Running a business from the road can be tough — luckily there are lots of tools and products to help you! Below are the digital nomad resources I use and love.

susan-shain-digital-nomad

(Wondering how I make a living online? It’s not porn and it’s not a scam.)

If you want more information on travel — like flights, volunteering, etc, click here — and if you’re wondering what I pack in my bag, here’s the whole list.

Hardware

13-inch Macbook Pro

Unlocked iPhone 5S (Here’s my review of T-Mobile, which offers free texting + data in 120 countries!)

Lifeproof Nuud iPhone Case

Nikon D5100

Logitech Wireless Mouse

Apple Wireless Keyboard

Asus External Monitor

Beats Wireless Headphones

Kindle Paperwhite

Website Basics

Siteground: When I switched to Siteground to host my website, it was like a breath of fresh air. I haven’t had any problems with my site going down — and the customer service is amazing. If I have an issue with my site, I hop onto the live chat and it’s resolved in minutes. It’s seriously the best hosting service I’ve found.

Bluchic: I adore this site’s selection of beautiful themes. (I’m using Quinn on this site — isn’t it cute?)

Tyler Hammett: Shameless plug for my boy toy. If you need a clean, responsive, and AFFORDABLE website, get in touch. (Bonus: He’s cute, too!)

Elegant Themes: Huge selection of gorgeous and modern themes — and the best support forums of any theme I’ve ever purchased, which makes it great for beginners. Plus, when you become a member, you get access to all their themes. I’ve used their themes on several other sites, and have always been happy with the quality and support.

Fiverr: If I need something done quickly and cheaply — like a logo or data entry task — I turn to Fiverr. You’d be amazed by what you can get for just $5!

Mailchimp: Fun and free for up to 1,000 users. Don’t wait; start your email list now!

Organization

Traveling Mailbox: Dealing with my snail mail used to be one of the biggest hassles of life as a digital nomad. Not anymore! With Traveling Mailbox, I can keep one address. Whenever I get a new piece of mail, they email me and I can either scan it, forward it, or shred and delete it (or all three!). Totally worth the money.

Evernote: I use this to keep ongoing lists of gift ideas, books to read, and blog post ideas.

Wunderlist: Simple, pretty, and with a satisfying clicking noise. My favorite app for quick lists of grocery items or biz projects.

HelloSign: Sign and send documents from your phone = lifesaver for business from the road. (Sign up through my link, and we both get a free document!)

Gmail: Whether for business or personal use, this is the best email client there is. I don’t think I need to go into a detailed description of why. If you don’t have it yet, just switch already.

Google Calendar: I wouldn’t know where to go or what to do if my Google Calendar disappeared. It has all my important appointments and events. You can even make birthdays repeat themselves every year. I particularly love creating “tasks,” which you can then complete and check off.

Google Drive: This is where all of my documents live. It’s incredible that I can access it from anywhere and can share changes with others — without having to email documents back and forth.

Finances

Mint: Awesome free tool to keep track of all of your bank accounts, credit cards, investments, and loans in one place. Also create a budget so you can save up for traveling.

Digit: I can’t say enough good things about this app. It connects to your bank account and uses some sort of magic algorithm to determine how much money it can safely withdraw into a separate savings account. In the past two years, Digit helped me saved more than $4,000!

FreshBooks: Totes obsessed this accounting program, which is FREE (for up to three clients) and is super simple to use. I use it for invoicing clients, tracking my time, and recording expenses.

Squaremouth: The FIRST place I go when looking for travel insurance, and usually the last. I love the fact that I can compare many company’s plans side-by-side, and I always find great deals here.

Trail Wallet: This app is essential for tracking your everyday expenses on the road — and it automatically makes pretty pie charts so you can see where your money went.

The Earth Awaits: Omg this new site is so cool. It suggests places to live based on cost, crime rate, quality of life, internet speed, etc. Such an essential tool for digital nomads!

Charles Schwab Debit Card: In my opinion, this is the best travel debit card there is.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Shiny and metallic, with great rewards, this is my go-to travel rewards credit card.

State Farm: I use State Farm’s “personal articles” policy to insure my laptop and cameras. I’ve never had to make a claim (searching for some wood to knock on…), so I’m not sure how that process goes, but for $60/year, I’d say it’s well worth it.

Storage + Backup

Backblaze: Losing all of your stuff is no fun. Neither is remembering to do backups. Pay $5/month and get your shiz backed up — without having to think. I used this program to restore my stuff when I switched computers, and it worked seamlessly. Woohoo!

blogVault: How I back up everything on this blog. Never had to use it — knock on wood — but am sure glad I have it.

SmugMug: I’m psycho about backing up my photos. I back them up twice — once with Backblaze and once here. This is a great place to share and showcase your photos, as well as host photos for your blog. It costs $5/month.

