Show Notes

Welcome to Episode 5!

In this week’s episode we chat with Kathy Soulsby of Virtually Personal. Kathy is in her own words a total producivity nerd and we will be chatting about all things producivity.

This week we discuss productivity and procrastination. Find out why it is important to get the right things done and why Kathy says that productivity is about how you think rather than what you achieve.

In other news Jo talks about juggling home schooling, running the home and a business, and we discuss My Hours as our app of the week.


[01:20 ]  Why every day is a learning day – especially at the moment.

[01:50 ]  Juggling Jo – home school, home and business.

[08:39 ]  Kathy talks about getting the right things done.

[10:01 ]  Start with your calendar not your Inbox

[12:34 ]  The Shellfish Story

[15:00 ]  Restaurant bookings – how many?

[18:20]  Balancing the workload

[19:30] Put your phone in the other room

[19:30] Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Proin eget tortor risus.

[21:00 ] Focus with music

[22:30] Kathy writes a book

[25:00 ] Has work dried up or slowed down?

[28:00 ] Managing  a team

[29:48 ] Swings and roundabouts for Jo

[31:00 ] Start as you mean to go on and evolve your systems

[38:00]  Just when you think you got this….

[39:40 ] Pay it forward

[40:00] Be grateful and focus

Our Guest - Kathy Soulsby

In her working life, Kathy has been a restaurant manager, a customer relations executive in the car industry, an exporter of shellfish and, of course, a PA and EA. Kathy has always enjoyed organising things, whether that’s a table plan for a 150 cover restaurant on a Saturday night or a shipment of langoustine to Italy, getting people and things where they need to be when they need to be there is her passion.

Needing more flexibility than any one job seemed to offer, Kathy became a Virtual Assistant in 2014, initially fitting it into the evenings and weekends alongside two PA part time PA roles!

She went fulltime into the business in 2015 after shedding first one job and then the second and the rest is history.

Working mainly with consultants, coaches and trainers, she takes on all kinds of work, from diary management, blogs, CRMs and invoicing to cake ordering and voice-overs. As her business has grown, she now manages a team of eight associates so she can take on bigger corporate jobs in the consulting industry.

In May 2017, she published Virtually Painless, a humorous and slightly bonkers book about moving from employed PA to freelance VA. Covering the highs and lows of freelance life, it’s aim to answer the questions “Can I do that?” and more importantly “Do I want to do that?”

Kathy loves helping people get organised and she is a total productivity nerd. When she isn’t sweating over an online timesheet or getting her geek on about a new planner or task system, she can usually be found in a field with a collie or two.

You will learn

  • How Kathy stays on top of her to do list
  • The tools Kathy Uses to keep track
  • Why you should put your phone in another room

Watch on Youtube

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