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Updated by Amy Scott on Oct 20, 2015
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Amy Scott Amy Scott
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Nomadtopia's Favorite Online Tools

These are some of the tools I use regularly to live and work anywhere in the world. Find out more at http://www.nomadtopia.com. [Note: Some of these links are affiliate links, but I only recommend things I stand behind 100%! With some of these links, you'll get a bonus of some kind if you use them.]

Evernote

When you don't want to travel with a lot of paper, having an easy, central place to store information and notes is essential. I've just started using Evernote more regularly after hearing lots of people rave about it. So far, so good!

Google Calendar

Google Calendar has time-zone features built in that make this a great choice for running a global business. This blog post at Nomadtopia.com explains more.

World Nomads

Travel insurance is essential while traveling the world, and World Nomads is my go-to when I need supplemental insurance on the road.

Google Authenticator

Two-step verification is a great way to protect your online accounts, but if you're traveling and your usual mobile number isn't active, you could be out of luck. Google Authenticator sends verification codes straight to the app on your phone, so you can verify logins even when you don't have cell service.

16

Skype

Skype

The classic way to connect with others using only an Internet connection. I have a Skype Number that allows people to contact me via a regular U.S. phone number, which rings through to Skype wherever I am. I still use Skype the most, but it's not foolproof, so I'm also experimenting with Rebtel and UberConference.

3

Zapier

Zapier

The more you can automate, the less time you have to spend doing things yourself (or paying someone else to do it). I've just barely scratched the surface of what Zapier can do, and it's awesome. (Another option is IFTTT.com.)

ScheduleOnce

No more emailing back and forth to schedule meetings or sessions with clients, or trying to translate meeting times between time zones. ScheduleOnce will do all of it for you (and so much more).

Google Keep

I have digital sticky notes on my computer, and was also using a notepad app on my phone, but I really wanted to have a way to sync notes across devices, and Google Keep is the perfect solution. Evernote also syncs across devices, but for simple notes Keep is much more lightweight, is great for checklists like shopping lists, and, most importantly, is available offline (which is only available in the Premium version of Evernote).

6

Asana

Asana

This is the task- and project-management app that I use and also share with my VA. I have tried tons of similar apps/services and this is the one I've stuck with the longest. There's lots to love, but their offline access is still lagging (especially on Android) and I'm hoping they catch up soon.

8

Xoom

Xoom

Depending on where you are in the world, there might not be an easy way to access cash, or the exchange rate might not be that great.

Xoom is a wire-transfer service that allows me to send money to myself—from my U.S. bank account to wherever I am in the world, where I can pick up cash in the local currency.

In Argentina, where the exchange rate is pretty volatile (and the unofficial rate is higher than the official rate), I get a much better rate with Xoom than I would at an ATM, but it's more secure than exchanging on the black market.

SpiderOak

I've been using Dropbox for years (and will continue to use it for some things), but I just learned about and am trying out SpiderOak. It works the same way as Dropbox, but what's significant is their "zero knowledge" policy, which means your information/materials are 100% secure and private. I'm moving all of my sensitive documents and client materials to SpiderOak.

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Dwolla

Dwolla

PayPal has been my go-to for years, and because of its deep integration with lots of other services, I'll continue to use it for a lot of things. But Dwolla is changing the game by charging super-low, fixed transaction fees, which means you get to keep more of the money people pay you. The more people who sign up for Dwolla, the more we'll all save. (Unfortunately, it only works with U.S. bank accounts right now, but perhaps they'll branch out someday.)

Oanda Currency Converter

Oanda's mobile apps make it easy to stay on top of local currency when you travel. There are no more excuses for not realizing how much you're actually paying for things!

AwayFind

I've been using AwayFind for years and absolutely love it. It's the easiest way I know to stay out of your inbox but still receive important messages.
UPDATE: Sadly, AwayFind closed down in late 2015. I miss it already!

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Pocket

Pocket

The perfect place to save all those online articles and blog posts that look interesting but you don't have time to read right now. The best part: offline access, so you can catch up no matter where you are.
UPDATE: I'm now saving things I want to read in an "Articles to Read" offline notebook in Evernote. This way, if I read something and decide I want to save it for future reference, it's already in Evernote (and searchable); all I have to do is move it to another notebook.