The role of office administrator is defined differently in most companies. For some, the role combines elements of an office manager, group assistant and financial officer, but no matter what tasks are required, the office administrator must be many things, including:
- A competent multi-tasker
- A clear and effective communicator
- An agile learner with many skills
- A flexible employee
- A well organised team player
We’ve put together a list of the best tools for office administrators, for efficient, peak performance. Comment below with the business tools you can’t live without.
You’re probably already using some form of calendar to track your tasks, but you may not be using the best one for your purposes. Whether you’re using a small paper book to keep track of meetings or just finding it hard to use the features of your online choice, there’s always more to learn.
There are so many options for digital calendars, with updates and changes happening regularly as new features become a reality.
Google Calendar is used by millions around the world, one of the many products of the Google Suite. It’s easy to set up, and lets you colour code appointments, easily send invitations, import other calendars, totally customise appointment settings and much more. If you’re looking for a straightforward option, this is the one for you.
Any.do is another popular choice, which helps organise your due tasks, creates lists and reminders and tracks your activity progress. Teamup is a flexible option that has similar features to other apps, in addition to letting you organise your team and share events.
Managing your schedule is a large part of staying on top of your workload, and for many administrators, part of the job involves managing the schedules of others, too. Using a digital calendar like the ones previously mentioned is commonplace today, but it doesn’t have to end there.
Scheduling is so much more than keeping track of appointments. It can maintain relationships, turn prospects into leads, and automate processes that waste your time.
Calendly lets you display your availability via a link, meaning colleagues, clients and customers can be prompted to book an appointment with you by reading your signature block. Other useful apps like Doodle and Cogsworth have extra customisable features, and can even turn leads into new customers.
You may be managing an entire payroll system or simply raising ad hoc invoices on occasion, but having an easy-to-use finance system will make managing payments secure and compliant. Many companies use systems that are outdated, difficult to use or completely counter intuitive, which ultimately costs those using them time, efficiency, and sometimes even sanity.
Wave provides an easy way to create and track invoices, as well as the ability to accept payments for your business. Other features include automatic accounting integration, payment reminders, tax calculations and payment receipts.
Xero offers a more comprehensive service, with a single touch payroll system used by over a million people all over the world. Not only can you create invoices and quotes, this system will allow you to manage payroll, reconcile accounts, claim expenses, create purchase orders and manage cash flow.
If your role involves setting up meetings or overseeing events, you’ll most likely need to organise catering for those attending. Sure, you can run down to your local supermarket and pick up a clearance cake, but the better option is to spend a little more and let the professionals handle it for you.
Services like Order-In allow you to choose from over 1,000 caterers from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast, Newcastle and Brisbane, which means you’ll never be stuck without the right food your occasion. They deliver straight to your office for breakfasts, lunches and office parties.
Find a good caterer in your area with a quick Google search so your office never goes hungry again.
If your office furniture is doing its job, then you probably don’t even notice it’s there half the time. Your pieces should provide comfort and support while you work, but if they don’t, you’ll spend your whole day cursing your entire workstation.
With the right office furniture contact, you’ll be able to easily update your furniture as soon as you need, without the fuss of trying out chairs for hours on end. Moreover, the right furniture will last a long time so you won’t be spending much time shopping at all.
Jason L has an extensive range of options, including:
- Office chairs, including ergonomic, drafting and mesh
- Office desks
- Office workstations
- Stand-up desks
- Office storage
- Sofas and lounges
- Whiteboards and presentation boards
- Cafe furniture
- Electrical and accessories
- Office partition screens
Shop the full range here.
Long gone are the days of face-to-face contact. Well, not quite, but the modern office has de-emphasised long meetings and impromptu phone calls, opting for online chatting and conference calls, particularly to accommodate off-shore employees.
For instant messaging, Slack is a no-brainer, giving you the flexibility to message colleagues, as well as contributing to conversations grouped by channels, so only the right people see the right messages.
For an integrated manager of employee requests, tickets and orders, try OfficeAmp for Slack.
For Social Media Management
If you ever need to post company updates, event images or business details on social media, you need a social media management system. It saves a lot of time, let’s you schedule posts in advance, and gives you a snapshot of mentions, comments and general engagement without having to log in to each social media channel individually.
Stationary is one of those terribly dull things to think about, yet most offices still require basic items like notepads, notebooks and planners. Even in a primarily paperless, digital workplace, stationary can help turn ideas into visual representations and do much more.
Mega Office Supplies is a great starting point (there’s a joke in there about a ballpoint pen but there isn’t the time!), while Milligram sells clean, high-quality and up-market items. Try Padtastic for all your personalised stationary needs.
When you’re not writing reports, taking minutes or completing data entry, you may be taking short notes, writing rough reminders or setting up to-do lists. For these less formal but still important tasks, we recommend Evernote, a simple way to organise your notes, and Wunderlist, a tool that helps you manage projects, plan activities and get things done.
Sometimes in-person signatures are easy to obtain, but what about when your boss is travelling and you need a last minute approval? Having a tool to manage this process means you’re covered when working with remote employees, but also saves time, ending the bottleneck process that is (often) getting approval from a superior. Try HelloSign for legally binding and automated signature solutions.
Expense reporting isn’t something anybody enjoys, which makes having the right system even more desirable. It's important to have the right system in place, to remain compliant and to keep track of all spending. It also makes getting reimbursed easier and faster.
Managing your own events is a big undertaking, made only more difficult by taking the ticketing in-house. While there will be an associated fee, event management programs take care of ticketing, registrations and payments, and let you add waivers, forms and countless other details. They keeps you compliant and consistent, and can often mean extra promotion for your event. Check out Eventbrite or TryBooking.
For Project Management
For some, a project management tool seems like just another cumbersome thing to use, in a day full of conflicting priorities and very little time. Setting up a project management tool, however, can completely change the way you work. They allow you to track your time, manage accountability, develop projects, communicate with colleagues and provide a transparent system of management.
Trello is the star of project management tools, with a clean and user-friendly interface that’s easy for anyone to use. Asana is another favourite of many, and provides a great platform to manage productivity, projects and daily tasks.
For Relationship Management
A customer relationship management system is pretty much essential for the modern day office. Not all are created equal, and if you’ve worked in multiple companies, you’ve probably come across the ones that promise to help you but actually waste your time, frustrate you and make your job harder than ever. Consider trying:
Insightly: securely stores information with a flexible record structure, linking feature and data modeling.
Zoho: helps you engage with leads and clients, builds a scalable sales system and offers business insights.
For many, the travel agent has become obsolete. It’s so easy to compare prices and book travel online, many no longer feel the need to consult the experts. The problem? Even if you can find the best deals, it takes a whole lot of time, organisation and planning.
Travelperk makes booking, managing and planning your business travel really straightforward, and even includes insights on optimising your travel budget. Egencia is another useful tool, which keeps your corporate travel compliant and easy to track. Read more here.
For Digital Storage
Digital security and storage are incredibly important at work. They protect your data, give you the freedom to work confidentially, and make accessing your files easy, simple and convenient.
For basic storage, Dropbox helps you organise your files in a central location, while programs like Sync provide storage, sharing and collaboration options, real time syncing and end-to-end encryption.
For Miscellaneous Items
Sometimes you need something and have no idea where to start. Maybe you’re planning a training session and need an extremely specific item, or perhaps you’re trying to find a gift for the boss who has everything. Don’t underestimate online stores like eBay and Amazon for these types of purchases.