A “digital nomad” is someone who works remotely and has the freedom to travel the world while pursuing their career.
Let’s focus on the “digital” part of that. When digital nomads use modern technology to its full potential, they can maximize their productivity, get more done and achieve their goals more effectively. The right apps can make your life easier, help you become healthier, keep your 14,000 tasks and ideas organized and much more.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most effective, powerful and useful apps that digital nomads should be using:
Evernote is a very powerful tool for digital nomads. It offers you so much more functionality than your old pen and paper notebook. You can take notes on your smartphone and it will automatically sync them with the desktop version of the app, so that you can view them later when you are at your computer. So, for example if you get an idea for a blog post while you are on a train to your next destination, you can make notes on your phone and then immediately open it up on your laptop when you arrive at your destination and start expanding on those notes.
You can also quickly save web pages, emails, files, photos and other important stuff into Evernote and it will file and organize it for you. You can even scan handwritten notes and add them into your Evernote.
If you are a digital nomad who produces written content on a freelance basis, Google Docs is a wonderful app that you should be using all the time. You can create documents online which are stored in the cloud and updated in real time, so there’s no need to worry about emailing the most recent version of the file back and forth with your collaborators and clients.
Plus, when you have the app downloaded you can actually make edits to your document on the phone as well. So, if you send off something to a client then hit the road, but then realise that you need to make a last-minute edit, you can simply add it from your phone.
There are are a lot of great project management and organization tools out there, from Asana to Podio to Basecamp and more. They are all a little bit different, so the one you prefer will depend on your style of working.
However, Trello is one of the best and a great one for those who thrive with a visual layout. You can create a “card” for each task and then move them between columns. You can also include other people on your Trello board, tag them in comments, assign tasks to them, upload files and more. Here’s a helpful guide on how to use it!
Being a digital nomad can be stressful sometimes. You’re always traveling somewhere new and you can find yourself in chaotic environments, dealing with delayed flights or negotiating with taxi drivers. Plus, there’s the challenge of online work, which can be mentally draining.
Meditation is an incredibly valuable tool for digital nomads to use to stay sane and healthy. 10 minutes of meditation per day can be enough to keep you feeling focused and calm. Headspace is a very cool app that offers hundreds of guided meditations to help you get in the zone. It’s a paid app ($12.99 per month) but you can try it for free.
Are you tired of your bank charging you crazy exchange rates on international transactions? It can really add up — especially since when you are a digital nomad almost every transaction is an international one!
Revolut is a very cool way of managing your money when you travel. You can open up a free account which allows you to spend and transfer money abroad for no fees. Then, you can get a contactless MasterCard that connects with your account in the app, which you can use to spend without any fees. When you spend or transfer money abroad you’ll get the real exchange rate, not the markup that the banks put on it.
This is a banking app that is designed for a digital nomad lifestyle and it takes the fact that you probably don’t have a current address. For example, it will allow you to get a free UK current account or a European IBAN account without a proof of address or a credit check. Plus, it also offers a spending tracking section of the app, so that you can keep track of your budget.
Podcasts are a wonderful medium for digital nomads. When you are waiting for a bus, on a long plane ride, walking around a new city or otherwise on the go, you can listen to, be entertained by and learn from a huge range of excellent podcasters.
Stitcher is one of the best apps out there for listening to podcasts. It has more than 100,000 shows to enjoy and it will offer you recommendations for new shows you might like based on your listening history. You can also save episodes offline, so that you can listen to them when you are traveling in the middle of nowhere and don’t have a connection.
Wondering what to listen to? Here’s a list of the Top 29 Digital Nomad Podcasts from DigitalNomadSoul.com — with some fantastic recommendations!
What would a digital nomad be without a beautifully curated Instagram feed?
But seriously, Instagram can be a very powerful way to reach out to your audience and build your brand. Later is an Instagram scheduling app that allows you to visually plan and schedule your instagram posts in advance. So, you can bulk upload your photos to save time and preview what your posts will look like in your calendar view before you publish them. You can also save batches of hashtags that you commonly use.
It’s a very intuitive and visual platform to use and if you are an Instagram-addict it can make you so much more productive.
Speaking of building a visual brand, Canva is simply awesome for creating professional looking graphic designs quickly and easily. Whether it’s a Facebook post, a Twitter cover photo, a Pinterest graphic, an infographic, a photo collage, an invitation or just some inspirational text over a gorgeous photo… Canva can help you make it look beautiful.
I know you’re probably saying, “I’m not a graphic designer. It will look awful.” Seriously though, give it a try! The drag and drop interface is so easy to use and there are so many templates that it’s pretty easy to create something beautiful — even if you have no experience.
When it comes to editing photos, this is one of the best smartphone apps out there. You can make edits simply by swiping or touching the photo and it’s even possible to use the “brush” tool to edit specific areas of the photo with your finger.
Plus, if you make an edit and don’t like the result, you can go back in your edit history and undo any of the steps. It’s so easy to use and it will make your photos go from ordinary to “wow!”
