Why the modern Assistant Needs To Be on Top of Their Game

The good news is there is growing demand for your services.

The Assistant role has evolved beyond managing diaries, a bit of bookkeeping and writing reports.

You might still be asked to do those things. But today’s bosses might also ask you to put together presentations, manage social media posts, do data analysis, schedule meetings, research and write blogs, and handle online meetings. Along with being their right hand person in running a department or the organisation!


There are opportunities out there for the Savvy Assistant. That’s the case whether you are thinking of freelancing, a fresh start-up, already established or at an advanced business stage. Part-time or full-time.

Clients and executives crave the professional administrator who can solve their problems, show creativity and deliver excellence, on time and every time.

They expect you to know how to use Microsoft 365. The growth in remote working means more of them want you to also be on top of Microsoft Teams.

You have three learning options…

Trial and Error

Work out how to do something in Microsoft 365 as you go. This can be time-consuming and VERY frustrating, especially if you don’t embed the learning and have to refresh your memory with each repeat task.

Search the Web

You could go trawling through the Internet and YouTube for answers. Good luck with that.

There are more than 100 million hits for ‘Microsoft Office Training on YouTube’ alone. Even if you find a video, the information could be out of date and quality of ‘training’ quite poor.

Find a Professional Microsoft 365 Trainer

You can learn via online courses or through personalised 1:1 sessions and customised group workshops.

A Bit About
Shelley Fishel

The MS Office Maestro

I didn’t get the education I wanted when I was younger. By the time I was 17, I had to leave school to take over running my father’s business. I’ve always had a head for organizing. Give me a list and I’m happy. Done √ Next!

Because I didn’t finish my education, it was logical that I would stay at home when I got married and had children. And I loved so much of it. My family is at the heart of my life, and I love it when people feel comfortable and cared for. I’ve even become a bit famous for my Friday Shabbat baking photos (join me on Instagram for those).

But even back then I knew I could do much more (I’d already run one company and done admin for another) and I wanted to earn my own money too.

The kids grew and I moved back into the workforce over 20 years ago, eventually finding a wonderful training company where I learned my trade.  

Being fiercely independent, my next step was starting my own company. I discovered I loved working with PAs and EAs. I get how they think and what they do. They have lots of different responsibilities and contacts; they’re the lynchpin, sorting everything and everybody out. And above all, their goal is helping their manager perform at their best.

I can relate to that, because I want nothing more than to help YOU perform at your best. 

Over the years I’ve realized that I love to break down complex activities into simple steps that I can explain in a step-by-step practical way. #loveroflists

Expert status?

I never call myself a Microsoft expert. I just help you get things done quicker, easier, and more elegantly (and without drowning in Google first).  

I can’t put it better than what a long-term client said about me recently: “Shelley’s like the angel on my shoulder”. I love that! 


After working very happily with a training company, I went freelance in 2002. In 2007, I set up my own company and continued serving corporates and organisations through The IT Training Surgery.

I grew the business and then sold it. My work began to focus on helping Assistants and more of my training went online. That brings us to here and Tomorrow’s VA and MS Office Maestro.

You’re reading about someone who is on a bit of a mission. My big ambition is to help thousands of Assitants across the globe to get more done in less time with an elegant way of using Microsfot 365 applictions.


I hate to see assistants paying for shoddy or lazy training. Paying for something that’s ‘padded out’ with stuff you’re never going to use.

You can be assured the training from me is practical, step-by-step and all about quality.

As a Fellow of the Learning & Performance Institute, my training standards are assessed regularly. The LPI has approved me as a Certified Online Learning Facilitator (COLF) and a Certified Designer of Online Learning (CDOL).

Presentation Style

My training gives you a step-by-step guide to carrying out the essential tasks in each application. You see what’s on my screen as I talk you through it. Every cursor move. Every click.

It’s delivered in an easy-paced, clear way, with a bit of fun along the way. To get a flavour of my style you can watch a preview of one of the course How to Use Microsoft Teams training videos.

International Speaker

My talks and presentations are designed to share practical know-how and time-saving tips – in an entertaining way.

Whether it’s a webinar or workshop, seminar or summit, I want people in the audience to be able to use the learning straight away. 

I have spoken at events such as The PA Show, the Practically Perfect PA online summit,ESTech for Executive Support Magazine many other organisations and summits.

My talks and presentations can cover any of teh core Microsfot Applicatinos – Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Teams.


Although I stopped producing the popular Podcast Virtually Amazing – The Podcast for Virtual Assistants in January 2022 it is still being picked up and listened to. Currently running at over 9,500 downloads and going strong.

Each week with co-host, Jo Brianti, I share tips and interview guest experts on topics which help VA’s to build their skills and grow their business.

I absolutely loved doing the podcast and we’re excited about the lovely feedback we’re receiving.

Topics featured include setting up a VA business, GDPR, contracts, content writing, websites, coaching and training, tech security, using LinkedIn, blogging, copywriting and productivity.

Author, Blogger and Writer

You can find my range of ‘how to’ books – on Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and more – on the Bookboon website.

I also wrote a book called ‘Business Barista – Essential Excel Skills to Streamline Your Business’. It tells the journey of a fictitious coffee shop owner called Matt, and how he’s able to use the Microsoft application to grow his business. Get it on Amazon.

I’m a contributor to Executive Secretary magazine. You can also explore more of my tips, blogs and articles through LinkedIn and if you sign up to my newsletter.

Mum and More

As well as being an entrepreneur, IT trainer, author, writer, podcaster and business owner, I’m also a wife, mother, and grandmother. Family is important to me and I know what it’s like to juggle work and kids.

My training and online courses are not just about learning how to use applications in Microsoft 365. They are about how they allow you to do more in less time, so you can create the life and lifestyle you want. And manage to drink that cup of tea whilst it is still hot!!

Chat with me about your Training Needs

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