There is a constant flood of new apps for perpetual travellers and digital nomads. However over the years, only a handful have become apps that I habitually use and actually benefit my lifestyle.
Which apps are most essential to your daily lifestyle as a digital nomad?
• Toshl - Personal Finance App for iOS and Android
“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. My spending easily gets out of hand. Being able to track and monitor everything I spend helps me realise when I need to reel it in. Living / travelling in a foreign country where we’re alien to the local currency makes it easy to treat cash like Monopoly money.
Over two years I have become seriously anal about using Toshl. I log every single 1baht expenditure.
With Toshl, you input each expenditure (in local currency) and the app will show your total spend each day in a home/familiar currency. I display my expenditure in USD because I earn in dollars.
I would recommend Toshl to every traveller as it enables uniform logging of your expenses and helps easily monitor a budget when you’re spending in multiple foreign currencies. It does take a good month of daily use to develop the habit of using Toshl, but do try!
• Beanhunter - Locate the best nearby coffee shops
Hello my name is Adam and I’m a shameless caffeine addict.
When you rock up in a new city, you need somewhere to work from that serves good java. Beanhunter users rate and review local coffee shops. When you open the app in a new city, it’ll geolocate you and provide a list of local rated cafés. This app has served me well on all my trips, but it isn’t very popular outside of big SEA cities yet - it’s mainly an Ozzy / American thing.
It’s worth downloading even if you’re not a raging coffee fiend. Beanhunter is free to use. If you only use it once every blue moon, finding a highly rated local cafe hidden in a back alley is 100x better than sitting in yet another Starbucks.
• Slack - Team communication, chat
I’m sure you’re all familiar with Slack. if you’re not it’s the same platform that NomadChat runs on.
Slack is a relatively new addition to my iDevices. I originally had Skype, which I quickly uninstalled as it was buggy, slow and delayed message sending and receiving.
Slack on the other hand goes balls deep at providing a rock solid chat platform. It works seamlessly across all devices.
We also use Zapier to integrate Basecamp and Helpscout into Slack. Even when staff aren’t chatting we can see one another’s key tasks being completed.
Slack can be used 100% free, too. If you’re still using Skype, stop. Seriously.
• Converter+ - Quickly convert metrics, particularly currency
Converter+ has been in my pocket since I left home. The app quickly and easily allows you to convert length, weight, volume, currency and more.
I use it primarily for currency. The currency rates update each time you open the app (internet required) and you can select your favourite currencies to be displayed each time. If I enter something in baht, it’ll show me the conversion in GBP, USD, PHP, and a bunch of others.
Here’s a quick screenshot.
• Other worthy mentions:
- Basecamp - not the easiest to use on iPhone, but when you simply need to jot down a to-do on an open project it’s ok
- AirAsia App - At least in and around Thailand AirAsia have a big presence. I’ve never booked a ticket via the app but I do quickly search for flights.
- Paypal - Occasionally the need to see recent sales pops up (often CS related). Other than the occasional convenience I’ve no need for the app personally.
- Vivino - Unrelated to travel but… Vivino is a wine community app (similar to Beanhunter). Wine in SEA, particularly Thailand, is overpriced and often not very good. When you’re out with friends or on a date, snap a picture of the wine list with the Vivino app and Vivino will point out which wines are best. You look like a boss ordering a great bottle at a good price.