Being a digital nomad doesn’t just mean you’re on a permanent vacation, living out of your van, tiny house, or RV. Chances are, you still have a job and you have to work. As long as you’ve got the right equipment — both hardware and software — you can work from anywhere, going online whenever you have to deliver your finished products to your clients.
Having the right software to complement your projects can help any digital nomad manage their tasks and make their work a lot easier to do.
Of course, if you’re a creative professional (graphic designer, photographer, writer, etc.), you already know the software you need in order to do your work. Graphic designers need Illustrator, photographers need Photoshop, and writers can use their favorite word processor. So we’re not going to presume to tell you what kind of professional software you should use; you already know.
But this is the software that you may need in order to operate, keep up with developments in your industry, or to help protect your processes and intellectual property.
Google Drive Offline
Google Drive is a popular platform for document creation and saving, whether it’s word processing, spreadsheets, or presentation slide decks. You can download documents, work on them, and upload them back to Google Drive. You can even save PDFs and Microsoft Word files.
But Google Drive depends on an Internet connection to work, and if you’re working away from wifi, this is where Google Drive Offline comes in handy. You can download your documents, make your changes and updates, and the next time you’re online, upload all those changes and new documents. All the updates and additions will be uploaded and included in the documents’ history.
ToDoist is a great way to manage your to-do list, regardless of device or operating system. You can create a list of tasks to accomplish, slot them into certain folders (e.g., for clients or projects), and then check them off as you complete them.
You can add something with your phone and then mark it as completed on your laptop. It’s a great way to keep up with your work and you can see at a glance what needs to be done and what you’ve already finished.
Pocket is a mobile app that lets you save news and blog articles you would like to read later. Articles are saved on their web service and accessible on the app. You’ll need to make sure you sync Pocket to your device before you go offline again, so you can access your saved items later.
Evernote is a note-taking app that allows you to copy or create notes on one device and sync them to other devices. It works like Pocket in that sense, but it’s so much more than an article-saving app. You can store special records, such as your company’s banking information, and lock them down with a password. You can create checklists, take client notes, store photos and designs, and then share select items with team members.
It’s important to your personal security that you don’t use the same password for different websites and platforms. If hackers can figure out one, they’ll be able to easily get into your other sites. It’s better to have individual passwords that follow the best practices (like multi-word phrases, not random characters).
I like 1Password as a password vault because it works like Evernote: Works on any device, any operating system, and it syncs up so I can safely share passwords to all my devices. There are other good password vaults though, like LastPass, which often gets mentioned at the same time as 1Password.
If you bill your clients by the hour, you need some kind of time tracker to know how long you’ve spent on a single client or project. Or if you just want to know how long a certain task takes, we recommend Toggl Track, a free time-tracking app that lets you record the time it takes to complete a project. It’s available in both mobile and desktop versions.
For the digital nomad who’s still part of a team, if you need to be able to communicate and share your work, Bitrix24 will let you do that and still keep everything under one umbrella. Bitrix24 has a suite of different functions, including collaboration on documents, instant messaging, video chat, project management, scheduling, and employee management. It also has cloud storage and worktime tracking, so you can keep track of how long people work for clients and then use that for work reports. Plus, it even has a built-in CRM for client management, support, and marketing automation.
Did we miss anything? What are your favorite software applications every digital nomad should have? Share them with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.