Virtual resources can be huge time-savers

You may have found a shortcut for your drive to work, but have you looked for shortcuts to save yourself time on the job?

Utilizing shortcuts is a smart way to use your time wisely and knock out your tasks efficiently. Virtual resources are only a few keystrokes away from saving you time and, hopefully, money.

Take a look at these options to get you started:

Phone calls: Let someone else answer your calls while you’re busy running your business. Use the services of CallRuby.com and you will have your very own professional, virtual receptionist based out of Portland, Oregon, taking calls for you.

Would you like to send out a personal call for an invitation, a meeting reminder or to let your clients know you’re having a sale? Record your own voice and send out a message through phonevite.com. But wait, there’s more: You can also post that recording on your social media sites as well as your website. This is the next tool that I want to utilize myself.

Shopping: Why drive around shopping for office supplies when you can have them delivered right to your door? Take advantage of office supply website options such as “favorites” lists, so you can quickly click on items that you order regularly. My experience with free shipping and next-day delivery make staples.com my personal favorite.

Why stop at office supplies? It’s easy to order groceries online, too. You won’t have to make a stop on the way home, you will avoid spontaneous purchases and bypass long lines. Depending on where you live, you may want to consider ordering from amazonfresh.com or safeway.com/onlinegrocery.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that amazon.com has a plethora of options for many of your other shopping needs. If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, you may want to consider a prime membership to save on shipping, plus some other perks.

Freelance specialists: Wouldn’t it be nice to hire someone for projects who are really good at what they do? This will take projects off your plate and allow someone else to complete them proficiently. Check out elance.com and fiverr.com.

Professional questions: Are you feeling stuck and wish you had someone to bounce an idea off? Would you like advice from an expert? Welcome to clarity.fm. Joining is free and you have two ways to get your questions answered.

The first way is to post a general question that anyone can read and any expert can answer. You will be able to use categories to attract the correct experts.

The second way is to connect with an expert who specializes in the area that you need help with. Schedule a phone consultation and pay the expert by the minute. You are able to specify how long you are willing to be on the call.

If you’d like to connect with me on Clarity.fm for advice, I’d love to speak with you.

Meetings: Meetings can be a time suck if they aren’t well-planned, well-organized and well-managed. If you have multiple people traveling to get to a meeting, it will involve time and money. If you can meet virtually, you can save on both travel time and costs. If you run a productive meeting, then you will really make the best use of everyone’s time.

A few sites that you may want to take research for virtual meetings: gotomeeting.com, webex.com and conferencecall.com.

Embrace technology and make it work for you as a tool to run an efficient business, manage your time for work and create time for fun, too.

Monika Kristofferson is a professional organizer, productivity consultant and trainer who owns Efficient Organization in Lake Stevens. Reach her at 425-220-8905 or www.Efficient OrganizationNW.com.

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