As an assistant, you are likely always looking for ways to work more efficiently and get more done in less time. In this post, we’ll be sharing three productivity hacks that have made a big difference in our working day.  

These hacks are specifically tailored to assistants and focus on tools and techniques that can help you stay organized and on top of your tasks. 

First, we’ll discuss the importance of using keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Office. Keyboard shortcuts can save you a ton of time and reduce strain on your wrists and fingers, so it’s worth taking the time to learn the ones that will be the most useful to you. 

Use keyboard shortcuts 

For example, let’s say you’re working on a report in Microsoft Word and you need to add a table of contents. Instead of manually creating the table and formatting the page numbers, you can use the keyboard shortcut ALT+ S + T and then the arrow keys, to automatically generate a table of contents based on the heading styles in your document. 

Or in PowrPoint to duplicate a shape use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+D 

Create templates: 

Let’s say you work in a marketing department and you’re responsible for creating social media posts on a regular basis. Instead of starting from scratch each time, you can create a template that includes your brand’s logo, font and colour scheme and any other elements that you use consistently. This way, you can simply input the specific text and image for each post and save yourself the time and effort of formatting everything from scratch. 

Use the “To-Do” list feature in Microsoft Outlook: 

Here’s a case study to illustrate how the “To-Do” list feature in Outlook can help you stay organized and on top of your tasks: 

As an administrative assistant at a busy law firm, Rachel often has a long list of tasks to complete each day. She uses the “To-Do” list feature in Outlook to keep track of everything she needs to do, including scheduling appointments, drafting emails and preparing documents for meetings. 

Rachel starts her day by opening Outlook and reviewing her “To-Do” list. She sorts the tasks by due date and priority so that she can tackle the most pressing items first. As she completes each task, she marks it as done, which helps her stay focused and motivated. 

Throughout the day, Rachel adds new tasks to her “To-Do” list as they come up and she sets reminders for herself so that she doesn’t forget anything. By using the “To-Do” list feature in Outlook, Rachel is able to stay organized and on top of her workload, which helps her work more efficiently and effectively. 

I hope these additional examples and case study give you a better idea of how these productivity hacks can make a difference in your working day. Remember, the key is to find the tools and techniques that work best for you and your workflow and to be consistent in using them. With a little bit of practice and discipline, you can boost your productivity and get more done in less time! 

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes