If you have ever considered becoming location independent and using online work to travel the world with complete freedom, now is a very good time to follow your heart and give it a go. With better internet access in many countries around the world, and smaller devices to carry with you, it is easier than ever before to become a digital nomad.
You can also now take advantage of a number of incredibly useful tools to help you in your endeavours to become location independent. Here are five of the most important tools you should use to help you get started.
Backing up your files while travelling the world no longer has to be complicated now that you can get access to your Dropbox account from anywhere. The principle of Dropbox is very simple: you download the application to your desktop, tablet, and smartphone, then as soon as you copy a file into your Dropbox on any one device, it automatically syncs it across all of your others.
Your files are stored online in the cloud so you don’t have to worry about losing them. If you happen to lose your laptop, they are easily restored. You can also quickly gain access to your files from anywhere you can get online.
You can share folders with clients and teammates easily too. Because you can get a few gigabytes of space absolutely free, this can be a great way to send larger files like videos to contacts across the world.
If you like to take notes all over the place on your smartphone or computer, Evernote provides you with a wonderful way to keep everything in order.
Similar to Dropbox, you can download the Evernote app to any of your devices and sync any notes you make on one device across all of the others.
Evernote has the ability to quickly store image, audio and video notes as well as offering the ability to clip and store whole pages from the web. Everything held within Evernote is stored in specific ‘notebooks’ that you assign, allowing you to run a defined ‘notebook’ for every project you run.
As if the above wasn’t enough, where Evernote really begins to become a vital tool for the location independent soul is through it’s integration with 3rd party applications that are designed to perfectly integrate with it. Which brings us too…
Zendone is a task management system that works off the principles of the ‘Getting Things Done’ methodology. Zendone’s greatest strength however, is it perfect integration with Evernote. Together they become a highly effective system for managing your workflow.
Simply make notes in Evernote, and these notes will automatically appear in your Zendone ‘to process’ box. Let Evernote record your thoughts and Zendone manage how and when you act on them.
You can create ‘evernotes’ in a variety of ways, directly within Evernote, by email, recording your voice, clipping a web page and quite a few more ways. Zendone will ensure that however your ‘evernotes’ are created, they will automatically turn into tasks for you to work on as required.
One of my favourite things to do is to record ideas in Evernote when I’m out with the dog and without internet access. Evernote records the note locally on my HTC phone. Then when I return home and my phone finds wi-fi, the note is synced to Zendone and I find my idea sitting waiting for me in my ‘to do’ list. Real remote working magic.
Staying organised when you are moving around as a digital nomad can be a challenge, but the combination of Evernote and Zendone makes it easy.
Skype needs no introduction, but if you have not yet got yourself an account then you should consider one if you want to become truly location independent.
Skype is now a well known brand and gone are the days when any calls made to and fome Skype have to be to ‘other’ Skype users. One of Skype’s most useful features is its ‘online numbers’. This allows you to claim own ‘Skype’ number local to a particular destination. So if you most of your clients are based in London, you can get a London number that your clients can then call as if they were making a standard phone call. The only difference is that you will pick up the phone on the other side of the world.
You can also use Skype for voicemails, screen sharing and unlimited calls to particular destinations around the world if you take out a subscription. You’ll have to pay for this service, but rates are relatively low and it is usually money well spent.
Google Docs (now Google Drive)
If your job involves working with a word processor, spreadsheet or presentations, you can take advantage of Google Docs to help you achieve greater location independence.
Your Google Docs can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, so you can create and edit documents wherever you are. You can also collaborate with projects by sharing them with your clients and team colleagues, removing any need to send individual files back and forth.
Google Docs is completely free to use, the latest version allows you to open a range of further file types such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Autocad files.
Start a Location Independent Lifestyle
These tools will help you enormously if you want to try out a location independent lifestyle for yourself. However, these five are just the beginning. There are lots more useful tools that you can use to make it even easier to work from anywhere. Everyone has their own specific personal and professional needs so don’t be frightened to experiment and find the right mix of apps for your location independent life.