Administrative Assistant: The Secretary Evolved

administrative assistant

More often than not, people confuse an administrative assistant with a secretary. While many of their roles may overlap, an administrative assistant generally has more responsibilities than a secretary.

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Administrative Assistant vs. Secretary

Secretaries often take care of menial office tasks like answering phone calls, taking notes, forwarding messages, or sometimes getting coffee. They also handle clerical tasks in the office like typing, photocopying, filing, entering data, and bookkeeping.

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On the other hand, administrative assistants have more responsibilities compared to a secretary. Administrative assistants are expected to think independently and make organizational decisions when necessary.

Brief History

administrative assistant
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According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals, the origin of the profession dates back prior to the establishment of the Roman Empire.

15th and 16th centuries – The profession became one of privilege and respect as personal assistants were most commonly assisting high ranking officers or members of the parliament. The profession was dominated by men until the late 1880s.

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The 1880s – Women started entering the workforce to help in clerical roles. The invention of the typewriter provided even more opportunities for pioneering women willing to learn and develop their typing skills.

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Turn of the century – When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1886 that a private corporation is a natural person under the U.S. Constitution they arguably set the stage for the full-scale expansion of corporatism. The expansion of industries caused a paperwork crisis and subsequently an increased need for more secretaries.

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1930 – The first World War led more women to be recruited into the workforce for secretarial roles. Women attended college to refine their administrative skills and seek the professional jobs previously held by the men who had left for the war.

The 1940s to early 2000s – The second half of the last century saw the formation of organizations and associations which strengthened the foundation of the administrative assistance profession. This can also be seen as the transition from the traditional administrative assistant profession to the modern administrative assistant.

Modern Administrative Assistants

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As technology improved, the administrative profession improved along with it. The administrative assistant role has expanded in terms of responsibilities and skills provided, making assistants more powerful and accessible than ever.

Additionally, the rise of concierge services and freelance websites which provide administrative assistant services has made it possible for anyone to experience the administrative assistant lifestyle.

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Examples of concierge services

24/7 Virtual Assistant

Atlanta-based virtual assistant service that provides administrative support and other industry-specific assistance to entrepreneurs, professionals, and executives. They also have an offshore office in India.

Virtual Assist USA

Pittsburgh-based service that provides a team of assistants to work in your office related tasks. You’ll have a team composed of a 42-person virtual assistant team with experience in launching, and running companies.

Redbutler

US-based personal assistant service that provides back-end virtual assistance to premium business solutions. They cater to a wide array of clients from small business owners to Fortune 500 companies.

Magic

San Francisco-based personal assistant service that works over text. They can also cater to your personal needs. You’ll have a team of highly trained personal assistants teamed up with a cutting edge artificial intelligence to respond quickly and manage the complexities of your requests.

GET STARTED WITH MAGIC

Minimizing Costs Through a Freelancer Hire

freelancer hire

For businessmen who want to cut back on expenses, a freelancer hire is a great way to minimize labor costs. Instead of hiring an in-house employee, you can save time and money by hiring a freelancer to work on your project.

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Benefits of a Freelancer Hire

Less Cost

Having a freelancer as a hire is cheaper than hiring an in-house employee in terms of both hiring costs and wages.  By hiring a freelancer, you don’t have to go through the whole process and paperwork compared to when you are hiring an in-house employee. You also don’t have to worry about providing benefits.

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They can get more work done

Freelancers hold their own time. They can work whenever they choose. They’re not bound to working within business hours so they have more time to work on your project which may lead to faster results.

The have a specialization

Being a freelancer requires you to have a specialization in a certain field. Most freelancers already have solid experience and skills in their chosen field of expertise. You don’t have to spend the time and money training them as you might a junior hire.

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Risks associated with hiring one

Accountability

It’s not always unicorns and rainbows when hiring a freelancer. The most obvious risk is accountability especially when the freelancer you hired is halfway across the globe. If you have no way of tracking them down, don’t be surprised when they disappear.

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Quality

Anyone online can claim that they are experts in a certain field but it will be your job to verify these claims. Closely related to the quality of work is being able to do the job on time. Having a method of tracking their work will be crucial to successfully use a freelancer.

Additional Reading Material

If you’re unsure where you can hire a freelancer, feel free to check out this article for more information

Have someone else hire a freelancer for you

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Having a freelance employee is a good investment when you are just starting your business or project. But often, simply hiring a freelancer is a daunting task for entrepreneurs who are busy building their business.

