The world of work is changing and it’s changing fast! Thanks to technology and work that’s more knowledge-oriented, there’s no reason for you to be tied to a specific place of work. You could be traveling the world, lounging on the beach or simply chilling on a couch. Sounds good right?
Well it’s eminently possible these days, if you have the right tools to make it all work for you. Each Digital Nomad eventually develops a mix of tools that fits their needs and profession, but these ten tools are essential to anyone looking to get into that digital nomad lifestyle.
Cloud Collaboration Tools
No person is an island and if you want to work, more often than not it’s going to be in collaboration with a team. There are many cloud-based collaboration suites out there, but these are the biggest, most mainstream options from the world’s tech giants.
If you have a Gmail account, you already have access to the full Google Suite of online applications. This includes Google Docs, which is a great, streamlined word processor.
Google Docs is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to work with someone on a document and since it is completely free you have no excuse not to try it and the other components of the Google Suite at least once.
Of course, there’s something to be said for good old Microsoft Office. It’s remains the vanilla standard for general productivity. However, modern Office isn’t your grandparents’ Clippy-cursed desktop software anymore.
Office 365 has now moved into the cloud for good and you can experience almost the full-fat working drone experience with just a web-browser and an internet connection. Unlike the Google Suite though, you need to pay a subscription fee.
On the bright side, this also lets you download the traditional Office applications, provides oodles of cloud storage and a sizable list of value added features. If you don’t mind spending a few dollars every month, it definitely worth a look. It has some great multi-user plans where one fee can outfit an entire team or family with software and services.
Cloud Storage Tools
Don’t copy that floppy! Oh the heady days of physical media storage. These days even capacious USB thumb drives are becoming an uncommon sight. Instead it’s easier to simply keep your files safely in the cloud.
As a digital nomad, these cloud storage services have become a lifeline. From keeping digital copies of crucial travel documents to letting you share and receive work-related files, you can’t live the life without some cloud in your life.
Included as part of the aforementioned Google Suite, this is a great option and won’t cost you a cent. Google is always adding more space as well and at the time of writing there was about 17GB of storage available.
You can store just about any file in your Google Drive and recently an application that allows for offline syncing has been made available. Obviously it’s also perfectly integrated with other Google apps.
The industry standard in cloud storage solutions. DropBox only offers about 2GB of storage on the free tier, but has some of the best Windows and mobile integration.
Syncing is flawless and the company is constantly adding more web-based features and smart indexing of your information. They also have a Google Docs-like equivalent, Dropbox Paper.
OneDrive has a free option of 15GB a month, but you can pay for up to 6TB or get it as part of an Office 365 subscription.
While it’s a little behind Google or DropBox in terms of elegance or intelligence, OneDrive offers amazing value per GB. The personal plan nets you Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive for the price of a fancy coffee every month.
Thanks to a rise in digital nomads, a new business as emerged. Entire companies now exist where you can simply show up, book some office space and get down to business for a few hours.
You can get air conditioning, internet access and printing facilities for a reasonable, tax-deductible fee. Coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, but finding one on your travels can be tricky.
DropDesk lets you find coworking spaces easily all over the USA. It’s got an easy filter system and clear photos to show you exactly what you are getting.
It’s a pity it’s not an international service, but if you’re touring around the Land of the Free, it’s a neat way to find a desk.
If your needs are a little more international, then Coworker is just the ticket. From New York to Hong Kong, there’s a massive list of interesting places to do your job.
Coworker operates in 163 countries, which is amazing since there are 195 countries in total.
As a digital nomad, you’re probably doing some sort of gig-economy work yourself, so it’s rather appropriate that you make use of these services to support your remote, digital career.
After all, if you’re moving from one place to the next while working online, you will need transport and a place to stay. Luckily the gig-economy is here to save the day.
If you’re very mobile, then the traditional rental and lease business isn’t always a good fit. AirBnB is an app service that lets you easily find private accommodation just about anywhere in the world. I
It’s also host to some of the most interesting and quirky places to stay. A perfect fit for a nomad.
Rental cars are insanely expensive and as a nomad you don’t need to own a vehicle. So a service like Uber is perfect to take your from your AirBnB to your coworking space.
Stopping for some a skinny latte on the way there. Heaven.
Of course, if you want to be a digital nomad, you have to get remote work! UpWork is the biggest platform for online, remote freelance work. If you have the skills to pay the bills, someone on UpWork will pay for them.
It’s by far not the only option – Fiverr is also another possibility – but any nomadic newbies could do worse than starting here.
Wherever I May Roam
The world belongs to all of us, so why not get to see it while you have the chance? We don’t have to be anchored to a place by our jobs and life’s too short not to see the planet.
So pack that laptop, charge that smartphone and pick up the airline tickets.
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