Just like virtually every sector under the tech umbrella, the possibility of having a virtual assistant at your beck and call has been made more realistic by evolving technology. Heck, virtual assistants don’t necessarily even need to be human anymore, as the evolution of different software and apps has made it possible for apps and platforms to help us handle our daily routines nearly as well as a human could, and at a fraction of the cost.

The integration of Smart Virtual Personal Assistant (SVPA) platforms into apps by tech giants Google, Apple, and Yahoo is a clear sign of the demand for an affordable sidekick in a time when productivity is harder to maintain than ever. Every professional could use that virtual assistant to save them time and money while freeing up more personal time, and these VA software and apps are the best options for doing just that.

Communication

Without platforms to facilitate remote communication, virtual assistance wouldn’t be possible. Fortunately for us, the increasingly cozy global marketplace has been retrofitted with tools that allow assistants, employers, and coworkers to remain in near-constant contact, no matter the distance separating them.

RingCentral is the all-in-one cloud phone service of most professionals’ dreams. At any level of the business world, from Fortune 500 to mom and pop shops, a missed call could mean compromising a potential partnership or opportunity with a client. RingCentral allows the stress to be taken out of the equation, giving professionals an array of capabilities regardless of whether they are in a Holiday Inn in Kansas or their office in New York City.

Since it’s cloud-based, there’s no need to shell out big bucks for the service, but the lack of physical setup doesn’t compromise RingCentral’s quality, either. The platform, which is offered for both Android and iOS operating systems, allows users to set up and attend conference calls as well as send and receive SMS messages, faxes, high-definition phone calls, and other notifications. And, as is the case with many cloud-based software, you won’t be tied to outdated technology, which means you’ve got an already stellar yet evolving communication software for just 25 bucks.

Slack has become one of the most trusted names in online messaging for one-on-one and team collaboration. It not only has a user-friendly interface and an array of chat options, but also allows for easy integration with tons of external applications, making Slack a sort of open-source messenger for creatives and businesspeople alike.

Time Tracking

Remote employees know that trust is vital to establishing credibility with a client. Time tracking technology has become so widely available that the client doesn’t need to wonder whether their remote team member is being honest with their time sheet, and the remote assistant can rest easy knowing their client knows exactly what services they are receiving on a clear time frame.

Wrike is so much more than just a tool to track the time your remote employees are putting into their work. It’s a one-stop shop platform that allows for remote collaboration in a way that is cleaner, simpler, and more multi-faceted than its competition.

With Wrike, you can do your business and track project production in the same place. No extra analytics or processing platforms necessary. It’s 3-paneled view allows the work and data to be seen without changing screens, while its built-in communication features allow its users to bring attention to specific issues or features on the screen.

There’s great reason why Wrike receives rave reviews from creatives, professionals, and virtually anybody who objectively tests out the platform. It’s robust yet simple, merging analytics, time tracking, communication, and the ability to complete a given project collaboratively and remotely.

Business Administration

When it comes to the glut of software that is in the marketplace and aimed squarely at the massive array of professional spheres, ‘business administration’ could mean virtually anything. So, we figured that the best option was a software that applied to virtually every professional: document creation, sharing and signing.

Not only does the PandaDoc brand name bring to mind one of the most adorable, mood-lifting mammals ever to walk the earth, it’s one heck of a useful service. No matter what you do for a living, there’s going to be a time when you need to either create, share, or sign a document in order to get on with your business, whether you are on the hiring side or the one being hired.

With PandaDoc, remotely creating, sending, receiving, sharing, and signing on the dotted line has never been more simple. From PDFs to Docs and other digital formats, PandaDoc facilitates the transmission of original or second-hand documents remotely with legally-binding status inherent to the platform.

Don’t let yourself get burned by a business partner because you didn’t take the time to shoot them over a document or sign an agreement yourself. With PandaDoc, sending and receiving a John Hancock is a breeze.

File Sharing and Storage

Sometimes, the most widely recognized names in the game are so widely known because they’ve earned their sterling reputation. In the case of remote file storage, no name gets more tread than Dropbox, and yes, it’s for good reason. But when Dropbox aimed its sights on creating a platform especially for the business world, they messed around and made a good thing even better.

Regular old Dropbox has been adopted by countless individuals who just don’t have the storage on their hard drive or the patience to continuously un-plug and re-plug a physical external device. And why not? Their reputation for security is well-earned, and it’s just so darn easy to use!

Dropbox Business takes all of Dropbox’s best features, namely simplicity, security, a range of file storage capacities and ease of access, and puts a professional twist on the winning formula. For one, its intended use by businesses means that the storage options are greater than ever, and security measures have been stepped up a notch to reflect the sensitive information often being shared between clients.

But it’s Dropbox’s trademark file recovery that makes this platform second to none. While you may wonder why your deleted files of virtually any format can be recovered even months after you threw them in the virtual trashcan, the option to set custom permissions and passwords allows you to treat individual files with their own level of security measures, making some files more recover-able than others. Not to mention, the easily integrated Dropbox Business doesn’t require you to break the bank, as it’s available for as little as $8.

With these virtual assistant apps and software, you will have your professional bases covered. Whether you employ or contract human remote assistants or not, each of these tools can still be made useful regardless of what job you do.