One option is to have someone do the hiring for you. You can have Magic, a text-based personal assistant service, manage the lengthy process of employing a freelancer for you. Magic provides a team of highly trained assistants who use proprietary software to answer quickly and manage the complexities of your request. It’s like having a freelance personal assistant but better because you only pay for the actual minutes they are actively working for you. Magic is available 24/7, 365 days a year even on holidays.

freelancer hire

Pro-tip: Aside from using the iOS app, you can also reach Magic by texting “M4FH” to (408) 217-1721.

Best Personal Assistant Apps

Thanks to Siri and Google Assistant, people are familiar with the use of voice-based personal assistant apps. Aside from these, there is an entire world of personal assistant technologies and services out there. Let’s explore the some of personal assistant apps that you can get on any device.

Cortana

Cortana

Windows phone users have the sassy, Cortana. It works similar to Google Assistant and Siri.

One cool feature with Cortana is being able to send a text message and call someone from your laptop when you don’t have your phone with you.

Cortona is free to download on both Google Play for Android phones and App Store for iPhones.

Hound

hound app

Hound is another AI app that works like a personal assistant. It gives you fast and deep results to what you ask for. It can also do what Siri does like looking up the weather, making phone calls, sending a text, finding restaurants, etc.

Hound combines speech recognition and natural language processing to perform your tasks faster without you typing. Android phone users and iPhone users can download the app free on Google Store and App Store.

Dragon mobile assistant

dragonmobileassistant

Dragon Mobile Assistant comes from Nuance, the makers of some pretty impressive voice dictation software for PCs and mobile devices. It can do things like making phone calls, setting alarms and reminders, playing music, finding a restaurant, etc.

Dragon Mobile Assistant let’s you update your social media status as well as create emails using your voice.

Aside from this, it can sense when you’re in a moving vehicle and switches to hands-free and eyes-free access modes. You can customize a wake up word to which the app would respond to and will obey your commands.

Jarvis

Jarvis

No, this is not Iron Man’s handy AI personal assistant but it was built to emulate the personality of Tony Stark’s Jarvis. It is comparable with Siri and other Android AI apps for all the basic uses.

Jarvis can also crack jokes and give fun responses to your questions. Beyond these, you can ask Jarvis to turn on your device’s flashlight or to open Chrome, set wallpapers, turn your WIFI off, or play a song.

What’s more is you can control Jarvis via a Bluetooth headset. Jarvis currently only supports the English language and is free to download.

Indigo virtual assistant

indigo

Indigo is a cloud based personal assistant app that is free to download on Google Play and App store. The app is voice activated; you don’t have to type anything to get things done. You can talk to it as you would to a person.

Indigo is integrated to top web services like:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Yelp
  • Wikipedia
  • … And much more

Indigo lets you manage your contacts, maps, calendars, reminders, and alarms as well as sending a text, and making calls.

24me

24me

Having 24me in your phone is like having a super-smart personal assistant in your pocket. It can help you manage personal accounts, take notes, view calendar events, receiving reminders, etc.

It can support Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Exchange, Yahoo, and Apple. It is also voice activated, no need for typing. You can also link your social media accounts  to receive automatic notifications. It’s free to download on Google Store and App Store.

Google allo

allo

Technically Google Allo is smart messaging app but it also brings you the Google Assistant which is what qualifies the app for this list. Google Assistant can do a lot of things like manage calendar, set reminders, read and send texts, make calls, play songs, look for news and weather updates, etc.

You can also ask anything and Google Allo will give you an answer, just like you would expect from Google. Google Assistant can integrate with your smart home devices such as Chromecast so you can control individual devices inside the house remotely. Google Allo is free to download on Google Play and the App Store.

While these apps are free and pretty impressive in their own way,  their reliance on automation sets limits on what they can actually do. There are some tasks which can’t be handled by these assistants, like real world errands, chores, making purchases, booking flights, etc.

Interestingly enough, there is another company out there that uses cutting edge artificial intelligence software alongside a team of highly trained professionals to rapidly fulfill  any assistance request, no matter how basic or complex.

magic logo

Magic is a personal assistant service that works via text or through a newly released iOS app. Magic is like having a team of fully functioning Siri or Google Assistant at your fingertips because they are available 24/7, 365 days a year. The software learns your preferences and information as you use the service. The more you use Magic, the more it gets to know about you and the more it can provide the best personal assistant service in an app.

