As a digital nomad, your ability to work remotely is your superpower. Embracing the freedom of movement allows you to explore new places, connect with like-minded individuals, and find inspiration in unfamiliar surroundings. To fully thrive in this mobile world, you need the right tools by your side. Here are 6 essential tools that will enhance your digital nomad lifestyle:
1. Reliable Laptop
A powerful laptop is the cornerstone of your digital nomad journey. Look for a lightweight yet robust model that can handle demanding tasks and has long battery life. Depending on what kind of digital nomad you wish to be (Van Life, Air Life, Train Life) and how you are planning to make income, your criteria for choosing a laptop may be different. At a basic level, look for high battery life, good screen brightness in sun (matte screen with high nits), and good processing power (i7 processor or equivalent). You may consider an upgraded Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) if you are doing video editing or anything to do with 3D modeling.
Furthermore, the laptop must be small enough to fit in your backpack or suitcase and it must have an operating system that you are comfortable using. If you are a digital nomad on the content creation side, you may consider using an Apple device. In contrast, if you are more on the technical side, you may consider a Windows or Linux system. You may even choose a touch screen or a version with a pen for drawing! Many options out there.
Additionally, cost is a major consideration when choosing a laptop. Cost increases with the number of features desired. As a result, optimizing for what you will need and use while traveling full time is critical for success. Here is the laptop we decided to go with – the Asus Pro Art:
2. Portable Wi-Fi Router
This device allows you to create your own secure network, ensuring reliable internet access in any location. From personal experience, wi-fi can be hard to find. Sure, it is easy to get at your accommodation now-a-days, but the point of nomadic life is to work ANYWHERE! If you want to work on a beach, a portable wi-fi router is critical. That said, it is not free. Consider the cost of the wi-fi service in your budget and if there is coverage in the area you are going to.
There are work arounds to this, luckily! Many digital nomads use Physical or electronic SIM cards on their phone then use hotspot features to connect their computer to internet. Additionally, there are applications like Open Live Writer (if you are a blogger) that let you write blog posts without internet, then you can complete when you are back online.
Speaking of security, a virtual private network (VPN) may also be considered. To save some cost, if you are in an airport for example, you may consider connecting to a free wi-fi network. Having a VPN is key to protect your digital presence… nothing like a fake free wifi SSID from a hacker to retrieve all of your credit card and social security information when you are working. Use a VPN, please?
Section 2: Streamlining Your Workflow
Efficiency is key when you’re constantly on the move. These tools will help you streamline your workflow and stay productive:
3. Media Storage Solutions
Store your files securely and access them from anywhere with cloud storage solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive. This way, you’ll never have to worry about losing important documents. Note that you can only access cloud based storage solutions while you are on the internet. It is also useful to have a physical hard drive (preferably 1TB SSD) so you can quickly transfer pictures and videos from your memory cards, and phone, to free up space when you are getting the best shots!
Cloud based storage solutions are quite useful, but they are not free. Consider the monthly costs in your budget as your are traveling. Also, you must continue to pay the subscription or risk losing your data. We have chosen to take the physical hard drive approach for storing our data and keep a close eye on it at all times (they all have a place in our packs).
4. Project Management Tools
Prior to starting the slow travel lifestyle, I was a project manager focused on efficiency. From personal experience, I know how difficult it is to know what to do next and how to stay motivated! It is critical to keep your projects organized and collaborate seamlessly using project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Notion. These platforms help you stay on top of deadlines, assign tasks, and communicate with your team. These tools can also be used for other aspects of the nomadic lifestyle – like travel planning and travel hacking. We use Notion to organize our life, projects, and business. Reach out if you need help or templates! Glad to support.
Section 3: Building a Strong Network
A successful digital nomad understands the value of a strong network. These tools will help you connect with fellow nomads and expand your professional horizons:
5. Coworking Memberships
When you are slow traveling, you will likely have a home base for a good period of time – perhaps a month or more. Joining a coworking space not only provides you with a dedicated workspace but also introduces you to a community of like-minded individuals. Take advantage of networking opportunities and collaborations.
Coworking is becoming more common around the world. At this point, I’m sure everyone has heard that Bali is a hub for digital nomads… but there are others out there!
6. Social Media Management
Of course this is on the list! Social media is a part of everyone’s life. Showcase your work, connect with like minded people, and grow your personal brand with social media management tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. These platforms help you schedule posts and analyze your social media performance. These tools are not free, it is important to account for them in your monthly budget.
Additionally, there are a million social media platforms out there! How do you choose which one to focus on? The answer – completely depends on what kind of nomad you are trying to be. A couple examples: If you are a Blogging content creator, then Twitter, Threads, and Instagram are your friends. If you are an Adventure Traveler, then YouTube and Instagram may be a focus.
In conclusion, by harnessing the power of mobility and utilizing the right tools, digital nomads can create a fulfilling and productive lifestyle, where work and adventure seamlessly intertwine.