When we first started our digital nomad journey, people would often ask, “What tools do you use as digital nomads?“. In this article, we will give you a list of the top 9 online tools we use to run our business on the road.
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One of the top questions we kept getting was “How do you receive mail on the road?“. The answer: Virtual mailbox.
A virtual mailbox is different than a P.O. Box and can be used as an official commercial mailbox. We created a whole blog article about the service we use, check out the article (How To Receive Mail As A Digital Nomad).
Using a tool like Virtual Post Mail allows us to still receive mail on the road as if we had our own physical mailbox. We get an email alert when someone sends us mail and we can then choose to read, shred or forward that mail to us. It’s been a very useful tool that we will continue to use even after our digital nomad journey.
Having an online Customer relationship management (CRM) system has been very important to our business. We put off having a CRM for years but have finally signed up for Dubsado and couldn’t be happier with that business decision. A CRM system allows us to keep everything organized and centrally located. When we first started our business we would print out all our contracts and put them in a file cabinet like it was 1950. Now with a system like Dubsado, all of our contracts and scheduling are done in 1 place. This has been a huge time-saving tool that will help us to continue to scale our business.
Trusted House Sitters has been one of the coolest tools to use while traveling. It’s an online service that matches people looking to pet sit with homeowners. In exchange for watching their pets, you get to stay at their house. This means all of our living expenses are taken care of while doing a house sit. As you can imagine this can be a huge benefit if you’re looking to save money on accommodations. We are still new to this platform and have been amazed at how much we enjoy house sitting. We plan to use this service for many years to come.
You are probably familiar with Google tools like Gmail, calendar, and sheets. If you use their G Suite platform you can tie all of their products to your business account. This means you won’t have to worry about managing things like email servers. As a web design business that manages our client websites, we no longer want to deal with email servers because it’s a never-ending battle with spammers. We love the fact that Google is dealing with all the spammer stuff so we don’t have to waste our time and server resources on spam. Another very helpful tool in G Suite is the Calendar. We have this synced to our Dubsado account so when a client needs to arrange a call we won’t have to worry about any scheduling conflicts.
Of course, we need a system to bill our clients. We use an online tool called WaveApps. This has been the best online financial software we have used for our business. It’s got all the accounting tools built in such as invoicing, payments, payroll, and receipts. There is no monthly fee to use the system; you are only charged a fee when someone pays their invoice. The support has also been top-notch. Every time we had a question they were quick to respond.
We had to put Airbnb on this list because without it we would waste tons of money on staying in hotels. When we aren’t using Trusted House Sitters we use Airbnb to book our stays. The great thing about Airbnb over hotels is all the amenities we get. For example, we have stayed in places with 1gb connections, private movie rooms, huge backyards, etc. In most cases, you can find an Airbnb cheaper than a hotel chain like Candlewood Suites. If you stay for longer stays in an Airbnb you can often get huge discounts on your stay.
What the heck is a VPN!? VPN stands for virtual private network. It’s a service that allows you to connect to a secure server so people in public places can’t spy on your traffic and steal your personal information. It’s always important to think about security when you’re on the internet. People often forget that there are people out there that are trying to steal your personal information. Don’t become a victim of identity thief because you used a public Wifi at a coffee shop.
Let’s get real for a minute – password management wasn’t a thing you thought about years ago. You just used the same password for all your accounts. Things have changed so much with passwords and security that it’s literally impossible to remember all your passwords to all your accounts now. This is where a secure password management system like LastPass comes into play. All you need to do is set up a master password and LastPass will handle the rest. LastPass doesn’t store your master password on their servers so this is a very secure way to keep all your passwords in 1 system. Another added benefit is you can share passwords with other people. This is really helpful for us because it allows our clients to share their passwords through their LastPass account.
DropBox is the tool we use for file management. We have multiple uses for our DropBox account. One of the biggest reasons we use DropBox is for daily backups for our client websites. We also use DropBox for file sharing with our clients. We can easily create and share folders with clients during a project. DropBox is very developer friendly and they offer tons of API integrations to their platform.
These Online Tools Help Us Run Our Business Better
It would be a lot harder to run our business if we didn’t have the use of these great tools. They help save us time, money and stress while we are on the road. We used a lot of these tools before becoming digital nomads and plan to use them after our traveling days are over. We are grateful for these online tools that have helped the digital nomad transition become easier.