GET STARTED WITH MAGIC

How you can hire a personal assistant in California

Personal Assistant California

How many times do you reach the point where you have so many things to do that you don’t know where to start? Whether you’re a businessman, an entrepreneur, or a professional in California who works from home, there will always be times when you’ll have too much on your plate. And sometimes it can be tough just balancing life and work. In this case, hiring someone to assist you with the menial tasks, whether personal or business related is the smart thing to do.

Hiring a personal assistant in California can be seen as a costly idea at first, but if you look at the bigger picture, it can be money well spent. Assistants can take care of all the little tasks that are distracting you from the things you need to focus on. They can be your Alfred so you can just be Batman.

Should you get an in-house assistant or a virtual assistant?

If your needs involve having someone to be physically present to be able to get the job done and you want to be more involved with their tasks, you’ll be better with an in-house personal assistant.  On the other hand, if your needs can be done remotely and on a project by project basis, perhaps an on-demand virtual assistant will be best for you. You only pay for help when you need assisting and you don’t have to go through the entire process of hiring an employee.

In-house Personal assistants

in house

Finding an in-house personal assistant or an executive assistant is not all that easy and can be frustrating when you have no idea where to start. You can always start the conventional process of hiring by posting a job advertisement or perhaps you can seek out word of mouth referrals. Aside from these more traditional routes, you can also try the following ways more modern approaches to hiring a personal assistant in California.

Yelp

The San Francisco-based company Yelp is a good place to start when you are looking for a personal assistant and you have no idea where to go. Yelp can help you find a lot of things- from food, restaurants, events, and local businesses and professionals. It works fairly easy, first, you’ll have to select which city you are located. Next, you’ll have to indicate what you want to find, in this case a personal or executive assistant. Then, Yelp will give you a list of the top rated personal assistants in your area with reviews and you can choose from them. Lastly, if you have a candidate that interests you, you’ll have to coordinate and negotiate with your chosen candidate to discuss the nature and other details of the work.

If you don’t feel like doing that or you have security concerns, you can go to agencies who provides domestic staffing. Here are some of the agencies you can go to:

Colonial Domestic Agency

colonial

Colonial Domestic Agency is a Beverly Hills-based professional staffing agency that caters to clients around the largest cities of California such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and other main cities in California. They provide clients with domestic professionals like nannies, estate managers, house managers, butlers, chefs, valets, as well as personal assistants and executive assistants.

The staffing officers familiarize themselves with the need of the client. Then they conduct an interview from their pool of candidates. Lastly, they present the client with the best candidates and let them choose. They understand that one of the primary concerns when you allow other people to work in your home is safety, hence they conduct a thorough in house background check for the candidates to ensure your safety. They make sure that both parties are perfect match for each other.

Elite Domestic Agency

elite domestic

What began as a nanny placement and referral agency became an elite placement and consulting agency which now offers a variety of services with the aim of assisting the clients in every way possible. This Los Angeles based domestic staffing agency provide estate managers, chauffeurs, bodyguards, nurses, nannies, butlers, maids, chefs, and personal assistants.

What makes them elite is they have the most professional and experienced staff. All of the candidates have a minimum experience of 4 years with a university degree or at least high school graduates.

Their screening process include a thorough interview and evaluation conducted by the agency. Furthermore, an extensive background check is also conducted to ensure the safety of the clients.

Belle Maison Agency

bellemaison

Belle Maison Agency highlights their experience in providing staffing services to be their edge over other staffing companies. This Los Angeles-based staffing agency has been providing services for over 2 decades to families in need of household help, child care roles, and personal and executive assistance. Having been in the industry for 20 years, they take pride in understanding what the clients really need and matching that need with the appropriate and fitting candidate.

The candidates undergo a series of screening processes before onboarding the person as your employee. When you submit a job description with the type of position you need to fill, the qualifications you prefer, and the compensation scheme, the staffing officers will screen their pool of candidates to look for the candidate that matches your requirements.  They will present to you the candidates that match your preferences and will let you decide who you want to employ to work in your home. To ensure the safety of the clients, they work with an independent company to conduct background checks.

Virtual Assistants

virtual assistant

Every day, more and more can be accomplished using the internet and computers and phones. Sometimes it’s best to just use a virtual assistant to do your less challenging work so you can focus more on steering your business or career.

There are virtual assistant services that are ideal for either business related tasks or personal related job. Some of the services that are best suited for business are:

RedButler

red

RedButler is a personal assistant service that is based in Los Angeles, California  that offers back-end virtual assistance to premium business solutions to clients across the US. They offer service that are like research, marketing, proofreading, scheduling, making calls, document creation, and more. They however cannot provide services requiring a professional license, running physical errands, providing artistic design or creative work, and do outbound sales calls. Your requests will be handled by a team of assistants instead of just one so you can have multiple requests at once. The assistants are available Monday through Friday from 6AM to 6PM but you can submit requests 24/7, 365 days a year.

