Tools for Remote Workers and Digital Nomads
COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, and interact for the foreseeable future, forcing companies to embrace remote working as the new normal. Remote working isn’t rocket science, but it’s not all cut and dry either. Companies of all sizes must become accustomed to working as a distributed team and decide on the tools best suited for their workflows and processes.
At PitchMe we have a lot of employers all over the world hiring remote workers. We take pride in helping others find remote jobs and live the dream life, whether it’s moving away from the city and working from home or travelling around the world while working remotely.
This week, on the 27th of September, it was World’s Tourism Day! To celebrate it with all our remote candidates from PitchMe (and remote team members of PitchMe), we put together this blog with a list of helpful tools for remote workers! Whether you are looking for a remote job or running a remote working team, the below tools will be essential!
VPN when travelling
When you travel around the world and work online you will have to use many different internet networks, which can be a significant threat to your data security. That’s why you should always use a VPN to access the internet. There are hundreds of providers out there to choose from. Our team have been using NordVPN for quite a while now and we can definitely recommend it!
Hotspot for digital nomads
Being a digital nomad you need to have reliable internet most of the time. There is no way around it. Unfortunately, you will l find yourself at places with terrible or no WIFI. The solution? A global hotspot, e.g. Skyroam. I always carry this little device around with me for emergency situations, when I really need the internet and can’t find any local connection. It has saved me from business/client disasters more than once.
Another option to have a backup Wifi is to buy a sim card with unlimited data access wherever you go. Make sure that depending on the country you always research the best data provider with the fastest internet and best coverage. Once that’s done, you can simply hotpot yourself and use that instead of wifi.
As a digital nomad, a big portion of your life will be digitized. The problem: There is no way you can fit all of your data on your laptop in the long run. Although online backups are a great solution, we also recommend having an external drive as a second security method. Then, you can access your data no matter where you are, without internet connection. It is also helpful in case your device breaks or gets stolen. Keeping everything on external drive will prevent you loosing your data in case an emergency.
Planners for remote workers
Remote work is especially challenging when stuff’s spread out across emails, file services, task managers, spreadsheets, chats, meetings, etc. Things get lost, you don’t know where to look for stuff, and people put the right information in the wrong place.
One of the biggest struggles of many digital nomads is staying productive in a working environment full of distractions. The planners and organizers that we can recommend are Miro, Trello, Asana, Jira, Monday and Basecamp. Each one of them differ from another yet whichever you end up going for, will be able to help you with planning and productivity.
Miro is a collaborative whiteboard platform. Their infinite canvas gives you the freedom to choose how you work with your team. Whether you’re hosting a digital brainstorm, documenting a meeting, teaching a class, or managing an Agile workflow, the possibilities for collaboration are endless.
Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. Imagine a white board, filled with lists of sticky notes, with each note as a task for you and your team. Now imagine that each of those sticky notes has photos, attachments from other data sources like BitBucket or Salesforce, documents, and a place to comment and collaborate with your teammates. Now imagine that you can take that whiteboard anywhere you go on your smartphone, and can access it from any computer through the web. That’s Trello!
From the small stuff to the big picture, Asana organizes work so teams know what to do, why it matters, and how to get it done. Bring your team’s work together in one shared space. Choose the project view that suits your style, and collaborate no matter where you are. Organize and assign tasks.
Jira by Atlassian is the number one software development tool used by agile teams! Create user stories and issues, plan sprints, and distribute tasks across your software team. Prioritize and discuss your team’s work in full context with complete visibility. Improve team performance based on real-time, visual data that your team can put to use.
monday.com is a Work Operating System (Work OS) that powers teams to run projects and workflows with confidence. It’s a simple, but intuitive, Work OS for teams to shape workflows, adjust to shifting needs, create transparency, connect collaboratively, and stop doing manual grunt work. Easily build, run, and scale your dream workflows on one platform. Use building blocks like integrations and automation to empower your team to do anything.
The All-In-One Toolkit for Working Remotely! Before Basecamp: Projects feel scattered, things slip, it’s tough to see where things stand, and people are stressed. After Basecamp: Everything’s organized in one place, you’re on top of things, progress is clear, and a sense of calm sets in.
Now, this might seem a stretch, to expect you to carry more than one digital device when working remotely and travelling. However, if your laptop is your main device used for work, it’s always good to have a back up plan for the eventuality when it stops working or gets stolen.
Having your laptop on warranty is not always enough. In some countries, it can take days just to assess what is wrong with your device, even when it is something simple like overheating (this actually happened to one of our team members)! If you have deadlines to meet, it is likely you can not afford to not work for days, to sit and wait for your computer to be fixed.
