Receipts allows you to scan receipts, track miles, generate reports, and stay on top of your expenses, all using an app. After you’ve taken all photos of your trip’s receipts, you can generate PDF and CSV reports. Forget about scanning receipts and manually entering data, and start saving time!
We consider it a great tool for business travelers because—let’s be honest—you probably don’t want to come back from a trip to have to spend extra time doing finances.
Software and tools for project management and productivity
The tool you need for team communication and task management
Slack is a business communication platform that allows teams to send direct messages, create chat rooms, and share files. It’s definitely a favorite among remote teams as it facilitates collaboration by bringing people together around dedicated channels for specific projects, whether they’re part of the same team or not.
Slack offers a free version as well as paid versions, which offer better security and login options, workflows, and integration with different organizations.
Teamwork made simple
Asana is a great project management tool that allows you to keep track of work, make sure deadlines are met, coordinate work, assign tasks and deadlines, and follow up. If you’re looking to increase team productivity, you’ll love Asana.
Some of the companies who use Asana include Dropbox, Uber, Pinterest, Airbnb, and many more. However, you don’t need a big budget to use Asana—in fact, there’s a free version available for small businesses which gives them access for up to 15 people.
A notes app that’s much more than just a notes app
Evernote has gained a big fan base in the last few years. The app allows users to organize ideas and information, take notes, manage tasks, and digitalize physical notes in the simplest way possible.
One of the best features about Evernote is that it not only works with text, but also with pictures, videos, and audio recordings. It can also integrate with your browser and email, making it really easy to import information. Evernote is ideal both for individual use and for bigger teams, and it offers different versions to suit different needs—including a free version.
A complete solution for project management
Monday.com is a cloud-based platform that allows you to manage team work in one single platform. From creating workflows and automations to assigning tasks, keeping track of deadlines, and making collaboration easy, Monday offers all the tools your team needs to succeed.
Monday.com may appear complex at first given the wide range of possibilities it offers, but it’s actually very intuitive. A free individual plan is available, as well as four other plans with different pricing and features to suit all kinds of companies.
An extremely easy-to-use visual collaboration tool
This has become a favorite tool among small teams and freelancers when it comes to organizing projects into boards and sharing them with team members or collaborators. This browser-based tool allows you to make lists, organize, prioritize, and assign tasks to team members.
Trello was inspired in the Kanban method used by many successful companies, which is based on visual lists of “to-do”, “doing”, and “done” tasks. A free version is available and offers all of the main features.
Keep track of time and make every minute count!
This time-management and reporting tool allows you to keep track of time spent on each project you and your team work on. Toggl Track allows you to track time worked on different time blocks, which can be labeled with a task, a project, and tags.
The tool is the perfect solution if you’re looking to optimize time and be able to generate reports with useful insights into how much time you and your team are spending on what tasks. If you’re looking to take control of your time, you should definitely try Toggl Track!
Software and tools for scheduling and event planning
Forget about the hassle of scheduling meetings
Calendly is an online appointment scheduling tool that eliminates the back and forth that it normally takes to decide on a time to meet. When you share your Calendly link, the receiver can instantly see your available hours. The person can then book an appointment at their preferred date and time.
The great thing about Calendly is that it can be synced to your calendar to check your availability, as well as create an event once a meeting is booked. Calendly is free to use, but it also offers a paid version with even more features.
The world’s most popular calendar tool
Google Calendar is the most widely used tool to schedule meetings and events, share them with other attendees, and get reminded about upcoming activities. This very simple yet powerful tool is completely free to use, and can be accessed from your browser as well as an Apple and Android app.
The possibilities to manage your time are endless, as it can sync with a wide range of apps and tools to make your work life a lot easier. Google Calendar’s multiple calendar option also makes it ideal for teams to coordinate by visualizing different calendars at the same time.
Time Zone Ninja
Your go-to solution to schedule meetings across time zones
Are you overwhelmed by time zone differences when trying to coordinate global meetings? Time Zone Ninja is ideal for remote teams located across different time zones, as it allows you to find a date and time that suits everyone involved.
Here’s how it works: once you enter the meeting date and the location of all participants, the tool will then suggest the best times to meet according to everyone’s local time. Time Zone Ninja even organizes the possible times into “working hours”, “doable hours”, and “insanity hours”, which can be useful when you need to compromise.
When deciding on a date and time for a group event seems impossible
Have you ever almost lost your mind trying to find a date and time when as many of your team members could attend an event? Most of us have been there, and we know the struggle. Here’s where Doodle comes in to save the day!
This simple tool allows you to suggest different dates and times and create a poll, which you can share with all participants. They can then choose the dates and times when they can attend, so once everyone has voted you can see when all (or at least most) participants would be able to make it.