Uassist.me

uassist me

Uassist.me is a virtual assistant that provides service to busy professionals. They are located in El Salvador and offers bilingual English/Spanish services which specializes in clerical, and specialize duties like web design and social media management, and bookkeeping among others. The assistants all have a university degree in different areas of specialization like marketing, finance, business, public relations, programming, design, and many others. You will be assigned one virtual assistant to handle your requests whether they’d be personal or business related.

Virtual Assist USA

virtual assist

Virtual Assist USA is an all American team concierge based in Pittsburgh. They provide assistance to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and managers. They are composed of 42-person virtual assistant team with experience in launching, running and growing companies.

They are ideal for technical or specialized tasks like web designing or social media management. They can do business strategy, business systems, public relations and SWOT analysis. You will be assigned to one dedicated assistant to handle your tasks at hand. You can delegate your less challenging tasks to them so you can have more time to organize and run your business or your career.

 

Alternatively, if the work you want to hand off is for your self, there are also great personal assistant services like:

FancyHands

fancy hands

FancyHands is a New York based concierge service that offers services worldwide. Each request is worth 20 minutes of work.They can do anything as long as it doesn’t require the assistants to go physically somewhere for you like calling someone on your behalf, scheduling, research, reservations, and more. They however can’t do things like write and post an entire blog post for you, book flights, hotels, or rental cars, extensive travel planning, and highly technical tasks. You will be assigned to a team of assistants instead of just one to ensure better service.

TaskRabbit

task rabbit

If you need to revamp your home, TaskRabbit is a good place to look for personal helpers who can help you do the job. TaskRabbit is an online platform where you can find a professional or contractor who can help you with cleaning, moving, delivery, putting together a furniture, do repairs or anything that a handyman can handle. TaskRabbit connects you to a third party contractor who will do your tasks at hand for you. Prices will vary based on the contractor’s hourly rate so you’ll have to negotiate well with the contractor to get the best value for your money.

Thumbtack

Thumbtack

Thumbtack is another online service where you can find local professionals to do your tasks. Thumbtack operates similarly to TaskRabbit. Aside from home improvement, you can also find professionals who will be more than happy in assisting you to make your weddings, birthdays, and other special events be more organized. You can also find other professionals specializing in other fields like personal training, nutritionist, massage therapy, career and life coaching, and more.

Thumbtack works fairly easy; you describe what you need, then they will match you to a third party contractor, and then you’ll have to negotiate the compensation scheme.

Magic

MAGIC

Whether your needs are business or personal, you can also try Magic, a San Francisco-based personal assistant on demand service that works via SMS text message. Just text them anything you want and Magic will find a way to make it happen, as fast as possible. A team of dedicated personal assistants work in concert with cutting edge artificial intelligence to deliver fast results to any request. The assistants are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Whether you need an extra pair of hands or if you need an entire staff, there are plenty of modern options to help you achieve your goals. Assistants take your mind off of the tasks that bog down your time and allow you to focus the important aspects of your life. Perhaps the hardest choice is deciding which personal assistant service is the best match for your needs, but then again, you could probably get help with that too.

GET STARTED WITH MAGIC

Freelance websites where you can find your next employee

Hiring a freelancer can save time and reduce work loads, ultimately making or breaking a project. It is therefore imperative that you hire the right person to do the job. There are countless places and websites where you can hire a freelancer depending on the nature of the project. This article will list a wide range of the services working in the freelance market.

Industry Specific Freelance Websites:

If you’re looking for freelancers with high qualifications to work on an industry specific project, you can try the following freelance websites:

Toptal

Toptal-Logo

Toptal is a premium freelance platform which is made up of exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. Some of the companies who had used them before includes: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Airbnb, J.P. Morgan, Emirates, Zendesk, and Pfizer. They have a rigorous screening process which includes Language & Personality, In-depth Skill Review, Live Screening, Test Projects, and Continued Excellence to identify the top 3% freelancers.

Scalable Path

scalable path

Scalable Path has an international network of software developers with experienced project leaders. This is ideal for startups and tech companies who want to hire developers and project managers. You can work with an individual or you can have a team leader manage your team. To ensure that the clients receive highly qualified freelancers, their screening process includes: English Proficiency Test, Technical skills test, Live interview with Scalable Path Leader, and Examples of previous work.

