Automation continues to pervade our everyday lives, with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and a multitude of chatbots now commonplace. As this technology continues to rise in popularity, it’s being adopted in the professional space, with everyone from factory workers to CEOs recognising its potential.
As a PA, you may be having visions of those chirpy AI assistants taking over your role, but fear not – there are plenty of benefits of automation for personal assistants! Here are five ways to take advantage of the technology and start automating processes at work.
1. Inbox management
There are plenty of tools for PAs out there that can filter through inboxes, categorising emails into different folders and marking them in terms of importance. If needed, they can also send receipts straight to your nominated accounting software, forward tasks straight to to-do lists and even delete unneeded communications. When handling multiple inboxes, it can make maintaining emails easier than ever. Check out these top services:
Smart browser extensions can coordinate your many different apps and programmes, reducing the need for repetitive tasks, and opening up the workflow from one application to another. For example, you could send an important PowerPoint or Excel document in an email, and the attachment will be automatically saved to Dropbox. Project management apps can also be linked – Evernote can be connected to Trello or a Google calendar, meaning there’s no need to repeat notes. Streamline your workflow with these recommendations:
3. Diary management
There are some things that only a human PA or EA can do when it comes to scheduling, but rote tasks such as organising meetings can be offloaded to an automation app.. These programmes can find the next available spot in your Principal’s calendar by CC-ing them into an email. Most of these bots are also programmed to learn from each experience, meaning that any pre-sets are carried onto the next interaction. Our favourites are:
4. Travel booking
Forget liaising with a travel agent or spending hours on the multiple airline apps to find a spare business class seat – travel booking tools will do your organizing for you, leaving more time for other human-centric tasks. With the potential for personalised results, automatically generated itineraries and a concierge service, they take care of every element for both personal and business travel. Take the stress out of travelling with these apps:
Minute-taking may be one of the regular tasks for PAs and EAs, but if the tech world has anything to do with it, it won’t be for much longer. Several apps now exist to automate the entire process, dialling in like a human participant and using speech-to-text technology to take accurate notes. They can also email a copy after the meeting and highlight any actions discussed, ensuring each meeting is of use. Our top picks are:
We know that the true value of PAs and executive assistants stems from their soft skills such as empathy, negotiation, diplomacy and personal touch. Automating repetitive and administrative tasks, as part of your role, will ultimately allow those soft skills to shine so that you can take the next step in your career.
Looking for a new PA job or seeking further training? Tiger can help – register today to start your job search!