It seems like more and more people these days are giving up the 9–5 and taking their work on the road. Which is wonderful and usually a smart move — research has shown that having more flexibility in your work-life makes you happier and healthier, and probably more productive (a win-win).
But while the appeal of being a digital nomad is great, there are a few things you need to know before going remote. This includes updating your toolbox to make sure your work-life balance will be as great as everyone says it is.
The key tools below will help you manage working and living on the road, without the sometimes negative or unpleasant obstacles it can create. Including, sometimes having to forgo fun adventures because you have to catch up on work, or even having to stay in one place longer than desired, because you are just too busy to move on.
Here are six tools that will keep you productive while allowing you to travel as much as you want.
Scout out the actual cost of living.
Use sites like Expatistan and Numbeo to get the most up to date cost of living in a chose place (i.e. Bali, Chiang Mai or Budapest). This can help you understand what you are walking into before you get there — meaning less unpleasant surprises once you drop your bags.
For money transfers.
Check out Transferwise, a website that supports 20 different international currencies and up to 25 local transactions. Knowing that you can get your money when you need it, and not have to worry about exchange rates, or the usual time it takes for a transfer, can make traveling so much easier and way less stressful.
Be your most productive self.
While it is great to be able to work from so many different, fun places — beaches, mountain cabins, busy street side cafes — it can sometimes be hard to focus and get all your work done. That is where Toggl comes in. It tracks how much time was spent on the project over the hour, day or week, as well as how much time was spent doing other things (i.e. scrolling Instagram or going down a Buzzfeed black hole).
Finding your way in a new place.
Sometimes it is fun to get a little lost in a new city. But other times you're stressed and just want to find your way back home. The latter is easy when using Maps.me, an offline map that means you can take it anywhere — even to the middle of the mountains where there is no internet. While it has all the useful things like banks, cafes and grocery stores, it also has insights on nearby trails and public transportation terminals.
Face to face meetings can be a breeze.
While Skype and Google Hangouts are great, a better alternative might just be Appear.in. This handy video conferencing app allows you to connect with up to four people at once and even keep some conversations private or “locked.” Together, it helps you stay up to date with your other remote co-workers or clients, even when you are an ocean away.
All the news you need in your pocket.
Similar to Twitter but less distracting, Pocket helps curate the news from places you care about. If you want to know what is going on in your clients neck of the woods, say NYC, then it will show you articles from the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. This app is great for when you need to stay in the loop with the going-on's around the world.
Working on the road can be an exciting and refreshing experience. It can increase your creativity and productivity, while also allowing you to follow your dreams of seeing the world.
But sometimes working remotely can get tough. Hopefully, these six apps will help you balance seeing a new place and getting your work done.