Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: I feel perpetually overwhelmed. I know that it won't always be like this. If I can just hold on for another decade or so, I'm sure things will ease up .... So when a friend mentioned "virtual assistants," I thought it was worth a look. I couldn't believe that there were sites that would complete personal tasks for you for $2! Not personal tasks like giving the dog a bath, but personal tasks like researching hotels and plumbers, buying gifts and making appointments. I found four sites that fill the bill: ihabilis.com, getfriday.com, asksunday.com and redbutler.com. Only getfriday.com requires a signed contract. There is also a site -- domystuff.com -- that allows you to do the outsourcing for others.
Reviews for all the sites are good, and I plan on trying them out for the research projects that often take me a lot of time (such as finding a good review and, subsequently, a good deal on an appliance). If you have used any of these sites, I would love to hear your opinion!
I also plan on doing some local outsourcing: A neighborhood teenager is going to make some family photo albums that I have been putting off. And of course I shouldn't forget that I have a few potential assistants actually living with me. Today, they came up and said one of the nicest things a mother could hear: "What can we do to help?"