Gun.io

gunio

If you are looking for the best developers, Gun.io is the ideal option. Aside from developers, you can also find highly skilled architects, and designers. Some of the companies they worked for include The Lonely Planet, Amazon, Zeumo, Wikipedia, and Start up Bootcamp among others.


For Simple Projects:

If you’re planning to outsource a simple project which can be done within a short amount of time or by less experienced freelancers, you can go to the following freelance sites and services:

Freelancer

freelancer

Freelancer is the world’s largest freelance website in terms of number of users and projects posted. You can hire freelancers working in areas such as software development, writing, data entry, and design. As well as engineering, the sciences, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services. You can have a pool of freelancers willing to work on your project cheaply.

Upwork

upwork

Formerly, Elance-oDesk, Upwork is also a freelance finding platform where potential employers and workers meet. You can hire teams or individuals for any type of skill like web and mobile app development to SEO, social media marketing, content writing, graphic design, admin help and more.

They also have Upwork Pro if you are looking for more specific skills and better qualifications. They are comprised of the best, handpicked freelancers from Upwork’s network. You can work with an account manager to help you find the best freelancers who can work on your project.

Peopleperhour

PeoplePerHour

Peoplepehour is a freelance platform where you can hire people with skills ranging from admin and business support, creative arts, design, marketing & PR, app designer, search marketing, social media management, software development, translation, tutorials, technical skills, web development, writing, and many more.

They have a tool called Workstream where you can communicate, and monitor the progress of the freelancer you hired.

99designs

99designs-logo-750x200px

99designs is an online platform where you can hire freelancers specializing in graphic design. They can work on logo design, logo & brand identity pack, logo & website design, T-shirt design, packaging design, book cover, and business card design. 99designs works a bit different with the other freelancer websites. Instead of browsing through countless portfolios and resumes, the potential employers are encouraged to set a budget and give instructions. Designer will then submit their working designs and the employer will choose which one he prefers most and then the designer gets paid. You will be presented with a lot of designs and you can choose the best one, hence the name of the website.

Magic

magic

Another option you have is Magic. While Magic is not a freelance website, it works just like one. Magic provides a team of highly trained personal assistants backed with cutting-edge artificial intelligence software to respond quickly and manage the complexities of your requests. Magic is a personal assistant on demand and is ideal for both personal and business related tasks. Magic prorates to the minute at $35/hour. There is no minimum fee or recurring fees and Magic can handle multiple requests at once.

freelance websites

You can also hire freelancers or ask Magic to do anything else by texting “M4FREEWEB” to (408) 217-1721.

Whether you simply want more personal time for yourself or you need to multiply your output on a work project, there has never been a better or more cost-effective time to try freelancer sites and services.

Rise of Personal Assistant Services

Small business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals are always looking for ways to cut expenses and maximize output. While hiring someone is certainly an additional monetary cost, the value you receive in freeing up time to work on more important tasks will almost certainly provide more value in the long-run. By delegating the menial tasks, you can focus more on running your business, closing more sales and raising your annual revenue. The rise of personal assistant services has made this possible.

Rise of Personal Assistant Services

RedButler

red

RedButler is a personal assistant service that is based in the US providing back-end virtual assistance to premium business solutions. They cater to a wide array of clients from small business owners to teams at Fortune 500 companies. The assistants are screened through a rigorous selection process and many have years of experience  as executive assistants. RedButler offers 3 sets of plans: monthly, yearly, and hourly. The monthly rate starts at $450 which includes 15 hours of assistance. 

FancyHands

fancy hands

Fancy Hands is another US-based assistant service. Like RedButler, Fancy Hands can perform personal tasks or business related tasks.

Fancy Hands offers two types of requests: a standard request where they will get back to you within 24 hours. This is ideal for requests involving research or a third party professionals. You can also place a live request where they will answer you within one minute. This is ideal for requests that must be done quickly like dinner reservations, appointment confirmations or directions. They offer monthly plans starting at $29.99 for 5 requests. One request is 20 minutes worth of work.  Fancy Hands will work on any request as long as it doesn’t require the assistants to physically go somewhere for you.

Virtual Assist USA

virtual assist

Virtual Assist USA is an all American team of concierges based in Pittsburgh. They provide assistance to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and managers. They are composed of 42-person virtual assistant team with experience in launching, running and growing companies.

TaskRabbit

task rabbit

TaskRabbit offers a platform to connect you with independent contractors and experts in the task you need assistance with. TaskRabbit usually handles home related tasks like furniture assembly, moving assistance or tasks requiring a contractor or handyman.

