Information, Tips, Advice, and Resources for Administrative Assistants and Executive Assistants

This is…

…information that makes you think.

…information that is practical and can be applied in your administrative job performance and career management.

…information that benefits both you and your employer.

This is Professional Development and Online Training Resources for Administrative Professionals (all levels, all titles of admins)

by Karen Porter, advisor at to assistants globally since 2004.

Note: All online subscription/membership options below include access to the 60+ back issues of The Effective Admin newsletter full of advice and tips for administrative assistants and executive assistants.

Get Hundreds of Tips in These Resources Described Below!

Dear Administrative Professional,

What do you want to know?

I’ve been providing tips and advice to administrative assistants and executive assistants since 2004. My Virtual Association for Administrative professionals (VAAP) private member eLearning Web site has information, advice, tips and resources to help you excel as an administrative professional in your workplace and career.

At the VAAP private member eLearning Web site, you can read hundreds of simple strategies and tips that can make you more efficient and effective in your administrative assistant or executive assistant role starting now. The VAAP private member Web site is the ultimate repository of information, tips and advice for career-minded, hardworking administrative and executive assistants (and similar titles).

And it’s easy to access and use. You simply log on to the VAAP member site with the provided password, and then read and learn–and, of course, apply some of the tips to your administrative role and workplace. Small tips and changes you implement can make BIG improvements in your efficiency and effectiveness at work in your administrative role and in your career management efforts. That is good for both you and your employer!


The VAAP private member site contains knowledge and tips categorized into 11 general topic areas important to the administrative role and career. You will learn about…

►Business Writing Skills
►Career Management Skills
►Health, Safety, Security, and Well-being
►Interpersonal and Communication Skills
►Manager/Executive Support Skills
►Managerial Skills for Admins
►Meeting and Event Planning, Coordination and Participation Skills
►Office Technology and Technical Skills
►Organizational Skills
►Time and Workload Management Skills
►Travel Planning and Coordination Skills

You will read advice and learn tips to help you…

…set goals as an admin. 

…prioritize your workload.

…make your ideas heard.

…manage your boss’s e-mail.

…make better workplace decisions. 

…be a good gatekeeper. 

…coordinate travel plans. 

…be a partner to your executive. 

…support multiple managers. 

…be more assertive. 

…manage stress at the desk.

…handle unrealistic (and realistic) deadlines. 

…organize the office. 

…plan and set up meetings. 

…coordinate events.

…manage your executive’s calendar.

…manage your time better.

…keep up with technology.

…improve your business writing skills.

…communicate better with coworkers and managers.

…build business relationships.

…stand out at work.

…add value to your executive and the company.

…recognize your own accomplishments.

…manage your workload efficiently. 

…get more respect at work. 

…ask for a raise. 

…take better minutes.  

…advance in your career. 

…be a better administrative assistant or executive assistant.

…and more (lots more!)

You will read tips submitted by your administrative colleagues and in their own words about…

…how they respond when something goes wrong at work.

…how they stay organized in their administrative roles and jobs.

…how they saved their company money while working in their administrative roles.

…what are their favorite technology tips.

…how they read their manager’s or executive’s mind in their efforts to support.

…what advice they suggest for newcomers to the administrative profession.

…what makes their business relationship with their manager or executive (or others) they support a successful one.

…ways they’ve made their offices operate more efficiently or ways they’ve made someone they support operate more effectively or efficiently.

(This is in the Admin to Admin/Submit Your Tips section at the member Web site.)

You will read advice from Karen Porter, VAAP owner and also advisor to administrative professionals globally since 2004. Some of the one-on-one questions I have answered, for instance, in just the Admin Pro Coach column of The Effective Admin Newsletter are about…

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses How to Persuade Manager to Meet With Admin Weekly

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses Is it Appropriate to Make Suggestions Regarding My Executive’s Wardrobe

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses What to do in Board Meeting Minutes After Loss of Quorum

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses Recovering Workplace Bully Victim Asks How to Explain Poor Performance to the Boss and Move Forward

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses How to Work With an Executive Who Communicates in a Passive Aggressive Manner

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses Does Age 50+ Spell Doom for Admin Who Still Has Career Aspirations

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses How to Get the Other Assistants to Share My Work Ethic and Professionalism

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses Staff Relocating; Assistant Asks How to Best Support Them Remotely

…Admin Pro Coach Addresses What are Your Recommendations for Turnaround Time on Various Administrative Tasks

…And many more; questions from administrative professionals requesting my advice range from practical on-the-job function matters to administrative role and career advice. In fact, I’ve responded to (and posted) more than 60 questions so far solely in the Admin Pro Coach column in The Effective Admin newsletter (all posted at the VAAP site for your reading). And there are more such responses posted in other sections at the VAAP site (such as responses/advice to admins from me that I reprint from my personal e-mails or my posts in online group forum discussions). Perhaps you’ll find the answer to the question you’ve been wanting to ask–a lot of questions have been answered from 2004 until now (and all questions and responses are posted at the VAAP private member Web site).