Depending on the type of work you do, having a backup device like a smartphone or a tablet, can often “save” your “work life”! Tablets are also handy when you work during commuting – on a train on the plane. Some even prefer the new iPad with a screen almost the same size as your laptop and external keyboard, instead of the actual computer. Others, prefer a handy iPad Mini to navigate their work during travels.
Money transfer from overseas
If you have a bank account in one country and want to send money to another one, you usually end up paying high fees or a rather unfair exchange rate. With Wise, formerly TransferWise, you get the real exchange rate that banks are using and only pay a little fee. They are super-fast, reliable and cheap.
Depending on where are you from, you are probably familiar with either Monzo or Revolut too. More and more people are moving away from traditional banking in favour of digital-only options that allow you to manage your finances via an app. These new and improved banks are particularly popular with young people. Boasting features like fee-free spending abroad, smart budgeting tools and instant saving pots, it’s not hard to see why high street banks are losing customers to this slicker way of banking.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Monzo and Revolut both function in slightly different ways. Monzo exists as a fully-featured bank whereas Revolut functions as a prepaid debit card that allows you to make payments in multiple currencies but also offers additional financial services.
Where to work from?
As a digital nomad, you know how important it is to have good WiFi and a comfortable place to work. Time spent searching for work-friendly cafes and coworking spaces is non-billable time. Unless you have a keen interest in the dying breed known as a cyber or internet cafe, you’ll be better off with an app.
Laptop Friendly is a crowdsourced service that displays cafes with WiFi around the world. Add your own experiences of cafes and co-working offices to the database. Download the app to your phone and use it to find the best work spots.
WorkFrom lists coworking spaces, cafes, and spaces with WiFi. But WorkFrom is more of a community. The site contains a jobs board, community chat, and Meetup section, all designed to improve the working and networking life of digital nomads.
Last, but not least, since a little different than the above, is the Nomad List. Learn how to become a digital nomad and find the best places to live and work remotely as a location-independent remote worker. Explore places based on cost, internet connection, fun and safety. Apply lots of very specific filters like “for boomers”, “not humid”, “dog friendly”, “underdeveloped” or by climates and time zones.
Getting your head around time zones
The struggle every digital nomad will come across: different time zones. You are living in Vietnam, your client is in Canada and your team members are in Europe. Sometimes it can be a nightmare to find a meeting time that works for everyone. Every Time Zone is a handy website that shows you all your different time zones with one click. One problem less.
Noise pollution vs online meetings
Ever had to talk to a client, business partner, or even your boss from a noisy coffee shop? Do you work out of a coworking space filled with loud people? Do the birds chirping and roadworks outside your home office bother you when you’re trying to have that important call by Skype?
Krisp aims to remove background noise in your headphones or speakers and on your microphone. Not only does the call sound better to you, but the software will make sure the person on the other end hears crystal clear audio too.
Tracking remote work expenses
Keeping track of expenses is a priority for me. It’s hard to budget when you don’t understand where the money is going.
I’ve tried every expense app there is, but Toshl is the only one that doesn’t make me throw my hands up in despair. Toshl is a very intuitive and powerful expense and income tracking app that has changed how I spend and earn.
You can access the application via the web or your mobile phone. Unlike many expense apps, the web-enabled version is well designed, easy to navigate, and fast. Adding tags and categories to outgoings allows you to see how your money was spent when viewing reports. You can enter different currencies and all expenses convert to your base currency for analysis.
Proposals, contracts and invoices
Bonsai is an app that lets you create proposals for clients, automates the contract process, tracks your time on the project, and finally, send invoices for work done. It’s a powerful all-in-one app for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads. Thanks to the uncomplicated design, Bonsai is super fast and easy to use.
The interface is clean and uncluttered and this for me, is a deal maker. You can manage bills, track income and expenses, create beautiful invoices, manage contractors, and track your time. And there’s more. It’s a complete package.
All in all, A great one-stop product for managing your sales and expenses. Freelancers, Amazon store owners, agency owners, and bloggers are happy with the features on offer for the price.
Sharing expenses with travel friends
When working and travelling, it is very likely you will meet other people and make international friends who might join you in your journey now and then. When meeting a new travel company, often you will go out for food together, share accommodation or transport. That is where Splitwise steps in.
Splitwise is a free app that allows consumers to split expenses with friends. If a group needs to share the cost of a particular bill, Splitwise ensures that anyone who pays is reimbursed the correct amount and with a minimal number of transactions. They convert everything to one currency of your choice too!
Remote jobs platform
Whether you are working remotely, looking for a remote job or looking to hire remote workers, PitchMe is the platform for you!
We have 100s of open positions on our platforms, with a lot of the companies looking for remote workers. We also have 1000s of tech professionals looking for a job all over the world, willing to relocate or work remotely.
It is completely free to register, apply for jobs or to post a position on our platform too! Register HERE!
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