Calendar management requires organizational and logistical skills, which is what executives hire office assistants and virtual assistants for. If you’re a VA or executive assistant, the following is a quick summary of what your boss expects of you and best practices for calendar management regardless of who your client is.
Executive Assistants & Virtual Assistants: The Differences & Similarities
Executive Assistants are required to:
- Maintain file organization
- Greet in-house clients
- Send and receive correspondence
- Conduct Bookkeeping
- Schedule daily tasks
- Work full-time in-house
Virtual Assistants are required to:
- Send and receive communication
- Manage bookkeeping
- Schedule daily tasks
- Research and collect information
- Work part-time remotely
As you can see, virtual assistants are quite different in how they work and tasks they take on, but both are responsible for managing their client’s schedule—which is where calendar management skills come into play.
Here are a few simple best practices for calendar management for executive assistants and virtual assistants.
Best Practices for How Executive Assistants & Virtual Assistants Can Master Calendar Management
As someone who has over 20 years of experience as an Executive Assistant, I have seen my fair share of calendar management problems.
One common problem is double booking. I’ve navigated this situation more than once, and here are a few ways I’ve handled it:
- I always connect with my client’s immediately to notify them their schedule is double booked. The sooner the better, and this allows the client to plan ahead.
- Ask my client what appointment is more important, and if another person on their team can attend one of the meetings in their place. This puts them in the driver’s seat.
- Reschedule one of the appointments, depending on priority.
All of these methods can resolve double booking issues. Use your judgment and relationship with your client to make a decision.
Another good idea is to block off time on your client’s calendar that includes traveling to and from the meeting and allowance if it goes over. Time blocks are my secret weapon for keeping clients on track.
Additionally, you’ll want to confirm appointments the day before they’re scheduled. This gives your client more breathing room if appointments fall through, and keeps their daily schedule up to date.
The Most Important Skill in Calendar Management
Calendar management skills essentially boil down to communication skills. If you can’t communicate with your client, there’s no way you can keep their calendar organized. Focus on staying in daily contact with your client to be the best executive assistant or virtual assistant you can be.
In my own practice, I communicate with my clients as often as needed to secure their schedules. If you do the same, I can promise you they’ll be happy with your work.