In the year 2021, more people are working remotely than ever before as we continue to practice social distancing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people who have taken to the idea of remote work may decide to do it full time and travel around the world untethered as a freelance writer, photographer, or remote manager. If you are new to the world of digital work, then you should take advice from the experts about the best gadgets, luggage, and software to make your life easier as you go from place to place.
Below are some general gadgets and tips for life as a successful digital nomad.
If you are just starting out as a digital nomad, then you will want to have a full understanding of how much you can spend on gadgets and travel and to do that, you need to know how much you plan to charge for your work. First, you will need to consider your expenses for bills and lodging as you travel as well as the income tax rate of the area where you plan to stay the most. Also, think about how much you will be able to work and determine what you need to charge to have a livable wage each month. Now that you understand what you need to survive as a freelancer, you can determine how much you can spend on gadgets.
While many digital nomads work as a one-person operation completing projects as they travel, others still work for existing corporations on a remote basis. For remote managers, communication with your teams is essential and you’ll want to be available via multiple channels, be it over the phone, email, or online chat. Freelancer or not, video conferencing programs like Zoom and Skype enable you to meet and interact on the personal level that many clients and coworkers enjoy.
Since you likely won’t be tied down very often, it is a smart idea to work via online platforms that you can access from anywhere. The Google Suite is a must-have as it includes online equivalents of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. It is also a smart idea to have an online project management tool like Trello, where you can see a visual representation of your project and assign or complete tasks as you go.
As a freelancer, you never know when a new assignment or project may come around, so you want to be connected and ready to go at a moment’s notice. That is why one of the most important tools you can have as a nomad is a mobile hotspot. These small and compact devices allow you to create your own personal Wi-Fi signal so you can communicate, work, and send assignments from wherever you may be.
Now that you know that you will always be connected, you also want to ensure that you always have the power necessary to keep your devices chugging along. To do this, every digital nomad needs a universal plug adapter that includes all the connections needed to plug in your gear wherever you may be in the world. It is also a smart idea to pack a portable charger that you can use to add juice to your mobile phone or tablet at a moment’s notice so you never miss a call or an assignment.
If you have the type of freelance position that requires handling confidential client information, you must have gadgets and tech that can protect this data. One must-have tool is a backup external hard drive that you can use to store all client data. Unplug it from the computer when not in use so you will still have the information you need even if your laptop goes missing. It is also a smart idea to install a virtual private network (VPN) on your computer, which will automatically encrypt the data and disguise your location so hackers cannot easily find you.
Working in Comfort
The thing about being a digital nomad is that you never know where you will physically be working. You could be at a coffee shop, in a coworking space, or, in the case of many photographers, in the middle of the forest, so comfort will be key. Because of this, you don’t want to keep track of or carry too much at a time, so look into finding a day bag or a travel bag that will comfortably house your computer, mobile devices, and all of the equipment that keeps you operational. A bag that you can put on your back is best, so you can have your hands free for safer travel.
When you travel and work full time, you never know when you will have a physical desk that you can sit at and complete your tasks. That is why you should look into an ergonomic laptop stand that you can place anywhere. Not only will this create a secure platform for your workstation, but it is also adjustable, so you can raise it to the correct height to work while also protecting your neck and back. Find a model that is smaller and lightweight that doesn’t fill all of the space in your day bag.
Finally, we recommend that you invest in a great pair of noise-canceling headphones. Take the time to research online for the best model, and while the better options may be more on the expensive side, the quiet and solitude you will get when working in public places or while traveling will be well worth the price. Not only can you block out unwanted noise, but you can also listen to the music that keeps you motivated.
The life of a digital nomad is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, and with the right gadgets, you will feel the confidence and comfort you need to do your job to the best of your ability. Consider the gadgets and software above, and you will be on the right track.