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4 Tools Every Digital Nomad Should Use

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The rise of remote work has made many people rethink their future prospects. Digital nomadism is a rising trend, with more and more people turning to a more relaxed lifestyle that doesn’t revolve around work alone.

The prospect of living whenever it comes to mind is tempting and sounds like a dream come true to many, but it still takes hard work. For one thing, good job offers don’t come easy, and even if you are an expert in your field but are unfamiliar with the gig economy trends, you may find yourself struggling in the beginning.

That isn’t to say, however, that you cannot improve yourself and learn the ropes of digital nomadism, with some help from the local expat community.

The very first tip for all new digital nomads is — get to know fellow nomads.

On a more professional note, to be successful as a digital nomad, you absolutely must be tech-savvy. Some entrepreneur tricks can also come in handy, so let’s take a look at how to embrace your new lifestyle and never worry about the future projects.

Set OKRs

The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) methodology is a helpful tool that many businesses use. Sadly, it is not common practice among digital nomads. Learning how to set OKRs can help you greatly in the long run, so let’s explain it briefly.

Basically, the methodology implies that you should focus all your efforts on the objectives. Draft the key results that clearly define how to reach the actual goals. In short, they should be clearly defined, measurable, objective, not too numerous and have reasonable deadlines.

OKRs are deeply rooted in strategic thinking strengthened by proven initiatives that can help you achieve positive results fast and efficiently.

In order to utilize the methodology to its full potential, you’ll need to come up with metrics to measure your performance improvement. This is best achieved by tracking the OKRs in real-time so that you can adjust them when necessary.

Setting reasonable timelines is crucial in this aspect and some example metrics include goals, actions and results.

Use the Right Project Management Tools

The choice of apps and tools is of extreme importance to a digital nomad. While the topic is voluminous and there is no one-size-fits-all approach, still some tools are universally needed.

The basic premise when choosing the tools should be that you’ll be communicating with clients online, so start by choosing the right communication tools. Think big, but don’t forget the golden standard, either.

Thus, you should make an effort to find the best email client on the planet, which will group all emails in one place for starters. Other things you should look for are notification management and app integration.

The example apps you should make certain to learn to use are:

  • Task-management tools (e.g., Asana and Trello)
  • Communication tools (e.g., Zoom, Slack, Skype, Google Meet and MS Team)
  • Document management tools (e.g., OneDrive and Google Drive)

Next on, app integration has become a complex issue, with more and more apps jumping in on the bandwagon, with the focus being on seamless file sharing, unified inbox, task conversion and seamless visualization.

I.e., kanban boards are capable of converting any conversation into a task card, while at the same time managing visually inboxes and projects.

Keep in mind that new apps are emerging all the time, so make sure to always be informed about the developments to ensure you’ll remain competitive.

Finally, it is a good idea to choose the finest app integration tools as they automate processes and add value exactly where needed, Not only do they save time, but they also unify numerous functions of different apps, making your life easier.

Email app integration tools are a must-have because messy inboxes are the number-one issue for pretty much everyone, and also because they are great at keeping track of all the actions in one integrated space.

Make it your goal to use the latest apps and tools whenever possible, again, in order to remain competitive.

Let’s take a look at some must-have tools.

1. Asana

Asana, a.k.a. “ultimate tool for efficient project management” is widely used by businesses and individuals alike. It is user-friendly and allows for creation of tasks, projects, dashboards and conversations, alongside comments on participants’ actions.

2. Slack

Slack is a chat app that offers personal and group communication and uses tags to make it easier. Its simple design makes it easy to use, and the tips are also rather useful. File sharing is also enabled and all messages can be browsed — a truly valuable feature, everything considered.

Last but not least, Slack syncs automatically across many devices, and you can connect it to other apps, too.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox was originally used for storage and backup, but has expanded to encompass multiple features that can simplify day to day operations to a great extent. A “home for all your work,” as its creators describe it, Dropbox features include file storing, multi-device access, file synchronization, file sharing, collaborative workspace (“Paper”), showcase options (“Showcase”), team management (“Dropbox Business”) and app integration.

4. Trello

Trello is a web-based project management app used by many digital nomads and freelancers due to its ease of use. It features boards, lists and cards, which help you organize and prioritize tasks efficiently.

The design is clean and the tool features the option to add comments and upload files.

Conclusion

While this is just a brief overview of the tools every digital nomad should make use of, remember that tools are there only to help your efficiency, while setting OKRs should be a priority.

Also, managing your income is crucial, especially if you’re planning to switch countries frequently. Keep an eye on local taxes, and on saving money on tax exclusions.

Other things will come to mind as you learn the ropes. Take it easy, but never forget your goals. Be versatile, tech-savvy, open-minded and — enjoy the new lifestyle.

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