Plus this:

News, trends and product briefs related to the separate topics of technology and travel. These are just a few descriptive sentences with links to the sources of the information.

–Information with research and trends such as administrative job titles, where to find salary information, administrative skills in demand, and facts about administrative professionals.

–200+ links to Web-based resources and tools related to…

…Clipart, Icons, Photos and Images
…Job Search Resources
…Meeting and Event Planning and Coordination
…Online Learning
…Travel Planning

Those are URLs to outside resources of potential usage to administrative professionals.

–In addition there are publications (PDF format) tips booklets, special reports, lists, eBook, etc.) on the site and more article and tips content not specifically listed here on this page; however, on the VAAP member site you can access all of this information from the front page, and also much is organized into 11 departments at the VAAP member site: ►Business Writing Skills; ►Career Management Skills; ►Health, Safety, Security, and Well-being; ►Interpersonal and Communication Skills; ►Manager/Executive Support Skills; ►Managerial Skills for Admins; ►Meeting and Event Planning, Coordination and Participation Skills; ►Office Technology and Technical Skills; ►Organizational Skills; ►Time and Workload Management Skills; ►Travel Planning and Coordination Skills.

This is all information you can implement in your own administrative job, role and career. Don’t just read about it; implement it! Put your own twist on the tips as needed and put them to work for you in your workplace and career management. Make the tips and advice work for you and/or your employer. 1) Log-in to VAAP member site; 2) Browse; 3) Read; 4) Learn; and 5) Implement the ideas in your work life.

This is a screenshot of the front page of the VAAP private members eLearning Web site:


To access the private site, you’ll be given a username and password. Log in and browse, read, and learn. It’s that simple.

This is all information, tips and resources that will help you perform your administrative job better and manage your career.

check In addition to the thousands of tips and article content already at the VAAP Web site, you also will receive a current issue of The Effective Admin newsletter every other month (digital PDF format, 8 pages). Archives of this newsletter go back many years and are already posted at the VAAP member site. The newsletter is produced specifically for administrative assistants and executive assistants and offers articles, tips and advice to help you on the job and with managing your career (as does all of the content posted at the VAAP member Web site).

The newsletter contains tips in regular columns on software and business writing plus more short columns and tips.

In addition, every issue contains a two-page feature article. Some recent articles (that you can still read in the newsletter archives) are these:

  • Two ways to simplify your work life so you can be a more efficient, stress-free administrative professional.
  • The roles perception and perception management play in your profesional image in the workplace.
  • Step by step workplace goal setting advice for administrative professionals.
  • The importance of maintaining and improving attention to detail for admin professionals and how to do it.
  • How an assistant can grow within the role, and not beyond it.
  • What is information overload, and what can you do about it?
  • Three ways to work better with other assistants in your company, and manage and develop relationships with them.
  • How to use role reversal as a technique to improve your job performance and meet workplace and career goals.
  • Embracing frustration in your administrative workplace, job and career.
  • What it means to be both effective and efficient in your administrative role.

check Plus when you join VAAP as an individual for a 12-months membership, you will be issued a membership certificate (company rate memberships and associate memberships don’t get the certificate). All individual VAAP members get a digital membership certificate. Frame it, display it, put it in your career portfolio — demonstrate that you continuously learn in your administrative field to maintain your expertise. Small moves like this distinguish you in your career and give you an edge. This certificate figuratively says, “I keep up with best practices in my administrative professional career. I continuously learn.”

The best administrative professionals never stop learning.


Are you ready to learn tips to help you be more efficient and effective in your administrative work and career?

If so, sign up to access VAAP educational and informational resources by choosing whichever one of the following three options describes you or your needs:

Join Now

NOTE: If paying direct by credit card (vs. through PayPal), be sure to use the exact address (i.e. street, zip code) that matches what’s on your credit card issuers billing statements to you; otherwise your order will fail to process and not complete.

Download Here!

Pay with Pay With PayPal or Pay with Visa, MasterCard or Amex

Choose just one of the options below:


Access all of the content at the VAAP member site for 3 months. Individual associate membership.

Individual (as in “just you”) is a 3-month associate VAAP membership subscription for $99. With this option, you will not be a full-time (i.e. 12-month/annual VAAP member) but instead you will be an associate VAAP member; therefore, I cannot issue you the VAAP membership certificate mentioned earlier, and you will not get the ongoing subscription to The Effective Admin newsletter. But YOU WILL GET access to the VAAP private member Web site for three months (i.e. 90 days) and all the professional development and training resources currently posted there, including 60+ back issues of The Effective Admin newsletter. (There is no auto renewal; so at the end of 3 months if you choose to renew, you just subscribe again.)


Access all of the content at the VAAP member site for 12 months. Full individual membership.

Individual (as in “just you”) is a 12-month VAAP membership subscription. The cost is $13.75/month payable as a one-time payment of $165. (There is no auto renewal; so at the end of 12 months if you choose to renew, you just subscribe again.) This includes access to the VAAP private member Web site and so all the professional development and training resources currently posted there, a current subscription to The Effective Admin newsletter (PDF format), and a VAAP membership certificate in your name (PDF format).