TaskRabbit recently started adding business related tasks such as research, proofreading and travel arrangements. Since TaskRabbit provides a platform to connect you with third party private contractors, prices will vary based on the contractor’s rates.

Tasks Everyday

tasks everyday

Tasks Everyday is a San Francisco based personal assistant service that offshore’s its tasks to employees in India and the Philippines. They are one of the cheapest personal assistant company in the industry, but still provides quality service. They provide office administrative support, customer support, as well as back office and industry specific support to suit any businesses individual needs. This includes tasks such as web design, site maintenance and software development. Pricing starts at $6.98/hour. Their operation hours is available 24/7 Monday through Friday.

Uassist.me

uassist me

Uassist.me is a personal assistant service located in El Salvador that offers bilingual English/Spanish services specializing in clerical and technology services like web design, social media management, and bookkeeping among others. The prices start at $299/month which includes 20 hours of assistance to use as needed. You can communicate with your assistant via phone, email, Skype, whatsapp, or any other form of communication you prefer.

24/7 Virtual Assistant

24 7 assistatn

24/7 Virtual Assistant is an Atlanta based personal assistant service but also has an offshore office in India like Tasks Everyday. They provide administrative support and other industry specific assistance to entrepreneurs, professionals, and executives. They offer two different plans depending on if you want offshore assistants or US based assistants. The offshore plans start at $299/monthly providing 24/7 assistance for 30 hours/month while the US plan start at $359 providing 24/7 assistance for 20 hours/month.

Zirtual

zrtual

Zirtual offers to keep your work and life balanced by providing that extra set of hands you need to manage your work. They are great for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and small teams. They can handle simple office related tasks allowing you to focus on the more important aspect of your career or business.

Users get their own dedicated virtual assistant who will work with them on a one-to-one basis. You will always work with your dedicated assistant. You will need to negotiate the schedule of availability with your assistant, handle any training they need, and manage them yourself to ensure their workproduct meets your needs. Zirtual offers 4 sets of plans starting at $398/monthly which provides 12 hours of assistance per month.

Magic

magic logoMagic is a text based personal assistant on demand. Magic is perfect for both personal and business related uses. They can do what most personal assistant services do. The personal assistants are highly trained college graduate who will work on your request relentlessly. Magic prorates to the minute at $35/hour. Using Magic is like having a relationship with someone. The more you use it, the more it gets to know you, and the better the relationship gets.  Magic is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

GET STARTED WITH MAGIC

 

Finding a Personal Helper that suits your needs

The primary role of a personal helper is to handle the day to day menial tasks, freeing up your time to focus on more challenging to do’s. By having someone to delegate to, you can 10x your productivity and accomplish more, faster.

Typical responsibilities of a personal helper usually range from personal related tasks like planning travel, managing household maintenance and contractors, errands such as groceries and dry cleaning to business related tasks such as managing calendars, scheduling meetings and appointments, conducting research or planning business travel.

Either way, the personal helper (sometimes called personal assistant, concierge or executive assistant) will oversee your day to day routine and makes sure everything’s in order.

The value of having a personal helper can be summed up into two words: More Time. Having an extra set of hands or brains to handle tasks on your to do list allows you to have more free time to work on your passion and take advantage of your abilities and strengths as well as spend more time with the people who matters most to your life.

When hiring someone, you’ll have to consider the nature of the tasks you want to hand off. If it involves having someone physically go to a certain location to complete the task then you’re better off with a personal helper. On the other hand if the tasks can be completed through the use of phone or a computer, a virtual assistant will do.

BUSINESS ASSISTANTS

Services like Red Butler, Uassist.me and Virtual Assist USA offer back-end virtual assistance for premium business solutions. This is perfect for entrepreneurs, professionals, or small business owners.

RedButler

red

Redbutler is ideal for tasks that involves a continuous coordination with an online virtual assistant support. The monthly plans start at $450 which provides you 15 hours of assistance and one dedicated account manager.

Uassist.me

uassist me

Uassist.me is a personal assistant service located in El Salvador that offers bilingual English/Spanish services specializing in clerical and specialize duties like web design, social media management and bookkeeping among other services.

Virtual Assist USA

virtual assist

Virtual Assist USA is ideal for technical or specialized tasks like web design or social media management. They assist with research regarding business strategy, business systems, public relations and SWOT analysis.

PERSONAL ASSISTANTS

If your needs fit more into your personal life, such as groceries, cleanings, laundry, oil changes, dinner reservations or travel planning, Fancy Hands, TaskRabbit and Thumbtack are all viable options.

