Authored by Jake of Nomadic Hustle
If you’re anything like me, you don’t fantasize about the times you have to spend behind the computer screen on the road.
Those workdays that turn into worknights, where you simply can’t pull yourself away from the computer screen to go enjoy some local cuisine and culture.
Being a digital nomad who has the ability to work from anywhere is amazing. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just many a travel blog and YouTube star seemingly gloss over the whole “work” part of things, while continually highlighting the adventures.
I’ve been there and done that.
No one wants to hear about your exciting adventure in that far off city in Colombia if all you did was cook scrambled eggs, eat peanut butter and jelly, and type away at the computer from sunrise to well past sunset.
That’s not what being a digital nomad in Colombia is all about. It certainly doesn’t make for a good tale.
So we gloss over the dull and highlight the hype. All the adventures, the mountains we hiked, the waves we surfer, and the parties that lasted until the sun comes up.
But any aspiring digital nomad or remote worker knows there’s a lot of work and discipline required to stay on track while traveling.
Which means we all need a few tools and tricks to ensure we stay on top of tings’ while moving and grooving.
So with that in mind, here’s…
5 Remote Work Essentials For Digital Nomads
Of course, my list will be a little bit different than everyone else, as how we all work is a little bit different.
But no matter what, you’ll find at least one or two of the essentials listed below should improve your workflow while on the road.
Here’s a few remote work essentials for anyone generating cold hard cash from a screen:
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Cordless Bluetooth Keyboard
Sh*t happens. This is especially true when you’re traveling around developing countries with expensive electronics.
Multiple times my laptop keyboard has simply stopped functioning properly. Both times in areas where a solid MacBook technician was nowhere to be found.
The first time I just took a few weeks vacation until I got to a city where I could get my keyboard fixed. But after coming home from that trip, I bought a cordless bluetooth keyboard.
The thing was a lifesaver the next time my MacBook keyboard broke down after a minor coffee spillage. Instead of having to frantically find a technician or stop working, I just connected the bluetooth keyboard and got back to work.
Highly recommended and doesn’t take up much space in your luggage. Here are a couple of options:
Every single remote working buddy of mine that has seen my lap desk ends up ordering one ASAP. The thing is just too convenient.
We’ve all been in the small hotel room that didn’t have a desk or a studio apartment with only an island and a few barstools for the kitchen table. Not an ideal place to get a few hours of work in. And sometimes you simply don’t feel like going to the cafe or co-working space to work.
This is where the lap desk comes in handy!
You just sit back on the bed, throw the lapdesk over your legs, grab the computer, and get to work.
Ideal when you have a hangover too!
Read this post on the VARIDESK 30 (a portable, height-adjustable workstation that turns any desk into a standing desk, and is light enough to travel with), or check out some of these lap desk options:
There’s no guarantees in the wifi world. Connections come in go, especially in developing countries – countries that can be a lot of fun to travel through.
As such, having a backup source of wifi is absolutely ideal.
Many people just grab a local sim card upon arriving at the airport and use that as their backup Internet if need be. However, you usually have to top these up every 2-4 days when using local sim as a source of wifi.
So I stopped doing that and started using Skyroam.
You can get daypass packages for like $9 USD per day and you only pay if you use it. So let’s say the connection in your Airbnb apartment goes out one day. You turn on the Skyroam and you instantly have 4G LTE access.
Skyroam isn’t something I use on a weekly basis, but when it comes in handy…it really comes in handy and helpful. TEP Wireless is another great device (a portable WiFi hotspot that works in 100+ countries).
Some digital nomads use and abuse nootropics. Other remote workers have never heard of them, much less tried nootropics.
So what are they?
Well, a nootropic is generally an over-the-counter supplement that people take to increase focus and get more things done.
Also known as smart drugs, these supplements can be especially handy on the road. Why? Because you can usually get 2-3X the amount of work done on the days when you’ve taken nootropics.
So you crush your remote work for 8-12+ hours one day while in a new city, and then are able to travel around and explore all day. Hell, maybe even the next couple days — depending on how much your got done.
While I don’t like to rely on nootropics too much, I’ve found them ideal when in a city for a short time and trying to maximize my travel schedule and work balance.
Basic? Yeah, I know. This certainly isn’t a revolutionary remote work essentials.
However, I’ve found being able to throw in headphones when outside noise is distracting me to be insanely helpful.
And AirPods are by far the easiest headphones to pop in when street noise or those loud new neighbors make it impossible to stay focused on the task at hand.
Remote Work Essentials | Overall
With just a few tricks and tweaks to your current remote work setup and schedule, you’ll maximize productivity and comfort – all while having more time to explore the city your currently in.
Win-win if you ask me!
What are your favorite remote work tips, tricks, and essentials? Sound off below…