Miro versus Smartsheet:   which is the best collaboration tool for a Virtual Assistant?

Miro versus Smartsheet: which is the best collaboration tool for a Virtual Assistant?

When working as a Virtual Assistant, the different online and digital tools that you use are really important.  You make use of various different tools and you depend on them a lot as well, to make your work environment better and easier.   I use quite a few myself, I depend on them to help me get my work done.  If I think back, to before I started working as a VA, I did not even know about 20% of the online tools that are out there.  And I still come across many that are new to me.

If I can name and compare two of these tools, it would be Miro and Smartsheet.   If you look at the general opinion of users on the internet, it seems like Miro is a bit more popular than Smartsheet.

Let’s look at a few pro’s and con’s of these two tools.

 

Miro

Miro is a whiteboard platform where the whole team can come together simultaneously on the same ‘page’ and work on one project at the same time.  It is an online, visual collaboration white boarding platform to create, collaborate, and centralize communication across your company on a single online whiteboard.

“It enables distributed teams to work effectively together, from brainstorming with digital sticky notes to planning and managing agile workflows.”

Pro’s

  • The team can add spreadsheets and start discussions while they are working.
  • Just like sitting around the table in a virtual boardroom, the app is really easy to use.
  • You can use different apps, like Dropbox and Google drive directly from within the Miro platform,
  • Can sign up for free, it is more cost effective

Con’s

I was not able to find a lot of con’s, which gives me an overall good impression of Miro.

  • The mobile version performs smooth, but works only for visualization
  • Nothing comes to mind, if there was one thing it would be that the export viewport thing is a bit hard to get

 

Smartsheet

It is a cloud based platform, that enables teams and organisations to plan, capture, manage and automate and report on work.

Pro’s

  • Reporting is another important capability of Smartsheet. The reports of the software are very flexible and can be focused on the tasks per member, such as overdue tasks, and others.
  • Smartsheet has a good file storage system.  You are able to store files without leaving the app to access another app.
  • Team members can collaborate and report on what they are working on in real-time, manage their tasks, and automate their workflows.

Con’s

  • It is pricey
  • There is a lack of a time tracking feature
  • There is a lack of a practical activity stream

 

When you are looking for an online tool to use, the best option would be to do your research first, before choosing one.  There are so many out there, and they all have really good features and benefits.  Look at a few and decide on the one that would work the best for the specific needs you have.

These tools make our lives so much easier!

Every day is Mother’s Day

Every day is Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a celebration and honouring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world.  Personally, I celebrated my biological mom, sister, mother in law, and my spiritual mom, as all 4 form a very integral part of who I am today.  I feel lucky to have these women in my life with ages ranging from 30 years to 75 years.

How it started

Did you know Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honour her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honour all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”. Wikipedia 

 

Moms as health workers

Now that is something to celebrate, woman fighting and trying to improve public health issues. Just this morning my 6 year-old said that her teacher is very clever but only mommy knows when I am getting sick. Maybe it is more a woman thing, let us call it instinct to want to care for and help children and others. Not that I am taking any of it away from our men.  But looking at my own life it is the woman becoming nurses, teachers, stay at home parents etc.  And yes, none of them have these big, million-dollar companies.  What they do have are homes where we as children feel safe, important, and loved.  And thank you to the men in our lives giving us the opportunity to be who we need and want to be.  I will let you step into my life for a minute to see who I celebrate this month of May, especially during this year.

My youngest sister is a theatre nurse at a private hospital.  And yes, always these days on the background is the talk about Covid-19. At first, we were very blasé about what is coming, then afraid for her working in a hospital.  And now we are just proud.  The nurses are making TikTok dance videos to keep themselves uplifted and motivated, and sharing these with friends and family.  And that is what we do as woman, when the though gets going, the going gets though.  My sister makes me angry, makes me laugh, makes me cry and makes me feel loved, all in the space of 1 second.  Only she understands me fully.

All my mothers

My mother, one of 6 children, never finished high school and was thought to be doing the only thing she could think of doing, being a mother and housewife.  Today she has her own bakery, supplying all sorts of sweet and wonderful eatery to her local town.  And it all started in her kitchen when she was a stay at home mom.  We are all married now, but regularly goes back to mom for some “mom time” like only she can give us.

My work mom is this old lady that mentored me when I started working.  She was also a teacher for 20 years at a “boys only” school, teaching science.  She has this big heart for people that struggles and has it tough in life.  She taught me that you can rise above your circumstance and be of value.  And always have respect.  Today she is 78 years old and is the most respectful person I know.

My mother in law is not like the normal mother in law.  I do not even call her mom.  She told me on my wedding day: “I am not your mother; you have a mother that loves you.  But what I want to be is your friend”.  I thought it very strange, but also realised she stepped in as a friend, giving guidance and structure where it was needed when my children were born.

 

Teach the children

When I am teaching my children about Mother’s Day, I teach them it is only a little bit about me, and so much more about woman of the world.  I want to teach them about woman making a difference.  The teachers at the school that helps every child grow and learn, the auntie at the local shop giving out lollypops, the doctor in the hospital making sure you are comfortable before she leaves for her home, the old lady on the sidewalk selling beautiful flowers and many more woman should be celebrated.   Let us teach children to honour a person and be respectful, regardless of age, race, and circumstance.  Because every person you see walking around has a mother that has her own story.

The lockdown enemy in my house

The lockdown enemy in my house

Having worked from home as a Virtual Assistant during the national lockdown, I have been locked in mortal combat with my fridge and snack cupboard.   From this point on they will be known as Enemy Number One.  We have been locked in an all-out war that shows no sign of stopping.  Day in and day out we lock horns and do battle.

Hold on let me back up a bit.  I have two clients that I work with.  The one client requires me to stretch my grey matter on a daily basis.  I have a small open plan home and my work is done at the dining room table every day. The Enemy is situated about ten meters away from my workspace.  Now all my life I have been told that in order to have a healthy brain, you need to feed your brain.  I am convinced that the Enemy has been listening to my conversations and is using psychological warfare to win at all costs.

 

Across the enemy line

I mean it seems to know just before the hour strikes for me to sit down at my desk and work.  It uses the firing up of the computer as a call to draw up arms and strike.  Battle lines are drawn, and just before I log on for the day it fires the first shot, ringing in my ears that the grey matter needs to be fed.  On many occasions I have fired up my computer about twenty minutes earlier as I am almost convinced that I will lose the battle for the day and put my hands up and walk across the Enemy line.

 Once the Enemy has won that battle and has me in its firm clutches, it does not stop there, it continues to torture me.  You see standing there in front of the Enemy, I have a choice to make, do I open the fridge door to get something healthy like a fruit and a glass of water, or do I open the snack cupboard for something sweet and tasty like a rusk and a cup of coffee.  I mean how cruel can it be, psychological warfare at it’s very best I tell you!

 

How to outsmart the Enemy

Knowing that this daily battle will happen, I have realised that I need to stay fit, not only to help my grey matter and keep me strong but also to try and outsmart the Enemy.  There are days when willpower wins the day and I am able to ignore the constant sounds of the Enemy trying to lure me into battle, on those days the Enemy is defeated, however when this happens, the Enemy normally intensifies the battle to see how strong I really am.

 

Character building

Being a Virtual Assistant during lockdown is not for the faint hearted, it builds your character up to become competent and strong and tough as nails to outwit and win against your Enemy each and every day.

Tell me, do you have an Enemy in your kitchen?