FancyHands
fancy hands

FancyHands is great for small tasks in 20 minute increments like setting reminders, purchasing tickets, or making reservations. Pricing starts at $29.99 per month which entails you 5 requests. Each request is worth 20 minutes of work.

TaskRabbit

task rabbit

If your need for a personal helper involves cleaning, moving, delivery, and handyman work, TaskRabbit is ideal for this. TaskRabbit connects you to a third party contractor who will do your tasks for you. Prices vary based on the contractor’s hourly rate. You’ll have to negotiate well with the contractor to get the best value for your money.

Thumbtack

ThumbtackThumbtack is another online service where you can find local professionals to do your tasks. Thumbtack works very similar to TaskRabbit. You describe what you need, then they will match you to a third party contractors. You will need to review the contractors on your own, determine availability and negotiate pricing on your own. Similarly, once you hire them, you will need to manage them on your own.

Magic

magic logoAnother option is Magic. Magic is a personal assistant on demand that works via text. Magic is ideal for both business and personal related tasks like scheduling, calendar management, travel arrangements or grocery delivery among others. Magic provides a team of trained assistants that work with proprietary software that prevents tasks from getting dropped, and remembers preferences with ease.

Magic bills at an hourly rate of $35 prorated to the minute for the time they actively spend working. Magic is available 24/7, 365 days a year. They can be your personal helper whenever you need one.  Try Magic now.

personal helper 2.0

Pro tip: You can also start using Magic now by simply texting “M4PH2” to (408) 217-1721.

Finding a Personal Helper

The primary role of a personal helper is to help you be more productive. Think of them as your second set of hands or brain. They can help keep you organize and enhance your productivity.

Responsibilities usually range from personal related tasks like planning a travel trip or overseeing household tasks, to business related ones like organizing a meeting or planning a business trip.

Either way, the personal helper, sometimes called personal assistant, oversees your day to day routine and makes sure everything’s in order.

Below are some of the services you can choose from:

FancyHands

fancy hands

FancyHands is a New York based personal assistant service where you can send a request and they will get it done. People use FancyHands for small tasks in 15 minute increments like grocery delivery, ticket and other purchases, flight booking, reservations and online research. Pricing starts at $29.99 per month which entails you 5 requests. Each request is worth 20 minutes of work.

TaskRabbit

task rabbit

If your need for a personal helper involves cleaning, moving, delivery, and handyman work, TaskRabbit is ideal for this. TaskRabbit connects you to a third party contractor who will do your tasks for you. Prices vary based on the contractor’s hourly rate. You’ll have to negotiate well with the contractor to get the best value for your money.

Thumbtack

ThumbtackThumbtack is another online service where you can find local professionals to do your tasks. They work similarly like TaskRabbit. You describe what you need, then they will match you to a third party contractor, and then you’ll have to negotiate the compensation scheme.

Magic

magic logoAnother option you have is Magic, a personal assistant on demand that works via text. Magic is ideal for on demand services as well as personal related tasks like scheduling, calendar management, and travel planning among others. Magic provides a team of trained assistants that use proprietary software that enables them to always respond quickly no matter the time or day, remembers preferences and information and prevents tasks from being dropped or forgotten. Magic is available 24/7, year round- even on holidays. Try Magic now.

personal helper 1.0

Pro tip: You can also start using Magic now by simply texting “M4PH1” to (408) 217-1721.

Recommended Online Virtual Assistants

Sometimes you need a task done but don’t have the time to do it. You can use an online virtual assistant to get the task done, but it can be difficult just finding an assistant service that you can trust.

Lets explore some different virtual assistant services:

FancyHands

fancy hands

FancyHands is a New York based virtual assistant company that was founded in 2010. You won’t be assigned a dedicated assistant to work for you. Instead, your request is routed to an available member of their team. You pay for a certain number of requests monthly starting at $29.99 for 5 requests.

FancyHands is great for small tasks in 15 minute increments. However, they are not recommended for more complicated requests like writing articles and  business projects. Standard requests will be answered within 24 hours, although they try to get back to you much faster than that!

RedButler

red

RedButler is considered one of the pioneers of virtual assistant industry in the US. The California based company is more focused on providing support to entrepreneurs, small business owners, teams, and executives. You will have an all-American personal assistant team working for you.

They are ideal for tasks that involve continuous coordination with complete online virtual assistant support. The monthly plans start at $450 which includes 15 hours of assistance and one dedicated account manager.

