FIVE AWESOME TECHNOLOGY TOOLS YOU WISH SANTA WOULD PUT IN YOUR STOCKING THIS YEAR

 

It s the holiday season, and many children around the world are looking forward to Santa coming down the chimney and filling their stockings on Christmas Eve. If you have kids, you might have already hung their stockings up in anticipation as they write letters to Santa.

Well, in the spirit of the season, we thought it might be fun to hear from a Santa that Virtual Assistants and online business owners can relate to. Check out this video:

So if this Santa were visiting your house, what would he put in your stocking? Here are five technology tools you might want him to bring for your virtual business:

1. Apple iPad – What can we say? The iPad is one of the hottest gifts around this year and it s pretty cool too. In a recent blog post, “The iPad and The Marketing Professional”, Mitch Joel quotes Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and CEO, as saying that the iPad is “the device that lies in between your computer and your mobile device.”

So why would you want it in your stocking? Well, iPad apps can also make this a powerful tool for business professionals. Some examples that Mitch Joel recommends are Dropbox, iA Writer, FlightTrack Pro and Flipboard.

2. Google Apps for Business – Speaking of apps, if you aren t already using Google Apps, you should really consider asking Santa for it. For only $50 per year, you can subscribe to a suite of secure web-based office tools, including Google Docs, Google Calendar, and many more.

The benefit of subscribing to this solution is that you don t have to purchase any additional hardware or software, and you receive 25GB of email storage per person, so no matter how large your team is, you will save money and facilitate better collaboration between team members. It will also save you the time and headache of having to host and maintain your own communication and collaboration tools.

3. iPhone with TimeScroller widget – This is a handy technology tool that can help you find an appropriate time for an overseas phone call or conference, especially handy if you serve clients who live worldwide.

TimeScroller for iPhone and iPod touch is available at the App Store. Here are some features listed on the TimeScroller website:

• Simple, compact display shows up to 9 cities without needing to scroll.

• Takes into account daylight savings time for all cities.

• Configurable to show different colors for different times of day – for example, “green” for normal office hours, “amber” for the evening, etc.

• Unique suggest time feature.

• Draft email listing times.

• TimeScroller does not require an Internet connection.

4. Skype – This is another tool that we highly recommend at VAClassroom, especially for those accessing our live teleseminars outside of the U.S. Skype is a software application that enables users to make voice calls over the Internet. Calls are free of charge to other users within the Skype service, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones are paid for using a debit-based user account system.

Other features include:

• Free video calling

• Send files

• Screen sharing

• Conference calling

• Voicemail

5. Virtual Gifts – For the Virtual Assistant who has everything, another great stocking stuffer is a virtual charity gift. For example, World Vision, an international relief and development organization, has launched a Facebook Page called “The True Spirit of Christmas”. Here you can send your Facebook friends a free virtual gift from the World Vision gift catalogue to “help spread the word about a great way to change children s lives.”

In addition, there are many sites worldwide where the proceeds of purchasing a virtual gift benefits a certain charity, like the WWF Adopt an Animal charity gift.

We hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! We d love to hear what s on your wish list this year! If you have any suggestions, please comment below so that Santa knows what to put in YOUR stocking!