Essential Tools for Digital Nomads
Does the idea of a life on the road, constant travel and working from anywhere in the world (instead of stuck in the same office, every day) appeals to you?
If it does, there’s a way you can conciliate hard work and world traveling – it’s called Digital Nomadism (if you want to know more about what you need to be a digital nomad, check out this clarifying article from Web Work Travel).
It probably sounds pretty exciting to be perpetually traveling, getting to know new people, new cultures, new awesome places…and all that while working and earning your livelihood.
If you don’t have the right tools, however, this mission can seem rather impossible – digital nomads constantly have to deal with time zone conversions (ensuring you don’t miss a deadline in Australia while you’re in California), communication issues (it may get pretty hard to talk to a customer that’s on a timezone 12h ahead or behind you) and all other regular traveler’s ordeals, such as keeping track of flight dates and times.
Digital Nomads also tend to be their own boss, outsourcing jobs and working for multiple clients at the same time. This too can be awesome and terrible, if you don’t use the correct tools to manage all your jobs and tasks.
To make life (and work) on the road easier, we’ve put together a list of apps that can make all the difference between total mayhem and an organized life for digital nomads. Check it out!
Top Tools for Digital Nomads
Nomad List is an awesome web service that provides a list of cities complete with information on whether they’re friendly to digital nomads and remote workers in general.
You can use a numerous amount of filters to find out the best places to visit (and work): filter by month of visit, life cost, weather conditions, proximity to your home country, continent and other relevant information such as the availability of places to work (at least 4 co-working spaces, for example), whether the city is safe in terms of violence and crime, whether the locals are friendly to digital nomads and much more.
The website is constantly expanding, free and very useful, listing up-to-date information on the best co-working spaces, cafes to work from and much more (it even gives you tips on the nightlife and cultural events).
Being a digital nomad means you probably spend a fair amount of your time traveling – ok, I guess that does without saying.
As a person that loves traveling (but slightly lacks on organizational skills), I can safely say that having a travel planner app can make all the difference in your life – and Tripit is the best one out there.
Instead of juggling numerous flight and hotel booking confirmations all over your email inbox you should try this fast (and free!) planner – it’s complete with offline capabilities so you’re not blind without your travel plans if you don’t have internet access.
All you have to do is forward all your confirmations (transport, lodging, car rental, etc.) to Tripit and it’ll turn it into an easy to follow itinerary. The best part about it, though, is that it allows you to set up notifications so you’re guaranteed not to miss your flight because you got your timezones mixed up.
Digital Nomads are always looking for new places to travel to – to do that, Google offers an awesome tool called Google Flights that helps you find the best destinations to travel to at all times of the year – also the ones with the cheapest flights to!
Besides helping you define the best – and cheapest – time of the year for your dream trip to Iceland, also provides a lot of useful touristic information about your preferred cities. It’s definitely a must-have for all world travelers and digital nomads.
Yes, I know how biased it may seem to include Pipefy in this list but I ensure you, I’m not just advertising my product. Pipefy’s structure allows you to manage everything you want, from creating separate pipes for each different customer to know what’s next on your to-do list to reporting to your boss and keeping track of flight dates and times.
While living and working everywhere you need a simple tool that allows you to easily manage yourself: Pipefy’s simple, intuitive interface allows for a short learning curve with the maximum return with the lesser effort.
Instead of constantly dealing with tons of apps, email threads and post-it notes glued all over your notebook, what about organizing all that in a platform that makes it easier to collaborate (with associates and clients), easily keeping track of all project’s steps and exchanging ideas and notes where they need to be, instead of spread all over a generic task board?
On Pipefy you’re able to create as many Pipes (processes) as you wish to and keep track of everything you need to keep track of while on the road, both personal and professional tasks.
I’m not even sure how many times I’ve written about Evernote on my blogposts but it’s only fair I do it: I would be completely lost in my work without it (and I’m not even a Digital Nomad…not yet, anyway ? ).
Evernote is hands down the best way to keep track of your personal and professional organization – think of it as your life organizer where you can add notes, audio, images and much more.
What’s best about it, though, is that you can access all your notes synced all across your many devices – no more wondering where you put the meeting notes you took on your cell phone while working at a cafe – store it all on Evernote and stop losing precious time looking for lost information.
Work Hard Anywhere is a great directory for you to find work-friendly spaces all over the word. According to the information on their website, WHA is:
a community of creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who work beyond the corporate cubicle. […]It will help the community easily share and explore great spots to get work done, so they can focus on what’s truly important: the work itself.
They’ve built an app that allows people in their community connect even further. Make sure you will never again find yourself frustrated from not being able to find a good work space or a work-friendly cafe when traveling to a new city.
One of the downsides of the digital nomad lifestyle is that, since you’re constantly traveling through different time zones, jetlag may get to you at times, making you work long hours at night at a time it wold be day on your previous destination.
One of the many useful tools to tackle the difficulties of working at all times out there is f.lux – it’s an awesome tool that adapts the color of your computer screen to the time of the day – warmer at night and brighter during the day.
Proper time management can be one of the biggest struggles in the life of all digital nomads (and digital workers altogether). Haven’t you ever found yourself aimlessly staring at your laptop screen for 8h without having anything done? There are many digital distractions and entertaining possibilities, how could you not get distracted?
If that situation is common in your day-to-day life, maybe it’s time you tried a time management app such as Rescue Time. According to the information on their website:
RescueTime helps you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.
It’s a simple app that helps you keep track of your time and productivity – by installing it on all your devices, you’ll have a weekly accurate report of how much time you’ve spent doing what (losing time going through your facebook timeline, for example ? ).
Knowing how many productive hours a day you get is a great way for giving your clients accurate deadlines and eliminating all non-work-related activities during your working hours.
Even though life on the road doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living off freelance jobs, if you are, Upwork is a great alternative to offer your talents and find yourself great clients, as well as grow your own freelance business.
WIth Upwork you have the freedom of choosing the projects you’ll work at – clients are constantly posting jobs in the hundreds of skill categories available.
Life on the road has many perks but it also comes with a few difficulties – keeping track of your and your customer’s time zones can be one of those struggles – you may end up getting meeting hours mixed up, missing deadlines and sending many emails at the wrong time of the day.
Every Time Zone is the solution to that problem – with it, you can add as many time zones as you wish so you’re always able to communicate with people from all over the world at appropriate times.