Being a PA is often a very hectic, busy role where you have to balance multiple tasks and projects at one time, keeping yourself and others organised. You’ll be dealing with a range of colleagues and clients, trying to handle everything from tracking progress on important deadlines to arranging key meetings.

We take a look at five tools PAs should be using to increase their productivity in 2020.

Note-taking

Taking accurate notes in meetings is essential, but it can end up taking your focus away from what’s actually happening or prevent you from doing other tasks. And you often need to spend time afterwards sorting through your notes and getting them organised before sharing them. Using a note-taking tool can help you to multitask in important meetings and improve your productivity.

Use an automatic note-taking tool like Otter to record your meetings and automatically transcribe the audio into text. It integrates with video calling software such as Zoom and can create transcripts of the meeting during or after the call. Meeting notes can be organised into folders so that it’s easy to come back to them at a later date.

Task management

When you’re balancing multiple projects and assignments it can seem like your to-do list is endless and you’re never making any progress.  A task management tool such as GetBusy is a good way to organise and prioritise your work effectively. You can break your day to day work and any long term projects down into individual tasks, and then use task management software to create a to-do list. Give each task a deadline and you’ll be able to see which things you need to work on first.

You can also use it to assign tasks to other team members and share comments and documents relevant to your work. Plus it integrates with hundreds of other tools like emails and instant messaging so you can quickly create tasks that get automatically to your to-do list.

Scheduling meetings

Trying to fit meetings into busy schedules so that everyone who needs to attend is able to, can be a complicated task. To minimize the back and forth when trying to arrange meetings use a calendar scheduling tool such as Doodle to streamline the process.

You can quickly find the times that you’re available and offer these for a meeting, or check both yours and your attendees’ calendars to suggest some times that work for both of you. It can even take into account different time zones, send out updates with any changes, and automatically remind attendees.

Using a scheduling tool stops you from wasting time trying to find the right time for meetings, reduces endless email chains, and minimises the chance of any meeting clashes.

Time tracking

Don’t let small bits of admin take over your entire day — track your time so you can keep an eye on how long different tasks usually take and what holds you up. Use a time tracking tool such as Toggl Track to accurately and automatically monitor how you spend your time each day.

It can work across your apps, in your browser, and on your mobile phone to track all your activities. You’ll be able to see how much time gets taken up dealing with emails, arranging meetings, phone calls, and other tasks. Getting this kind of insight helps you to understand how you can use your time more efficiently, which things you need to prioritise, and which unimportant tasks shouldn’t be taking as long.

Password management

The downside to using lots of different tools to streamline your work is having to set up and remember various different passwords. Use a cloud-based password tool like OneLogin in to securely store your passwords, generate strong new passwords, and save you from having to remember your login details for each individual app or software.

It’s a lot safer than saving your passwords in your web browser or using the exact same one for everything. It also makes it easier to send others in your team passwords for any shared accounts.

These tools are all essential for PAs looking to cut down on wasted time and increase productivity in 2020. They’ll reduce time-wasting administrative tasks, allow you to streamline or automate small jobs that end up taking over your day, and help you to flourish as a PA.

Guest blog post written by: Laura May, Digital Editor, Just Another Magazine | www.justanothermagazine.com