You may be reading this on your smartphone.

If not, just grab it for a moment.

Tap in and take a look at all the icons on the screen. Consider all the apps you’ve got at your fingertips.

How many of the following are on there?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn.App-ier Times Ahead

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive and Teams. Maybe the complete Office app itself.

Google Drive. Dropbox. Messenger. WhatsApp. Slack.

An app for news, weather or sport. Something for travel, like Tripadvisor or the Trainline.

Prime Video or Netflix.

You may have dozens more, depending on your needs, wants and likes.

Apps are all around us – to make life a little easier.

Apps allow us to work from our laptops, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices, wherever we are in the world.

We’re going to be seeing more and more apps – short for applications – being made available for personal and business use.

And, if you’re using and learning about Microsoft Teams, you’ll probably already know that access to apps within the communication and collaboration tool is a huge part of the attraction.

No need to stay subscribed and spend money on software you no longer need – because Teams has an incorporated alternative.

No need to keep switching in and out of applications, to work on something and get what you want to complete tasks. All done within Teams.

No worry about complex integrations to allow you to get the software to play nicely with each other. Many apps can be brought into Teams with zero tech knowledge required – it’s more like ‘plug and play’.

If you’re a VA with clients using Microsoft Teams, you’ll want to be aware of the apps which are part of the ‘family’.

There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, if your clients are using apps in Microsoft Teams for meetings and other collaborative activity, they may expect you to be familiar with those apps as well.

Secondly, if your clients are not yet using apps, you can point them to the ones most relevant to their business and team-working ways.

You show them how to make meetings more engaging and more productive for participants.

You show them how setting up the apps in Teams allows their people to connect and collaborate before meetings, so they are better prepared and can contribute fresher and better ideas.

You show them how the integration of apps and Teams allows them to track agreed actions and keep the workflow going after meetings have ended.

Clients will value your focus.

They will appreciate your helping them with how to collaborate more effectively and efficiently, and how to save time. That demonstrates the added value you bring to them as a VA.

App-ier Times AheadMicrosoft Teams has a huge range of apps available to access free through its own online ‘store’.

These include Asana, Decisions, Polly, Teamflect and Microsoft Forms. Among the other app names joining the ranks are HireVue,, Phenom, Pigeonhole Live, Slido, Soapbox and xMatters.

Global use of Microsoft Teams continues to rise.

Companies and organisations are also realising Microsoft Teams can handle video meetings with or without Zoom (which is another potential saving for them).

You’ll also find professionals in the ‘helping others’ field turning to Teams as a way to deliver online talks, training, mentoring, coaching and presentations. It’s why I created a Teams course specifically for trainers, speakers and coaches.

With in-person events and training restricted, people are having to turn to the internet.

And what people are discovering is that to create the best experience for participants, they need to understand how the tech can assist with it all – the teaching, the learning, the interaction, the questions and the breakout sessions.

Know your tech.

When you know how to use Microsoft Teams properly, you can use it with complete confidence and focus on how to wow your audience.

As a VA, you have to understand that the tech, the tools, the software, are all there to make the life of you and your clients easier.

It’s advancing at a rapid pace – and being improved (based on user feedback) year on year.

You can dig your head in the sand like an obstinate ostrich – and hope it all goes away. (It won’t).

You can spend ages searching online for a training video every time you need to know how to do something in MS Office or Microsoft 365. (And hope the instructions are not out of date or that you remember how to find it all again next time you need it).


You can be more professional and focused about it.

You can take a relevant online course in Microsoft Office or gain access to the complete set, such as via my Tomorrow’s VA Hub (aka ‘The Full Monty’).

That way you have all the training you need to deliver for your clients – and attract more if you wish.

High-quality training is never a cost. It’s always an investment. You can usually get a complete return with your next paying project or client. After that, it’s all extra income for you.

Know Microsoft. Know your apps. Know what the market wants from you.

It’s all part of the journey towards success.


Shelley Fishel