Access and share all of the content at the VAAP member site with coworkers/employees for 12 months. Company membership.

Company (as in “you’re free to share and distribute these resources to everyone and anyone in your company”) is a 12-month VAAP membership subscription for $497. This includes access to the VAAP private member Web site and a current subscription to The Effective Admin newsletter (PDF format). But you will not get a VAAP membership certificate because the certificates are only for individuals, not companies. With a company membership you have my permission (license) to distribute the VAAP resources to every employee in your company (or just the administrative professionals in your company if you want). This is the membership you need to buy when you need to ask me “How can I share these VAAP resources with my coworkers or all the other admins in my company?”


**You will get an electronic receipt and download instructions in your e-mail within minutes after payment. Download the membership document from your shopping cart within 24 hours, or preferably right away. It only takes seconds to download it or print the document, and it will only be available as a live download link in your shopping cart for 24 hours. The document contains the information you need to access the private VAAP member site, such as the URL, username and password.

If you have any issues with your order, e-mail Karen Porter at Also contact me at this e-mail if you need an invoice and/or W9 form.

Errors? Order not completing? Check the billing address you are inputting. If paying direct by credit card (vs. through PayPal), be sure to use the exact address (i.e. street, zip code) that matches what’s on your credit card issuers billing statements to you; otherwise your order will fail to process and not complete.

This check out and payment process is secure. When you click the buy now link, you will be taken to your shopping cart page with your ordered items. You can make adjustments to your cart there as needed such as change quantities, remove items, add coupon codes if any, and recalculate the total if needed.

Then when you click further in this process to actually check out with your items—that is to complete and submit your name, address, e-mail, and payment information—you will be taken to a page that is in compliance with all online and credit card security measures to place payment. Your information is secure!


“Karen, you have been supplying each of us in the administrative support roles since 2004 with exactly what we needed to make our success possible.”

“Some of the things written were simple ideas and things that we already knew but refreshed what’s often forgotten. I appreciate the organizational tips that I hadn’t thought of that are especially useful while supporting multiple executives. Your publications have become a reference book for my top drawer! I especially enjoy the spelling and grammar refreshers that we may have forgotten since school.

I appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and personal time given in each of your publications. Your passion to share and mentor those in our field is evident and very much appreciated….” –With the utmost admiration and gratitude, Dawn Hill, executive assistant, Atlanta, Georgia

“I Have Already Found So Much Information That I Can Use”

“I have been receiving your newsletters for quite some time now and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I had a membership with another organization for admins, but did not really get much from the website to enhance my knowledge or skills. I am so glad that I reviewed your membership page before thinking of renewing that membership. I have already found so much information that I can use, and I’ve only checked out two tabs! Thank you for gathering and putting this information out there. I wish I had had the sense to utilize it years ago!” —Elizabeth P. Hennessey, administrative assistant to the dean, Fort Worth, Texas

 Subscribe to VAAP online membership now if…

♦ …you want practical information that will help you perform your administrative professional job better and manage your administrative career.

♦ …you want to know how to do a better job, a faster or more efficient job, or advance in your career or make the most of your current position.

♦ …you are an administrative professional of any job title or level–and whether you’ve been in an administrative role for one year or 20 years or more. VAAP content serves all administrative levels and positions.

♦ …you love learning. These resources and materials provide professional development and training for administrative assistants and executive assistants and the many other titles that refer to administrative support positions. So if you’re an admin and you love to learn, VAAP content is made for you.

Do you want to find out if your employer will pay the cost of VAAP before you personally invest in VAAP membership?

If you are not personally investing in your professional development today and you would like to ask your employer to fund this VAAP subscription membership, please e-mail me at I will send you a sample proposal letter you can submit to your manager to request your employer pay for this VAAP subscription membership. Just ask me for the letter in your e-mail. You can use the letter word for word or edit it to better fit your writing style, tone and needs. —Karen Porter

Renewal Orders:

–All renewal rates are the same options as those above. Come back to this page to renew using those same options listed above after your membership expires if you wish to continue your membership or start again at any time.


Payments on your credit card will appear as payments to Albee Publishing Company (which is the official name of the company under which I operate The Effective Admin and Virtual Association for Administrative Professionals).



Contact Karen Porter at Expect a response from Karen Porter within 24 to 72 hours (yes…I answer my own e-mail, so if you have a question about the VAAP resources on this page, don’t hesitate to write to me).

If you’re joining VAAP, thank you for your order today. You will be amazed at the amount of information and tips at the VAAP Private Member eLearning Community you are about to access.


 “VAAP Has Helped Me With My Job”

“I renewed my subscription this past Sunday. I really enjoy being a part of VAAP. It has helped me with my job over the past two years. Thank you, Karen.”–Linda R. Albrecht, Saint Louis, Missouri

“I Can’t Wait to Spend More Time on the Site!”

“Thank you, Karen. I had the opportunity yesterday to start perusing the eLearning Community and was impressed with the content. I love to read and learn and I can’t wait to spend more time on the site!” —Allison Poorman, executive assistant, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania