When Your Office is a Starbucks (or a Safari): Tips for the Digital Nomad

Published Wednesday, May 26, 2010 8:46 AM

Technology is increasingly allowing digital nomads-location independent workers-to leverage the internet and devices like smartphones, making any spot on the globe a workplace. Whether your office is at the local coffeehouse, or in a far-flung locale, digital nomads require certain tools in their backpacks for success.

The Digital Nomad

Here are some tips for the nomadic life:

Make technology your lifeline.  When your laptop is your office, you need more than yellow post-it notes to make it work seamlessly. Leading social media marketer and proponent of the "I-can-work-anywhere-movement" Chris Brogan says every nomad should pack five-must have tools.

They include:

  • A cable power strip
  • Wireless card
  • Pens and a moleskin journal
  • Flip Mino video camera
  • Laptop

According to DigitalNomad.com other essential services include a USPS box for snail mail, Gmail, an online storage service to access documents remotely and Kayak.com and Farecast.com for travel.

Learn from the experts. Journalist and work-lifestyle visionary Daniel Pink first coined the phrase Free Agent Nation in a 1997 Fast Company article. 

Since then, seismic shifts in the global economy and technology have created legions of digital nomads and online resources such as LocationIndependent.com which offers a collection of road-tested resources and articles. For best practices for location independent practitioners, follow the pioneers in Ten Digital Nomads to Learn From

Manage your mindset. Recognize that many of the old rules do not apply. In some offices face time is expected. For location independent workers, time in an office chair does not equal work. Work equals work. You can manage your time efficiently with online tools such as calendars, to-do lists and contact management software

Police productivity and periodically review goals. There is no corporate year-end performance review. You define your success. Just be sure to take time to measure it!

Ready to say good-bye to the corner office or cubicle? While the promise of increased flexibility and greater productivity (good-bye commute time and office politics!) is a tremendous lure, for some, the loss of office camaraderie, lack of benefits and the stress of managing invoices is too great a downside.

Be sure to examine the pros and cons of being location independent before making the leap

Do you have tips or tales of life as digital nomad? If so, we invite you to share them here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Carly Fadako


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# Gift said on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:55 PM

Wow! Talk about a posntig knocking my socks off!

# oem software online said on Friday, April 27, 2012 3:21 PM

jdpLbD Very informative article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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