Tips for Creation On The Go, Plus A Look At My Tools
So I've been at this digital nomad lifestyle for a few years now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I love travel, but I also love my work, and to be able to continue living this life, it's important to have your shit together, and have the right tools for the job. I thought I'd write up a post with a few of my top tips for working on the move, as well as a round up of my tools!
I've only started getting into this lifestyle in the last few years, so I can't imagine what it must have been like 10 or even 5 years ago, when cloud storage and internet access still wasn't the greatest. I'm sure people were doing it... but I bet it wasn't as common as it is now. I have mad love for the dudes who invented laptops, and for people who continue to up the technology game, as these are the tools that allow us to pursue this lifestyle.
So, here's a look at how I do it!
My tips for creating + working on the go :
Have a place for everything. Stock up on small zip up bags and hardcases (I've included my faves below), and figure out the best system for you, so you know where all of your stuff is.
Get amongst cloud storage. So I gotta say, Cloud Storage is a bloody god-send for us digital nomad kids. These are my go-to apps that I can't live without :
- JustCloud // For large backups, only when I have really fast internet
- Dropbox // For storing Photos, and sharing files with Clients
- GoogleDrive // Documents galore, y'all!
- Evernote // More documents galore! This is also where I store lots of important documents such as Expense receipts, any eBooks + eCourses I've purchased, Travel Documents, etc
- Trello // For Project Management
Download as much as you can, before you head out. Take advantage of no wifi. Suss out what projects you have on the go, what things are coming up, and what info/data you might need that you can only get while you're online. This could include stock photos, Google Docs, emails from clients or collaborators.
Always use more than one hard drive, and store them in different places. Store your hard drives in different places when you leave your car parked somewhere for long periods, when you leave your shit in your motel room, etc. And always back everything up in at least 2 places. e.g. 2 external hard drives, and on cloud storage, if you can swing it (especially when you're working on large projects, that you'd be screwed if you lost).
Set aside time to work, and do what you have to do to get in the zone. Sometimes it can be kinda hard getting in the zone to do work when you're out exploring, but if you're running a business, you have no choice but to sit your ass down and get shit done.
Depending on what kind of travelling I'm doing, I'll usually set aside a couple of hours in the late arvo to get some work done, as well as an hour in the morning, before I head out adventuring for the day. I know that to get in the zone, all I need is my headphones, some good music, and a clear, simple to-do list of priorities. The sooner the work gets done, the sooner more exploring can commence!
Always be charging. Any chance you get at motels or Airports to charge up your swag of devices, do it. You'll regret it later if you end up somewhere a phone or Laptop would come in handy, but you're out of battery, and there ain't a place to charge in sight!
My Everyday Kit
1 :: MacBook Pro, 15 Inch Retina + Tech21 Impact Snap Case
With Retina screens, even the slightest dent on the back side can damage the screen itself. And since this is my only computer, I gotta protect this baby. I was sceptical about getting a hardcase as I didn’t want some huge, ugly case, but this one is actually super thin and it protects my laptop pretty well.
2 :: Wacom Intuos Pro (Medium)
The thing I love about the Pro version of these compared to just the standard one is that they have the tilt sensor... So that was the deciding factor for me. I find the Medium size is juuust perfect too. It's about the same size as my laptop, so it fits in all of my cases just right.
3 :: LaCie 1TB Rugged Hard Drives (x2)
Cause ya gotta have your shit backed up. So far these hard drives have served me pretty well! I use one set up as my Time Machine, and the other for Manual backups and select data.
4 :: Nixon Earbuds
Okay, so these were one of those things I bought mostly because I thought they looked cool... But, they work damn well too! I've had mine for almost 2 years, and they're still going strong. Perfect for when full-on headphones are too much.
5 :: Moleskine Hard Case
I use this to store both of my external hard drives, and also a bunch of pens, and my notebook.
6 :: Marc by Marc Jacobs Laptop Bag
This is the everyday bag I use when I’m not travelling. Its got solid handles + a long strap, I dig the design, and it has enough room to fit my Wacom and a couple of other things in it. Easy peasy.
7 :: Bose Mini Soundlink
I’m absolutely in love with this beast. I take it with me all of the time, when I’m staying in motels. To get in the zone and get shit done, I gotta have my music. And it's gotta sound good. Hands down one of my favourite things I own. I’d also recommend getting the Travel Case too, as it helps protect it when you’re on the go.
8 :: iPad Mini
The Mini seems to be the perfect size. Sometimes I'll use it as an alternative to my Wacom and Pen + Paper for hand lettering, as there's a few cool Apps I like messing around with. My fave recently has been Adobe Draw.
My Travel Kit
Everything from my daily kit, plus...
9 :: Kathmandu Laptop Sleeve
For when I’m on the move, when my Laptop is just being stored in a backpack, or luggage, and I don’t need a chunky laptop bag with handles and all of the extra bullshit.
10 :: Mophie Powerstation Pro
These little universal batteries are life-saving when you’re on the road. Charge 'em up, and you can get up to 4 or 5 iPhone charges from them. They have a USB and Mini USB ports on them, so you can charge almost any USB device from it.
11 :: Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones
I decided to invest in these last year, and I haven't looked back. Life-changing, especially when you're on the plane. Sometimes I'll even use these without playing any music through them, just to block out background noise.
12 :: Baggu Bags
I’m 100% obsessed with Baggu. I have an absolute tonne of their small zip up bags that I use everyday, as well as when I’m travelling. The designs are badass, and once you’ve got a system going you’ll always know where to find your stuff.
13 :: Kathmandu Digi Soft Cases
I have one or two of these, and I use them mostly to store my cameras. Normal camera bags are way too big and chunky for me, and these Soft Cases fit easily into backpacks and other bags.
Not pictured :: Nike Backpack
Just yer standard black backpack. I brought this baby in Canada, and it sure has seen some shit with me. It can also carry tonnes of my stuff, without breaking! Yah! When I'm out roadtripping or travelling, I pretty much always use a backpack versus a handbag. 100 times easier.
At the end of the day, remember it's not really about the tools. It's about how you use them… BUT, when you’re a bit of a nomad, you need to have your shit sorted if you want to continue doing this. Ya gotta have the right tools and systems for the job.