Working while travelling. Even just saying the words gets you grinning. With so many businesses operating online, and more opportunities to find work on the Internet, this isn’t just a pipe dream anymore – it’s an achievable reality.
While the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle are clear, making it happen is another thing altogether. Successful travel writer (and seasoned nomad) Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt says, “If you want to travel more, go for it. If it’s not realistic, try to negotiate with your boss a four-day week and take short trips around your area.”
Like Matt advises, it’s often about starting small. While the idea of it sounds amazing, thinking practically will help you get there. With that in mind, here are five tools to make working while travelling that much easier.
What would this list look like without Skype? It’s been in the game longer than most communication apps, yet it’s constantly evolving to meet personal and professional needs. For a digital nomad, it’s the perfect tool.
The app is free to use if you’re calling, messaging and chatting to other Skype users – across multiple devices. You can also make group video calls and use screen sharing (perfect for online presentations). At affordable rates, you can call clients or friends who aren’t online.
For a small monthly fee, you can also choose to step it up a level with Skype for Business. This allows you to host and record online meetings with up to 250 people (even if they don’t have Skype), schedule meetings, instant message any time, and much more.
When it comes to project management, it’s hard to look past Asana. If you’re starting a project or heading up a team, Asana offers an easy way to make sure everyone stays connected and the work gets done – no matter where you are.
So what can you do? Create to-do lists, assign work to certain people, set due dates, add attachments from Google Drive, Box and Dropbox, and even chat and comment within each task. Plus, it’s free for teams up to 15 members.
Whether you’re perched by a pool, or shacked up in a cabin in the woods, as long as there’s an Internet connection, Asana will help you keep your projects on track, and your team in order.
Social media is a fast-moving game. When you’re in another time zone, it can be easy to miss out on everything going on back at home. That’s where Buffer comes in – to keep the posts up, and the stress levels down.
Buffer is a great way to manage social media on the go, which comes in handy if you’re running a small business, building up your brand, or working remotely from an envy-inducing villa in Bali.
The tool lets you plan posts in advance and create a schedule. Essentially, this means you can share the love at just the right time – no matter where you are. Buffer also provides an analytics dashboard so you can see how your social media efforts are performing.
For a digital nomad, emails are your life – so why not make them look great? From selling your products, sharing some news, or simply telling a story, Mailchimp lets you create email campaigns to suit your message.
As a traveller on the move, you’re often in different time zones to the people reading your emails. But with Mailchimp’s marketing automation, you can make sure your content gets to the right people at the right time.
If you’re connecting your store, there are literally hundreds of e-commerce integrations, which means you can create targeted email or Facebook ad campaigns, send your fans free gifts, play with different templates that suit your brand, and much more. Plus, with advanced analytics reporting, you’ll know what’s working, what’s not, and how to make your emails better.
Gone are the days of face-to-face meetings – especially if you love travelling and use simple tools like GoToMeeting.
Basically, GoToMeeting is an online meeting, desktop sharing and HD video conferencing software. It lets you meet with other users, customers, clients or workmates. To make your life easier, GoToMeeting also integrates apps such as Outlook, Gmail, and Hipchat.
For a digital nomad, GoToMeeting flips the whole idea of travelling to meetings. Instead, you’re travelling while you have meetings – and saving plenty of money along the way.
The ultimate toolkit
Working while travelling isn’t a luxury anymore. Entrepreneurs, online business owners, and freelancers are making it happen every day, using simple tools to help them do it. So if you’re ready to jet off overseas, make sure to pack your bag with the right tools.