WeTransfer: I often share photos with friends or clients, and this is my favorite way to send ’em.

Dropbox: The free version of this site is what I use to share music and documents with other people. Easy peasy.

Productivity

Pocket: Get rid of all your tabs. With one click, add sites to your “Pocket,” which you can easily access later from any device.

Boomerang: So handy! Schedule emails to send later, or to return to your inbox if they haven’t been answered in a certain amount of time. You get 10 messages per month with the free version; unlimited costs $4.99/month.

RescueTime: Track where you’re spending your time online to see where your biggest time-sucks are.

StayFocusd: Limit the amount of time you can spend on unproductive sites. Choose a daily number of minutes you’re allowed — then as soon as you start browsing Jezebel or Pinterest, the timer will start counting down.

Focus@Will: Love this site, whose tunes are specially curated to increase productivity. Don’t ask me how — it’s science.

Tomato Timer: If you work better in short spurts, The Pomodoro Technique might be for you. Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. This timer will help you keep track.

Dragon Dictation: This free dictation app works surprisingly well.

Social Media

HootSuite: The best free tool for managing your social media. Though you can manage a variety of social media outlets with it, I use it mostly to schedule tweets and RT the right way.

Buffer: This app lets you tweet interesting articles or photos with just one click — at times that are optimal for your audience. It’s free to schedule 10 articles at a time, or $10//month for the unlimited plan.

Feedly: Not that I ever log into it, but in theory, this is a great way to keep up with blogs and news sources.

Canva: This simple and free photo editing software is what I use to create photo quotes, or anything else that I need to look pretty.

Rapportive: The greatest stalking app you’ve never heard of. It syncs LinkedIn and Gmail to show you info about the person you’re emailing.

Life on the Road

Airbnb: Hands down, my favorite way to find lodging. Many of the listings offer weekly and monthly discounts, which are great for digital nomads. You can also filter results to only show rentals that have wifi, kitchens, and workspaces — all essentials in my book! Click here to get $35 off your first booking.

Booking.com: I’m not sure why a lot of travel bloggers promote Hotels.com. Sure, they give you your 10th night free — but does that really matter if you’re spending more on all of your stays? I find WAY cheaper options on Booking. I think it has the best selection of local guesthouses and B&Bs, period. I also love the plethora of photos, reviews, and search filters it provides.

HotelTonight: Perfect for last-minute hotel bookings; here’s my review. Use code “Junkette25” to get $25 off your first booking!

How to Become a House-Sitter and See the World!: With housesitting, you can stay at houses around the world — for FREE. The bloggers behind Hecktic Travels have done it for years, and shared their expertise in this book. I recently purchased it and am learning so much. It even comes with discount codes for their favorite housesitting sites!

Uber: Totally lost in a new city? Uber to the rescue — cheaper and more convenient than a taxi. Use code “susans383” to get your first ride for free!

Fun & Exercise

Rent the Runway: Formal dresses are the last thing I want to travel with. Which is why I adore this site that lets you rent designer dresses at affordable prices. Shipping is free both ways, and you get a free backup size with your order. If you still don’t like it, their amazing customer service will send you another dress right away.  (I talk more about why it’s great in this post.)

ProHDR: This app costs $1.99, but is so worth it for the amazing photos it’ll help you take from your phone.

RootsRated: Find ways to play outside wherever you are.

7 Minutes: Get an effective workout in — anywhere, and in just seven minutes.

Books

These books will inspire you to travel and live differently 🙂

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
The Suitcase Entrepreneur by Natalie Sisson
Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
Be a Free-Range Human by Marianne Cantwell
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Life After College by Jenny Blake

Online Courses

Organized Like a Ninja Toolkit: Jenny Blake rocks, and so does this free toolkit. Get your life organized, and good things will follow!

The Passionate Work Toolkit: Scott Dinsmore was a wonderful human, and his website continues his legacy. If you haven’t seen his TEDx talk about how to find and do work you love, you’re missing out.

Getting Out of Auto: You’re documenting your travels with photos, right? If you have a DSLR, this book by Beers and Beans’ Bethany will help you FINALLY take it off the auto mode.

Travel Blog Success: I won’t lie: travel blogging isn’t the easiest way to make a living. But if you want to give it a shot, you need to sign up for this course. Not only does it have tons of valuable information, you’ll also get to join a strong (and helpful) private FB community.

Get Better Clients and Earn More Money: From my friends over at The Write Life, this ebook is chock full of tips to help you make it big as a freelance writer. (Plus, it quotes yours truly!)

This post contains some affiliate links, meaning if you purchase the products, I earn a small commission — at no extra cost to you. These are all products I use and love; I wouldn’t recommend them otherwise. Click here to read my full disclosure. Thanks for your support! 

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