Question What supplies do you Absolutely Need to Start?

Amy Kay

Good Morning. I'm new here and reading as many threads as I can and trying to take it all in. I'm just exploring being a VA, in a way I already am... I've been doing certain kinds of work for a few "friends" that have businesses (for a few years now) and am beginning to explore the in's and out's of having an actual business.

Where do I find the Jumpstart guide? I Googled it and it seems like there are a few of them?

Anyhow I just wanted to say I'm enjoying the forum and it's giving me a great view of being a VA.

Hi Susan!
The Jumpstart is actually a live class that a few of the stellar VA's have offered here through the VA Forums. I believe you can find all the classes and e-books in the store here.


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I invested in a very comfortable, supportive office chair and desk with a proper desklamp for those late nights :)
I also keep an electronic folder for all my e-books ranging from blogging to attracting clients to SEO management. You can never have enough information!


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Amy, I just got a Staples flyer in my email and they've got a couple of nice coupons for discounts onToshiba external hard drives. If you don't get the staples flyer, you may want to check on their website. The coupons are good through 3/16.

I saw that and immediately thought of you.


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Julie identified a terrific list, and Luz hit the nail on the head with a comfortable place to sit. I sooooo need a new chair!

Like Beatrice, I started gathering data on paper (like the notecards) until it got too overwhelming. So I gathered it all up and created a MS OneNote notebook and created a different tab for each subject (website, SEO, marketing, rfp ideas, etc.). You can copy url's directly to the notebook for future reference. I find I refer to it often, and eventually I will get to all the cool things I discovered.
I LOVE one note. Other than the ease of getting information together, you can also convert your tabs into PDF files for e-mails or just to take with you on the go (if needed). I would highly recommend One Note.


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Wow Alice! Thank you for all the great tips!:) I too kind of like writing things....I'm kind of a "pen junkie" lol I love using different kinds of pens to write. I know about Google Drive and Drop Box, but what kind of external hard drive do you have? Are they expensive?
External hard drives have come down a lot in recent years. Depending on how much information you need to backup, 1 TB might be a bit large (worth it though) but if your tight on cash you could start with a 500 GB and upgrade later.

My husband & I have been using our external for years now and what we do is once a month (or if we do a large project) we backup our computers, then the external hard drive sits at the bank in a safety security box. That way it's a bit more secure.

I should mention, we do have a 2nd external that we also use that we keep at the house in case of emergencies and if we couldn't get to the bank or if it would be closed :)


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The absolute of equipment is a computer. ;-) Then software may vary on the types of services you offer. Always try to get a the lowest version available for your software. ie: I just upgraded my computer and now it has windows 8 on it, but my skype for some reason will not recognize the webcam on win 8 only on win 7/xp. I now have to use my cell phone or my older computer to skype my clients or use Oovoo (which is a similar webcam cumminications like skype).


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A good place to sit. I don't mean a whole office deal but a place where you can sit for a long time comfortable and undisturbed. Think about ergonomics a little. I learned the hard way that my kitchen table made my neck hurt after a while. Just need to try different spots to see what is more comfortable. That, and the obvious computer, internet connection...

I am just getting started myself so thank you for reminding me about that one!!! You will not be as productive if you are not comfortable.


This is all great advice. I especially need to organize all my notes, ideas, sites, etc.. I just keep bookmarking pages and snapping pics with my phone of things to remember. It has overwhelmed me. I don't know where to start because my head is spinning in different directions.

Dave Ramsey says if you try to do too many things at once, nothing gets done. He's so right. I think I will work on that tomorrow.

VA Karen

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I haven't started yet, but this will list will benefit me too when I get ready. Also would like to add, I keep a folder on my browser for other VA's websites, in case I come across a client requesting a service that I don't do, I can refer them to another VA.

Good luck and best wishes,


A second monitor (or system is great) - it is so helpful when I am doing coding and can look on a separate screen to view the site while making changes to the css/etc vs having a ton of tabs open on one computer and going back and forth

also love evernote (still learning the ins and outs) but I do like my 'old school' supplies and am a total pen junkie like Alice (check out - I could spend all my $$$ there)

the other thing I had for my own use last year is a dry erase wall calendar - it was a pretty large calendar and was a 'wall cling' so I could peel off the backing and put it on my wall next to teh computer without nails (sort of like a large sticky postit but it was a calendar) I think I got it at one of the office supply online stores - very helpful to see dates/etc...
If I could go back and give myself a hint it would be 2 external hard drives. One to work on and one to backup to. That way I keep only personal files on my desktop/laptop, I have all my client's files no matter which computer I use and all those extra files do not slow down my computer's speed.

Also, I am a huge fan of OneNote. I keep notebooks for personal, business and clients. In business I have sections for website content, social media/marketing, training, ideas, etc. In the client notebook I keep a separate section for each client as well as one for potential clients with a new page for each potential client communications. I will general keep notes of brain storming sessions and To-Do lists for my clients in OneNote, then do all the actual work in their file on the external drive.


Wow! Bless the beautiful brain behind this site! So much wonderful information to take in!! I'm checking out Evernote too (now)!


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Amy Kay, a great resource I have found for business books is Scribd. If you become a premium member for $9 a month, you have a myriad of books and papers you can download for no additional cost. You can find them at


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There's a lot of useful information here.

I do have a question tho. Did you guys get everything before you started or did you gather things as you went?