Suddenlies and preparedness

Hi, friends.

What a whirlwind the past two months have been. I was blessed with two new clients, which happened so fast that I was unprepared in many ways. Thankfully, Abbey Ashley at The Virtual Savvy practices radical generosity AND offers fantastic FREE and paid resources available to help Virtual Assistants Quick Start and to move forward in an orderly and wise way. You should check out her website and all her social media channels. Even if you are not interested in becoming a VA or in hiring a VA, she has great tips and many resources that are generally applicable for entrepreneurs.

Things have settled back to a more life-giving pace, and I am able to spend time backfilling the missing pieces of my VA business — things like a Business Plan, Prospective Client Intake Questionnaire, business processes, templates and a Welcome Packet. The web is full of information on all of these topics so I have been researching and taking notes on the bits and pieces of string that I find. Today’s post is an overview of some high level steps I have taken and a peek into a couple tools I am using. If you have any questions, comment on this post below or email me at connectworktasks@gmail.com.

Speaking of Gmail, I am growing to appreciate Google’s Workspace tools more and more every day. I have used the Google tools for years now — (over 10 years) and drip by drip learned more about the various apps as I have found a need for each one. I typically prefer using Microsoft Office products but am finding that the Google Workspace tools have at least equal value for me.

If you are unfamiliar with the Google Workspace tools and have a Gmail account, you can click on the square made of of nine dots to the left of your Avatar on your Gmail page.

This will open up a window which displays many of the apps included in Google Workspace; the slider to the right of the window allows you to scroll down to see more. There is even a clickable More button at the very bottom of the pop up window.

If you click on any of the icons, that app will open in a new window. One I use every day is the Drive app, which opens and looks something like this:

As you develop your Business Plan (Google Docs), Prospective Client Intake Form (Google Forms), business processes and Welcome Packet (Google Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, let your imagination take you there), storing documents that you will share with clients is easy and manageable with Google Drive. I suggest that you think about your folder structure before you create your files, but you can easily create the folders later and move the files around. Any documents that you create with the Google apps like Docs, Forms, Sheets, can be or automatically are saved in Google Drive.

Currently my folder naming practice is to think of the highest level folder name or title and create that folder first. Inside of that folder I create a sub-folder, usually either a year or another level of grouping name like Contracts or Client Responses or Welcome Packet Files. Inside of the sub-folder, I might create another sub-folder like a year or a month or a client name. Hopefully that is clear as mud :). Below is an example.

You can create documents using other apps, like Microsoft Office apps, and upload them to your Drive. Google gives you the option to open those documents with a corresponding Google Workspace app if you want to edit the document in that app.

One thing I am not fond of with regard to saving documents in Drive is that you can have more than one copy of the same document with the same name stored in the same location in your Drive. Keep that in mind when saving documents; I suggest adding a version number or letter to the end or a name or a date each time you upload a file.

When you want to email one of your Drive documents to someone, Gmail gives you the options of either attaching the Drive document or sending a link, generally speaking. Access the Drive by selecting the icon at the bottom of the new email window.

In the Insert files using Google Drive pop up window, toggle the button in the lower right corner to select Link or Attachment, use the search tools to select the file or files; the Insert button will become live. Click Insert. Complete your email and send.

Those are just a few things you can do with Google Drive and Gmail. There are many helpful articles out there that will walk you through the basics of using Google Workplace and the apps. If you have any questions you would like me to research and post about here, let me know in the comments below, please. Or you can email me at connnectworktasks@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading.

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