As a digital nomad, you know that to be efficient, productive, and successful you need good tools and systems. If you’re like me, then productivity tools and apps to help run my business better are an obsession. I spend a lot (too much) time pondering the latest apps, gadgets, and productivity tools.
When a new app or service comes out, I like to try it. Evaluating software that might help me work smarter is a great way to waste time, but it’s also fun. And it often leads to discoveries of new tools for digital nomads that I present to you in this list.
Looking for recommendations for digital nomad tools to help you work more efficiently? Check out this list of recommended resources and management tools that I use when working remotely.
Wise – Digital Payments & Banking
What it does: gives you bank accounts all over the world.
One of the most important services for location independent entrepreneurs and freelancers is the payment and billing platform. If you can’t access your funds, you can’t travel. Of course, banks offer their own ATM cards and Paypal provides a way of receiving payments almost anywhere. Then what about ATM cards and exchanging foreign currencies?
You know how bank fees for international transfers are outrageous? Well, you don’t have to put up with these fees. Bypass the bank and use Wise.com, my go-to money transfer service. But that’s not all, Wise also offers a superb multi-currency account. A currency app that will revolutionize digital nomad invoicing and payments.
With no setup or monthly fee this bank account allows you to receive funds in a local bank account (AUD, USD, EUR, GBP) and pay for services in a local currency. You can do it all in the phone app.
Read this Wise Review
N26 – Digital Nomad Bank
An excellent, robust, and security-focused mobile bank based in Germany. N26 offers subaccounts so you can manage financial goals and track expenses. There is some overlap between N26 and Wise but N26 offers more banking services.
Sign up to get a free banking card and avail of free withdrawals (this comes with some caveats so check the fine print). You can also get medical insurance coverage on some of the paid plans (starting at around $10 per month)
I recommend using N26 for banking and Wise for multi-currency management, currency exchange, and money transfer. N26 is a great option for digital nomads who need a bank that understands remote work, the nomadic lifestyle, and business people who travel around the world.
You can transfer money with N26 and the currency exchange fees are excellent. In fact, you do this directly in the N26 banking app using Wise. They work well together. Sign up fr N26 in Europe, the USA, and Brazil here. Unfortunately for UK customers, N26 is no longer available (thanks to Brexit)
App In The Air – Planning & Organization
What it does: Organizes your paper trail of flight details
It can be difficult to keep track of dates, flight numbers, and booking codes when you travel a lot. Flight and hotel confirmations from different airlines, booking portals, and hotel sites can fill up your inbox. App In The Air lets you put all your trip details together into one app so you don’t need to read through individual emails.
App In The Air is a great timesaver and an easy-to-manage library of your flight plans.
Get App In The Air
SavvyCal – Scheduling Software
One of the biggest challenges facing location independent entrepreneurs and remote workers that service clients
But help is at hand. SavvyCal takes the pain out of scheduling. Add your availability to the agenda, block out time, and set your meeting parameters. Your contacts can then use your shared call scheduling link (or embedded widget in your website) to book a slot based on their time zone. Forget about working out the time zone difference. The software will send notifications and calendar events. It will also send emails and SMS message reminders as desired.
AwardWallet – Airmiles Tracking
What it does: Awards and points tracker
Keeping track of your Miles and Awards points can be a bit of a hassle. Award Wallet takes away the hassle and provides a central repository for all of your award points.
Connect your frequent flyer accounts to the app and Award Wallet will display all of your awards programs with their status level, points balance, and expiry date. Tripit Pro (see above) will also track your awards points but if you don’t have the pro version of Tripit, AwardWallet is a great alternative.
Tripit Pro (see above) will also track your awards points but if you don’t have the pro version of Tripit, AwardWallet is a great alternative.
Track, manage, and optimize your time
Not to be confused with Toshl (it’s difficult to get a good name on the Internet these days), Toggl is a time-tracking app.
