As a digital nomad, having access to online tools and apps can help you work more productively, while saving time and money.
Take Pocket as an example. This handy app lets you save and download articles, so you read them later offline – ideal if you’re traveling or staying in a place without Internet connectivity.
From project management to finding cheap flights, digital nomad Andy Stofferis lists 18 apps to help your digital nomad lifestyle run more smoothly.
Digital nomads often try to pack light and live as minimalists – only carrying with them what they really need. So having access to digital tools that don’t take up space in a backpack is a great advantage.
There are many digital tools that help to make life simpler. These tools can assist with project management, collaboration, time management, finding accommodation, searching for cheap flights, doing rapid translations, or providing you with relaxation techniques.
Below we look at some of these apps and tools that can help you stay productive, organized and connected while traveling.
Essential tech services and gear for digital nomads
In addition to the essential digital tools for nomads, there are also certain essential technology items and services that you’ll need.
These include a laptop, a smartphone, chargers, access to consistent and affordable internet and/or a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a secure VPN, storage drives, and online banking.
Top 18 Digital Tools and Apps for Nomads
If you’re a digital nomad, you probably need to use a money transfer service. Wise (formerly TransferWise) allows you to send money from your bank account in one country to a bank account in a foreign country. The reason why it’s so popular is that it usually has more competitive rates for international money transfers, which means you can save money.
Having a digital notepad where you can jot down all your ideas and notes can be super convenient. It helps you stay organized and avoid all those scraps of paper. The Evernote app also allows you to save and organized photos and files, so it goes beyond just being a place to keep your notes organized.
Slack is a project management tool that lets you create workspaces for your teams so that they can interact, plan, engage and complete milestones on time. This includes being able to host online meetings, share screens, have private chats, send messages, and share files.
You can create channels for all of your projects, teams and offices and people can easily be added to these channels – which then lets them see the chat history so that they are up-to-date on everything that happened before they joined.
4. Every Time Zone
If you’re a digital nomad, you’re more than likely going to be liaising with dispersed teams and businesses in different time zones or catching up with family around the world. If you are located across, say, South Africa, the UK, Australia or Norway, it’s challenging to figure out the most convenient time to have a meeting.
Every Time Zone is a convenient website that lets you check all the time zones of participants to help identify the best times to meet up.
For anyone who travels frequently and is often on the move between places with the internet, Pocket is a super useful app that lets you save articles to read later offline.
That way if you’re going on a long journey without internet, or you’ll be off-grid for a couple of days, you can save and download articles in Pocket and then read them offline at your convenience.
Toggl is a time tracker that lets you keep track of how much time you are taking to do certain tasks or work on projects for particular clients. It also lets you set a time estimate for projects, so you can see if you’re going over-budget. This can help teams keep on-budget and can increase overall productivity too.
Trello is a project management app that lets you create boards, lists and cards that you can arrange and share with a wide range of colleagues and partners. It helps with sharing information, enhancing collaboration, and lets you prioritize tasks.
You can also add comments, upload files and create deadlines in Trello.
It also integrates with various other apps like Slack or Gmail, which allows you to host webinars, and they even have their own Zoom Phone app which is a cloud phone system for businesses.
9. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is another powerful conferencing and meeting software platform that lets you call, chat, meet and collaborate with colleagues and friends anywhere. It allows you to host online meetings, video conferences, and webinars, and you can share your screen and customize backgrounds.
They also have a Teams Phone app that can be a useful business function, and their software allows you to instant message, share files and collaborate seamlessly. Microsoft Teams has over 700 apps that you can integrate to enhance productivity and you can also built custom apps that integrate with their software.
UnRemot is a business-in-a-box solution that was created for consultants to help them create their own virtual personal office, and connect with other consultants. It also enables you to schedule and make payments, host virtual meetings and manage communities – all in one single place.
Travel and Accommodation Digital Tools
Many nomads like to stay in a new place only for a few weeks at a time, and some like to stay several months. Airbnb offers short-term and long-term vacation rentals and is a great alternative to hotels. It also sometimes offers house-shares which can be more affordable.
Couchsurfing is a social network for travelers that lets you book accommodation staying in people’s homes. Sometimes you literally sleep on the couch – but often you’ll get your own room or separate cottage. This can be a great way to meet and live with local people and can also be more affordable than other accommodation options.
If you travel often, you know that flights can eat up a lot of your travel budget. And having access to an app like Skyscanner that searches and displays the cheapest flight options can help save you loads of money. It’s also a useful website to use to get an idea of what flights will cost, so you can plan your budget and future trips.
It’s useful to have an offline map of the area where you’re traveling. Maps.me lets you download maps of places around the world and save them on your phone or laptop so that you can use them offline. This is particularly handy if you don’t have mobile data or if you are traveling in an area that doesn’t have internet coverage.
Relaxation and Wellness Tools
Many digital nomads struggle with loneliness and like to meditate to manage stress and to keep centered and relaxed. Apps like Headspace have become increasingly popular, and some companies even include access as part of their benefits package.
Headspace gives you access to guided meditation sessions that you can listen to via your phone or laptop, which makes it great for traveling.
Coworking Space Tools
Digital nomads often like to work from coworking hubs or places that have a community where they can network and get to know other nomads and travelers.
The Workfrom app lets you see the best cafes, coworking spaces and bars in the area near where you’re staying. It also gives you an idea of the internet quality, noise levels and what prices they offer so you can make an informed choice of where to work.
17. Nomad List
Nomad List is another comprehensive online portal that shows you the best cities and places to live and work as a digital nomad and includes a comprehensive list of ratings. These ratings include factors like safety, quality of internet, cost of living and weather, which makes it a great resource for planning purposes when you’re deciding where to go.
Language and Translation Tools
One challenge that comes with traveling to many different countries is that you’ll have to navigate all the different languages. While you probably are starting to learn a few different foreign languages, you may also need some quick translations.
The iTranslate app can translate words that you type into it – but what’s really great is that it can also help you read, write and speak up to 90 different languages. And if you’re still struggling with your pronunciations, the app can read the words aloud for you.
Final Thoughts on Useful Apps for Travelers and Nomads
There are a host of different apps that you can use as a digital nomad to help you stay more productive, relaxed, connected, and organized. Many of these are free and others offer additional fee-based services.
For anyone traveling and wanting to have tools at their fingertips that they can use with a range of devices like cell phones and laptops, apps can really help to make your experience better – while also saving you time and money.
I run a blog about digital nomadism and remote work. I believe digital nomads are the future of remote work. I've been travelling over different parts of the world over the past 6 years while running a full remote digital marketing agency - Sendabee. I'm interested in cultural differences and in the local mentality of each destination I live in. I enjoy hiking in nature and discovering hidden gems all over the world.