I have a new VA (virtual assistant) and her name is Sandy. I have her tasked with starting my day with a daily digest of the day's appointments and activities. I have her set up and manage appointments, and remind me of them and other scheduled tasks just when I need to know. I have her keep track of all kinds of things I need to remember like contacts, books I want to read, birthdays, bookmarks, people to call and things to do. I have her keep track of any notes I want to make, and in general she will help keep me organized. I didn't even go through Elance...in fact, Sandy works for free! Do you want Sandy?
Ok, Sandy isn't a real person. She is your free virtual personal assistant, and by virtual I really mean virtual! In Sandy's own words:
Hi! I’m Sandy, your new assistant. I'll remember the details so you can focus on what's important.
From managing appointments and to-do lists to taking, filing and looking up notes, Sandy does handle a lot of the details for you. I found Sandy when I was looking around the web for a software tool to help me capture all of my thoughts digitally (if you don't write things down or capture it somewhere else, your thoughts tend to float around in your head, where they often surface at the wrong times, stress you out and are usually forgotten when they are actually needed). In a way, handling such details is exactly one of the reasons we want and need a VA.
Sandy is web based, so she is accessible from almost anywhere. You communicate with Sandy via email, sms and IM via twitter (hmmm, sounds a lot like how you would communicate with a real VA...). I have access to Sandy 24/7 from my inbox, Blackberry and cell phone. You also use natural language to communicate with Sandy, and honestly, after a while, it almost seems like you are emailing a real person. It is actually very cool.
All that being said, Sandy is not going to find you the best deal on an apartment in Buenos Aires or research the Ice Cream industry and establish contact with diary product experts (well not yet anyway - it is amazing what these techno whizzes are capable of these days...). So you will still need a real VA in your quest to cut out 80% of your day to day work, however, Sandy might help you outsource the management of some of the small stuff. So far, Sandy has fit very nicely into the workflow of my current organization system. Check her out!
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