The benefits of working as a digital nomad are obvious – the freedom to travel, the ability to make money anywhere, and the gloriousness of being your own boss.
I’m quick to say that all you need to be a digital nomad is a laptop and a strong WiFi signal, but that’s not exactly the whole story.
To perpetuate the digital nomad lifestyle, you need to have a variety of tools in your toolkit.
Some of these tools are tangible things like apps and helpful websites, while others are a bit more esoteric.
Here are 5 ways to pimp out your digital nomad toolkit and make sure your long-term travel lifestyle keeps on keepin’ on.
Infusionsoft has saved my life (and my as$!) time and time again.
It’s the application I use to send you all those snazzy emails, manage my contacts, and run my entire marketing department (which consists of, well, me.).
Recently I got really sick while traveling in Vietnam. I mean really sick, like maybe-my-mom-should-fly-here-to-say-goodbye-sick.
And during the entire month when I was in and out of hospitals, my marketing kept churning as if I was still in my digital office.
Infusionsoft lets you automate everything, and I mean everything.
So when I was lying in the hospital with tubes sticking out of my arms, you were reading an email from me as if I’d just sent it.
It’s truly bomb. If you’re a digital nomad, you have clients and other human-types who send you money when you do work for them.
Infusionsoft lets you keep track of said clients, keep in touch with them, and make sure their money keeps landing in your pocket.
Watch a free demo of Infusionsoft when you click here.
i just discovered this app when the developer shot me an email and was like “Rebs, why aren’t you using my app?”
And I was like “Menno, why should I?”
And Menno was like, “Because it’s awesome!”
I downloaded WordLens for iOS and have been hooked ever since.
Here’s how it works: open the app, hold your phone up to a sign or other text in a foreign language, and click “start.”
The app reads and translates the sign right on your phone.
After having some serious miscommunications thanks to Google Translate (which might as well be called Google Transcrap), this app came as a life saver.
It’s great for a digital nomad who is traveling between “offices,” is on the hunt for a new guest house, or simply needs to know whether they’re walking into the men’s or the ladies room.
Right now the app works with signs that are in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian. I’ve begged Menno to add Chinese and Vietnamese, so hopefully that’s in the works too.
You can’t be a successful digital nomad without hustle-aciousness (n. the ability to consistently hustle).
Digital nomads can’t sit around waiting for work to come to them, and they can’t travel the world like they’re on perpetual vacation.
Make sure you’re spending some time every day working, following up with clients, and taking care of your bidness – especially on days when you’re out seeing the sights in whatever city you happen to be in.
It can be really, really easy to get sucked into the non-working mentality other travelers have, and to let your laptop start collecting dust.
But if you do that for too long, you’ll have to go home. And that’s the last thing you want to do, right?
You’ve got to, got to, got to get and keep yourself organized as a digital nomad.
Shoeboxed is a great way to do it. Shoeboxed is what I use to scan all of my receipts and do my taxes while I’m traveling abroad.
If you’re a digital nomad, just about everything you buy is a tax write-off. It’s tough to keep track of zillions of hotel receipts and flights, especially when you’re constantly changing hotel rooms and cities.
With Shoeboxed, I snap a photo of a receipt the second I get it, then recycle it. All of the info I need for my taxes is magically beamed to a cloud-based account, and my backpack stays nice and light without the added burden of paper piles.
Shoeboxed lets you do a free 30-day trial too, which is rad because you can scan a lot of receipts in 30 days – check it out here.
1. Extreme flexibility and mind-boggling patience
A digital nomad is defined by his or her ability to be flexible and patient in less-than-ideal work circumstances. [CLICK TO TWEET]
- The WiFi goes out, or is painfully slow, or won’t let you log on to Facebook.
- Monday you’re in a quiet guest house, but by Wednesday you’re forced to work from a coffee shop.
- The power goes out so you have to write/design/brainstorm/research using – gasp! – pen and paper.
Never knowing where you’ll be working (or if you’ll be working) is half the fun of being a digital nomad.
If you’re an aspiring digital nomad, cultivate patience and flexibility within yourself before you get on the road – believe you me, you’re gonna need it.
YE OLDE DISCLAIMER: I’m a proud-as-punch affiliate of some of the services I’ve listed above, like Infusionsoft, Shoeboxed, and some other secret linkedy-links you’ll have to click to find out about! What this means is if you end up taking my advice and signing up for a service through this site, the fine folks at Infusionsoft and Shoeboxed might find it in their hearts to throw a little scratch my way. Scratch that I’ll use to continue being a digital nomad!
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Mighty Digital Nomad,
Make sure your toolkit contains the following 5 essentials:
1. Infusionsoft for email marketing and CRM
2. WordLens to you can magically read signs in foreign languages
3. Hustle-aciousness so the dough keeps flowing and you can keep traveling
4. Shoeboxed so you can track your travel expenses and scan your receipts
5. Flexibility and patience so you don't lose your s$%! every time the power goes out, the WiFi is slow, or your guest house owner decides to throw a party with 67 of his closest friends during your regular work hours.
Want to dig deeper? Go for it!