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Archive for the ‘Computer Tips’ Category

Helpful Tips and Tricks

Sync or Share Your Files For Free

Posted by Erin on August 20, 2009

Many of us have a desktop and a laptop and have an never ending need to sync our files. There is a free tool I would like to share with you, its called DropBox. You can use this tool to share files with colleagues and clients as well.

They’re free package gives you 2GB of free transfer space. You can earn up to 3GB with their referral program. I use this software on a daily basis so I highly recommend it.

Here is the link to check out DropBox.

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Posted in Freebies, Software, Virtual Assistant | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Do you need or want to measure your bandwidth usage?

Posted by Erin on May 24, 2009

Some of you may need to do this to verify their Internet providers are measuring your usage accurately and others are just curious about it. Maybe you want to know how fast your connection really is. So many reasons that this information could be of use to you.

There is a free software that can show you all this in pretty graphs and you can track your usage. This software is called Networx. There are some great screen shots for you to look at here. This free software also provides some other very useful information.

Go have some fun with this neat download.

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Posted in Computer Tips, Software | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

FTP needs for a VA

Posted by Erin on January 20, 2009

As a virtual assistant you will need to be transferring files back and forth with your clients. Some files will be too large for email so you will need an alternate option. Some clients will have a server where they keep there files and they will allow you to log into the server to retrieve the file. To do this you will need an FTP client software. Once this is installed on your computer you will be able to access their server. Before you access a clients server be sure you understand how to work with FTP, you do not want any errors here. That could cause major problems for your client.

Here is the FTP client I like to use:  FileZilla Client

Some clients may not have a server, or know what that is. In this situation you can do one of two things. You can get an online file sharing account. Now when you are looking for such a site be sure that you read the file upload restrictions per file. This is very important, especially if you are going to pay to use it. The average email can hold up to 20MB, so this means you want a program that can hold quite a bit more then this. If you are doing transcription especially, some files can be very large. Now the other option you have is to down load a server onto your computer and allow the client to access it. There are two drawbacks to this option. One you need to make sure you know how to run and maintain the server. When you have a server on your computer and you are not familiar with how it works you can be letting in unwanted visitors. The other drawback would be that if your client was not familiar with a server they are more then likely not going to have a FTP client software to access your server. Some may, so you should check with each client. Here is the FileZilla Server if you should ever want or need it.

Also if you want to learn more about how FTP works I really recommend reading the FileZilla Guides. There is so much information packed in there you will understand if you take your time and go over everything.

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Protecting your computer

Posted by Erin on January 19, 2009

When you work virtually protecting your computer is vital! If you do not have your computer you are not working. You do not want to get yourself into a bind where you have a project due and your computer is down and the tech won’t have it back to you in time. I personally had this happen to me. At the time I did not have a backup computer system! Thank god for moms, I went over to her house and used her computer to finish the project. Needless to say I now have two computer systems for this very reason.

Your computer is at risk just being on the Internet. When you start downloading programs and files you are at an even higher risk. You would be amazed at what is possible with viruses and trojans now a days. So to be extra careful you should have an anti virus working all the time. When you turn your computer on it should turn on automatically. You can go with a free program, they will protect you from most problems but not all. If you are running your business you really should have a paid subscription to some anti virus. You will be happier in the long run when you realize you just saved your computer from destruction. Here is what I use on all my computer systems and I highly recommend it to everyone.
virtual assistant

If you don’t have one you can try AVG free edition to get you on something. I would still upgrade to a paid subscription after you have found one that fits your needs. Here is AVG free edition

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Posted by Erin on January 19, 2009

One of the very popular avenues of working from home is transcription. If you are unfamiliar with this work you may think that it is very easy and will take no time at all. In some cases this maybe true, but more times then not it is a time consuming process where you have to pay full attention to what you are doing.

If you are going to start transcription as a freelancer you should start slow. To start off I would bid on a very small project and be honest with the client. Honesty is the always best. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the project and bid low. You should bid low until you have some experience. I know this isn’t the best news but it will get you where you need to be for future clients and long term clients too.

You can also chose to join a company that hires workers from home. Some companies will hire people that are new and start you on a lower paying scale and as your turn around time and accuracy improve your wages will improve also. This is sometimes more appealing to people because you will have a more steady flow of income.

Either way you chose to go just take it slow and learn all you can.You can even join some groups so you can get support, encouragement, and advise.You will need a media player to play the audio on your computer. I have also provided you with a free software below that will help you tremendously. Check it out. I would also suggest that you purchase a quality headphone set. I use headphones that also block out external noise, I love them. Some clients will also use small cassette tapes. In this case you will need a transcriber machine. I would not buy one unless you find the need for one. If you have local clients this maybe a necessity for you.

Express Scribe – This is a free software that will aid in transcription. You can slow down and speed up the audio, clear some background noise. It is a great thing to have.


Posted in Software, Virtual Assistant | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Word Processing is a big part of being a Virtual Assistant

Posted by Erin on January 19, 2009

There are a wide range of tasks that a virtual assistant can do. Must of them require some form of documentation. It is very common for clients to need documents formatted, created, or edited. Having the software to complete such projects is vital to your business.You do not want to miss out on an opportunity because you did not have the needed software. There is an easy solution.

If you are just starting out and have a million expenses do not worry. You can get OpenOffice, a software package. This software offers a spreadsheet (like Microsoft Excel), text document (like Microsoft Word), presentation (like Microsoft PowerPoint), data base (like Microsoft Access), drawing and reviews. You can also chose from some additional add on software as well that will benefit your business. If you would rather you can go with Microsoft Office. Just look at the different choices you have and pick the one that is best for your current situation. Remember you can always up grade.

OpenOffice (Windows) – download this one for FREE! Here is OpenOffice (MAC OS X)
Open Office

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