What is a Virtual Assistant?


A personal assistant or personal aide (PA) is someone who assists in daily business or personal tasks. It is common in design to have a PDA, or personal design assistant.

For example, a businessman or businesswoman may have a personal assistant to help with time and daily management, scheduling of meetings, correspondence, and note taking. There are also personal assistants who work specifically for disabled people, and whose salaries may be paid by an individual or by social services on an individual’s behalf. The role of a personal assistant can be varied, such as answering phone calls, taking notes, scheduling meetings, etc.

In business or personal contexts, personal assistants are people who provide services that relieve his or her “employer” from tasks that are associated with managing one’s personal and/or business life. They assist with a variety of life management tasks, including running errands, arranging travel (e.g., travel agent services such as purchasing plane tickets, reserving hotel rooms and rental cars, and arranging activities, as well as handling more localized services such as recommending a different route to work based on road or travel conditions), finance (paying bills, buying and selling stocks), shopping (meal planning, “remembering” special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries and purchasing gifts) and fitness (exercise monitoring and motivation, as a personal trainer may do).