When I’m working on projects, writing for my blogs, or even just looking at memes, I want to know where I spend my time. Tracking your hours, like tracking your expenses, gives you power. Once you know where your limited resources are being used you can make adjustments and focus on what’s working.
Toggl is easy to use. The app runs on your desktop or phone as a time tracker which you start by clicking a button or hitting a key combination. Label each section if time with a descriptive name. Optionally, add a project name and client description. Log in to Toggl’s web interface to view stats about time spent on each task or project. You can export data for clients or coworkers too.
Check out Toggl
ContentStudio – Social Media Scheduling
Whether you do your own social media marketing, you work for clients, or your agency takes care of social posting for businesses, a tool that can automate these time-consuming tasks is a must-have. Curating content, scheduling posts, resharing, editing, and analyzing campaigns takes a lot of time. Of course, you could always hire a virtual assistant to help.
But why not take advantage of social media automation tools that can cut down time spent on manual tasks to a fraction of what it was? ContentStudio is a social media curation, scheduling, and management tool. Use it to automate your own accounts or run an entire agency from inside the platform.
If ContentStudio doesn’t do it for you, Later is another popular alternative.
Toshl – Expense Tracking & Budget Calculator
What it does: Budget and expenses tracker
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.
If you’d like to track your incomes you can do so as easily as tracking expenses.
When you want to analyse the data the software displays expenses and incomes as beautiful infographics, PDF reports, and Excel documents. You can also export to Google Drive from within the app.
It’s also free, which I like very much. Of course, the company has to make money and they offer a pro version which I’d recommend to anyone serious about tracking their expenses. At around $20 a year, it’s a bargain.
Collect, organize, & file your work and life
Notion is a multi-purpose tool that makes it easy to store information in almost any format in one single location. Create to-do lists, write blog posts, save files, keep a bullet journal, organize photos, clip information from the web, create ebooks, and lots more. It’s an easy way to keep the ideas and important projects for one topic in a single place.
Some people use Notion as a kind of digital brain dump. Anything that can’t be saved into a file or stored in their brains gets pasted into a new Notion page. But the tool can help you organize your life in many ways. Try it and see.
Bonsai – Invoicing, time Tracking, Contracts, & Proposals
What it does: Makes working with clients a piece of cake.
Bonsai is an app that lets you create proposals for clients, automate the contract process, track 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.
Trello – Project Management
Life can be complicated. Add travel, new experiences, and changing time zones to the mix, and you’ve got a work-life situation that needs simplifying. Trello is one of the simplest tools for organizing projects, jobs, clients, and pretty much anything you like. It’s super popular because the free plan is generous but also because, as I mentioned before, it’s simple to use. Many large corporations, as well as thousands of freelancers, use Trello as their main project management tool.
Asana is one of Trello’s biggest competitors. It also offers a free plan and I encourage you to check it out. But I find that the interface gets in the way of actually organizing work. If you’re a visual person, Trello’s Kanban layout and the simplified interface in one app will make you a pro at keeping track of your travels, your work, and your play.
Virtual Mailbox – Physical Mail Management
Stay up to date with your old-school mail
Most digital nomads and lifestyle entrepreneurs have a home base. It’s the place where you stash your extra gear. The place where your passport says you live. And often the place where mail gets delivered.
But how do you access snail mail if nobody is there to pick it up? And what can you do if you don’t even have a base address?
Access and manage your mail from anywhere in the world, on any device, at any time with Anytime Mailbox.
Your virtual mailbox can have a street address from anywhere in the United States or internationally. Add-on services like forwarding, and shredding enhances your mailbox. Your new address can be used to receive bank statements, IRS Documents, or anything that regular postal service delivers (don’t order physical products though).
Alternative services: Traveling Mailbox
WorkFrom – Coworking & Cafe Finder
What it does: Finds places to hang out and work
Similar to WHA, WorkFrom lists coworking spaces, cafes, and spaces with WiFi. But WorkFrom is more of a community than WHA. The site contains a jobs board, community chat, and Meetup section, all designed to improve the working and networking life of digital nomads.