Networking is a very important skill for digital nomads to have. The more you connect with others, the more potential you have for collaboration, business opportunities and much more.
LinkedIn is a great tool that digital nomads can use for connecting with others. The new style of LinkedIn makes the news feed and interface function in a similar style to Facebook. However, unlike Facebook your feed will be filled with professionals in your niche and potential clients, rather than your family and friends.
This means that the content you post and share can be more business focused and you can “talk shop” (and potentially reach new clients!). Plus, there are a lot of cool groups on LinkedIn for entrepreneurs and digital nomads to join. Here are some helpful tips from CoWork about how digital nomads can use LinkedIn.
Traveling somewhere and don’t speak the language? Instead of trying to get by with awkward charades, download Google Translate. You can get instant translations from 103 languages simply by typing the text into your phone. Or, you can simply point your camera at that foreign sign or menu and the app will translate it for you.
Better yet, you can simply record a conversation and the app will translate it for you. This comes in really handy when speaking to someone while traveling — you can simply say what you want in English and the app will repeat it in their language.
If you are moving between countries too quickly to remember what the conversion rate is for the currency (or you are just terrible at doing math in your head), then XE currency converter is super handy. You can download the currency for the country you are currently in and you will be able to do instant calculations without needing an internet connection.
Also, many digital nomads are paid in one currency (or several) while spending another — so this will help you keep track of what the difference actually is!
One of the main challenges of a digital nomad lifestyle is keeping fit while you are on the road. When you are constantly moving, it can be challenging to keep up with your exercise routine, as you won’t necessarily have a gym or classes to go to.
Aaptiv is a very cool app that offers you audio workouts on your phone that you can follow along with, designed by real professional trainers. Although some of them involve simple equipment like dumbells and steps, many of them don’t require equipment at all — so you can do them anywhere (even in your hotel room). The selection of workouts is diverse, from beginner to challenging, strength training to yoga to running and so much more.
All you have to do is pop in your headphones and follow along with the instructions. Plus, there’s great music to keep you pumped up.
Aaptiv is a paid app and it costs around $10 per month — although you can give the workouts a try for free for one month.
Even the most well-traveled adventurer gets lost every now and then — it’s nothing to worry about. Google Maps will be your best friend when you are navigating around an unfamiliar city and it will help you figure out exactly where you are going.
However, it also has other features that the digital nomad can take advantage of in order to travel like a local. You can search for “coffee shops”, “cocktail bars,” “sushi restaurants” or any other type of business near you and the app with give you recommendations — complete with ratings, reviews and photos. You can also pin your favourites or the ones you want to visit, so you can find them on the map later.
When you are a digital nomad that means you’ll often be on the road. If you are the disorganized type, you might find that keeping your flight bookings, hotel reservations, bus times and other travel details straight can be a nightmare.
TripIt is like having a super-organized personal assistant by your side, coordinating all of your travel for you so that you don’t have to worry about it. All you have to do is forward your booking confirmations to the app and it will do all the magic for you, making your trip into an easy to follow itinerary. Plus, you’ll be able to access all of your travel information without the need for an internet connection.
You probably book a ton of flights — using Hopper will help you to get the best deal on them. How does it work? You simply choose your destination and a calendar will show you the best time to book your ticket.
It will analyse search volume and compare days of the week in order to show you when prices are predicted to decrease. It’s a simple and clever way to save money on your next flight — so that you have more cash left over for delicious street food and beer.
In a previous post I wrote about how working in hotel lobbies can be so much better than setting up with your laptop in a coffee shop or a restaurant. However, if you do want to work in a coffee shop — this app will be super helpful. It shows you the best cafes, pubs and restaurants around the world and offers information about their meal options, prices, atmosphere, noise levels, Wifi signal and much more. It will even advise you on the best table to sit at.
Every digital nomad knows the challenge of figuring out time zones. When is the best time to call your family for a Skype chat? When should you set up a meeting with a client who lives in Australia? If a project is due on Wednesday at 5pm Eastern Time, when do you have to finish it by if you are in Bangkok?
The app Every Time Zone makes it super easy to figure this out. It displays all of the time zones in the world in an easy to understand chart, so that you can see what time it is in California, Cairo or Cambodia with a simple glance.
A financial app can really help you to balance your budget, but many money apps don’t work well for digital nomads who may be traveling through several countries in one month and spending multiple currencies.
Trail Wallet allows you to track your expenses across multiple countries and currencies, then organize your spending by month or by country. You’ll be able to see if you went over your budget and analyze exactly where the cash flow went.
Which Digital Nomad Apps Do You Love?
These are just 18 of the best apps out there for digital nomads. Of course, depending on your own needs and tasks you may have discovered other options that work best for you. Feel free to share your app recommendations with us in the comments below!
I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ll make sure to write another one with some of my tips and tricks to lead the optimal digital nomad lifestyle and the perfect way to get started.
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