Upwork

upwork

Upwork, formerly Elance-Odesk, is one of the top freelance platforms where you can hire independent professionals and collaborate with them to work on your tasks. Upwork acts as a middleman between paying clients and freelancers.

Depending on what you negotiate with the freelancers you contact, this may or may not be the least expensive option. It is certainly the most hands on approach, as you will need to locate, vet, contact, negotiate and schedule with the freelancers available through this platform by yourself. Once you hire them, you will need to handle all remote training and management of that employee yourself.

Magic

magic logo

Magic is a text based personal assistant service. Magic is available 24/7, and always responds within minutes. Additionally, there is no subscription or minimum usage. Magic charges a flat rate starting at $35 per hour, pro-rated to the minute- so you only pay for the exact minutes your assistant works. Magic is primarily used over SMS text message, however it is also available via Slack, email and an app for iOS. Magic provides a team of personal assistants working in concert with intelligent machines to help better remember your information and process your tasks quickly.

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Best Personal Assistant Services, Period.

Modern technology has fueled our generation’s need for instant satisfaction. In this day and age, everything comes in an instant – instant news, instant food, instant cars, instant groceries – if you can name it, there’s probably an app or service for it. Naturally, we now have instant-humans in the form of personal assistant servicesThe following are some of the best personal assistant services and apps out there.

Best Personal Assistant Services:

RedButler

Best Personal Assistant Services

RedButler is a personal assistant service that is based in the US providing back-end virtual assistance to premium business solutions. They cater to small business owners to teams to Fortune 500 companies. The assistants are screened through a series of selection process and most have years of experience as executive assistants.

RedButler offers 3 sets of plans: monthly, yearly, and hourly. The monthly rate starts at $450 and includes 15 hours of assistance.

They are ideal for tasks which involve continuous coordination with the assistants.

FancyHands

best personal assistant services

Fancy Hands is another US based concierge service. They offer similar services to Red Butler from personal tasks to business related ones. They have two types of requests: a standard request where they will get back to you within 24 hours. This is ideal for requests involving research or dealing with the third party. They also offer a live request where they will answer you within one minute. This is ideal for requests that can be done quickly and have an approaching deadline like phone calls, reservations, etc. They offer monthly plans starting at $29.99 for 5 requests. One request is 20 minutes worth of work.  They can do anything as long as it doesn’t require the assistants to physically go somewhere for you.

FancyHands is great for small tasks in 15-minute increments. However, they are not recommended for more complicated requests like writing articles and business process tasks.

Virtual Assist USA

virtual assist

Virtual Assist USA is an all-American team of assistants based in Pittsburgh. They provide assistance to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and managers. They are composed of a 42-person virtual assistant team with experience in launching, running and growing companies.

They are ideal for technical or specialized tasks like web designing or social media management. They can assist with business strategy, business systems, public relations and SWOT analysis.

TaskRabbit

task rabbit

Taskrabbit usually handle home related tasks like furniture assembly, moving and others. Only recently had they started adding virtual assistance to their services which include research, proofreading and travel arrangement. Since you are going to be working with third party contractors, prices will vary based on the contractor’s rates.

Tasks Everyday

tasks everyday

Tasks Everyday is a San Francisco-based personal assistant service that offshores its tasks to employees in India and the Philippines. They are one of the most affordable personal assistant options in the industry able to provide quality service. They provide office administrative support, customer support and back office as well as industry specific support and services such as web design, website maintenance, and software development. Pricing starts at $6.98/hour. They operate 24/7 Monday through Friday but are closed on weekends.

Uassist.me

uassist me

Uassist.me is a personal assistant service located in El Salvador that offers bilingual English/Spanish services specializing in clerical and specialized duties like web design and social media management, and bookkeeping among others.

The price starts at $299/month which includes 20 hours of assistance, but larger packages can be purchased according to your needs. You can communicate with your assistant via phone, email, Skype, WhatsApp, or any other form of communication you prefer.

They are ideal for industry specific tasks as well as administrative duties.

Magic

magic logoMagic is a text-based personal assistant. You’ll have a team of human assistants working on your most complicated tasks- whether it is business related or personal. The human assistants use cutting edge artificial intelligence software to manage your tasks and remember your preferences. Magic is available 24/7, 365 days a year and also responds within seconds to minutes.

Magic is perfect for on-demand tasks as well as administrative and clerical tasks.

Magic prorates to the minute at $35/hour. There is no minimum fee or recurring fees and Magic can handle multiple requests at once. If you’re looking for the best personal assistant service, you should definitely try Magic now.

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