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Founder of Sigrid.AI, Paul's To-Do list

Did you know that the Sigrid.AI vision builds on founder, Paul Østergaard's experience being supported remotely by a virtual executive assistant for more than a decade?
 
His remote EA, Sigrid, ran his life behind the scenes during his 250+ days of international travel a year while building his previous company, ShipServ.
 
Since stepping down as CEO of ShipServ, Paul has co-founded/invested in several new tech-companies and is an active board member and a frequent traveler. His daughter studies in the UK, and he is expecting his second child soon. He lives in Denmark.
 
Paul has been a user of Sigrid.AI from the start ("eating his own dog food" as they say).

I ask my remote assistant to manage my Office 365 calendar

  • Reach out and schedule meetings and other events with prospects, clients, my remote team, job applicants, business partners, etc.,
  • Block time in my calendar as soon as an appointment becomes likely (to avoid double-booking),
  • Manage mine and my wife's shared calendar, and
  • Manage the schedule I share with my daughter.

My whole life is reflected in my Office 365 calendar which I access from an iPhone, an iPad, and my laptop. I travel a lot across different time zones which can get confusing, so it is invaluable that my assistant keeps me updated at all times about meetings, flight-departures, events, etc.

Book accommodation and rental cars

  • Compare prices,
  • Recommend and book hotels,
  • Recommend and book Airbnb's, and
  • Recommend and book rental cars.
All of this both for business trips and family vacations.
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Manage my receipts and process my expenses

  • Manage my receipts,
  • Process travel expenses,
  • Prepare bi-monthly expense reports, and
  • Log expenses against correct companies, projects, and accounting codes.

I send a photo of the receipt to my remote assistant when I pay for something, and then I sign off on the expense report on a bi-monthly basis. Because my assistant has access to my calendar, I don't need to explain which project/accounting code to assign an expense to.

Plan and schedule ground transportation from point A to point B

  • Find and evaluate transportation options,
  • Suggest means of transport, and
  • Estimate transportation time and block my calendar upfront.

This is especially handy when I travel to new cities. With tools like Google Maps, my assistant has access to up-to-date traffic conditions everywhere.

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Manage my schedule proactively, and continuously plan, block and schedule meetings and events ahead of time in my online calendar

  • Reach out via email and phone,
  • Coordinate meeting attendance,
  • Ensure all logistics run smoothly (dial-in details, white-board markers, 10 am coffee, etc),
  • Manage cancellations, and
  • Reschedule meetings and events.

It's not just meetings with clients and partners. It's business meeting travel dates, my daughter's dance lessons in London and her exams, weekly catch-up calls with my remote team, doctor's appointments, my yoga classes, guitar classes, haircut, barbershop, etc.

Purchase my airline tickets

  • I ask my EA to find and recommend airline tickets for me,
  • To manage the booking,
  • Check me in,
  • Make sure I get my preferred seat on the plane every time,
  • Manage upgrades and lounge access,
  • Manage loyalty programs,
  • Manage rebooking for me, as well as
  • Manage cancellations and reimbursements.
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Remind me of recurring meetings and events

  • I.e., my daughter’s school schedule, scheduled exams, when I am needed in attendance at the school, her singing performances throughout the year,
  • Birthdays,
  • My employee’s anniversaries,
  • Doctor’s appointments, and
  • Names of the children of people I meet, and their birthdays.

Stuff I want to remember.

File and save scans of important documents for me

Some documents are essential when you travel for business. I want to have easy access to these documents no matter where I am:

  • A copy of my Passport,
  • A copy of the relevant visa,
  • Virtual debit cards and payment details,
  • Details about loyalty programs,
  • Booking details for everything from flights to hotels, cars, events, etc., and
  • Even documentation about stuff I have purchased online.

We use 1Password for sensitive info (the best in the market now) and Dropbox/Onedrive and my calendar for the rest.

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Reminders

Remind me of events,
Anniversaries,
Appointments,
Dinner dates and parties, etc.

All the essential stuff that shows you care while being away a lot of the time.

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Research stuff for me online

Compare prices, 
Manage orders, and
Manage the shipment of, i.e., books on Amazon.

I love to read.

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Manage online subscriptions and memberships

I ask my remote assistant to keep an eye on online memberships, to keep them current,
Remind me to sign off on memberships, subscriptions, and apps in time if I haven’t used them for the last six months,
Renewal of memberships, or
Subscribing to new memberships and subscriptions.

For this, I use a Virtual Debit Card.

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Set up conference calls

Manage new and recurring meetings and events with; new clients, existing clients, business partners, and applicants.

We use Zoom. I find it to be the best conference call software on the market right now.

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Coordinate and schedule interviews with new applicants

I ask my remote assistant to screen candidates,
Create shortlists,
Book a slot in my calendar for interviews, and
Set up conference calls.

We use Workable to manage the hiring process; it's super smart when you are collaborating as a remote team, and I can do it while I am traveling via the app on my iPhone. 

 

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