10 Essential Web Tools For Digital Nomads
Back before 2010, the term ‘digital nomadism’ barely even existed - but it’s fast becoming one of the most sought after career paths for working professionals worldwide.
Work has become more fluid, freelancing has become a way of life, and the range of remote working opportunities available has increased exponentially.
This subculture of location independent professionals is thriving as they continue to break free from the status quo, leaving the 9–5 and white picket fence behind.
But it’s not all sangria and sandy beaches. Digital nomads have to be extremely organized and efficient when it comes to managing their workloads, especially considering potential issues such as conflicting time zones and travel delays. Not to mention the apocalyptic nightmare that is a dodgy internet connection.
Whether you’re a full-time nomad or just dipping your toes in the water (of the Caribbean!), productivity should be your middle name. What’s the point of being a digital nomad if you don’t actually get to see any of the destinations you travel to? Whilst our Buckets project management platform offers the perfect solution for navigating both your travels and your workload, there are other nifty web tools that can also streamline your path to digital nomad success.
We’ve put together these 10 Essential Web Tools that will work in tandem with Buckets to maximize your time and money. Of course, they also work perfectly well if you’re not using Buckets — but why would you want to go and do that?! C’mon now.
I’m not a fan of staying in hotel rooms for extended periods of time and my bank balance isn’t to keen on it either! When I’m travelling, I like to ‘pretend like I live there’ and Airbnb provides me with the perfect opportunity to do so.
Whilst Airbnb rates can be a little pricey in larger cities — especially if you rent an entire house/apartment alone — they’re definitely worth it when it comes to having a solid base that provides all of the basic necessities for your trip.
If you want to keep costs down, you can simply rent a room in someone’s house/apt instead. This can provide a much more cultural and authentic experience and there’s nothing like mixing with the locals to really get yourself immersed in a new culture!
Oh, and did I mention the TREEHOUSES?!
Digital nomads are lucky enough to have flexibility to work when they’re most productive — whether that’s at midnight or the crack of dawn. Fl.ux is a free app that adjusts the tint of the screen according to the time of day, which protects your eyes from the adverse effects of blue light and helps to regulate your sleeping patterns as a result.
If you need to revert back to your normal screen at any time (i.e. if you’re working with design programs like Photoshop), you can do so with the click of a button. Although, it’s worth noting that Fl.ux isn’t really designed for people who work with color on a regular basis.
At Buckets, we know all about the complexities of time management. How many times have you sat down at your laptop and said to yourself ‘this will take an hour — tops’, only to find yourself still working on the same thing 3 hours later? Your laptop is rife with distractions, from Facebook to Gmail, which can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand. This is where RescueTime comes to the rescue (see what I did there?).
RescueTime can be installed on all of your devices to monitor the time you spend on each task and it will send a weekly email with an overview of your overall productivity levels. This will help you to gauge how much time individual projects take and enable you to invoice your clients more accurately.
Be prepared, though, as you might be a little surprised when you find out just how much time you spend browsing social media throughout the day. A friend of mine swore off Facebook for life after checking out RescueTime, although ‘life’ turned into a grand total of 48 hours after she exhibited actual withdrawal symptoms at the 24 hour mark (it was a friend, honest).
The light version of RescueTime is free and the premium version is $9 a month.
It can be difficult to keep track of deadlines across various timezones when you’re traveling yourself. EST/PST/GMT — it’d give you OCD just trying to deal with it.
Thankfully, if you have your web device in hand, Every Time Zone can do the work for you. Just add in all of the time zones you need to monitor, with your own time zone listed at the top, and it’ll keep you updated throughout the day. If your brain is constantly being warped with time zone math, this is the site for you.
Even if you do book that Airbnb treehouse, it wouldn’t make much sense to work from there 24/7. The real beauty of digital nomadism is that you can work from anywhere, so why not check out a few possible working stations in your new location?
Workform makes it easy to find the coffee shops and cafes in your local area that are most popular with digital nomads. Users can sign up for free to get unbiased reviews of everything from the coffee quality to general remote working suitability.
Whether you need info on the most secluded spot in the cafe, or a heads up on where the plug-ins for your laptop are located, you’ll probably find it on Workform.
No digital nomad toolkit would be complete without Google Docs. This is my ‘go-to’ web tool for online document creation and editing and it has top notch functionality in terms of online collaboration. When it comes to my daily work schedule, Google Docs is definitely one of my most utilized web tools.
One of the main perks of Google Docs is that it’s cloud-based, so you can access all of your projects and files from any web-enabled device — and losing your laptop doesn’t have to mean losing your data (and your mind in the process!). For the digital nomad, it’s the perfect file storing system and it’s free as long as you have a Google account (who doesn’t?).
Ah, Buffer, how we love thee.
Buffer is a social media scheduling tool for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. Whether it’s for client work or for your own social media management, Buffer makes it much easier to maintain and keep track of your social media marketing whilst you’re on the road.
But that’s not all these guys offer. The Buffer team is entirely remote based and this company definitely flies the flag for remote workers worldwide. Buffer CEO, Joel, recently did a 3 month digital nomad stint across 11 different countries and wrote about his experiences here.
The Buffer blog is also a hugely useful resource and it’s jam packed with quality content that’s worth checking out.
Slack is one of the most popular communications tools in the startup industry. This is a group chat tool that facilitates easy communication with team members/clients in a range of topics that are called channels.
Slack offers a strong sense of community and collaboration, and its extensive integration features make it the perfect online office for remote-based companies.
There are also tons of Slack communities that are worth getting involved in such as HashtagNomads — which has over 5,000 members across the globe.
I’ve always been a little envious of people who can listen to music as they work. I mean, I’ve tried but — unless an impromptu Adele singalong counts as ‘work’ — I’ve failed miserably on all attempts.
If you find yourself getting similarly distracted by your Spotify playlist (karaoke, anyone?!), then you should definitely check out Focus@Will. This music site takes a neuroscience based approach to selecting background music and claims it can increase your attention span by up to 400%.
I just wish it was around when I was studying for my finals….
If you’re a digital nomad and you’re not using the Buckets platform to manage your workload, you’re probably a lot more stressed and disorganized than you need to be. Trust me, I’ve been there. We all have.
Buckets is a powerful and intuitive project management platform that can be utilized in so many different ways that it would be impossible to come up with them all in this post. Or in 100 posts, for that matter. Whatever it is that needs organizing in your life, you can do it on Buckets. You could probably do it with sticky notes too, but I’m not sure they’d survive a trek across Asia.
By taking a Kanban approach to your daily tasks and creating checklists via the Buckets platform, you can streamline your working day and free up more time for the fun stuff — like touring your new destinations. You can even manage your itinerary on Buckets!
You can set up your own Buckets board for free over here, so why not go and check it out? We’d love to help you to plan your next adventure!